London events in September

The best events, things to do, cultural happenings, festivals and other great stuff in London in September 2018
Slawek Kozdras/ Flickr
Advertising

September in London isn't just the damp end of summer. The sun is still out so there's still time to enjoy London's great outdoors, have a peep in the city's secret green spaces, feast in London's best restaurants and enjoy the last days of London's rooftop bars. September in London is also the month of the Totally Thames festival, the annual London Design FestivalOpen House London weekend when over 800 London buildings are opened to the public, the Pearly Kings and Queen's Harvest FestivalLondon Fashion Week Festival and plenty of live music from OnBlackheath

RECOMMENDED: The definitive London events calendar

Our September 2018 highlights

Things to do, Festivals

Time Out 50

icon-location-pin King's Cross
icon-calendar

What is it? Grab some candles and start blowing up those balloons. Time Out is turning 50 and to mark our half century we're throwing a huge birthday bash.
Why go? Join us for a one-night birthday bonanza celebrating the very best of London, across food, drink, performance, comedy and music. 

Film

Movies on the River

icon-location-pin Aldgate
icon-calendar

What is it? London’s first ever cinema on the Thames. 
Why go? To watch one of your favourite movies under the stars on the top deck of a boat, after a cruise along the Thames. The dream. 

Advertising
Things to do, Food and drink events

London Brunch Fest

icon-location-pin Brick Lane
icon-calendar

What is it? The capital is getting its first brunch festival packed with those tasty green fruits and more Bloody Mary's than you can shake a flat white at.
Why go? To get a little more of your favourite meal of the day. 

Music, Music festivals

OnBlackheath

icon-location-pin Blackheath
icon-calendar

What is it? This fest on south east London's expanse of common ground returns, once again bringing together the worlds of music and food for some end-of-the-season festival action.
Why go? On the music front, there'll be Squeeze, Paloma Faith, Billy Bragg, Corinne Bailey Rae and De La Soul playing. 

Advertising
Theatre, Musicals

‘Fun Home’

icon-location-pin Southwark
icon-calendar

What is it? The widely praised musical adaption of Alison Bechdel's graphic novel.
Why go? It's gorgeous, funny and incredibly moving. 

Time Out says
Advertising
The Palace Gates
Andrew Holt/Royal Collection Trust
Things to do, Walks and tours

Buckingham Palace Summer Opening

icon-location-pin St James's Park
icon-calendar

What is it? London’s most famous house opens for tours with an accompanying exhibition.
Why go? To have a nosey through the Queen's State Rooms. 

Tower of London
Daniel Sambraus
Things to do, Food and drink events

Tower of London Food Festival

icon-location-pin Tower Hill
icon-calendar

What is it? The historic Tower of London is turning into a hotspot for London foodies, gathering together artisan producers, top-notch chefs, culinary experts, fun entertainment and live music. 
Why go? See demonstrations from Michel Roux Jr or join a Gin and Cocktail Masterclass.

Advertising
Things to do, Games and hobbies

Zip Now London

icon-location-pin Lambeth
icon-calendar

What is it? The biggest and fastest city line in the world, beginning 35m above the ground – the height of nine double-decker buses.
Why go? Because zooming mid air at 31mph is bloody exhilarating. 

Theatre, Drama

‘Imperium’

icon-location-pin Soho
icon-calendar

What is it? A mammoth staging of Robert Harris's Rome-set bestsellers.
Why go? For a witty look at Ancient politics and populism. 

Time Out says
Advertising
Things to do, Markets and fairs

Camberwell Fair

icon-location-pin Camberwell
icon-calendar

What is it? A vibrant south London mix of street food and live music. 
Why go? If you're pining for the Lambeth Country Show. 

Things to do, Quirky events

The Beach at Brent Cross

icon-location-pin Brent Cross
icon-calendar

What is it? Brent Cross attempts to liven up its giant shopping centre by plonking down 25 fairground rides, people flogging candyfloss and a big old ‘urban beach’, filled with the golden stuff.
Why go? To stroll along the city seaside with sand between your toes. 

