The upcoming August bank holiday provides plenty of opportunities to explore London, as well as an array of great events designed to help you get more from your trip. The Bank Holiday falls between Saturday 24th August and Monday 26th August, making it not only the longest weekend in August, but the last one of the month.
Whether you want to keep it relaxed with a lazy brunch or get involved with some of the major events happening this weekend, here's our top picks for the perfect itinerary...
Shoreditch Shakespeare Festival
Various locations / 23rd - 24th August
In the mood for a bit of Shakespeare this August bank holiday weekend? Then look no further than Shoreditch's Shakespeare Festival, which celebrates the Bard on Friday and Saturday. The event is made up of several individual pop-up activities and events, including everything from Elizabethan-era music to ruff-making workshops, comedy plays and walking tours looking at Shakespearian London. With so much to enjoy, be sure to catch some of the events after enjoying a leisurely breakfast around Paddington.
Visit a London museum
Various locations / 24th August
Come rain or shine, one of the top activities for visitors to London is visiting a museum – and the bank holiday provides the ideal opportunity. There are so many different options to choose from, including everything from the artefacts at the Natural History Museum and the British Museum, to finding out more about the scientific world at the Science Museum.
If art is more your scene, then there are also tons of great choices, including the Saatchi Gallery and the Dulwich Picture Gallery.
Picnic at a Royal Park
Various locations / 24th August
A wonderful Saturday activity, London is built for picnics, and the city's Royal Parks are the ideal spot to treat yourself to some delicious local produce in great surroundings. Nearby Hyde Park is one of the most popular areas to picnic in, and you'll find everything you need throughout the city to make this a relaxing afternoon activity before heading off to something more action-packed later on.
Stranger Things Bowling Party
Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes / 24th August
Whether you're a fan of the Netflix show Stranger Things or a fan of bowling, this is a great addition to any bank holiday itinerary. The venue will be creating a real party atmosphere by giving its bowling lanes a themed makeover, as well as playing 80s music throughout the evening. As a great – and unusual way to spend your night during the bank holiday, we highly recommend this activity as an offbeat Saturday night out during your stay at the London Park Grand Hyde Park.
Smithfield Street Party
Smithfield Market / 25th August
Londoners love a good market, and this August Bank Holiday, Smithfield Market will be hosting its own street party, centred around an animal theme.
The event is designed to appeal to all ages, and marks the 150th birthday of the market, and has been lovingly curated by the Museum of London. Activities include dance workshops, plentiful market stalls and much more – while you're staying at the London Park Grand Hyde Park, there's lots of great reasons to take a look.
Notting Hill Carnival 2019
Notting Hill / 25th-26th August
Notting Hill Carnival is an annual extravaganza which is attended by millions each year, and has earned a reputation as Europe's largest street festival. As a celebration of the multiculturalism which is at London's core, this is an unmissable event for anyone staying in the city during the upcoming bank holiday.
The festival has been running for many decades, first getting started back in 1966. It takes place over two days, and includes everything from fantastic music to colourful floats, dance and great food. As you have two days to choose from, this is a great activity to include on your trip – and we recommend planning your travel in advance as its sure to be as busy as usual.
For families, Sunday is the designated 'Family Day', and arriving early is always recommended to ensure the best views!
See a West End Show
West End / 25th August
Seeing a show in London's West End is a bucket list activity for many people, so if you're staying in the city for the August bank holiday, it's a fantastic opportunity to catch something truly special. This district in London has built a well-earned reputation for itself as a major home for the arts, and represents the major hub of the UK's theatrical scene.
From indie hits to huge, long-running shows, there's a huge variety of shows to choose from. This is a great activity for your Sunday evening, and can provide a real talking point for the remainder of the weekend. It's possible to buy tickets on the door of most venues, though we highly advise booking in advance for some of the more sought-after tickets.
Vintage Market at the Mansion
Beckenham Place Park / 26th August
Another great market to explore during the August bank holiday, this fantastic event includes everything from vintage stalls to places where you can recharge while rifling through the finds on offer.
Browsing a London market is a relaxed way to spend your Monday, and the venue includes plenty of green space to kick back and enjoy the scenery once you've finished shopping.
Morden Park House 90s Outdoor Cinema
Modern / 26th August
As the bank holiday begins to draw to a close, this event provides a great way to wind down on your Monday off from work. Morden Park House provides the backdrop for an outdoor cinema event which is set to take visitors all the way back to the films of the 1990s.
There's movies for all ages here, which is great news for anyone travelling with kids. The classic movie Jumanji will entertain younger visitors, while Quentin Tarantino's 1994 hit Pulp Fiction caters to the adults.