From reviving all-important moments in history at the Chelsea History Festival to feasting on epic street food from some of the best chefs in the city, September is a month of celebration in London. The capital springs to life the moment September hits via a plethora of awesome events taking place across the city; the only real challenge is fitting everything into your schedule. From music and food to design and urban architecture, here’s our list of the top things to do in London in September.
(WA = Wheelchair Accessible)
Eat, drink and dance at Pub in the Park
The UK’s biggest celebration of food and music has landed in London for four food-filled days of culinary creativity. Enjoy food by top chefs at award-winning restaurants to the sound of thumping live music by the likes of Ronan Keating, Apollo Junction and McFly, to name a few. Expect to see delights from London mainstay The City Barge, Michelin-star pub grub by The Hand and Flowers and fragrant Indian dishes by Atul Kochhar Restaurants, plus much more.
Pub in the Park | WA | Chiswick House & Gardens | 1st – 3rd September 2023
Spectate or take to the water at The Great River Race
If you took the London Marathon and put it on the water, you’d get The Great River Race, a 21.6-mile boat race starting in London Docklands and travelling up to Ham in Surrey. 330 crews travel from all over the world to participate in this annual event, ranging from all abilities and levels, from professional athletes to fancy dress racers and charity stunts. Whether you’re taking to the water yourself or merely spectating, you’re guaranteed a day filled with fun and light-hearted laughter.
The Great River Race | WA | River Thames | 16th September 2023
Experience the very best of London architecture at Open House Festival
Every year, Open House Festival grants access to some of the most iconic buildings in the city during a celebration of the architecture and unique urban landscape of London. As a visitor, you’ll get to explore some of the city’s most magnificent buildings, neighbourhoods, landscapes and homes of locals who welcome the public to tell the interesting story of their space.
Open House Festival | 6th – 17th September 2023
Embrace creativity at London Design Festival
This year, London Design Festival returns for its 21st anniversary over nine days, celebrating the city as the design capital of the world. The festivities aim to provide a much-needed platform for creatives and designers to showcase their work whilst offering a glimpse at the incredible diversity of the talent found across London and the UK. Expect a programme of installations and museum exhibits, as well as collaborations and Design districts that are each depicted to reflect the local community.
London Design Festival | 16th – 24th of September 2023
Celebrate the River Thames in all its glory at Totally Thames
This annual festival celebrates the lifeblood of the capital over a month-long period of walking tours, talks, workshops, exhibitions and much more. The River Thames has seen it all, it’s been a mainstay in London since before the capital even existed, so it only feels right that it has its very own dedicated festival and is on our list of top things to do in London in September. From river races and floating art shows to parades and tidal swims, it’s sure to be a month of exhilarating activities and experiences all centred around the very river pumping life right through the city centre.
Totally Thames | 1st September 2023 – 1st October 2023
Revive history at Chelsea History Festival
Last up on our list of top things to do in London in September is Chelsea History Festival, one for history enthusiasts. The Chelsea History Festival is an annual event that brings the past to life via various talks, tours and performances. Expect a captivating conversation about the Kings and Queens of England and a talk centred around the powerful women who were struck from history books but shaped the world we know today, plus much more. The itinerary is jam-packed with a fascinating immersive programme that reveals history spanning many centuries. From storytelling to garden tours, it’s the perfect opportunity to sink your teeth into world history in a truly unique way.
Chelsea History Festival | Chelsea | 26th September 2023 – 1st October 2023
Image courtesy of BBC
Enjoy a classical music performance
The BBC Proms is the world’s greatest classical music festival taking place every summer at the iconic Royal Albert Hall. Henry Wood and Robert Newman founded it as a way to make classical music enjoyable and accessible to all. These days that still stands; it doesn’t matter if you’re a classical music connoisseur or just like to dip your toe occasionally, this eight-week stretch of concerts is accessible to everyone. They run from July until early September (9th September this year), and you can purchase tickets online on The BBC Proms website.
Proms | Kensington | WA | July 2023 – September 2023
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
Image Courtesy of festival.org
Visit a festival of creativity in the city
The Greenwich Docklands + International Festival (GDIF) collaborates with artists and artistic organisations from across the globe to showcase carefully curated performances set in some of the most iconic public spaces within the city. Taking place until September 10th, GDIF has a timetable of epic events lined up, including RoZéO, where three performers create a poetic ritual offering a moment of calm, reflection and wonder atop 10m high poles. There’s also The Architect, an immersive theatrical journey through time and a city, created with a collective of leading Black artists
Greenwich + Docklands International Festival | Greenwich | WA | 25th August – 10th September 2023
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