London events and festivals

The Big Smoke’s best celebrations


Sophie Gackowski

Sophie Gackowski
HomeAway travel expert

London events and festivalsFrom festivals of food and flowers to frivolity and floats, there’s nothing London doesn’t do well. England’s capital is a cultural hotspot, and as such, it boasts an impressive calendar of both annual and one-off events. You can pack your bags and celebrate Bonfire Night in the big city, or make your way to the metropolis for a New Year to remember; but there are so many celebrations specific to the boroughs of London, it’s worth spending some time researching the events you’ll enjoy most. Perhaps you’re planning a trip to Pride London, or can’t wait to wangle a ticket to Wimbledon? Whatever gets your pulse racing, we’ve a range of comprehensive guides to the best events and festivals in London.

Of course, we also offer an extensive range of private holiday rentals in London, with something to suit every budget and desire. We have luxurious townhouses located in Kensington and Chelsea, as well as affordable apartments in Camden and Canary Wharf. Whatever festival or event you dream of taking part in, HomeAway has the property to suit. So why wait? Here’s our rundown of just a few celebrations the Big Smoke has to offer.


Our guide to fun and festivities in London


Notting Hill Carnival Notting Hill Carnival

As one of Europe’s largest street festivals, Notting Hill Carnival continues to be as colourful and community-led as it was back in 1964. Conceived predominantly by the West Indian population of Notting Hill and its surrounding areas, it features an enormous parade replete with elaborate and detailed costumes, a tempting myriad of food and drink stalls - rice and peas, anyone? - and some of the finest Calypso and Soca music this side of the Caribbean. Held in August over two days, it’s followed by an array of exciting after-parties. Fancy strutting your stuff alongside a million revellers? We thought you might.

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City of London Festival City of London Festival

Founded in 1962, City of London Festival continues to energise the cultural life of the capital. Taking place over three fun-filled weeks, it features an extensive programme of artistic events, from the musical and visual to guided walks and thought-provoking talks. If you’re in the city, simply pop into one of the free events held at any one of London’s impressive buildings or outdoor spaces: there are over 100 to choose from. If you’re planning a visit, you may wish to pick up a pass to one of the 50 ticketed events, which can include everything from concerts in St Paul’s to aerial acrobatics in ancient halls.

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Pride London Pride London

Held in late June, Pride London is one of the UK’s largest outdoor events, celebrating everything LGBTQ. Although a relatively early addition to London’s festival scene, it’s one of the most hotly-anticipated, attracting over one million people: it’s now famed as Europe’s largest non-ticketed party! Featuring colourful floats bearing the famed rainbow flag, it starts at Baker Street and proceeds down Oxford Street, taking in London’s major sites as it marches through Piccadilly and onto Trafalgar Square. With a vibrant line up of stalls, speakers, and stage performers, it’s a fantastic celebration of sexuality.

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Chelsea Flower Show Chelsea Flower Show

Now topping 100 years old, the pride and joy of the Royal Horticultural Society only surpasses itself every year. Chelsea Flower Show is England’s greatest festival of all things flora and fauna, from time-old favourites re-imagined with innovative twists to launches of new luscious species. Held in May over five days, the event sees 150,000 green-fingered attendees file through its gates, sampling Show Gardens in the Great Pavilion, or drinking champagne in peaceful Eden-like paradises. From gleaning inspiration for your own front lawn to admiring aesthetic triumphs of verdure, it’s not to be missed.

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Wimbledon Wimbledon

Fresh strawberries with a glass of fizz? It’s got to be Wimbledon. This Tennis Championship has truly stood the test of time, as it's the oldest in the world. Held at the All England Club since its beginnings in 1877, today it’s as classy as ever. Over a fortnight in late June and early July, the grounds see the world’s very best players gather for fierce competition, focussing heavily on the Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s Singles Finals. Of course, it’s not only the momentous matches which attract fans from around the globe: traditional Royal patronage and an elusive public ballot also play their part!

