15 Things to Do in London on Bank Holiday Monday

Hurrah for the bank holiday weekend and not being in lockdown! If you’re specifically looking for things to do on bank holiday Monday, check out our top picks…

Lead image: Free at Isle of Wight 1970 (Charles Everest © CameronLife Photo Library)

1 Free entry for unfortunate namesakes at The London Dungeon
The London Dungeon is marking its reopening by offering anyone sharing a name with a treacherous murderer free entry to the attraction over bank holiday weekend. Finally, sweet payback for all those unknown LinkedIn connections, Facebook friend requests and overheard sniggers at wedding table planners… if your name really is Nellie Lovett, Sweeney Todd, or even Ted Bundy, then The London Dungeon is inviting you to explore London’s horrible history with your fellow namesake murderers. Enjoy the Great Fire of London and pay a visit to the plague doctor with Harold Shipman, all with the London Dungeons compliments. To guarantee your free entry, email Londondungeon@stripecommunications.com with your name and photograph of your ID. Offer available from 24-31 August. Tickets are normally priced £30 for adults and £24 for kids on the door (20% for booking online in advance).

2 Covent Garden Cool Down
Covent Garden’s ice cream festival – the Covent Garden Cool Down – returns this August bank holiday weekend with all sorts of gelato, frozen cocktails, coffees and slushies available from 27-31 August. The festival hub will be located in the alfresco rainbow seating area on the East Piazza with five brands serving frozen treats, from Little Moons’ mochi to Ladurée’s macaron ice cream sandwiches and frozen cocktails from the outdoor bars at Buns and Buns and Dirty Martini. Elsewhere, The Frog By Adam Handling will be serving frozen Espresso Martinis and a meadowsweet parfait ice cream sandwich; Henrietta Bistro will offer St. Germain slushy cocktails on the outdoor terrace; SUSHISAMBA will have Boozy Caipirinha Samba Pops; Bubblewrap will serve up Instagram-worthy waffle cones with bespoke toppings; and Avobar will be offering up their hugely popular Avo soft serve.
For further details of special serves see coventgarden.london/ice-cream-festival

3 Notting Hill Carnival (online)
Notting Hill Carnival has gone digital for 2020, and from Saturday 29 till Monday 31 August you’ll be granted Access All Areas, with four channels of the most exciting talent from UK radio, educators and MCs. Channel One will deliver Culture (steelband performances, dance competitions and cook-alongs, streaming 9am-12pm on Monday), while on Two it’s Parade (streaming Mas bands, steelbands and Brazilian bands from 12pm-8pm on Monday), on Three it’s Sound Systems (with exclusive sets from 12pm-8pm on Monday) and Channel Four is the Main Stage (streaming UK artists from 8pm-11pm on Monday). Plus, Carnival 2020’s official sponsor, Spotify, will host a microsite full of huge dancehall, reggae, soca and afrobeat playlists, podcasts on Carnival history and issues facing the black community, and more.
Register online at nhcarnival.org


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4 Rooftop Comedy Experience at Bussey Rooftop Bar, Peckham
Bussey Rooftop Bar’s new Rooftop Comedy Experience, a new series of outdoor comedy nights, is running on bank holiday Monday with headliner Tim Key, the lager-guzzling poet and Alan Partridge star, alongside Edinburgh Comedy Award Winner John Kearns and Best Newcomer-nominee Sarah Keyworth. The team at Bussey Rooftop Bar are working in partnership with award-winning production outfit Plosive to bring guests the best comedy alongside panoramic views, pizza and classic cocktails, beer, wine and soft drinks. Tickets are £30 for two, £60 for four, or £70 for five (over 18s only, advance bookings only).
133 Rye Lane, Peckham SE15 4ST; busseyrooftopbar.com

