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 19, 2017

Things to do in London this weekend: Apr 21st-23rd

Best for: Theatre in London

V&A Performance Festival

Dash Squat © Carolannefreeling

The vibe:

Explore the best in European theatre

Need to know:

On Friday, the V&A museum’s annual Performance Festival returns. And this year’s edition has a particularly topical theme, looking at the influence of European theatre in the UK, and what Brexit might mean for British theatre in the future.

But it’s not all so serious, the festival will also see the V&A host its first ever stand-up comedy night, as well as a talk with stage stars Maureen Lipman and Juliet Stevenson, looking back on the 25th anniversary of the museum’s recorded archive of London theatre shows.

The festival will also include special screenings from those archives, performances around the museum from European collective Dash Arts and a Virtual Reality experience based on last year’s hit Bowie musical Lazarus.

VHS to VR, photo credit Sebastian Benalcazar 2 (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Website and Twitter

When: Friday 21st-Sunday 30th April
Opening times: 10am-5.30pm daily (10am-9.30pm Fridays)
Getting there: The Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL
Nearest Tube: South Kensington
Price: Free entry 

 

Best for: Vinyl in London

Record Store Day

The vibe:

Celebrating independent record shops

Need to know:

Vinyl’s comeback as the music lover’s format of choice might now be confirmed, with even supermarkets dedicating shelf space to classic wax. But it couldn’t have happened without the determined efforts of independent record shops.

This Saturday’s the perfect chance to say thanks to them, as it’s Record Store Day, the biggest day in the vinyl collector’s calendar. Independent shops stocking exclusive, extremely limited new records and reissues, merchandise and hosting free gigs, DJ sets and giveaways.

Originally starting in the US, Record Store Day is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and will be bigger than ever, with record shops all around London taking part (you can find a list of participating stores on the official website), and a list of 500 new releases that’ll satisfy all tastes (we’ve got our eyes on the pink 7″ of Aqua’s seminal hit Barbie Girl).

The city’s biggest celebrations are sure to be found at Rough Trade East – where the highlights include a DJ set from Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard and a live performance by Ibibio Sound Machine – and Berwick Street in Soho, home to several of London’s favourite record shops. However, odds are, wherever you are in town, you’ll find a record shop nearby with something exciting going on.

Website and Twitter

Photo by Emma Parlons, courtesy Record Store Day

When: Saturday 22nd April
Opening times: Varies 
Getting there: Independent record shops around the city
Nearest Tube: Varies
Price: Free entry

 

Best for: Art in London

Morphosis at West Contemporary Gallery

Ryan McElhinney

The vibe:

Discover London’s newest gallery

Need to know:

This weekend sees the arrival of a brand new gallery in the city – West Contemporary.

And for their debut exhibition, the gallery will be gathering together works from a group of seriously fashionable artists, working in everything from painting and sculpture to tea stains and neon.

If you’re feeling rather flush for cash, the works will be on sale, but even if not, it’s free to look around, and get an idea of who the future stars of the British art scene will be.

Website and Twitter

Zoe Grace

When: Thursday 20th-Saturday 29th April
Opening times: 10.30am-6pm Mon-Fri, 11am-6pm Saturday, 11am-5pm Sunday
Getting there: GALLERY DIFFERENT, 14 Percy Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 1DR
Nearest Tube: Goodge Street/Tottenham Court Road
Price: Free entry 

 

Best for: Tea in London

National Tea Day

The vibe:

Raise a cup to the nation’s favourite beverage

Need to know:

From tea stain paintings at West Contemporary, to a celebration of the classic cuppa itself. This Friday is National Tea Day.

Encouraging the nation to try new blends of tea, the day has support from both independent and big name tea makers and sellers. And there’ll also be a festival taking place in the rather swish surroundings of Kensington Roof Gardens.

In addition to tasting sessions – helping you find the perfect cuppa – there’ll be tea dances, baking masterclasses, a tea and fitness section – both showcasing the health benefits of tea and offering sessions with personal trainers – and even tea-based cocktails.

Website and Twitter

Kensington Roof Gardens

When: Friday 21st April
Opening times: 10.30am-4pm
Getting there: Kensington Roof Gardens, 99 Kensington High Street, London W8 5SA
Nearest Tube: High Street Kensington
Price: £5 (book in advance at the official website)

 

Best for: Craft in London

The Spring Makers Day

The vibe:

Try your hand at something new

Need to know:

A new community centre in the heart of Lambeth, The Workshop is home to a diverse bunch, including charities, socially-minded start-ups, a pop-up museum devoted to the London Fire Brigade, and several artists-in-residence.

This Saturday the artists will be encouraging visitors to join in, with a selection of creative classes on offer.

Ranging from painting to woodwork, each class is free, and can be booked in advance on The Workshop’s website.

Website and Twitter

When: Saturday 22nd April
Opening times: 10am-5.15pm
Getting there: The Workshop, 26 Lambeth High Street, SE1 7AG
Nearest Tube: Vauxhall
Price: Free entry 

 

Best for: Bargains in London

Big London Flea

The vibe:

Browse North London’s largest indoor vintage market

Need to know:

Whether you’re looking for vintage threads, unique furnishings, classic records or just unusual knick-knacks, the Big London Flea is the place to be this Sunday.

Taking place in Dalston’s former ABC cinema, the market is one of the city’s biggest, with more than 50 vendors selling all sorts of stuff, ranging from veteran traders from Spitalfields and Bermondsey markets, to locals just having a clear out.

Even if you don’t find the perfect item, it’ll be a fascinating way to trawl through the city’s past for an afternoon, and there’ll also be a soundsystem and food vendors on-site.

 Website and Twitter

When: Sunday 23rd April
Opening times: 11am-6pm
Getting there: Epic Dalston, 15 Stoke Newington Road, N16 8BH
Nearest Tube: Dalston Kingsland (Overground) 
Price: Free Entry 

Best for: Food in London

Chinatown’s April specials

Shibuya’s Shaved Ice

The vibe:

Sample some new flavours

Need to know:

Chinatown is one of the city’s best places for both gourmet dining and budget buffets, but, with so many stalls and restaurants in the area, there’s always something new to try.

With the warmer weather coming in (and hopefully hanging around this weekend), why not try some of the area’s hottest new flavours. Shibuya on Shaftesbury Avenue specialises in Japanese cafe cuisine, including Japan’s answer to dessert-of-the-moment, the Freakshake. Shibuya’s shaved ices really have to be seen to be believed – with mountains of ice, covered in cream, cookies and fresh fruit.

Vietnamese-style iced coffee is a perfectly decadent way to get a cool caffeine kick – made with condensed milk and slowly filtered coffee. You can try it for yourself at Le Hanoi on Macclesfield Street.

Or for a stylish take on traditional Chinese cuisine, check out Orient London. Founded by one of the first families to set up shop in Chinatown, the restaurant serves flavours from Hong Kong and the surrounding  Guagdong region, but specialises in fantastically fresh seafood.

Website and Twitter

Orient London’s Dim Sum

When: All weekend
Opening times: Varies
Getting there: Around Gerrard Street,W1D
Nearest Tube: Leicester Square
Price: Free entry

 

Essential weekend information

Find more inspiration for things to do in London here.

We’ve also pulled together a guide of where to see spring flowers in London, if you want to make the most of the pleasant weather. (And a list of 28 things to do in London when it rains, just in case)

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 London hotels.

And finally, remember to check out the weather forecast.