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Things to do on August bank holiday weekend 2023 in London

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A group of performers swirls orange, yellow and red banners in the air during Notting Hill Carnival.
Notting Hill Carnival © iStock/lovemax. Image courtesy of iStock.
August bank holiday weekend in London means a whole three days to let your hair down with seasonal fun, exploring and family activities.

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This summer is all about celebrating the very best of London. 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 Go City London Explorer Pass* or Big City Saver attraction passes, 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.

Only got the one day to explore the capital? Tick off the city's top sights with the Total London Experience.

Book a West End show

Four dancers leap across the stage in lion costumes in The Lion King.
 
Be dazzled by London's top theatre shows. See long-running musicals such as the Lion King and The Phantom of the Opera or laugh along with the award-winning comedy, The Book of Mormon.
 

Immersive and adrenaline activities 

Add even more excitement into the weekend with thrilling activities across the capital:

What to do on bank holiday for cool kids

A group of four children amazed at seeing and talking to Shrek at Shrek's Adventure! London.

It's nearly the end of the school holidays, so make the most of the final days by creating memories to last a lifetime (or to brag about to your friends). 

  • Laugh out loud at Shrek's Adventure! London, an indoor walk-and-ride attraction inspired by the hit Dreamworks film.
  • Uncover the secrets of the night sky at a planetarium show at the Royal Observatory Greenwich
  • 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.
  • Head to Cutty Sark Greenwich to hear stories of the ship's past brought to life by colourful characters and scale the rig to enjoy the view of the River Thames and London.

Discover more of the top family attractions for kids or find more things to do with teenagers in London.

Refresh your wardrobe

Shop for designer threads in London's top shopping destinations.

Wander along Oxford Street and Regent Street for big name brands, explore Bond Street's upscale boutiques, try out beauty products in Covent Garden or find retro style in Carnaby.

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.

Unmissable bank holiday events in London

Get your dancing shoes ready

A lady, dressed in a carnival headdress and clothing, dances as red ticker tape fills the air.

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.  

Check back closer to the time for more exciting events. 

Venture to the great outdoors

People sitting in deckchairs watching a film on a big screen as the sun goes down.

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, 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.

Explore London's top outdoor spaces

The sunny outdoor dining space at the London restaurant and bar Lost in Brixton.

Make the most of the summer weather by heading to some of London's best outdoor spaces. Enjoy a cocktail on a rooftop overlooking some of the most bustling parts of the city, and as the world’s first National Park City, there are plenty of quiet green spaces where you can indulge in some “me time”. 

Find more things to do in London.

Escape the crowds 

People city on the grass enjoying a view of the city skyline from Parliament Hill in Hampstead Heath in London. © Shutterstock

These hidden gems are the perfect way to spend the bank holiday weekend if you’re looking to avoid the crowds.

  • Venture to Hampstead Heath and visit Kenwood House. Marvel at the beautiful interiors and artworks before wandering the gardens on the Mac’s Kenwood Trail, perfect for curious kids and adults alike.
  • Go on a Secret London Walking Tour, exploring the lesser-known spots across the city. From ancient pubs and old bookshops to what was once the world’s smallest police station.
  • Visit London’s picturesque Little Venice, a canal area home to many waterside cafes, pubs and restaurants. Stroll along its pretty streets or hop on a boat up to Camden.
  • See the city lit up in all its glory on a London by Night Open Top Bus Tour, spotting all of the city’s most memorable locations.   

Take a day trip from London

A view of Windsor Castle surrounded by greenery.

Venture out of the city on a day trip to some of iconic sights close to the capital.

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.

 

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