Best Things to Do in London This Weekend

The sweet, sweet weekend. The land of no alarms, no commutes, no colleagues

Obviously, you want to make the most of this precious time, to squeeze every last drop out of the days before you even have to contemplate going to work on Monday morning. So, we’ve rounded up all the best things to do in London this weekend into one handy place, meaning you can go from bottomless brunch to that new exhibition with ease.

The days are longer, the weather is, albeit slowly, starting to warm so it may be time to start thinking about all the outdoor fun you can have in London. We’re talking eating on restaurant terraces, drinking at rooftop bars, sitting in the park with a picnic, going for a few pints in a beer garden, and maybe even having a cheeky ice cream. And for when the sun really starts to shine, check out all this summer fun.

Now is the time of year when festival season really kicks into gear, so if you wanna break out the glitter and go dancing in a field, you can take your pick – from All Points East to South Facing, there’s pretty much a festival on in London every weekend across the summer.

Still looking for things to do in London this weekend? Check out what’s on at the theatre in London, find the best London bars or hit up one of the hottest new London restaurants. There’s lots of art to see this weekend, from obscure hobby collections to giant pumpkin sculptures, but if you want something a bit more interactive, you can take a ride on a vintage tube train or taste your way around some of the best wine suppliers in the land. CHEERS!

We’re in the middle of festival season, so there’s lots of live music to catch this weekend and it’s the finals of this year’s Wimbledon, so you can catch the action at an outdoor screening – if you can brave the weather. If not, take refuge inside one of the city’s many art galleries or even have a snoop around Buckingham Palace. ENJOY!

man pouring a glass of wine

Wine Car Boot Is Pulling Into London

After a four year hiatus, Wine Car Boot is back in the capital to help Londoners discover their new favourite bottles. Setting up shop in Coal Drops Yard, this edition of Wine Car Boot will feature the likes of Uncharted Wines, The Winemakers Club, Passione Vino, Bobo, Renegade, Wine Garden of England, Blackbook, London Cru, Crystal Palace Wine Club, The Modest Merchant and Newcomer Wines. You can head to the market to browse and buy whatever tickles your fancy or you can pick up a tasting tote pack for £20 (which includes a Govino glass, 5 tokens, and discounts and offers for Coal Drops Yard restaurants), allowing you to try a bunch of different wines and potentially stumble across a new love.

Sat 20th July 2024, 12pm – 8pm
Coal Drops Yard, London, NC1 4DU

A London Underground train from 1938

Ride a 1930s-Era Train Through London

The London Transport Museum is taking one of its vintage trains out for a ride once again, this time to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the Metropolitan Line extension. A restored 1938 burgundy Underground train will be making its way along the Metropolitan line for two days this July, travelling between Uxbridge and Harrow-on-the-Hill. There’ll be six return journeys, lasting about 45 minutes, each day, with the first departing from Uxbridge at 9.30am and the last one departing at 4.30pm. Tickets are priced at £28.50 for adults, £20 for concession and £15 for kids aged 4-17 (kids under 3 travel free, though they must sit on an adult’s lap).

Sat 20th & Sun 21st July 2024, 9.30am – 4.30pm
High St, Uxbridge UB8 1JZ

plates of steak, fish and tomato salad

Joseph Denison Carey Is in Residence at Boundary Shoreditch

Joseph Denison Carey, who’s spent time at Caravel, Pidgin and The Waterhouse Project, as well as running his own project The Bread + Butter Supperclub, is taking up residence at Boundary for the summer. He’ll be cooking dinner at the hotel’s ground floor restaurant, showcasing his take on comfort food. His menu includes dishes like pork & fennel polpette in arrabbiata sauce, leek tart with bechamel suace, grilled onglet with braised lettuce, tagliatelle in tomato and lemon, grilled leeks in romesco sauce, chocolate tart with creme diplomat, lemon & almond cake, and tiramisu.

Sat 20th July 2024
2-4 Boundary Street, London E2 7DD

mosaic of a dog

Check Out the Largest Showcase of the UK’s Hobbies

Artangel and Hetain Patel are presenting the largest showcase of the UK’s hobbies with the Come As You Really Are exhibition at the Grants Building in Croydon. Over 1500 responses to a public callout for information about people’s hobbies form the basis of the show, which explores how people express themselves through the activities they enjoy. Hobbies like Lego, Warhammer and knitting will be featured alongside pastimes like football shirt collecting, doll customisation and 19th century banjo making, with thousands of pieces from people across the country on display. Hetain Patel will also be exhibiting three Spider Man costumes and two modified cars he’s made, as well as a film that reflects the passion people put into their hobbies.

Sat 20th & Sun 21st July 2024
14-32 High Street, Croydon CR0 1YA

Yayoi Kusama pumpkin sculpture in a park

See Yayoi Kusama’s Tallest Ever Pumpkin Sculpture

Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama has exhibited her work in London many times, including her signature polka dot-covered sculptures and immersive mirror rooms. And now she’s back with a brand new piece, Pumpkin, which’ll be standing by the Round Pond in Kensington Gardens this summer. The installation also marks Kusama’s return to Serpentine since her debut British retrospective back in 2000. At 6 metres tall and 5.5 metres in diameter, this is her tallest bronze pumpkin sculpture to date, so you’ll be able to see it in the park easily.

