Top ten things to do this August bank holiday

Staying at home is just not an option this August bank holiday weekend...

In case you haven’t noticed, this summer has been a bleedin’ scorcher, which makes the September back-to-school dread even worse. It’s all the more reason to make the most out of the last – and longest – weekend in August (Saturday August 25 - Monday August 27 2018). Yes, you can always jump in a London lido or snooze in a big old London park, but this August bank holiday is positively packed with things to do. You’ve gained a day off work, so make it count. 

Check out top ten ways to let loose from Friday to Monday and before term time (or Tuesday) kicks in again.

RECOMMENDED: Our full guide to the bank holiday in London

The best things to do this bank holiday

Notting Hill Carnival
© David Tett Photography

Notting Hill Carnival

Notting Hill Carnival 2018 is a vivid spectacle representing London’s multicultural past and present. This August bank holiday, don’t go anywhere without reading our guide, which includes invaluable Notting Hill Carnival information, route details and tips on having fun and staying safe. Feel the energy of the mas bands, watch the Notting Hill Carnival Children’s Day parade and don’t be afraid to get a little lost in the streets of the Grove. 

News, City Life

Smithfield 150: London's Biggest Birthday Party

Smithfield Market reaches the grand old age of 150 this year. And, like anyone celebrating a centenary-and-a-half, it’s having a massive bash. Smithfield 150 will take place in the market and its surrounding areas on August 25 and 26 for a massive street party that’s all totally free. Across two days, you’ll be able to hear live music from experimental psych-pop trio Stealing Sheep, get involved with women’s music project Girls Rock London, and have a bop to the party sounds of Disco Loco. It might be a meat market, but this party is a family friendly affair.

Things to do, Festivals

MakeMore Festival

icon-location-pin South Hackney

More than a hundred artists, craftspeople, chefs, musicians and budding entrepreneurs are filing into Victoria Park for this five-day celebration of creativity. Visitors will be able to get hands-on with pottery wheel taster sessions from ceramic group Turning Earth and catch performances from comedians, puppeteers and physical theatre groups. Let’s get making. 

News, Events & Festivals

The Monster

At 300 metres long, The Monster obstacle course is supercharged inflatable fun at its finest. Zoom down an 18-metre mega-slide, crawl through the tunnel of love and escape from the bouncy cage of doom before jumping straight in to a giant adult ball pit. Take note: your ticket only gets you one lap of the course (which typically takes 20 minutes) so don’t be a hero by rushing to the finish line. Find it at Alexandra Palace this August bank holiday. 

Things to do, Exhibitions

Sea Creatures

icon-location-pin Westminster

See a giant minke whale, examine a cross-section of a king penguin and check out a 23.7 ton shark at this landmark exhibition of underwater specimens. It’s like Blue Planet, only many of the fish you’ll meet will be inside out. 

Things to do, Food and drink events

Midnight Apothecary

icon-location-pin Rotherhithe

Gather around campfires in the Brunel Museum’s rooftop garden for a toast with botanical cocktails and plenty of marshmallows before venturing into a giant subterranean concert hall. On Fridays, you’ll find Piccalilli from Surrey Docks Farm on the roof providing a feast of fine food and artisan bread. On Saturdays, the Great Greek Grill will be dishing up grub. 


Movies on the River

icon-location-pin Aldgate

Want to watch movie under the stars on the top deck of a boat, after a cruise along the Thames? Time Out will make that dream a reality in the summer of 2018 with Movies on the River – London’s first ever cinema on the Thames. The bank holiday weekend screenings bring two choices with plenty of drama: ‘Romeo + Juliet’ and surprise singalong hit ‘The Greatest Showman’. 

Holly Brooks
Things to do, Food and drink events

The Chocolate Cocktail Club

icon-location-pin Covent Garden

Big fan of chocolate? Even bigger fan of cocktails? Then prepare for a serious sugar rush at this pop-up which combines the two. You’ve got an hour-and-a-half to drink your weight in chocolate and alcohol. Though seriously, try not to go Augustus Gloop on this one – cocoa won’t protect you from a hangover. 

Things to do, pop-ups

Costa Del Tottenham

icon-location-pin Tottenham Hale

Tottenham has gone all tropical on us. London’s first nightclub with an outdoor pool is has arrived at The Cause, complete with 15-foot palm trees and London's first ever Bring Your Own barbecue at a club. No wonder everybody is hitting the Hale. 

Music, Dance and electronic

South West Four

icon-location-pin Clapham

If you’re longing for superstar DJs but can’t afford Ibiza, make your way to Clapham Common for big drops, club anthems and thousands of arms in the air at SW4. Get a fix of big-room house, EDM, electro, techno and trance, as well as other genres creeping in from all angles. 

Restaurants, Pizza

Voodoo Ray's Dalston

icon-location-pin Stoke Newington

This is a small but very popular pizzeria in Kingsland High Street, owned by the people behind Dalston Superstore. Voodoo Ray's sells pizza by the slice and in whole pies, and make creates a number of unorthodox toppings, such as chicken skin, confit garlic, squash and spring onions on a cream base.

Venue says We bake massive 22” New York-style pizzas and serve them by the slice.

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