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Things to do on August bank holiday weekend 2021 in London

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Notting Hill Carnival © iStock/lovemax. Image courtesy of iStock.
August bank holiday weekend in London means a whole three days to let your hair down with seasonal fun, exploring and family activities.


From Caribbean parties, leafy parks to explore and oodles of fun family activities, soak up the last of the summer vibes with this pick of what’s on during the bank holiday weekend in London. 

Unmissable bank holiday events in London

Get your dancing shoes ready

Europe's largest street festival, Notting Hill Carnival, takes place over the August bank holiday and brings infectious atmosphere to Notting Hill all weekend long. Get your (comfy) dancing kicks on and join the party!

Run your heart out

Sign up for the Spitfire 10K! Lace up your trainers and join the annual run for a chance to win the highly sought after Spitfire 10K medal, which is usually held at the Royal Air Force Museum and virtually.

Activities in London on the August bank holiday

The long weekend gives you even more time to discover your London, from hidden gems to lesser-known areas and iconic sights.

Enjoy an alfresco movie night

Grab a deckchair or drive up to one of London's outdoor cinemas, and immerse yourself in cult classics and new releases.

Party to electronic hits

Tune in to London's famous summer music festivals including South West Four. Or learn more about music with the vast collections of instruments at The Royal Academy of Music Museum and the Horniman Museum

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See the Thames in a new light

The Illuminated River art installation sees many of London’s bridges lit up at night. So grab your camera for that perfect #nofilter shot.

And don’t miss the exhibitions, events and workshops as part of the Totally Thames festival hosted across London throughout September – there are usually a few installations in place by the August bank holiday weekend.

Tick off those must-see attractions

Use the extra day off to check out many of London’s top attractions from your must-see list. Remember that the Buckingham Palace tour: summer opening is usually in full swing at that time!

Refresh your wardrobe

Shop for designer threads in London's top shopping destinations.

Wander along Oxford Street for big name brands, explore Bond Street's upscale boutiques, try out beauty products in Covent Garden or find retro style in Carnaby. Head off the main thoroughfares to explore independent boutiques in elegant Jermyn Street, pretty South Molton Street and laid-back St Christopher’s Place. Or do it all under one roof at the capital's top shopping centres and department stores.

Uncover a new area

Enjoy bank holiday days out in London, from areas nearby to those further away. 

  • In the east, Greenwich mixes maritime attractions with markets, stunning parks and historic sites.
  • Venture north to Brent, which hosts plenty of activities as the Mayor of London's Borough of Culture.
  • Go west to Richmond for riverside walks, a sprawling park full of deer and charming pubs.
  • In south London, Tooting fuses south Asian delicacies with markets full of bargains. 

Venture into the great outdoors

As the world’s first National Park City, there are plenty of green spaces where you can indulge in some “me time”.

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What to do on bank holiday for cool kids

It’s nearly the end of the school holidays, so make the most of the final days by creating memories to last a lifetime (or to brag about to your friends).

Find more things to do with teenagers in London and discover more of the top family attractions for kids.

August bank holiday opening times

Opening times may vary and many attractions and venues require advance booking. Check with the individual venues before you go.

More bank holiday ideas

If you’re looking for “bank holiday events near me” and more things to do in London on bank holiday weekend, download the Visit London app.

Alternatively, discover what’s on in London by day, more August activities or browse the London events calendar for key events. Find more inspiration for weekends in London with these handy weekend guides.

If you're not able to visit London this bank holiday, plan ahead for the next public holidays in London.

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