17 Things to Do in London Over the May Bank Holiday Weekends

From boozy bottomless brunches for the grown ups to a 48-hour film competition for all ages and a party on Peckham Rye, check out The Resident’s pick of the best things to do in London over the May Bank Holiday weekends!

Lead image: Feria De Londres, Southbank

early may bank holiday weekend
5-7 may 2018


1 Gin & Jazz Friday Street Food Fest, Greenwich Market
Kick your Bank Holiday off early at Greenwich Market’s Gin & Jazz Friday Street Food Fest with Rivington Greenwich. Serving u gin cocktails, local craft beers, street food and toe-tapping South African jazz, it’s the perfect way to get into the swing of the long weekend. Neighbourhood restaurant Rivington Greenwich will host a Gin Bar Pop Up serving Beefeater Gin cocktails (ours if the Beefeater Pink spritz), while the market’s top street food traders keep hunger at bay, from plant-based treats by The Little Leaf, to hearty Cuban sandwiches by Munchies and Pimp My Ramen’s legendary ramen burgers. A five-piece band will be providing the festival vibes, playing eclectic compositions with influences from Township Jive to Brazilian Samba and Jamaican Reggae. 6-10pm.
Greenwich Market London SE10 9HZ. Reserve your free tickets at eventbrite.co.uk

2 Be:FIT London, Islington
4-6 May

Be:FIT London, the original health and fitness festival for women, returns for another three-day celebration of total health and wellbeing, jam-packed with motivational talks from the UK’s top fitness experts, six studios of fitness and yoga classes, plus a shopping village filled with the top health and fitness brands. Industry stars like Joe Wicks, Deliciously Ella and Madeleine Shaw will be giving talks, and new for 2018 is Be:FIT’s official Afterparty in association with Ministry Does Fitness, when you can party the night away with a club-style fitness session, live DJs, pop-up workouts, games, glitter and more (Friday 4 May, 6pm-9pm). The 2018 campaign, Be Your Own, aims to inspire women to love their bodies and encourage body confidence in each other. Prices start from £25 for an adult day pass.
Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street N1 0QHbefitlondon.com

3 48 Hour Film Competition, Herne Hill
5 May
As part of the Herne Hill Free Film Festival, the Prince Regent Pub is hosting a 48 Hour Film Competition on 5 May. Supported by Herne Hill’s very own Yoga Point, the competition returns to search for the best local filmmaking talent. Budding filmmakers are given a line of dialogue, a prop, a Herne Hill location and 48 hours in which to produce a three-minute short film. There’s a cash prize of £100 for the best film and £50 for the winner of each category – so if you’re the best of the best, you could win £150! The clock starts ticking on Saturday 5 May, so head to The Prince Regent between 12pm and 1.30pm to enter, then return 48 hours later between 12pm and 1.30pm on 7 May with your finished film. There are three competition categories – under 16s, over 16s and families – and you can use your phone, tablet or camera.
69 Dulwich Road, Herne Hill SE24 0NJ; freefilmfestivals.org

4 Carluccio’s Bottomless Brunch
7 May

Add some sparkle to your Bank Holiday Monday with your local Carluccio’s restaurant. From London to Liverpool and Birmingham to Brighton, Carluccio’s is offering bottomless bubbles when ordering off its brand-new breakfast menu for just £26pp on 7 May from 10am-1pm. Brunch lovers can choose any breakfast dish and combine it with free-flowing prosecco for up to 90 minutes. Try the Magnifica Tradizionale, which ticks every cooked breakfast box with eggs, grilled smoky pancetta, sausage, sautéed mushrooms, tomato and toasted ciabatta. Veggies are looked after with a plate laden with eggs, courgette fritters, sautéed mushrooms, tomatoes and toasted ciabatta, while vegans can opt for baked borlotti beans, summer squash, tomatoes, spinach and toasted ciabatta.
Find your nearest here carluccios.com/restaurants

5 Fashion Re-Told, Knightsbridge
Until 13 May
Harrods is partnering with the NSPCC to launch Fashion Re-Told, a luxury charity fashion pop-up, this weekend. Fashion Retold sells new, nearly new and pre-loved high-end fashion items, donated by Harrods – NSPCC’s longstanding charity partner – Harrods employees, members of the public and NSPCC ambassadors. The pop-up will feature both menswear and womenswear with pre-loved donations from top brands like Celine, Tom Ford, Chloe, Miu Miu, Victoria Beckham, Balmain, Ralph Lauren, Valentino, Loewe and more. Proceeds from the event will go directly towards helping NSPCC’s operations, helping children in the local London area. Cadogan has donated the premises on Sloane Street for the store. Open 11am-7pm Monday to Saturday and 12pm-6pm on Sundays.
196 Sloane Street, Knightsbridge SW1X 9QXharrods.com