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London Holiday Rentals

Charming Chelsea Flat Just Off Kings Road With Private Garden

A newly listed, light filled, one bedroom, one bathroom apartment situated on a quiet, leafy Chelsea street. Despite being on the doorstep of some of the best restaurants, theatres, galleries, not to mention shopping in the world, this corner of ...

STUNNING flat in CHELSEA- LONDON-for a minimum stay of 2 months

ONLY AVAILABLE FOR a MINIMUM 2-3 months RENTAL We are so sorry , it is NOT available for a few days Not available for a couple of weeks ONLY AVAILABLE for 2 months + minimum period Large open plan living room/dining room with High Vault...

Safe Clean Bright And Centrally Located 2 Bedroom Apartment

As you can see from the reviews we TRY very hard to please you. Located within the Prestigious 'Garden district' of South Kensington in a quiet and 100% safe side street off the Old Brompton Road ( at the stretch between the Ferrari & Lambo...

2 Bed Victorian split level in Fitzrovia//Oxford St/Terrace/ From £150- £180

A beautiful and generously sized duplex maisonette with a large private south facing terrace in the heart of Fitzrovia, Central London.The street is free of any traffic allowing our guests to enjoy a quiet relaxing stay in the middle of London! ...

Superb Flat Trafalgar Square from £250 per night

Our large luxurious two bedroom split level flat will appeal to those wishing to stay in one of the best locations in Central London.The flat is directly opposite Trafalgar Square with a direct view of Nelson's Column .This really is located in th...

Well-loved family home in Hampstead Heath with all sorts of curiosity

What it’s all about Heath Hurst Road speaks of lives lived to the full. There’s a warmth to the cosy rooms, filled with a precious cargo of souvenirs, curios and art, and furniture bearing the caresses of generations. Books are everywhere, and th...

A fresh and functional apartment in Hampstead with a a natural feel

Hail to thee, blithe spirit! You may be a songbird, a lovebird or a little robin red breast warbling from its willow. Either way, we all need a nesting place, and none are nicer than Canfield Gardens 2. At once simple and smart, this is a beautif...

Colourful home with intricate, beautiful detail and vibrant energy

Into space Wakeman Road is a home in which every detail counts. Every object is cherished, every feature a joy. Focus in and you’ll spot the colourful cushions on the couch, the bedroom’s original fireplace, the horned towel holder in the bathroo...

Sumptuous And Ornate Home In The Heart Of Chelsea

The story so far Danvers Street is a tale of East and West, of past and present. Art and antiques from near and far fill its well-proportioned rooms, and up on the roof terrace the enchanting views stretch out across the Chelsea chimney pots. Thi...

Distinctive Modern Home With An Artistic Character

On cue For those looking to increase their cultural capital, look no further than the Barbican – its inspiring programme of exhibitions, films, concerts and performances sure to hit every spot. And Andrewes House may just be the best seat in the ...

Immaculate And Elegant Apartment In Holborn

Quite so. Within dawdling distance of Covent Garden and Holborn, Kingsway II has it just right. And not just for its setting. Flawlessly refurbished, this home might have stepped out of a Sunday spread – the surfaces are gleaming, the lines at on...

Kensington Luxury Apartment Lexham

Luxury 2 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms apartment for business and pleasure -ground floor with patio and garden at Lexham Gardens - Kensington - ,pretty fully fitted kitchen with all appliances ,relaxing and silent bedrooms, .Barbecue at patio for...

Ultra-Fashionable Victorian Flat In Soho

In the raw Yow! This home’s so hot it burns. Masculinity pervades - the cowhide rug, the graffiti across the walls, and the rock star electric guitar. But there’s sweetness here too, in the deep sofa, the French mirror and the enormous original w...

Simple and fun West London home with a total absence of clutter

Show home Queensdale Walk is that rare thing, a home that’s welcoming and fun, while allowing you to be yourself. Alabaster walls and clutter-free surfaces let you project your personality, while groovy textiles keep this mews house from feeling ...

Luxury Five Bedroom House

A simply magnificent five bedroomed, four bathroom, three storey house boasting over 200 sqm of beautifully presented living and entertaining accommodation. The property further comprises a substantial double reception room leading out into a spa...

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