Advertising
Things to do, Festivals

The Great River Race

icon-location-pin London
icon-calendar

What is it? London's annual river marathon sees over 300 international crews compete to become the UK's Traditional Boat Champions.
Why go? It's a spectator's dream watching the motley crew of boats charge down the river, there's gigs, skiffs, Chinese dragon boats, Hawaiian war canoes, Viking longboats, Irish curraghs, shallops, wherries and whalers. 

Pablo Picasso, 'Woman on the Beach', the Penrose Collection. Copyright Succession Picasso. /DACS London 2018
Art, Painting

‘Picasso 1932: Love, Fame, Tragedy’

icon-location-pin South Bank
icon-calendar

What is it? The first solo exhibition Tate Modern has ever held for the Spanish master, focusing entirely on 1932, a pivotal and prolific year for Pablo.
Why go? It’s a slow burn of show, but there are some truly beautiful artworks on display and Picasso blindsides with his inventiveness. 

Time Out says
Advertising
Photo: Wolfgang Volz © 2018 Christo
Art

Christo & Jeanne-Claude

icon-location-pin Knightsbridge
icon-calendar

What is it? Christo and his late wife Jeanne-Claude’s first real attempt at their ‘Mastaba’ – a pink and purple mass of 7,506 barrels striking into the sky. 
Why go? To see what it would look like if Bauhaus designed the Loch Ness Monster. 

Time Out says
Pearly Kings and Queens
Adrian Scarbrough
Things to do, Festivals

Pearly Kings and Queens Harvest Festival

icon-location-pin Mansion House
icon-calendar

What is it? A cockney shindig Dick van Dyke would give his right arm to muscle in on.
Why go? The annual event features maypole dancing, Morris dancers and a marching band – be prepared to declare your London pride by shouting along to ‘Maybe It's Because I'm a Londoner’. 

Advertising
Things to do

Sensational Butterflies

icon-location-pin Brompton
icon-calendar

What is it? The Natural History Museum's butterfly house returns to a specially constructed tropical enclosure on the Museum's east lawn.
Why go? Come face-to-face with tropical butterflies and learn more about the sensory world of the fluttering creatures. 

Time Out says
Skylighht Bar. The Dock.  Photo by Steve Dunlop steve@stevedunlop.com www.stevedunlop.com
Steve Dunlop Photographer
Things to do, Quirky events

Skylight

icon-location-pin Wapping
icon-calendar

What is it? Have some (legal) fun in a former carpark at Skylight, a rooftop playground in Tobacco Dock, which is back for some summer fun.
Why go? For three floors of bars, street food, croquet and pétanque with some unparalleled panoramas of the city skyline to boot.

Advertising
No Man’s Sky, 2016
© Hello Games
Things to do, Exhibitions

‘Videogames’

icon-location-pin Brompton
icon-calendar

What is it? Videogames will encompass both the design and culture of its namesake since the mid-2000s.
Why go? To look at exceptional artwork and animation, player communities and political conversations that define this era of gaming.

Things to do, Consumer shows and conventions

London Fashion Week Festival

icon-location-pin Temple
icon-calendar

What is it? Shop a curated edit of designer collections from over 150 brands, go front row for a show and listen to talks from industry experts so you can get a head start on next season's trends. 
Why go? If you've got a passion for extremely beautiful (and pricey) fashion. 

Advertising
Burntwood School - Open House
Rob Parrish
Things to do

Open House London

What is it? The annual Open House London weekend gives Londoners the chance to explore behind the closed doors of some of the capital's biggest, most renowned and most secret venues for free.
Why go? To give in to your curious side.

The Great River Race
Andres Arias Mesa
Things to do

Totally Thames

What is it? The Totally Thames festival is an annual celebration of the River Thames, which graces the banks of our much-loved waterway in September.
Why go? Dive into a month-long party full of arts festivals, community events, regattas, river races, foreshore archaeology and environmental activities.

