By c.e.brown, on 1 August 2019
For your last weekend in London, you’ll want to fit as much in as physically (and financially) possible! Luckily, there’s a generous helping of cool things to do this weekend, whether you decide to stay in London, or venture further afield…
1. Brighton Pride!
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It's almost that time of the year again. #brightonpride2019 . . Media pass at the ready. This weekend I'll be swapping photographing weddings for Kylie on the main stage. Marquees for dance tents and an afternoon in the cabaret tent. . See you on the other side . . #dragqueens #cabaret #dancetent #mainstage @brightonprideofficial #pleasuregardens #pridevillage #pvp #marineparadebrighton #parade #brightonandhove
Widely acknowledged as the UK’s most popular Pride event, Brighton Pride cannot be missed! Brighton is known as “London by the sea”, and it’s about an hour’s train journey away. You can get to Brighton directly from London St Pancras (this is the cheapest train, but longest), from London Bridge or from Victoria (Gatwick Express is the quicket train, but most expensive). The parade is free to watch, but for the events at Preston Park you have to buy a ticket. We suggest going down to watch the parade, and then exploring Brighton’s famous Palace Pier, grabbing some chips and an ice cream and sitting on the pebble beach, and experiencing the colourful nightlife!
2. Chill at the Southbank
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Throwback to yesterday afternoon in the Southbank roof garden. What a difference a day makes! #watchingtheworldgoby #peoplewatching #peopleoflondon #londonpeople #urbanpeople #candidpeople #mylondon #mylondonstory #mylondonadventure #mylondonlife #southbank #southbankroofgarden #ic_cities_london #instalondon #justgoshoot #dr_brazier
There’s so much to do at the Southbank (next to the London Eye). Head to the rooftop bar at the Southbank Centre for a spot of sunlit drinking. See the street performers or unleash your inner child on the merry-go-round. Grab a bite to eat at one of the lovely restaurants at Gabriel’s Wharf. Or if you’re in the mood for dancing, head down to the South Bank and throw some shapes to some afrobeats at Session with dance crew Steppaz and collective Empire Sounds on the River Stage.
3. Go to the Chihuly Exhibition at Kew Gardens
Perfect for art and nature lovers! Visit London’s world-leading botanical gardens and the most biodivserse place on earth while also taking in the breathtaking work of renowned American glass sculptor Dale Chihuly. His exhibition is called ‘Reflections on nature’ and promises to be visually stunning and awe-inspiring.
4. Go to legendary London superclub Printworks for the ‘Jumpers for Goalposts Football Culture Festival’!
Across the two-day fest there will be screenings, panels, workshops, immersive experiences, exhibitions and live audience shows. The programme will touch on everything from football fashion, the future of football, rare and iconic vintage Admiral shirts, the legacy of the women’s game and lower-league clubs.
5. London Slime Festival
Hear me out on this one! If you’re looking to do something you’ve never done before (and will probably never do again!), go to the Slime Festival on Saturday and feel the weird and wonderful creations of the world’s best slime-creators. Because, why not?
6. Visit all of London’s top attractions
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Explore the most beautiful places in London ▶️ @best_london_photos . . . . . Photo by @shadz_ig #LondonNature #london #thisislondon #londonlife #beautiful #londonlover #ldn#prettycitylondon #communityfirst #visitlondon #uk #london4all #ig_london #igerslondon#londoncity #londontown #londonview #london_masters #prettylittlelondon #shutup_london#lovegreatbritain #unitedkingdom #britain #bigben #westminster #lovegreatbritain
As much as we want to recommend the lesser known events in London, if it’s your first time here, you’ll want to tick off all the classic London attractions (and grab a selfie posing with each, of course). Firstly, pay the Queen a visit at Buckingham Palace (get the Victoria line to Green Park and then walk 10 minutes south). Top tip: if the flag is up, she’s inside! Next, walk through St James’ Park to the Horse Guards Parade to see soldiers in big fluffy hats try not to laugh. Then go right on Whitehall until you get to Downing Street on your right (where the Prime Minister lives). Carry on down that road and turn left to see Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament (please note, these buildings are incredibly old and crumbly, so there may be scaffolding up right now!). Then, turn around and head back up Parliament Street/Whitehall until you get to Trafalgar Square. You’ve got to climb on a giant lion at the bottom of Nelson’s column – it’s a right of passage!
Other places to visit include St Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye, Covent Garden, Chinatown, Leicester Square (pronounced “Lester”), Piccadilly Circus (where all the giant TV screens are), Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, the Tate Modern Art Gallery, and many more.
7. Sculpture Exhibition at Regent’s Park
Now in its third year, Frieze’s Sculpture returns to the English Gardens of Regent’s Park. This exhibition brings together 23 new and significant sculptures by leading 20th-century and contemporary artists from around the world. Download the Art Fund’s free Frieze Sculpture Audio Tour app before you head to the park for a handy map and short audio on each piece by curator Clare Lilley. Top tip: this is where the “Rounders in the Park” event will be next Wednesday 7 August!
For more ideas…
If you want to look up other things to do this weekend, we wholeheartedly recommend checking out Time Out London, for a comprehensive guide on London’s top restaurants, bars, events, art galleries, music gigs and everything in between. For (usually) cheaper last-minute theatre tickets, check out the TKTS stand in Leicester Square. For more off-beat recommendations, look at Atlas Obscura.
From Coral, Rory, Kimberly and Rhod