Things to do in London this Weekend

If you're stuck for things to do in London this weekend, we're here to help.

Whether you're a visitor in town for a couple of days or a local in need of some inspiration, this is where you'll find our pick of weird and wonderful London events every Friday, just in time for the weekend. We'll cover events where you can eat, drink, do something different or get a culture fix all over the city.

Last Updated: April 24, 2015

Things to do in London this weekend: April 24-26

Best for: Running in London

London Marathon

London Marathon

(c) David Ashdown via Virgin Money London Marathon

The vibe:

Watch more than 50,000 runners take to the streets of London

Need to know:

The 34th annual London Marathon is now firmly established as one of the premier long distance events in the world.

Everyone, from Olympic medalists to fun runners raising money for charity, will attempt to run the 26-mile-route past famous landmarks like Tower Bridge.

Thousands of spectators are expected to line the route and cheer on the competitors. The busiest areas to watch the race will be in Greenwich, Tower Bridge and The Mall.

ONES TO WATCH: The Kenyan quartet of Mary Keitany, Edna Kiplagat, Priscah Jeptoo and Florence Kiplagat are bidding to beat Paula Radcliffe’s 2005 World Record of 2:17:42, set in  London. Paula Radcliffe will also be taking part in her last marathon, but is starting among the massed ranks of runners rather than competing.

If you have a friend or family member running, you can use the tracking service (which you can find on the website homepage on Sunday) to keep an eye on their progress. They also have a list of pubs holding special events on route so you can rehydrate like the runners.

London Marathon

(c) David Levenson via Virgin Money London Marathon

Website and Twitter

When: Sunday, April 26
Start times: 9am: Wheelchair Marathon for Men and Women, 9.20am: Elite Women, 10.10am: Elite Men and England Athletics Championship for Men and Women, 10.10: Mass Start
Getting there: The website has downloadable maps for all the different points of the marathon, with suggested transport links and closures. Download them here

Best for: St George’s Day in London

Feast of St George

St George's Day

St George’s Day in Trafalgar Square

The vibe:

Bring out the bunting for a red and white celebration of England’s patron saint.

Need to know:

This free, family-orientated day out in Trafalgar Square is now in its 12th year.

You can buy food and drink at the patriotic English Food Market, which will have a hog roast and local delicacies like soft shell Kent Crab and pies. If you want to learn how to make English classics yourself, celebrity chef Brian Turner CBE and Natalie Coleman, winner of BBC One’s Masterchef, will be giving culinary demonstrations.

This year organisers are showcasing the drink most associated with the English – tea. Branch out from the builder’s brew and try some tea mocktails, bubble tea and other exotic concoctions.

Live music will be led by the cast of hit West End theatre show Let it Bewho’ll be playing songs from The Beatles’ back catalogue.

Children can have a chivalric experience in the Dragon Village, where they design their own heraldry and decorate swords, as well as try traditional fairground games.

Website and Twitter

When: Saturday, April 25
Opening times: 12pm to 6pm
Getting there: Trafalgar Square
Nearest Tube: Charing Cross or Leicester Square
Price: Free

Best for: Antiques in London

The Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair

antiques

Unique pair of large solid elm carved frogs – English, late C19th.

The vibe:

Antique inspiration to help you furnish your home.

Need to know:

The second of three sales held annually in Battersea, this accessible antiques event has a mixture of serious collectors and people just looking for a few interesting pieces.

Unusually exhibitors display their wares in “room settings”, so you can see how they would look in a home, as well as giving you some design ideas.

This season’s theme is fringe and tassel, appliqué and embellishment (known as passementerie in the trade).

There will be 140 dealers selling furniture, ceramics, fabrics, paintings, lighting and sculptures so there will be plenty of objets and curiosities to browse and buy.

antiques

Wide range of antique and C20th lighting – Decorative Antiques Fair

Website and Twitter

When: Now until Sunday, April 26
Opening times: Thur: 11am to 8pm, Fri-Sat: 11am to 7pm, Sun: 11am to 6pm
Getting there: Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park, London, SW11 4NJ
Nearest Tube: Battersea Park (Overground)
Price: £10 on the door including catalogue. But you can get your free e-ticket by clicking here

Best for: Giant inflatables in London

Up&Go Bounce Off

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Up&Go inflatable Sydney Harbour Bridge

The vibe:

Inflatable fun down on the South Bank

Need to know:

This weekend you can test your speed over a giant inflatable Sydney Harbour Bridge assault course.

Sponsored by Australian breakfast drink’s brand, Up&Go, there are a host of prizes to be won as you negotiate the 25m long, 8m high, structure (the worlds largest inflatable bridge).

Once you have battled your way through the obstacles, you can take it easy in the inflatable Sydney Opera House as you see how your time matches up with other contenders online.

Website and Twitter

When: Thursday, April 23 to Sunday, April 26
Opening times: Thur-Fri: 9.30am to 8pm, Sat: 9.30am to 8pm, Sun: 9.30am to 5pm
Getting there: Bernie Spain Gardens, Upper Ground, London, SE1 9NW
Nearest Tube: Waterloo or Blackfriars
Price: Free

Best for: Exhibitions in London

Waterloo 1815 – The Battle for Peace

The Waterloo Gallery in Apsley House

The Waterloo Gallery in Apsley House (c) English Heritage

The vibe:

Marking a watershed war

Need to know:

As England celebrates St George’s Day it seems apt to announce a new exhibition dedicated to one of it’s finest generals and leaders.

2015 marks the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo, the Duke of Wellington’s finest hour. And at Wellington Arch, built to commemorate the defeat of Napoleon opposite his family home, Apsley House, there is a special exhibition about the battle.

Among the exhibits are handwritten battle orders and an original pair of Wellington Boots.

FACT: On top of the arch you can see the Angel of Peace descending on the ‘Quadriga’ (or four-horsed chariot) of War. This remains Europe’s largest bronze sculpture.

Website and Twitter

When: Now until November 2015
Opening times: General times – Mon-Sun: 10am to 6pm. April 23: 5pm closure & April 24: 3pm closure
Getting there: Wellington Arch, Apsley Way, Hyde Park Corner, London, W1J 7JZ
Nearest Tube: Hyde Park Corner
Price: Adults: £4.30. A joint ticket to visit Apsley House is £10

Essential weekend links

Find more inspiration for things to do in London here.

For all the latest news and travel information, visit the Transport for London website.

If you’re planning on spending more than a day in London, then we have plenty of places to stay.

And finally, remember to check out the weather forecast.