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.
When visiting London, you can expect to see safety measures in place, including widely spaced tables, queuing systems, table service, handwashing stations and contactless payments. Remember to check the venue is open first and if booking is required before heading out.
You'll also start to see the “We’re Good to Go” industry standard mark. This is to ensure the restaurants you visit are adhering to government and public health guidance.
Take a look at this pick of the best activities to keep you busy over the bank holiday. If you're not in London, find things to do from home over the bank holiday weekend.
Just remember to stay safe, responsible and follow social distancing guidelines while out and about.
Unmissable bank holiday events in London
Get your dancing shoes ready
Europe's largest street festival, Notting Hill Carnival, usually takes place over the August bank holiday. This year's carnival is brought to you online with celebrations in form of Notting Hill Carnival: Access All Areas.
Run your heart out
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
Although South West Four has been cancelled this year, you can still tune in to online gigs and festivals and have a dance at home. Or learn more about electronic music with the Design Museum's immersive exhibition Electronic: From Kraftwerk to The Chemical Brothers.
See the Thames in a new light
The Illuminated River art installation sees four of London’s bridges lit up at night. So grab your camera for that perfect #nofilter shot. If you're not in London, navigate between the bridges with this Illuminated River virtual tour.
And don’t miss the exhibitions, events and workshops as part of the Totally Thames festival hosted across London and online throughout September – there are usually a few installations in place by the August bank holiday weekend.
Tick off those must-see attractions
Many of London’s top attractions are reopening across the city for you to enjoy if you're in London.
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”.
- Stumble upon hidden gardens in the City of London, such as Instagram hotspot St Dunstan in the East and secluded Barber Surgeons' Garden.
- Sprawl out and read a book in London’s parks, or keep a lookout for London's surprising wildlife like the pelicans in St James's Park.
- Enjoy drinks at one of London's rooftop bars, including under the colourful pergola at Bussey Rooftop Bar, Italian style at Selfridges' Alto by San Carlo or with an epic view of the city at Skylight.
- Take a shopping pit stop at tranquil spots in the West End, from Brown Hart Gardens in Mayfair, to community-run The Phoenix Garden near Seven Dials.
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).
- Explore the Coral Kingdom, or come face-to-tentacle with jellyfish at SEA Life London.
- Get that perfect Instagram shot as you glide over London on the Emirates Air Line.
- Work as a team to solve clues in the Crystal Maze Live Experience.
- Steady your hat as you speed along the Thames on a thrilling RIB boat ride with Thames Rockets or Thames RIB Experience.
- Hold your nerve as you cross Tower Bridge’s glass-bottomed walkway.
- Scale one of London’s most recognisable sights with the Up at The O2 climb.
- Grab a spot at one of the new socially distanced outdoor tables and choose from more than 800 board games at Draughts in Hackney and Leake Street Arches.
- Take on a high-wire adventure at one of Go Ape’s fun-packed London courses.
- Feel each of the twists and turns on a high-speed descent through The Slide at ArcelorMittal Orbit.
- Get the adrenaline pumping with more hair-raising experiences in London.
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.