6 National Theatre Connections, Bush Theatre
2-5 May
Theatre companies from the west London area will be performing a series of plays at the Bush Theatre in May as part of National Theatre Connections – a nationwide celebration of new plays for young people. National Theatre Connections is one of the UK’s largest celebrations of youth theatre. Plays are commissioned for and about young people, from some of the best contemporary playwrights, and performed by schools and youth theatres all over the UK and Ireland. In 2018, National Theatre Connections is working with up to 270 youth theatres and schools to stage 10 newly commissioned plays, adding to the 160 plays the National Theatre have commissioned for young people since 1995.
7 Uxbridge Road, Shepherd’s Bush W12 8LJ; bushtheatre.co.uk

7 Neverland London’s Fulham Beach Club 
From 3 May
London’s only Thameside beach is back with views of the Thames, Cabana’s, daybeds, alfresco dining, BBQs and games galore. Opening on 3 May, Neverland London’s Fulham Beach Club will be a chic beach-club paradise two bespoke bars serving up cocktails, beer and bottomless brunch, Jimmy Garcia’s pop-up restaurant, the BBQ Club, beachfront parties with live DJs sets, Saturday yoga sessions and activities including putting pong (thing beer-pong-meets-golf) and shuffle board. Open every Wednesday to Sunday throughout the summer. Entry £5. Sign up for a memberships for perks including queue-jump access, discounts on food, drink and events. Private hire bookings available.
Albert Wharf, Fulham SW6 2TY; neverlandlondon.com

8 Head for the Big Top at Battersea Circus Garden
4-13 May
In 1768, on an abandoned patch of land near London’s Waterloo, showman, entrepreneur and equestrian rider Philip Astley drew out a circle in the ground, filled it with astounding physical acts – jugglers, acrobats, clowns, strong men and bareback riders – and what we now know as circus was born. This spring, as part of the celebrations marking the 250th anniversary of the invention of this art form, the Circus Garden will transform a small park tucked away behind Clapham Junction into a circus mecca. Over the first fortnight of May, Shillington Park in SW11 will be temporarily renamed Battersea Circus Garden and play home to a pop up venue, The Big Top. Wandsworth Arts Fringe runs from 4-20 May.

9 Sony World Photography Awards, Somerset House 
Until 6 May
Now in its 11th year, Sony World Photography Awards is one of the world’s largest and most diverse photography awards, spanning four different competitions (Professional, Open, Youth, Student Focus) and is completely free to enter. 2018 has seen record entries to the fair, with nearly 320,000 images submitted from over 200 countries and territories. This year, until 6 May, the exhibition is curated by Mike Trow, ex-Picture Editor of British Vogue and will cover the entire ground floor exhibition space of Somerset House. This picture was taken by Kyaw Win Hlaing at Mount Bromo, which is an active volcano and part of the Tengger massif in East Java, Indonesia. The name of Bromo derived from Javaneses pronunciation of Brahma, the Hindu creator god.

spring bank holiday
26-28 may

10 London Saxophone Festival, various locations
21-27 May
This month sees the launch of the inaugural London Saxophone Festival, a celebration of all things sax, taking place at a range of venues across the capital. This week-long series of events will involve performances from world class musicians, workshops, film and exhibitions. The festival will feature some boundary breaking players at the very top of their game.

11 RHS Chelsea Flower Show
22-26 May

The unsurpassable Chelsea Flower Show returns with more than 100 thrilling floral displays. The Great Pavilion, a 12,000 sq ft marquee big enough to park 500 London buses, will again be the jewel in the Chelsea Flower Show crown, featuring the very best from the world’s finest nurseries, growers and florists. This year there will also be health and wellbeing gardens, showing how plants and green spaces can improve lives; Space to Grow Gardens with ideas for smaller, urban gardens; and the Chelsea Late Event on Friday night, giving even more visitors chance to see the show with bands, an artisan food market and wandering artists.
London Gate, Royal Hospital Road, Royal Hospital Chelsea SW3 4SR; rhs.org.uk

12 Feria De Londres, South Bank
25-27 May
Feria De Londres brings the vitality of a traditional Andalucian Feria to the Bernie Spain Gardens on the South Bank with a vibrant celebration of Spanish culture and cuisine. Inspired by southern Spain’s annual spring fairs, the festival will feature Flamenco dancing shows, interactive workshops and live Spanish music, as well as an array of family-friendly activities including face painting, hair styling, arts and crafts. The South Bank will be lined with colourfully decorated ‘casetas’ serving up delicious Spanish tapas, regional wines and cocktails. Feast on croquetas, Iberico ham, tortillas, pimientos de padron and churros, as well as special tastings from Tio Pepe, Spain’s favourite fino producer, who will be hosting a series of sherry masterclasseses. Free.
Bernie Spain Gardens, Southbank SE1 9PH; feriadelondres.com