Sat 20th & Sun 21st July 2024
Kensington Gardens, London, W8 4PR

Dive in the Dock at Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf is bringing its open-water swimming season back for a third year. This summer, Londoners of all swimming skill levels (over the age of 10) can take a dip in Middle 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 has hosted thousands of swimmers since. As with last year, the water is rigorously and regularly tested to ensure it’s clean and safe and people.

Sat 20th & Sun 21st July 2024
Canary Wharf, London E14 5AB

lavish state room inside Buckingham Palace

Have a Nosy Around Buckingham Palace

Forget standing outside the gates and snapping photos of the Changing of the Guard like a real tourist, and get inside Buckingham Palace instead this summer. Yes the King is throwing open the doors of the Palace to the public for eleven weeks, giving you the chance to explore the lavish State Rooms – those are the ones the His Maj uses for official entertaining and ceremonial occasions, and they’re filled with treasures from the Royal Collection, including some of the finest paintings, sculpture, porcelain and furniture in the world.

Sat 20th & Sun 21st July 2024
Buckingham Palace, Westminster, London SW1A 1AA

black and white portrait of Naomi Campbell

Look Back Over Naomi Campbell’s Career at the V&A

Naomi Campbell has had an unrivalled career that’s spanned almost four decades and now the V&A is honouring that with an entire exhibition dedicated to the supermodel. The show, titled NAOMI In Fashion, has been produced in collaboration with Campbell and will focus on foregrounding her voice and perspective. Visitors will get an unprecedented look at the wardrobe of one of the biggest names in fashion as Campbell has granted the V&A access to her extensive collection of haute couture and leading ready-to-wear ensembles. These will be displayed alongside loans from designer archives as well as objects from the V&A’s own collection.

Sat 20th & Sun 21st July 2024
Cromwell Rd, London SW7 2RL

LIFT 2024

Catch Thought-Provoking Theatre at LIFT

The London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT) is back town this summer for nearly two months celebrating the arts. Every two years, LIFT fills the city with thought-provoking theatre and unforgettable performances from around the world and this year will be no different. Artistic Director Kris Nelson has curated a programme of progressive, innovative and eclectic acts for 2024 which will feature work from Canada, Taiwan, Ivory Coast, France, Italy, Cape Verde, Portugal, Brazil, Iran and Palestine.

Sat 20th & Sun 21st July 2024
Various venues across London

tubs of Kenco, Heinz, Sarson's and Tropicana ice cream

Try Baked Beans, Olive, Pesto and Vinegar Flavoured Ice Cream at this Pop-Up

Just like last year, Anya Hindmarch’s playful spirit is out in full force this summer with the return of her Ice Cream Project concept store, which is serving up scoops of Heinz Baked Beans, Branston Piccalilli, Sarson’s Vinegar, Kikkoman Soy Sauce and Perello Olive flavoured ice creams. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can go for a scoop or a tub of strawberry & malt vinegar, pesto & Italian basil, and Gordal olive-studded ice cream. If you want something a little safer and sweeter, there are also Jaffa Cakes, Tiptree Orange Marmalade, Bird’s Custard, Tropicana Orange Juice and Sun-Pat Peanut Butter flavours on offer too.

Sat 20th & Sun 21st July 2024
11 Pont Street, London, SW1X 9EJ

The Spirited Away play

See Spirited Away on Stage

Following in the footsteps of the smash hit My Neighbour Totoro, another Studio Ghibli play is showing in the city. Spirited Away, arguably one of the studio’s most impactful films, is running at London Coliseum this spring and summer. If you haven’t seen the film, the story follows 10-year-old Chihiro who gets lost in a fantasy world after her parents, after angering Shinto spirits by eating their food, are turned into pigs. She takes a job at a magical bathhouse while working to get her parents back and return to her own world. If you have seen the movie, you’ll know that bringing those characters to life is a real feat. Expect to see Kamaji, the spider-like boiler man, with 19-foot-long arms; No-Face played by as many as 12 actors; Haku’s transformation into dragon form; and more remarkable visuals. And, of course, the film’s legendary original score (composed by Joe Hisaishi) will be performed by a live orchestra throughout.

Sat 20th & Sun 21st July 2024
London Coliseum, St. Martin’s Lane, London WC2N 4ES

Elton John and David Furnish photography collection

Explore Elton John’s Photography Collection at the V&A

Sir Elton John is obviously best known for being a musician but he’s also a keen collector of photography and he’s showcasing just some of the works he owns with husband David Furnish. The V&A is hosting the Fragile Beauty: Photographs from the Sir Elton John and David Furnish Collection exhibition, featuring over 300 prints from more than 140 photographers, many of which will be going on public display for the first time. The show covers the 1950s to the present day and feature images from the Civil Rights movement, AIDS activism and September 11th, as well portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Miles Davies and Chet Baker, with works from the likes of Horst. P Horst, Irving Penn, Herb Ritts, Robert Mapplethorpe, Cindy Sherman, William Eggleston, Diane Arbus, Sally Mann, Zanele Muholi, Ai Weiwei, Carrie Mae Weems and more.

