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Matthew Pearson

August Bank Holiday Weekend 2019

So you’re lucky enough to be in London for the August bank holiday weekend? Well played. It’s not every day that London comes across as such a sunny, happy place to live. And August is traditionally the hottest month of the year, so fingers crossed that’ll pay off for you too. Lucky, lucky you. Everything’s coming up YOU, isn’t it? One quick question: where were you in January? When we were huddled around the one dim heater in the beer garden. Where were you then? When we were shivering. Not dancing. Shivering. Pffft. OK - here’s our list of the best things to do this August bank holiday weekend in London. It’s from Saturday August 24th to Monday 26th this year.


If the weather’s nice this August bank holiday, take a trip to one of London’s many lidos and outdoor pools. Most of them were built in a spurt of popularity during the 1920s and 30s, so they’re great to look at too. If you need to really cool off, head to the bathing ponds on Hampstead Heath. There is a men-only pond, a women-only and a mixed...all of them stay pretty chilly whatever the weather, so they’re ideal when it’s blazing something crazy up above. Get there super early though - you won’t be the only one to have had the idea.

Head to the Carnival

There is no August bank holiday in London without Notting Hill Carnival. Street upon street of Notting Hill, Ladbroke Grove and Westbourne Park become a shimmying feast of colour as the parade makes its way through West London. A celebration of Caribbean culture and London’s diversity, the two day event attracts something like 2 million people a year, with sound systems set up on full blast, live soca and steel drum groups and an awesome amount of street food stalls. The procession takes off from Great Western Road around 10.30am on Sunday and Monday. Sunday is the better day for those with kids as it tends to be a little quieter.

The Monster at Alexandra Palace

There’s a gigantic, multicoloured, 300 metre-long inflatable obstacle course, shaped like a tangle of bright, smiley monsters straight from the dreams of a kid who’s had too much sugar, with an 18m ‘Mega Slide’ and something called ‘The Exterminator’ and it’s at Alexandra Palace in North London. And kids aren’t allowed on it? That’s right. And this adult only (16+) experience is only around from the 23rd to the 28th August. There’s also Drag Queen Karaoke, Mega Beer Pong, a Wheel of Glitter and some Boozy Bingo. Not to mention some top drawer DJs and some top dog street food stalls.

Catch a Movie Alfresco

So it’s the bank holiday weekend and maybe you’re feeling a little worse for wear. You feel like just curling up and watching a movie. But it’d feel a little antisocial to stay in the house, and sitting in a dark cinema screening isn’t going to get you the vitamin D you’ve been crazing. Well, head to one of London’s outdoor movie screens instead. Fantastic Feats of Cinema at Guildhall Yard are showing a range of different blockbusters from your childhood on the days leading up to the weekend, and everyone’s favourite robot WALL-E on Saturday 24th. Luna Cinema are showing Mary Poppins Returns at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre on August 25th, and you can catch 10 Things I Hate About You (Saturday 25th) and Dirty Dancing (Sunday 26th) at the Bussey Building, Peckham, courtesy of the Rooftop Film Club.

Stick It On a Barbecue

Meat, veggies, cheese, bananas, marshmallows...everything tastes better when it’s barbecued. So grab a barbie, find a park near you that allows BBQs (not all of them do) and get the thing going already. Waterlow Park up in Highgate is a beautiful spot to do some Q-ing, and if you need somewhere more central, check out Lincoln’s Inn Fields. Please note that London Fields - usually a very popular place to fire up in - is taking a year off in 2019. But Highbury Fields in Islington is open for barbie business. Have you got other ideas for this August bank holiday? Let us know below. If you're looking for more general fun in the sun, take a peek at this.

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