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Summer is well and truly on a roll and August is soon to be in full bloom, but with so many top things to do in London in August, it can be tricky to whittle it down to the things that are truly worth your time. Here are our top picks, from gliding down the canal on a canoe in Hackney Wick to celebrating Black-owned businesses at the Black-owned Hackney Night Market.

(WA = Wheelchair Accessible)

Top Things To Do in London in August - What are the best carnivals in the world Image courtesy of Notting Hill Carnival

Hit up the colourful Notting Hill Carnival

One of the top things to do in London in August is undoubtedly Notting Hill Carnival. This vibrant outdoor festival first took place in the streets of Notting Hill back in the mid-1960s as a way to unify the local community after racially motivated attacks took place directed at the West Indian residents of the borough. These days, it’s one of the biggest celebrations around the world consisting of booming sound systems, flamboyant masqueraders, delicious street food and much more.

Notting Hill Carnival | WA | Notting Hill | 27th – 28th August 2023

Top Things To Do in London in August - Fun things to do in London when it's hotImage courtesy of  Milk Float

Hire a canoe or SUP in Hackney Wick at Milk Float

Hire a stand up paddle board or canoe and take to the waters of Hackney Wick to cool off this August. It’s located on the Milk Float boat next to Barge East, a great place to grab a bite to eat post-canoe. Enjoy gliding down the canal and watch as the vibrant hustle and bustle of Hackney Wick ticks on. You can even swing by Alfred Le Roy, a cocktail bar moored along the canal outside CRATE brewery, where you can grab a drink without having to disembark.

The Milk Float | Hackney | Weekends only

Enjoy the beer craft festival this summer with your friendsImage courtesy of The London Craft Beer Festival

Sip on the best brews at The London Craft Beer Festival

The London Craft Beer Festival returns for its 10th year anniversary, and this year they’re going all out. You can expect a bunch of the best breweries from the past ten years, as well as a handful of the top new ones serving cold, refreshing pints throughout the day. There will also be some of the city’s best chefs serving mouth watering street food alongside a DJ spinning the freshest tracks.

The London Craft Beer Festival | WA | Tobacco Dock | 11th – 12th August 2023

Top Things To Do in London in August - Top food festivals in LondonImage courtesy of Hampton Court Festival

Eat your way around Hampton Court Palace Food Festival

Foodies rejoice for a summer celebration of all things food and drink at the stunning Hampton Court Palace. Enjoy some of the city’s best street food, from sweet treats like churros and gelato to savoury delights like duck wraps and crispy calamari. Chow down on your choice of food to the sound of a live band with the Historic Royal Palace as your regal backdrop. When your belly is full take a stroll around the stalls of artisan producers and hit up one of the mixologist masterclass or cooking tutorials.

Hampton Court Palace Food Festival | WA | Hampton Palace | 26th – 28th August 2023

Things to do in London in August-Enjoy the world of performance at Greenwich Docklands + International Festival.Image courtesy of 

Enjoy the world of performance at Greenwich Docklands + International Festival

Greenwich Docklands + International Festival (GDIF) is a creative festival taking place from 25th August until 10th September. They collaborate with artists and art organisations all around the world to inspire a diverse range of audiences through specially-curated performances in some of the city’s most iconic public spaces. Among the thrilling lineup of events, GDIF has already revealed some exciting shows, including Open Lines, where internationally-renowned tight-rope walked Tatiana Mosio Bongonga takes to the heights to kick-start the festival. The Family Catwalk Extravaganza features a fusion of fashion, dance, and lip-syncing, with the audience playing a decisive role in crowning the winner. For anyone passionate about the arts and the world of performance, this festival stands as an absolute must-attend, offering an experience filled with creativity and talent.

Greenwich+Docklands International Festival | WA | Greenwich | 25th August – 10th September 2023

Shop the best from Black-owned businesses in this marketImage courtesy of  Bohemia Place Markets

Celebrate Black-owned businesses at the Black-owned Hackney Night Market

Next up on the list of top things to do in London in August is The Black-owned Hackney Night Market, located opposite Hackney Central Station. The collaboration between BlackEatsLDN and Bohemia Place Markets is bringing a vibrant marketplace to the streets of Hackney as a place to champion Black-owned businesses, from street food and artisan goods to drinks and more. This year, it’s taking place twice throughout August and is not one to be missed.

Black-owned Hackney Market | Hackney | 25th – 26th  August 2023

Top Things To Do in London in August - Best music festival in East LondonImage courtesy of  All Points East

Dance at All Points East in Victoria Park

You can’t visit London during the summer months and not go to at least one music festival, and from around May to September the city is thrum with all kinds of vibrant festivals, including All Points East. This East London festival has an awesome lineup of artists this year, from Gorillaz and Idles to The Chemical Brothers and Peggy Gou. It’s also an excellent chance to dance the day away in the leafy Victoria Park, one of London’s lushest green spaces.

All Points East | WA | Victoria Park | 18th – 19th & 25th – 28th August 2023

Wish to indulge yourself in British Royalty? Don't forget to visit the State Rooms at the Buckingham Palace, this summer.Image courtesy of Get Your Guide

Delve into British Royalty at the State Rooms in Buckingham Palace

Take a deep dive into British royalty with this ticket that grants you access to the regal State Rooms at the magnificent Buckingham Palace, which are only open from mid-July until mid-September. State Rooms are public areas of a palace where Royal ceremonies take place and monarchs entertain their guests, which is how the King and members of the Royal Family use the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace today. Delve into British royalty by wandering around the building’s magnificent chambers, kitted out with incredible art, including treasures from the Royal Collection, such as masterpieces by some of the greats – Rembrandt, Rubens and Canaletto, to name a few – sitting side by side with some of the most impressive English and French furniture in the world. Stroll around the rooms where historical events have taken place and visit one of the official residences of His Majesty the King before stopping for a bite to eat and a drink in the quaint Garden Café.

Buckingham Palace: The State Rooms | Westminster | 14th July – 24th September 2023

Go for a swim in this summer heat in one of the London lidosImage courtesy of  Brockwell Lido

Swim in one of London’s lidos

As soon as summer hits people flock to the lidos of London as a refreshing way to cool off from the city heat, and with so many dotted around the city, you’re bound to be staying close to one. A few local favourites include London Fields Lido (WA), Brockwell Lido (WA), Charlton Lido (WA), Tooting Bec Lido (WA), and many more. If you prefer a spot of outdoor swimming then Hampstead Heath Ponds (WA) are also a great choice, with female, male and mixed ponds to choose from.

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If you head along to any of these top things to do in London in August, be sure to tag us @loveandlondon, we love to see you exploring the city!

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Top Things To Do in London in August
Jessica Dellow

Jessica Dellow is an East Londoner who loves to travel the world and eat her way around the city. When she's not eating, cooking or hanging out in the local pub, you’ll probably find her walking one of her BorrowMyDoggy dogs in Victoria Park with a coffee in hand.