Sat 20th & Sun 21st July 2024
Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL

Promotional artwork depicting a house lit by moonlight in the shape of a keyhole

Immerse Yourself in Punchdrunk’s Latest Show

Groundbreaking theatre group Punchdrunk’s new show, Viola’s Room, which is being billed as “an intimate, linear, audio-driven adventure that promises to suffuse the dreams of those who dare to follow the light”, is here, featuring narration by none other than BAFTA-winning actor Helena Bonham Carter. The immersive play is based on Barry Pain’s gothic short story The Moon-Slave and has been adapted for a new audience by Booker Prize-shortlisted author Daisy Johnson. While it’s on a much smaller scale than The Burnt City, a sprawling performance spread across several spaces that you could explore at will, Viola’s Room is incredibly atmospheric and immersive in a more intimate, focused way. Here’s what to expect from the experience.

Sat 20th & Sun 21st July 2024
One Cartridge Place, Woolwich, London SE18 6ZR

Hotdogs and tater tots on a wood table

Drink Champagne and Eat Hot Dogs at Bubbledogs

Not your typical hotdog joint, Bubbledogs is returning with a pop-up at 45 Park Lane’s terrace this summer to serve up a menu of gourmet hotdogs and Champagnes to match. The dogs on the menu are made with only the top quality ingredients (from The Franconian Sausage Company) and include the likes of the ‘Native Dog’ (native lobster tempura, Marie rose sauce & beluga caviar), ‘The Kagoshima’ (A5 Wagyu striploin, Japanese mayo & shaved summer truffle) and the ‘Fourth of July’ (spicy BBQ sauce, coleslaw & crispy bacon). Other bits on the menu include tater tots spiced with Japanese togarashi, mac & cheese and Bubbledogs’ signature Buffalo Chicken Wings. And that’ll all be paired with a selection of grower Champagnes – because why the hell not.

Sat 20th & Sun 21st July 2024
45 Park Lane, London W1K 1PN

rooftop venue in Stratford

Get High at Roof East in Stratford

Fancy playing a round of crazy golf, catching a movie, hitting some bullseyes or shaking it out with a dance class? Well you can do it all at Roof East. Yes the Stratford rooftop is jam-packed with activities, including Rooftop Film Club, Sluggers batting cages, Birdies crazy golf, Arrows archery, Glitter Bowls lawn games, giant jenga, cornhole and table tennis. You can stay well fed and watered with the roof’s five bars and street food from the likes of Chick ‘n’ Sours, Piddaji and Cheeky Burger, and of course, you’ve got those mega views over the Stratford to enjoy.

Sat 20th & Sun 21st July 2024
Stratford Multi Storey Car Park, Great Eastern Way, London E15 1XE

David Hockney standing in front of a projected artwork

See the Immersive David Hockney: Bigger & Closer (not smaller & further away) Exhibition

After opening new immersive art gallery Lightroom in King’s Cross, with David Hockney: Bigger & Closer (not smaller & further away), the British artist is bringing his exhibition back to the venue. The show brings together 60 years of the artist’s work in a cycle of six themed chapters, alongside a specially composed score by Nico Muhly and commentary by Hockney himself. The experience will see the likes of ‘Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)’, ‘A Bigger Grand Canyon’ and other iconic pieces shape a theatrical exploration of Hockney’s career, from the 60s to the present day; LA to Yorkshire to Normandy.

Sat 20th & Sun 21st July 2024
Lightroom, 12 Lewis Cubitt Walk, N1C 4DY

red and blue deckchairs in sand

Get Your Feet in the Sand at 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’ 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 on weekends for Londoners to soak up the sun with classic fish & chips, soft-serve ice cream, draught beers and frozen cocktails.

Sat 20th & Sun 21st July 2024
1 Priestley Way, London, E17 6AL

An albatross chick

Dive Into a World of Birds at the Natural History Museum

With Birds: Brilliant and Bizarre, the Natural History Museum is presenting an in-depth look into the long history and, often quite odd, character of the feathery vertebrates. The multi-sensory exhibition will have you fully immersed in the bird world – whether through touching a prehistoric egg or braving a whiff of stinky seabird eggs – as it was hundreds of millions of years ago, as it is today and how it’s projected to be decades from now.

Sat 20th & Sun 21st July 2024
Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD

Starlight Express

See Starlight Express Skate Back Into London

Get your skates on because Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Starlight Express, which ran in the West End from 1984 to 2002, has rolled back into the capital. And this time, the musical, which famously features performers on roller skates, is running in the purpose-built Starlight Auditorium at Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre. Starlight Express tells the story of child’s train set Rusty, who magically comes to life and wants to become the fastest engine in the world to impress first-class car Pearl. Fans of the original will have something new to look forward to but the classic songs, including ‘AC/DC’, ‘Light at the End of the Tunnel’, ‘Make Up My Heart’ and ‘Starlight Express’ will also be present and correct.

Sat 20th & Sun 21st July 2024
3 Fulton Rd, Wembley Park, Wembley HA9 0SP