Caribbean parties, alfresco attractions, fun family fun... soak up the last of the summer vibes with this pick of what’s on during the bank holiday weekend in London.
Activities in London on the August bank holiday
Tick off those must-see attractions
Use the extra day off to check out many of London’s top attractions from your must-see list.
The long weekend gives you even more time to discover your London, so why not pick up a sightseeing pass such as The London Pass, the London Explorer Pass or Merlin Attractions Pass, which give you access to multiple attractions.
Or spot the sights from the top deck on a bus tour, including a hop-on-hop-off tour allowing you to see as much or as little as you like. Alternatively, take to the river to discover key landmarks from a different angle on a boat tour.
Book a West End show
Be dazzled by London's top theatre shows and see long-running musicals, classic comedy and innovative plays on the West End stage.
Refresh your wardrobe
Shop for designer threads in London's top shopping destinations.
Head off the main thoroughfares to explore independent boutiques in stylish Jermyn Street, pretty South Molton Street and laid-back St Christopher’s Place. Or do it all under one roof at the capital's top shopping centres and department stores.
Venture into the great outdoors
As the world’s first National Park City, there are plenty of green spaces where you can indulge in some “me time”.
- Stumble upon hidden gardens in the City of London, such as Instagram hotspot St Dunstan in the East and secluded Barber Surgeons' Garden.
- Sprawl out and read a book in London’s parks, or keep a lookout for London's surprising wildlife, including the famous pelicans in St James's Park.
- Enjoy drinks at one of London's rooftop bars, chill out in beer gardens or indulge at alfresco restaurants.
- Take a shopping pit stop at tranquil spots in the West End, from Brown Hart Gardens in Mayfair, to community-run The Phoenix Garden near Seven Dials.
Immersive and adrenaline activities
- Explore the Coral Kingdom, or come face-to-tentacle with jellyfish at SEA Life London.
- Get that perfect Instagram shot as you glide over London on the Emirates Air Line.
- Hold onto your hat as you speed along the Thames on a thrilling RIB boat ride with Thames Rockets or Thames RIB Experience.
- Test your nerves as you cross Tower Bridge’s glass-bottomed walkway, or book a special family tour.
- Scale some of London’s most recognisable sights with the thrilling Up at The O2 climb or the Dare Skywalk.
- Feel each of the twists and turns on a high-speed descent through The Slide at ArcelorMittal Orbit.
- Get the adrenaline pumping with more hair-raising experiences in London.
What to do on bank holiday for cool kids
It’s nearly the end of the school holidays, so make the most of the final days with these family-focused events and activities over the weekend.
- Laugh out loud at Shrek’s Adventure! London, an indoor walk-and-ride attraction inspired by the hit DreamWorks film.
- Find out more about wildlife in London on special trails around the London Transport Museum or stop off at nature hubs on the South Ken Green Trail.
- Discover how tiny hatchlings become gigantic tortoises and meet an array of wildlife from around the world at ZSL London Zoo.
Unmissable bank holiday events in London
Get your dancing shoes ready
Europe's largest street festival, Notting Hill Carnival, takes place over the August bank holiday and brings infectious atmosphere to Notting Hill all weekend long.
The party vibes continue at Yam Carnival, which celebrates Black music, culture and food with a host of acts and activities to enjoy over the weekend.
Enjoy an alfresco movie night
Grab a deckchair or drive into one of London's outdoor cinemas, and immerse yourself in cult classics and new releases.
Book a spot for a concert
Tune in to concerts this weekend, including the BBC Proms, which dedicates the weekend to Family Proms and French composers.
If you'd rather soak up the sun, check out free concerts at St Martin's Courtyard's Summer Stage throughout the weekend.
August bank holiday opening times
Opening times may vary and many attractions and venues require advance booking. Check with the individual venues before you go.
More bank holiday ideas
If you’re looking for “bank holiday events near me” and more things to do in London on bank holiday weekend, download the Visit London app.
Alternatively, discover what’s on in London by day, more August activities or browse the London events calendar for key events. Find more inspiration for weekends in London with these handy weekend guides.
If you're not able to visit London this bank holiday, plan ahead for the next public holidays in London.