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: July 22, 2015

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

Best for: Open air cinema in London

Pop Up Screens

outdoor cinema

Pop Up Screens

The vibe:

Need to know:

Showing cult classics across several of London’s parks, this is an atmospheric way to watch your favourite films in the great outdoors this summer.

This weekend the experience is in Greenwich, with Labyrinth, 10 Things I Hate About You and Big on offer when it turns dark.

You need to bring something to sit on but there is plenty of food and drink (including popcorn) on offer. You are also welcome to bring your own picnic.

Other venues include Bishop Park in Fulham, Eltham’s Tudor Barn and Coram’s Field in Holborn – see website for the full programme.

Website and Twitter

When: Friday, July 24 until September 26
Opening times: Doors open at 7.30 – Film starts c9.15pm
Getting there: Greenwich Peninsula Central Park, next to the O2, North Greenwich, SE10 OPE
Nearest Tube: North Greenwich
Price: £10 – book in advance

Best for: Festivals in London

Southbank Centre’s Poetry International festival

Young Adult Lit Weekend (c) Belinda Lawley

Young Adult Lit Weekend (c) Belinda Lawley

The vibe:

Poetry in motion

Need to know:

The theme for this years biennial festival is a focus on the Middle East, with poets and poetry from countries including Iran, Afghanistan and Syria.

There will be the usual mix of readings, talks, live performances along with scores of free events and plenty of workshops.

Website and Twitter

When: Thursday, July 23 to Sunday, July 26
Opening times: Vary per performance
Getting there: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX
Nearest Tube: Waterloo
Price: Some events are free, some are ticketed – see festival programme for details

Liberty Festival

Liberty Festival

Liberty Festival

The vibe:

A celebration of Deaf and disability arts

Need to know:

This free outdoor event has live music, theatre, dance and DJs to entertain you throughout the afternoon.

There will be food and drink on offer while you watch some of the film screenings or listen to one of the storytelling sessions.

Running alongside the event is National Paralympic Day, where you can see some of the biggest names in swimming, like Ellie Simmonds, Ollie Hynd and Jessica-Jane Applegate, performing in the pool at the London Aquatics Centre.

If you are feeling inspired you can try your hand at sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball and goalball.

Website and Twitter

Liberty Festival at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Liberty Festival at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

When: Sunday, July 26
Opening times: 1pm to 6pm
Getting there: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford, London, E15 2ER
Nearest Tube: Stratford
Price: Free

Eid in London

The vibe:

Honour the end of Ramadan in Trafalgar Square

Need to know:

The Mayor of London’s annual party will have plenty of live music and performances from international artists.

Malaysian, Egyptian and Arabic cuisine will be among the treats on offer at the food festival, and the family-friendly activities include face-painting, henna and calligraphy.

Website and Twitter

When: Saturday, July 25
Opening times: 12pm to 6pm
Getting there: Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN
Nearest Tube: Charing Cross
Price: Free

Best for: Culture in London

The State Rooms at Buckingham Palace

State Banquet Royal Collection Trust (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2015

State Banquet Royal Collection Trust (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2015

The vibe:

Follow in the footsteps of presidents and monarchs as you go behind the scenes at the palace.

Need to know:

You can see where The Queen entertains her guests on this summer tour of the Palace’s public rooms.

Architect John Nash designed the rooms, on the behest of George IV, and the Nineteenth Century influence can still be seen today against the sparkle of the chandeliers and candelabra.

There is plenty of art to appreciate from the Royal Collection, including Sèvres porcelain, paintings by Van Dyck and Canaletto and the finest French and English period furniture.

Visits last between two and two and a half hours.

Website and Twitter

When: Saturday, July 25 to September 27
Opening times: Mon-Sun: 9.30am to 7.30pm (last entry 5.15pm)
Getting there: Buckingham Palace, London, SW1A 1AA
Nearest Tube: Victoria, Green Park or St James’s Park
Price: The State Rooms cost £20.50, and to see The State Rooms, Buckingham Palace, The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace and the Royal Mews it costs £35.60 per adult (concessions apply).

Travel Photographer of the Year

Polar bear - Joshua Holko - tpoty.com

Polar bear – Joshua Holko – tpoty.com

The vibe:

Amazing images of the world

Need to know:

The Royal Geographical Society is displaying the winners images from the 2014 Travel Photographer of the Year competition.

Entries from amateurs and professionals came from more than a hundred countries and these pictures from across the globe will be on show in the Society’s Pavilion, terrace and garden.

