Looking for the best things to do in London in August? You’re in plenty of time to book tickets to the best events in London, from theatre shows to art exhibitions, and there are always pop-ups opening across the city, but our handy guide features the best of what’s on in London in August so you won’t miss a thing. The height of summer is normally when people swap the city for the seaside but if you’re staying in London in August, there’s plenty to keep you busy. The festival calendar is packed with the likes of RallySouth FacingAll Points East and Field Day all on. If you’re looking for something a little more refined, you can sample the city’s finest afternoon teas during Afternoon Tea Week or indulge in a glass or two on Prosecco Day. The headline event has to be Notting Hill Carnival – it’s the ultimate way to spend the bank holiday weekend and see out summer in style.

princess nokia rally festival

1. Get Down to Southwark Park for a Brand New Day Festival

Taking over Southwark Park this August, RALLY will bring together the city’s different communities and is dedicated to showcasing the freshest new music to create a line-up that prioritises artistry over genre. Expect to see the likes of Princess Nokia, Obongjayar, Squid, Kelly Lee Owens, Leon Vynehall b2b Yu Su, John Talabot, Charlotte Adigery, Wu-Lu, Erika de Casier, Laura Misch, Louis Culture, PVA, Ok Williams and more on the lineup. Plus, there’ll be afterparties at Venue MOT and Bermondsey Social Club if you’re not ready to call it a day once the main programme finishes.

Sat 5th August 2023
Southwark Park, London SE16 2TX

2. Eat at This Highly Anticipated New Restaurant

From the same group that brought us Quality Chop HouseQuality WinesPortland and Clipstone, 64 Goodge Street will be a relaxed French bistro with a menu featuring the likes of lobster vol-au-vent with sauce Americaine; snail, bacon and garlic ‘bon bons’; morteau sausage, walnut and morbier tourte; peach and Beaujolais jelly; and fig leaf bavarois.

Opens Mon 7th August 2023
64 Goodge St, London W1T 4NF

3. Celebrate Smokestak’s 10th Birthday

Smokestak is turning the big 1-0 this summer and to celebrate, founder David Carter is throwing an al fresco mini food festival in the car park opposite the restaurant, nodding to its roots as a Street Feast trader. The street party menu will feature a range of Smokestak faves like brisket buns, pork rib tip burnt ends, grilled greens with tahini & pomegranate, and malt ice cream soft serve with cornflake crumb, alongside one-off dishes from guest chefs, including a pork belly ribwich with herb slaw from Joshua Moroney from Cue Point and birch-smoked chicken with white BBQ sauce & Smokestak chillies from Lagom’s Elliot Cunningham. Ben Dargue, who created Smokestak’s original cocktail list will be shaking up rhubarb sours and frozen Tommy’s margs, with a spesh 10th anniversary collab beer from 40ft Brewery also on at the bar, and there’ll be DJs spinning to keep the party vibes going well into the night.

Sat 19th August 2023
35 Sclater St, London E1 6LB

4. Dance Like Crazy at Field Day 2023

Field Day is linking up with All Points East once again and heading home to Victoria Park for another day of electronic music. Now in its 16th year, the festival is putting on one of its most eclectic line-ups yet, with the likes of Aphex Twin (for his first performance since 2019), Jayda G, Bonobo, Arca, Kelela, Actress, Sudan Archives, TSHA, Julianna Huxtable, Fever Ray, SBTRKT, Moderat, and Jon Hopkins amongst the names.

Sat 19th August 2023
Victoria Park, London, E3

5. Visit Walthamstow-on-Sea

You don’t need to go to the seaside this summer (well, unless you want to of course) because it’s coming to you. Walthamstow is becoming ‘Walthamstow-on-Sea’ until September as Big Penny Social is transforming its terrace into a British seaside resort. Kitted out with deckchairs, sand pits and private beach huts, the pop-up beach is open all week for Londoners to soak up the sun with classic fish & chips, soft-serve ice cream, draught beers and frozen cocktails. There’ll also be a programme of family-friendly entertainment during the day and live DJs in the evening.

Tues 1st – Thurs 31st August 2023
1 Priestley Way, London E17 6AL

all points east festival stage

6. See Your Fave Artists Live at All Points East

All Points East is coming back to Vicky Park in 2023 with the likes of Stormzy, Haim, The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Girl In Red, Amyl and the Sniffers, Angel Olsen, Hotwax, Confidence Man, Tove Lo, Jungle, Erykah Badu and more on the line-up.

Fri 18th & Sat 19th August and Fri 25th – Mon 28th August 2023
Victoria Park, London, E3

greenwich+docklands festival

7. See Acclaimed Installations and Live Performance Art at This Festival

Greenwich+Docklands Festival is back with another impressive programme, including the likes of immersive theatre piece The Architect, set on a London bus that travels around South East London that looks at Black experiences following the murder of Stephen Lawrence; West African circus performance Ancient Futures, with a soundtrack from Afrikan Boy; Bouncing Narratives, an immersive dance piece in a shipping container with a trampoline roof; aerial performance The Air Between Us.

Fri 25th – Thurs 31st August 2023
Various spaces across Greenwich, Thamesmead and East London

8. Watch La Cage aux Folles at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Tim Sheader is reviving Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein’s classic musical La Cage aux Folles for Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. The production (based on the film of the same name) tells the story of a gay couple, drag nightclub owner Georges and his partner Albin, and their son Jean-Michel, who causes chaos when he brings home his fiancé and her ultra-conservative parents.

Tues 1st – Thurs 31st August 2023
Open Air Theatre Inner Circle, London NW1 4NU

9. See This Landmark Exhibition Exploring the Legacy of Black Women in Media

Somerset House is hosting Black Venus, an exhibition curated by Aindrea Emelife that examines the representation and legacy of Black women in visual culture, through the lens of the Hottentot Venus, the Sable Venus and the Jezebel. The work of 18 Black female and non-binary artists, including Carrie Mae Weems, Zanele Muholi, Renee Cox, Lorna Simpson, Kara Walker, Sonia Boyce, Ayana V Jackson and Delphine Diallo, will be on display, showcasing the many ways Black femininity can be expressed and reclaiming Black womanhood from fetishisation and objectification.

Tues 1st – Thurs 31st August 2023
Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA

10. Take a Dip in the Canary Wharf Dock

After debuting last year, Canary Wharf is bringing its open-water swimming season back for a second year. This summer, Londoners of all swimming skill levels (over the age of 10) can take a dip in the dock to cool down on a hot day or attempt the 400-metre course – lifeguards will be on duty. Together with Love Open Water and the Canal & River Trust, Canary Wharf launched the new open-water swimming spot in 2022 and hosted 7000 swimmers throughout the summer. As with last year, the water is rigorously and regularly tested to ensure it’s clean and safe and people. Access costs £8.50 per session, plus a £15 annual membership to NOWCA, the UK’s largest network of safe open water venues. If you’re looking for a great way to escape the heat in the city, this is it.

Tues 1st – Thurs 31st August 2023
Canary Wharf, London E14 5AB