Advertising
Things to do, Event spaces

Summer of Sound on The Roof

icon-location-pin Oxford Street
icon-calendar

What is it? The Gardening Society on John Lewis's Oxford Street store's rooftop is turning into a live music venue.
Why go? Rock up for garden gigs, immersive studio spaces, DJ sets and fried chicken from 'Butchies', all a world away from the hustle and bustle below. 

Things to do, Food and drink events

Midnight Apothecary

icon-location-pin Rotherhithe
icon-calendar

What is it? A quirky cocktail takeover at the Brunel Museum's rooftop garden.
Why go? To sip botanical cocktails, pile round campfires, toast marshmallows, tuck into Greek street food and venture into the Brunel tunnel. 

Advertising
Things to do, Walks and tours

Greenwich Painted Hall Ceiling Tours

icon-location-pin Greenwich
icon-calendar

What is it? A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get up close to the ceiling of the Greenwich’s Painted Hall in this series of ceiling tours taking place while conservators restore 40,000 sqft of the ceiling’s painted surface.
Why go? To see ‘the Sistine Chapel of the UK’. 

Brixton Design Trail 2017: The Silent Arch, Bharat and Jean
Brixton Design Trail 2017: The Silent Arch, Bharat and Jean
Things to do, Festivals

London Design Festival

What is it? The London Design Festival spans dozens of locations, features tons of events, includes hundreds of exhibits.
Why go? It has one clear mission: to prove that our city is the capital of design. 

Advertising
Anthea Hamilton The Squash, install view Photo: © Tate (Seraphina Neville)
Art, Sculpture

Anthea Hamilton

icon-location-pin Westminster
icon-calendar

What is it? For her 2018 Tate Britain Commission, Anthea Hamilton has created a squash-human hybrid, performed each day by an individual dressed in one of seven outfits inspired by various strains of curcubita. She then picked a collection of nine sculptures from the Tate’s existing collection for them to prance around.
Why go? Hamilton’s creation is a shot of tequila in the white wine spritzer world of Tate.

Time Out says
David LaChapelle 'An illuminating path' (1998) Courtesy of the artist
Art

‘Michael Jackson: On the Wall’

icon-location-pin Leicester Square
icon-calendar

What is it? Art inspired by the King of Pop.
Why go? it's about so much more than just MJ, and it's brilliantly put together.

Time Out says
Advertising
© Andrea Levy
Things to do, Exhibitions

‘Windrush: Songs in a Strange Land’

icon-location-pin Euston
icon-calendar

What is it? Marking 70 years since the Empire Windrush carried hundreds of migrants from the Caribbean to London, this exhibition explores why people came to the UK, what they left behind and how they have shaped Britain.
Why go? Listen to jazz and calypso, hear personal reflections from some of the first Caribbean nurses to join the NHS and see manuscripts of Benjamin Zephaniah's poem ‘What Stephen Lawrence Has Taught Us’. 

Things to do, Exhibitions

Picturing Forgotten London

icon-location-pin Clerkenwell
icon-calendar

What is it? An exhibition telling the story of London’s forgotten buildings.
Why go? To check out long-gone landmarks, vanished streets and neighbourhoods that are no more. 

Advertising
Frida Kahlo with Olmec figurine 1939. Photograph Nickolas Muray. Nickolas Muray Photo Archives
Things to do, Exhibitions

‘Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up’

icon-location-pin Brompton
icon-calendar

What is it? The V&A’s new exhibition of over 200 Frida-related items goes some way to explaining the allure underpinning Frida fandom.
Why go? The displays feel intensely personal and explain the power of Kahlo as an artist and woman. 

Time Out says
© Nick Turpin
Things to do, Exhibitions

‘London Nights’

icon-location-pin Smithfield
icon-calendar

What is it? This show covers more than 100 years of photographers exploring the nighttime capital.
Why go? To see London's nocturnal alter ego in all its glory. 

Time Out says
Find out what's happening in October

Restaurants, Chinese

New China

icon-location-pin Chinatown

A small, bustling restaurant in China Town dishing up a half-Szechuan, half-Cantonese menu (plus dim sum). Set meals start at £14.50 if you can't...

Venue says New China is located on the heart of Chinatown with a beautiful red brick pagoda.

Advertising