Overall winner of the competition, British photographer, Philip Lee Harvey, will also have more of his portfolio on contemporary travel on view.

Website and Twitter

When: Friday, July 24 to Saturday, September 5
Opening times: Sun-Thur: 1oam to 5pm, Fri-Sat: 10am to 7pm.
Getting there: Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers), 1 Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AR – main entrance on Exhibition Road.
Nearest Tube: South Kensington, Knightsbridge or Lancaster Gate
Price: Free

Ice geyser - Ignacio Palacios - tpoty.com

Ice geyser – Ignacio Palacios – tpoty.com

Serpentine Pavilion

Serpentine Pavilion 2015 designed by selgascano Photograph (c) Iwan Baan

Serpentine Pavilion 2015 designed by selgascano Photograph (c) Iwan Baan

The vibe:

Get inspired by architecture

Need to know:

One of the top ten most visited architectural and design exhibitions in the world returns to Kensington Gardens for the 15th year.

This year Spanish architects, selgascano, have created an amorphous, double-skinned, polygonal structure to explore.

It is made up of panels of a translucent, multi-coloured fluorine-based polymer (ETFE) and you can enter the secret corridors from any point.

Experience the different lighting through the stained glass-effect as you wander through it.

Website and Twitter

Serpentine Pavilion 2015 designed by selgascano Photograph (c) Iwan Baan

Serpentine Pavilion 2015 designed by selgascano Photograph (c) Iwan Baan

When: Now until October 18
Opening times: Mon-Sun: 10am to 6pm
Getting there: Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens, London, W2 3XA
Nearest Tube: Knightsbridge
Price: Free

Best for: Eating and drinking in London

Food meets Beer

food-meets-beer-poster-(1)

The vibe:

Food and drink pairing heaven

Need to know:

Sample a range of tipples from craft breweries paired with French cheeses, Spanish dishes and all manner of tasty treats at Borough Market.

Southwark was actually once home to the Hop Exchange, the world’s largest brewery of the time, and is believed to have introduced hops to British Beer recipes, so this food and drink festival is taking inspiration from that.

Included in your ticket price is a half pint on entrance of rare Czech Tankové Pivo beer, a booklet full of pairing tips and history on the festival’s many beers and access to watching live brewing demos with lots of tasters.

You can listen to the expert talks about beer and food thoughout the event or watch beer cocktail making and cooking demonstrations (make sure you try all the samples).

It’s over 18s only, so worth bringing along your ID.

Website and Twitter

When: Friday, July 24 to Sunday, July 26
Opening times: Fri: 6pm to 10pm, Sat: 12pm to 5pm or 6pm to 10pm, Sun: 12pm to 6pm
Getting there: Borough Market, Jubilee Place, Winchester Walk, SE19AG
Nearest Tube: London Bridge
Price: Tickets are £15 in advance – Book here

Best for: Art in London

Ladybird by Design

House of Illustration

Flight Two Canada, 1959, Jack Matthew (c) Ladybird Books Ltd

The vibe:

Feel all nostalgic with iconic images from Ladybird books

Need to know:

There are more than 120 original illustrations on show from classic Ladybird titles in Kings Cross, to mark the company’s centenary.

These childhood classics were populated with commissions from famous illustrators with the aim of teaching young people about the world at large and are now on show for the next few months.

As well as looking at the illustrations, there will be workshops, panel discussions and expert analysis on why the books were so influential.

Website and Twitter

When: Now until September 27
Opening times: Tue-Sun: 10am to 6pm (Closed Monday)
Getting there: 2 Granary Square, King’s Cross, London, N1C 4BH
Nearest Tube: Kings Cross
Price: Adult tickets £7 – bookable online

The Policeman, 1962, John Berry (c) Ladybird Books Ltd

The Policeman, 1962, John Berry (c) Ladybird Books Ltd

All about Art

The vibe:

Brush up your skills

Need to know:

The annual “hands-on” art workshops return to Islington, with classes and demonstrations for novices and professionals alike.

Judge on the BBC series The Big Painting Challenge, Lachlan Goudie, will be doing a Q&A on the Saturday, and contestants Jan Szymczuk and Melvyn Flint will be sharing their experiences on Thursday and Friday respectively.

They also have art materials at discount rates, so if you can carry on painting when you get home.

Website and Twitter

When: Thursday, July 23 to Saturday, July 25
Opening times: 9.15am to 5pm
Getting there: Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, London, N1 0QH
Nearest Tube: Angel
Price: Tickets start at £12 – book in advance

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.