This month has an incredible THREE bank holidays, which is reason enough to celebrate—and what better way to do it than to take your pick from the best events happening in the best city in the world?

We have everything from quintessentially British flower shows, fetes and puppet festivals to Comic Con and tattoo shows, so you’ll be struggling to claim there’s nothing you fancy. Oh – and we also have the coronation of King Charles III, with more tradition and spectacle than you can shake a stick at.

We’ve collected all our Coronation goodies in one article here, which we will be updating regularly – check this out for exhibitions, parades, street parties and general royal merriment.

Meanwhile, here’s what else is happening this month:

The Canalway Cavalcade

london events may
The always colourful Canalway Cavalcade | Photo by Garry Knight used under CC

A celebration of the nautical communities of London, this event is a great way to spend a British bank holiday by the water. Taking place along the Grand Union Canal, there will be 130 floating homes moored up in their decorative best for the pageant. As well as making for a very picturesque stroll, there will be some traditional entertainment along the way including Morris dancing, real ales, trade stalls, live music and entertainment for kids.


One of the UK’s biggest celebrations of craft beer. Over a hundred breweries, gourmet street food and live music at super club Printworks London.

Covent Garden May Fayre and Puppet Festival

Convent Garden Puppet Festival
Photo by Ned Dyke-Coomes

See London’s oldest wooden puppet show with Punch, Judy and all their friends. There will be an accompanying brass band procession, workshops, clowns, folk music and refreshments.

Photo London

Indulge yourself in your passion (if your passion happens to be photography that is) with this jam-packed weekend celebrating all things caught-on-camera. There will be book signings, special installations, a fair of 80 of the world’s top galleries and three major exhibits. Weekend tickets offer the best value for money, but day tickets are also available.

Great Big Kiss

A monthly club night playing northern soul, Motown and 60s girl groups, all on vinyl.

Urban Village Fete

A modern twist on the traditional British fete, this free event celebrates art, design, music and craftsmanship with creative workshops and stalls. DJ Bradley Zero and guests will be on the decks, plus there’s a range of international street food.

Free Jazz Sundays in Bermondsey Square

Make the most of the lazy Sunday afternoons with free jazz sessions in the sunshine in Bermondsey Square. Seating is provided and food and drinks can be purchased from local restaurants and coffee bars.

Neon Naked Life Drawing

Life drawing with a difference; the emphasis is on creativity, not a technically accurate portrait, so grab those neon pens or psychedelic pastels and let loose.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Everyone’s favourite flower show of the year, this iconic British institution is back with more incredible garden creations to make your green fingers twitch. Hours have been extended into the evening, so you can enjoy the views as the sun sets. The Chelsea Late Event on Friday is aimed at encouraging younger guests to attend and there will be live music, artisan food stalls and wandering artists for a creative garden party vibe.

MCM Comic Con

Photo by MCM Comic Con

The biggest pop-culture event in the UK, MCM Comic Con is back and bigger than ever — gathering cosplayers, film geeks and graphic novel enthusiasts together under one roof. There will be special guests, a chance to don your favourite costume or try the latest games, experience Asian food, manga and anime and meet your top authors and illustrators.

Raquel Martins Live

A live set at Woolwich Works from a unique singer-songwriter at the intersection of modern soul and jazz.

The Great British Tattoo Show

Love the world of ink? The tattoo show will be taking over Alexandra Palace to display the best creators and their creations and offer you a chance to get a souvenir you’ll be keeping forever. There will be fashion shows, live music, food and drink as well as tattoo removers for those elegant names of long-gone exes.

Last chance events

New Cross and Deptford Free Film Festival | Until May 5th

Mike Nelson: Extinction Beckons | Until May 7th

Beyond the Streets London | Until May 9th

Ongoing Events

Ai Weiwei: Making Sense | Until July 30th

Brixton Windmills Open Days | Until October 13th

Summer Season at Shakespeare’s Globe | Until October 18th

Written by:
BIO: Freelance writer, flâneuse and former blogger at London Girl About Town, Amanda is dedicated to sharing the latest on London's restaurants, bars, hidden quirks and general wonderfulness.
Filed under: Things to Do

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