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London in August: the secrets to get the most out of your trip

London in August has wonderful parades like the Notting Hill Carnival, gastronomic events like the Wimbledon Park Food & Drink festival, or film events like the London Knight Film Festival, I'll tell you more about it all below.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

10 min read

London in August: the secrets to get the most out of your trip

Traveling in London | ©Chan Lee

To be in London in August is to experience opportunities that you could not witness at any other time; you have outdoor activities of all kinds, to enjoy a lively city like no other. These are exclusive ideas for this month, so do not miss anything and take note, so your trip will be organized with your tastes and to enjoy as a Londoner.

The temperature does not vary much from July but it is still warm, this allows you to live in the street all day and immerse yourself in art, traditional food, drinks and music.

How about starting your vacation?

1. Notting Hill Carnival

Enjoying the Nothing Hill Carnivals| ©David Sedlecký
Enjoying the Nothing Hill Carnivals| ©David Sedlecký

This famous and colorful carnival is celebrated for three consecutive days in August. Each day with its parade full of feathers and colorful to the sound of Caribbean music. You can see percussion groups, the costume contest (for adults and children) and the big parade with floats.

This carnival has its origins in the nineteenth century, when slavery was abolished in the former colonies of Trinidad and Tobago. In 1964 it was born in London as a form of expression of the London Afro-Caribbean community.

Today it is an attraction for the general public, citizens and visitors, who come to this event to enjoy the music, the spectacle of their costumes, their food and, of course, their joy.

Will you stop by to see it on your trip? If you do, you will also enjoy one of the most popular neighborhoods in London as Nothing Hill.

Book a street art tour in London

2. Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House

At the Film4 Summer Screen| ©Edmond J. Safra
At the Film4 Summer Screen| ©Edmond J. Safra

The fabulous neoclassical courtyard of Somerset House is regularly used for different events. If you are a lover of the seventh art you will love this experience.

A large screen dominates the front of the courtyard for a few days in August each year, and you can bring your things to have a picnic while you watch the film being shown.

There are fourteen days of screenings of international and English films, being at that time their premiere. This festival attracts many moviegoers to the Somerset House, so you should get your tickets early.

Useful info

  • Price: from 41,96€.
  • Where: Somerset House, Strand Street.
  • How to get there: nearest subway Temple.
  • Recommended for film fans.

Book a James Bond location tour

3. Wimbledon Park Food & Drink Festival

Enjoying the Wimbledon Park Food Festival| ©Andy Newbold
Enjoying the Wimbledon Park Food Festival| ©Andy Newbold

In this festival you will find the best food and drinks of the city. A food festival that gets to the flag, and that is well worth a visit during the days it is held in August, taking advantage of the good weather.

There are many stalls where there will be tastings, both food and drink. You can take it home or enjoy it during a picnic, since the weather allows you to do so. About the food, you will taste the avant-garde of burgers, new recipes, retro ice cream and, of course, *craft beer, isn't your mouth watering?

On the other hand, you will attend demonstrations and workshops, get advice from great chefs, and even stain your own apron by participating in some activity. To liven up this event there will be a variety of music and even time to enjoy it... they have it all planned for you to have a great time.

If you go to London with children you will see that there is a special area, with bales of straw, where you can rest and your children can play, face painting and endless children's activities.

Finally, if you like this plan, you may also want to book a food tour of London.

Useful information about Wimbledon Park

  • Price: from 7€.
  • Approximate opening hours of other editions: Monday from 10:00 to 17:00. Tuesday from 10:00 to 17:00. Sunday from 10:00 to 17:00
  • Where: Wimbledon Park, Wimbledon.
  • Recommended for families, couples or groups of friends.

Book a food tour in London

4. London FrightFest Film Festival

Ready for the Cinema| ©Julien Andrieux
Ready for the Cinema| ©Julien Andrieux

This festival was founded in the month of August to provide the city of London with a fantastic and horror film festivalon par with its European counterparts. So far they have succeeded, as they have been programming the most terrifying of the billboard since 2000 with a great expectation.

This is a festival of international recognition where the best of horror films are screened. If you like this kind of cinema I recommend you to go to see a film, you will love it without any doubt!

And if you want more, I have good news for you: among the guided tours of London you will find several related to Jack the Ripper or the urban legends of this city; another occasion to feel the terror in every pore of your body.

Book a Doctor Who location tour

5. South West Four

Woman at South West Four| ©CourtenayEA
Woman at South West Four| ©CourtenayEA

The South West Four Festival , also called SW4, is a music festival that takes place in Clapham Commons and lasts a whole weekend in the middle of August. It is considered by the famous DJ Carl Cox as the "crowning glory" of the London pub calendar. If an expert says so, it is surely a jewel for the most music lovers.

During this festival, the world's biggest dance and electronic music producers come together, which gives this event a cache of unique proportions. For this year's festival a line-up of the biggest names has been prepared; there will be exclusive DJ sets, small live shows and special back to backs.

Couldn't find anything about electronic music, well here's an experience you can't miss, you'll go, won't you?

A good dinner before the festival will make you resist as long as it takes... and enjoy!

Useful Info

  • This festival is accessible for wheelchair users.
  • There is a platform and restrooms for people with disabilities.
  • There is a medical tent for emergencies.
  • How to get there: Clapham Common subway station, on the north line (Zone 2).
  • Recommended for over 18s.

6. Great British Beer Festival

Tasting a beer at the Great British Beer Festival| ©Phil Whitehouse
Tasting a beer at the Great British Beer Festival| ©Phil Whitehouse

This beer festival takes place at the Olympia Exhibition Centre in London during the first days of August. It showcases the latest brewing innovations from the country's best breweries and also features international companies.