13 Jam on the Rye, Peckham
28 May
Kerb presents Jam on the Rye on Bank Holiday Monday, a brand new one-day celebration of sound system culture and the best of London street food on Peckham Rye. Expect a mix of reggae, afrobeat and new wave jazz across three stages. The Main Stage will be presented by Reggae Roast and headlined by David Rodigan, Horace Andy (Live) and Mungo’s HiFi; the second stage will be hosted by south London promoters Wormfood; and the third will play host to KERB’s second KERB Talks, a panel discussion on London’s sounds system culture and local talent.  The street food line up will include Breddos, White Men Can’t Jerk and Only Jerkin’, and like all KERB events, this one’s for everyone from Baby Boomers to boom-boxers. 11.30am-10.30pm. Tickets from £20.
Strakers Road SE15 3UA; kerbfood.com/jamonrye

14 All Points Equal, Victoria Park
28 May
All Points Equal is a day of free activities to celebrate the 100 years of votes for (some) women and 90 years of equal voting rights for women and men. Taking place in Victoria Park, the end destination of Sylvia Pankhurst’s 1913 and 1914 processions, there will be a family-friendly banner-making workshops and football workshops; children’s theatre; aerial circus performance workshops; outdoor screenings of Moana (12noon), Suffragette (3.30pm) and Made in Dagenham (7pm); a fully immersive, participatory performance Suffragette rally with the Museum of London (3pm); live music with Global Local from midday to 9.30pm featuring Hackney Colliery Band and all-female brass band Break Out Brass; street food Market curated by Sourced Market, pop-up bars and more. The event is part of All Points East in the neighbourhood, a four-day festival of free activities running 28-31 May.
Victoria Park E3; allpointseastfestival.com

15 Under Cover: A Secret History Of Cross – Dressers Exhibition at The Photographers’ Gallery, Soho 
Now until 3 June
Drawn from the extensive personal archives of filmmaker and photography collector Sébastien Lifshitz, this exhibition of amateur ‘found’ photographs from Europe and the US explores gender non-conformity and cross-dressing. Dating from 1880 onwards, the photos are mostly of unnamed and unknown figures and as such offer an unauthorised view into the worlds of individuals and groups choosing to defy gender conventions. Lifshitz’s initial collecting impulse was a fascination with the vernacular documentation of cross-dressing; his criteria to accumulate photographs, which showed men dressing as women and vice versa. Under Cover: A Secret History of Cross-Dressers celebrates the collective inventiveness and liberation that the seemingly simple act of dressing differently provides. The exhibition was originally produced by the Rencontres d’Arles.
16-18 Ramillies Street W1F 7LW; thephotographersgallery.org.uk

16 The Great British Seaside at National Maritime Museum, Greenwich
Now until 30 September
On 23 March the National Maritime Museum opens a major photography exhibition celebrating the nation’s love affair with the seaside. Featuring over 100 works by four of Britain’s most celebrated photographers – Martin Parr, Tony Ray-Jones, David Hurn and Simon Roberts – The Great British Seaside: Photography from the 1960s to the present, explores our changing relationship with the seaside over the last six decades. The Great British Seaside documents a quintessentially British experience. It covers the country’s beaches from Brighton to Blackpool and captures the traditions, customs and eccentricities associated with them. Through the work of some of Britain’s most celebrated photographers, the exhibition will showcase photography from their archive collections, as well as negative contact sheets and footage.
Park Row, Greenwich SE10 9NF; rmg.co.uk

17 Early Man Family Fun Day, Museum of London
28 May
The Museum of London is heading back to the Stone Age on Bank Holiday Monday with free screenings of Aardman’s latest film, Early Man, plus a range of drop-in family-friendly activities. Journey back to the dawn of time, when prehistoric creatures roamed the earth and courageous caveman hero, Dug (voiced by Eddie Redmayne) and tribe unite against the mighty Lord Nooth (Tom Hiddleston) and his Bronze Age City to save their home. Film screenings take place at 11am and 2pm. Kids can also learn the art of flint-making using soap, hold real prehistoric artefacts, and much more in drop-in activities. Tickets are free but should be booked in advance from Wednesday 23 May (pre-register your interest here).
150 London Wall EC2Y 5HN; museumoflondon.org.uk


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