5 Greenwich+Docklands International Festival, various locations
Greenwich+Docklands International Festival (GDIF), the festival of outdoor theatre, has some great stuff running across the Royal Borough of Greenwich on bank holiday Monday. Head to St Alfege Park in Greenwich for all sorts of fun as part of On Your Doorstep, a festival within a festival that brings pop-up performances closer to you. On Monday, from 1pm-6pm, you’ll find SMASHED2, a virtuosic performance from internationally recognised circus ensemble, Gandini; WHY?, an aerial duet performed on a free-standing vertical wall; FEELPLAY, a new innovation in playing for adults only; and more. Plus, on Woolwich Common, you can experience Luke Jerram’s new installation, In Memoriam, in tribute to those we have lost to Covid-19 (2.30pm-8pm), and Chorus, an installation of towering sound and light sculptures at the Old Royal Naval College (7.30pm, 8.30pm & 9.30pm). The festival runs 28 August-12 September.

6 Tenet at Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
Riverside Studios in Hammersmith is now fully open to the public following the easing of lockdown restrictions, with a new programme that includes screenings of Christopher Nolan’s hotly anticipated sci-fi epic, Tenet. The film – one of the first major new releases since lockdown – is breaking new ground opening in territories outside the US. Originally due to launch in July, the film is the follow-up to Nolan’s 2017 war epic Dunkirk and has been called ‘his best movie since Inception’ following secretive press previews. The action-packed time-travel movie stars Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Michael Caine, John David Washington and Kenneth Branagh. Several screenings daily. Screening at 12.30pm, 4pm, 6.50pm and 7.30pm on bank holiday Monday. Tickets from £10.
101 Queen Caroline Street, Hammersmith W6 9BN; riversidestudios.co.uk

7 Summer Showtime on The Coaling Jetty, Battersea
Summer Showtime at The Coaling Jetty’s is a series of open-air theatre performances and cinema screenings from local companies Archlight Cinema and The Turbine Theatre. The historic Grade II* listed Coaling Jetty has incredible views of the river, making it a great spot for a late-summer evening al fresco. On bank holiday Monday, The Turbine Theatre presents The Best of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, a spectacular celebration of timeless music from one of the biggest selling groups of all time, featuring cast members from the smash-hit musical Jersey Boys (8pm, tickets from £56 for two deck chairs). You can also enjoy special pre-theatre menus, picnic boxes and takeaways from local retailers including Megan’s, Vagabond Wines, Fiume and Battersea Brewery.

8 Live music at Chiswick Festival 
A team of local event organisers have come together to put on a festival to help Chiswick House & Gardens get back on its feet after having to cancel all of its events due to coronavirus. On bank holiday Monday, you can see Trio Manouche and The Blues Engineers. Trio Manouche, with special star guest Quentin Collins, will be performing inspired re-worked classics of the great gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, in addition to their own material penned by band leader Simon Harris. The multi-talented Blues Engineers perform an exciting mix of jazz tinged country and urban blues. Vocalist and guitarist John O’Reilly is internationally acclaimed for his exciting slide and steel (resonator) guitar playing having worked extensively in Europe on the festival circuit. 7.30pm-9.30pm. Tickets £20.

9 M*** F*** Drive Thru, Shoreditch
British meat-alternative brand Meatless Farm is launching the plant-based drive thru over August bank holiday weekend to show that fast food can be better for you, better for the planet and still taste incredible. Taking over the American Car Wash in Shoreditch, the pop-up will also have a dedicated walk-thru lane for cyclists and pedestrians, and those who pull up in an electric car, or on a bike or e-scooter, will get 50% off. Street-food maestro Mother Flipper has collaborated on the menu to create meat-free dirty burgers that are packed full of flavour, texture and juicy brilliance. All burgers will be served veggie as standard, with vegan versions also available. Open 11am-3pm from 26-31 August.
35 Great Eastern Street, Hackney EC2A 3ER; @meatlessfarm

10 Joker at The Luna Cinema, Royal Hospital Chelsea
Following a stint of drive-in screenings in Hendon and Rotherhithe, The Luna Cinema is back in its original, cinema-under-the-stars format. Or as close as is possible while physically distancing… The open-air cinema experience will now involve a number of pitches, pre-laid out for groups of two-to-four with chairs set up ready for you. The Luna Cinema is spending bank holiday weekend at Royal Hospital Chelsea, screening Joker on bank holiday Monday (doors 6.45pm, film 8.15pm; tickets from £37 for two).

