Wondering what you to do over the long weekend? Fret not, here is our list of things to do in London on the August Bank Holiday.

1             Go To The Carnival

There is nowhere else to start our round up of things to do in London over the bank holiday weekend than the Notting Hill Carnival. For many people the Carnival is the highlight of the summer in the UK capital. It also celebrates London’s great multicultural heritage. If you wish to watch the Parade then head to west London on the Monday, those with kids might prefer Sunday which is family day. Whichever you choose, expect plenty of music and great food in the biggest free street party in Europe.

2             Visit the Science Museum

things to do in London august bank holiday
Gallery View of Our Future Planet

If the Notting Hill Carnival is too lively for your tastes, then why not expand your horizons by visiting the Science Museum. It’s free to attend although you do need to pre-book your tickets. Wonderlab: The Equinor Gallery is an interactive experience that promises to get you thinking like a scientist – if that is your wish. Alternatively you can visit the Our Future Planet exhibition, which explores ways to use carbon capture to save the planet. But time is running out – the exhibition closes on 11 September.

3             Be Cultural at the Tate Modern

Another free attraction in London – you might detect a theme – is the Tate Modern. Boasting an unrivalled selection of contemporary art from modernism to the current day, the Tate with its magnificent Turbine Room really is a space you can just lose yourself. If you do wish to splash out the cash then you can visit Surrealism Beyond Borders (£18), which concludes – surely that is oxymoronic? – on Bank Holiday Monday. However A Year in Art: Australia 1992 is free.

4             Catch a Film at the BFI Southbank

I am afraid not everything in life is for free, but just along the Southbank from the Tate Modern (keep the river on your right) is the home of British cinema. You might be a bit early for the BFI London Film Festival, but the BFI Southbank is the place to go for rep cinema in London. The August Bank Holiday weekend will see modern films such as Queen of Glory, as well as a series of films by Indian director Satyajit Ray including Charulata, The Chess Player and Enemy of the People, as well as classics The White Ribbon, The Night of the Hunter and The Sweet Smell of Success.

things to do in London august bank holiday
Eating Dumplings in London’s Chinatown is a must.

5             Eat Dumplings in Chinatown

After so much cultural stimulation – or partying – you might just be in the need of some nourishment. London’s Soho is often the barometer of the state of the capital’s restaurant, pub and bar scene. At its centre is Chinatown. Head for Dumplings Legend on Gerrard Street or Beijing Dumpling on Lisle Street for authentic tasty and cheap food. The perfect way to end your August Bank Holiday in London.


If you’re in London have a look at our sister website London Begins at 40’s A-Z directory of things to do in London for more August Bank Holiday ideas.