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

Beautiful spacious 2 bed apartment in peaceful Chelsea Green location *25% off in June*

Apartment 4 is located on the second floor. It provides two double bedrooms with a sofa-bed in the generous lounge area. In addition there is a mezzanine area with desk. Superbly located, the apartment has been individually crafted, furnished and...

Stunning apartment in peaceful Chelsea Green area - Great Value - Sleeps 4

Apartment 6 is located on the second floor. It provides a double bedroom area on a mezzanine deck over the kitchen area and a sofa bed in the lounge. Superbly located the apartment has been individually crafted, furnished and equipped to provide s...

Spacious Studio Apartment in quiet Chelsea Green area - sleeps 2

This beautiful Studio Apartment is located on the first floor. It provides studio accommodation with a sofa-bed in the lounge area. Superbly located the apartment has been individually crafted, furnished and equipped to provide stylish, comfortab...

Fantastic 2 bed apartment in Central Covent Garden location - sleeps 5

This luxury two-bed apartment is on the second floor of a small block of three holiday apartments. Newly refurbished in modern neutral colours, this apartment has one double bedroom and one single bedroom. There is a bright and spacious kitchen/l...

Stunning 1 bed apartment in Chelsea Green Chambers - Sleeps 4 *25% off in June*

Chelsea Green Chambers comprises six newly created serviced apartments. They are located on the first and second floors of a historic building occupying an unrivalled position overlooking picturesque Chelsea Green in the Royal Borough of Kensingt...

Spacious flat in Secret London! See reviews!! WiFi. Terrace. Many extras!

This gorgeous converted warehouse flat in a cobbled street five mins stroll from the new Wapping tube boasts great living space (especially in London terms) plus a large West-facing private balcony and also the use of a stunning huge riverside ter...

Stunning, cosy studio right in the centre of town + free WIFI + local mobile

This gorgeous, bright, adorable little 3rd floor studio flat (with lift!) in a 24 hour portered block with on-site beauty salon is the perfect pied-a-terre for your stay in London. It has a fully equipped modern kitchen and an excellent bathroom w...

Stylish, bijou studio in the heart of central London + Free WIFI + local mobile

This gorgeous, bright and sunny, adorable little 6th floor studio flat (with lift!) in a 24 hour portered block with on-site beauty salon is the perfect pied-a-terre for your stay in London. It has a fully equipped modern kitchen with washer/drye...

London Apartment ( Zone 1 ) Near Tube & Supermarket

This 2 Bedroom apartment sleep up to 8 people. The main bedroom has a double bed with wardrobe, bedside table and draws. The second bedroom has 2 single beds with wardrobe and draws. In the living room there are 2 double sofa beds, plasma TV wit...

Spitalfields Spitalfields 3B

Located just off London’s creative hub of Brick Lane, our stylish Spitalfields Serviced Apartments offer various sizes of short-term lets for discerning travellers. Comprised of newly furbished three-bedroom, two-bedroom and one-bedroom a...

Spitalfields Spitalfields 2B 1 Bath

Located just off London’s creative hub of Brick Lane, our stylish Spitalfields Serviced Apartments offer various sizes of short-term lets for discerning travellers. Comprised of newly furbished three-bedroom, two-bedroom and one-bedroom a...

Charming Living In Central London - (3 Bed / 3 Bath)

A unique house in the Conservation area of Pimlico, close to Buckingham Palace, the West End and Battersea Park, with easy access to the museums of Knightsbridge. At the heart of the house is a handmade kitchen with original features such as expo...

Dawes Road (IVY LETTINGS). Fully managed, free wi-fi, discounts available

For latest availability, more reviews, an instant quote and to book online, please visit: www.ivylettings.com/daw Promotion: £50 off your stay (promo code IVY50) or a FREE one way private airport transfer (promo code heathrow7) when you book...

Clarendon Road (IVY LETTINGS). Fully managed, free wi-fi, discounts available

For more information please visit www.ivylettings.com/clr Special Offer: For bookings made this October 2013 - for stays at any time - we will give you 50% off your private airport taxi transfer, just enter the promo code taxi when booking on ...

Aylesford Street Knightsbridge & Belgravia

Looking up at the brick town houses of Pimlico today, you would scarcely believe that only a few centuries ago the area was a marginalized marshland. Luckily for those in the know, this neighbourhood keeps quiet about its many accolades and to thi...
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