11 Rooftop Film Club Drive In, Alexandra Palace
Rooftop Film Club, which has hosted alfresco film screenings on London rooftops from the Bussey Building in Peckham to Stratford’s Roof East and The Queen of Hoxton in Shoreditch, has set up shop at Alexandra Palace with a summer of safely socially distanced drive-in movies. You can take your own snacks and drinks, or order concessions like popcorn and chocolate, Popdogs hot dogs and drinks online. On bank holiday Monday you can see Dirty Dancing at 5pm and Fight Club at 8pm. Tickets £27.50-£29.50 per car.
Alexandra Palace Way N22 7AY; rooftopfilmclub.com

12 Fulham Beach Club’s Ibiza White Party, Fulham
It’ll be a total white out at Fulham Beach Club this bank holiday weekend as the Ibiza White Party returns. London’s only Thameside beach club will be hosting guest DJs from Ibiza for this wear-only-white party, with sun (hopefully), sea (well, the Thames), sand (legit), cocktails and quarantine-free Balearic vibes! On bank holiday Monday it’s the Chill Out Session – a chance to regroup after the over-exertions of making a bank holiday weekend out of lockdown count! 12.30pm-6pm. Tickets from £12pp.
Wandsworth Bridge Road SW6 2TY; neverlandlondon.com

13 Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich
The National Maritime Museum is offering free access to the 2019 Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year exhibition until 13 September, including bank holiday Monday. In 2019 the competition attracted 4,602 entries from 90 different countries, with just over 100 awe-inspiring images making the cut to feature in the exhibition. From spellbinding skyscapes and galaxies to extraordinary photographs of aurorae, the exhibition showcases the world’s greatest space photography, including the winners and runners up of each of the eight different competition categories. Book a timed slot in advance to visit. Open 10.30am-4pm.
Park Row, Greenwich Peninsula SE10 9NF; rmg.co.uk

14 Wight Spirit 1968-70 at Masterpiece Art, Holland Park
Wight Spirit 1968-70 is a landmark exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the seminal Isle of Wight Festival. When Isle of Wight began in 1968, 10,000 people attended the event, but by 1970, with a line-up including Jimi Hendrix and The Who, the crowds had swelled to 600,000. A landmark in Britain’s cultural history, the festival formed the blueprint for now legendary open-air festivals like Glastonbury and Reading & Leeds. The exhibition features new sculptures by Guy Portelli, including a large-scale glass mosaic panel featuring the hand prints of more than 80 festival performers; a selection of photographs taken by the late Charles Everest, who had unparalleled access to the performances on stage; and a feature-length documentary. Showing until 5 September.
Masterpiece Art, 3 Norland Place, Holland Park W11 4QG; masterpieceart.co.uk

15 Carnival Weekend at The Terrace, Ally Pally
Carnival vibes will be in heavy rotation this bank holiday weekend at Alexandra Palace’s The Terrace – one of London’s biggest beer gardens. Set against panoramic views of London and covering 1,500 square meters, The Terrace will be offering Carnival-themed food and drinks from Friday through to Monday, set to a Carnival soundtrack from Alexandra Palace’s resident DJ. The well-stocked bar will feature everything from cocktails and craft beers through to cider, wine and soft drinks, while street food vendors serve up jerk chicken classics, American hand-pressed burgers, waffles, pizzas, vegan dishes and more. The Terrace operates table service only for maximum group bookings of six people with all orders and payments done via an app.