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Notting Hill Carnival
Notting Hill Carnival
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What to Do in London this August Bank Holiday

Picture of Ruaidhrí Carroll
London Travel Writer
Updated: 16 August 2017
It’s that time of year again. As the British summer simmers down and the end of August nears, the powers that be grant the ordinary folk an extra day off work to enjoy one more day of summery freedom. Samuel Johnson, the 18th century writer, once told a friend, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” Despite this bold statement being almost 250 years old, it could not be more accurate today. Here is a selection of limited-time-only things to do in the capital that guarantee something for everyone this bank holiday weekend.

Party | Notting Hill Carnival

📅 Saturday 26th – Monday 28th August 2017
Experience one of the biggest celebrations of Caribbean culture in the world as Londoners converge on West London for the largest street festival in Europe. Centred on the eponymous Notting Hill area, the iconic, once-small Notting Hill Carnival now readily overflows into the surrounding areas of West London, drawing fans of Caribbean culture into the street from all cultures and denominations. There will be a whole host of after-parties springing up all over London as night falls on the city. Be sure to check out our complete guide: What’s On at Notting Hill Carnival.

📍 Notting Hill, London

Notting Hill Carnival
Notting Hill Carnival

Tour | Visit the State Rooms in Buckingham Palace

📅 Saturday 22nd July – Sunday 1st October 2017
Explore the State Rooms of Buckingham Palace, designed during the reign of King George IV (r.1820-30), when the building was converted from Buckingham House to Buckingham Palace. See the rooms where the Queen entertains her subjects and foreign dignitaries and where the future king and queen of Britain, Prince William and Kate Middleton, had formal wedding photographs taken following their wedding in 2011. Don’t miss this rare chance to venture inside the fortress of the British monarchy and see behind the scenes in the palace from which Queen Victoria once commanded the empire on which the sun never set. Tickets are from £13 up to £23; children under the age of five go free.
📍 Buckingham Palace, Westminster, London SW1A 1AA

Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace

Eat | Field Day Festival @ Dinerama

📅 Sunday 27th August 2017
Popular Victoria Park Festival Field Day will be teaming up with Street Food again to take over trendy Shoreditch food court Dinerama for the day. Catch the dynamic DJs duo Simian Mobile Disco and Vampire Weekend bassist Baio, amongst others, on the turntables for a great day out away from the busy carnival grounds of West London. Blending the delectably diverse range of street food and craft drinks that Dinerama has to offer with the musical motivation behind one of the capital’s favourite festivals, this is a must-visit for anybody who depends on good music as much as they love great food. Tickets from £10.
📍 19 Great Eastern St, London EC2A 3EJ

Exhibition | Londinium

📅 Friday 28th July – Sunday 29th October 2017
Delve into the history of Roman Britain and discover what life was like for the ancestors of the modern Londoner with this season of events organised by the Museum of London. Named after the Roman settlement that was founded on the site of the now-famous city, Londinium teaches visitors all about the establishment and subsequent development of Roman London. Check out the sites of some Roman ruins on a guided tour or watch a real-life re-enactment of the gladiator fights that have been popularised by films like Spartacus (1960) and Gladiator (2000). Check out the full calendar here. Events are ticketed separately and range from free entry to £22.
📍 Various venues

Defensive walls built on the site of those which surrounded Londinium
Defensive walls built on the site of those which surrounded Londinium

Get active | The Beast at Alexandra Palace

📅 Friday 25th – Monday 28th August 2017
Meet “The Beast”, a chaotic combination between gruelling courses like Ninja Warrior or Iron Man and the eternal fun of childhood birthday party bouncy castles. Taking place inside The Great Hall of North London’s Alexandra Palace, The Beast is largely the preserve of adults aged 16 and over, who can get tickets for anytime between midday and 11pm – 11-15 year olds have to go earlier if they want to get in on the action. The Beast involves 32 obstacles over a 272m-long course that can take anywhere between 5-20 minutes to complete depending on how fit, strong and ambitious participants are. Tickets are £20, plus a £2 booking fee.
📍 Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, London N22 7AY