It is not only a beer festival, you can also taste all kinds of alcoholic beverages of worldwide projection. The organizers promise to create the best craft festival of all time, and are you going to miss it?

The best breweries of the last decade will be present. They will also give way to new breweries that are already making a comeback in the city. You will enjoy the delicacies prepared by the most prestigious chefs of the city, and you will have the best live music to have the time of your life.

They are now starting to put tickets on presale, if you really want to discover new types of alcoholic beverages do not waste a minute, for then it may be too late.

7. Candem Fringe Festival

Candem Fringe Festival| ©Carlos Fernandez
Candem Fringe Festival| ©Carlos Fernandez

This festival is dedicated to the performing arts; its origin dates back to 2006 and takes place in Candem during the month of August.

Among the shows you will find many options: opera, musicals, dance, cabaret, sketch comedy, stand-up, mentalism and improvisation. You can always stay there all day long, the performances last a maximum of one hour, you won't get tired of seeing them.

This festival is London's alternative to the Edinburgh Festival. The aim of this event is to give the opportunity to anyone to show what their talent is; the most famous companies are registered but also unknown people with a lot of ambition.

Well, shows for all tastes in a few days to discover new talents, do not stay without seeing it, who knows, maybe you end up loving opera. Things like this happen in London every summer

8. Little Creatures Family Festival

Entrance to London Zoo| ©Martin Deutsch
Entrance to London Zoo| ©Martin Deutsch

This is one of the best plans in August if you are traveling with children, even for you too, because you also have your inner child with you.

It takes place at London Zoo on the last weekend of August.

What will you find in this festival? Well, children's games, storytelling, live demonstrations, fun workshops and many more things to have fun with the family.

You can explore London's only living rainforest; your children will be glued to the glass as they watch the penguins being fed; another great experience is watching the beautiful gorillas, imposing as they are.

As your kids are sure to be full of energy, you can take them to the Animal Adventure children's zoo, an activity that will leave them spellbound; you can go rappelling, explore the various tunnels that lead to the meerkats' houses, what a surprise!

With this weekend, Londoners pay tribute to a black bear who came to the zoo many years ago, Winnie the Black Bear.

9. People's Carnival

At the Carnaval del Pueblo| ©Loz Pycock
At the Carnaval del Pueblo| ©Loz Pycock

This Latino community event presents you in mid-August with a colorful and impressive procession of floats decked out for the occasion. You'll be surprised to see world-renowned Latin artists perform to add the "asssucarrrrr" that every Latin event needs. If you're a dancer, you'll be dancing your feet off without even realizing it.

The parade features more than 19 different nationalities in their traditional costumes. The parade starts at Elephant and Castle and ends at Burgess Park. It is in the park where live music will enliven the festival from 10 am to 10 pm.

If you dare you can go out on the dance floor to dance salsa and forget the world, but only if you want to!

It is obvious that a festival without games to have fun is not a festival, so you know, you can choose what to do at any time, you will always have fun. More than 200 tents to feed and drink the crowd with Latin and Caribbean flavors, as well as traditional crafts from each country.

And they do not forget the children, for them they have prepared games, face painting, and various attractions. This carnival is another way to visit different cultures while having a great time.

10.Visit to Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace| ©Hellotickets
Buckingham Palace| ©Hellotickets

August is a good time to visit the official residence of Her Majesty the Queen, since in summer the royal family spends their vacations in Scotland, at Balmoral Castle, while the rest of the year they live in Buckingham.

For this reason her residence is opened during the summer, so that tourists and citizens can visit it quietly and also see the changing of the guard.

What can you see during these visits? I explain it below:

  • The throne room: perhaps the most important room. Decorated in a theatrical style, the attention rests on two chairs, the so-called Chairs of State, which are positioned in front of a red velvet curtain. They are the chairs that were used for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, back in 1953.
  • White Drawing Room: it is the most majestic room of the palace. It is in this room where the Queen and her family rest or prepare for the events they preside. It is also here that the Queen meets with her most illustrious guests before receptions. When you find yourself in this sauce you will understand why it is called white sauce.
  • Picture Gallery: in this small gallery are gathered part of the pictures that make up the collection of Elizabeth II. This room is used for small receptions.
  • The Ballroom: the largest room of the whole visit, you will be amazed by its decoration and size. Dances, banquets and receptions are held here throughout the year. The room is presided over by two thrones dating from the coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra in 1902.
  • The Grand Staircase: is the first view you will have when entering the palace. It is a staircase with a theater-like appearance, crowned by portraits of the Royal Family.
  • The gardens of Buckingham Palace: you can stroll through these gardens as long as you want after your visit. You can take a coffee to rest from so much walking and enjoy spectacular views.

Book a tour of Buckingham Palace

What you need to enter the UK

Passport| ©Vinta Supply Co
Passport| ©Vinta Supply Co

Remember that, with the arrival of Brexit, it is no longer possible to enter the country with your ID card. Try to have your passport in order, check that it is not expired to be more relaxed. Once you are in the United Kingdom, you can extend your stay for up to six months, after which you must leave the country.

How to organize your suitcase

Preparing your luggage| ©Timur Weber
Preparing your luggage| ©Timur Weber

For your trip in August you can include summer clothes, cool, as you normally dress. Add comfortable footwear, and go with the idea that for sightseeing you have to walk, even if you take the subway or the bus.

Don't forget a thin jacket or sweater in case temperatures drop a bit at night. I leave it up to you whether to bring an umbrella or not, if you do, use one that is small and does not take up much space in your suitcase.