This month has two bank holidays which is reason enough to celebrate—and what better way to do it than to pick from the best city’s best events?

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

We have everything from quintessentially British street parties and flower festivals to Polish festivals and tatto shows, so you’ll be struggling to claim there’s nothing you fancy. Whether you want to be inspired, be entertained or be fed copious amounts of wine, read on for all the details you need.

The Canalway Cavalcade

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.

The Days of Poland Festival

Days of Poland Festival
Photo by Garry Knight used under CC

The largest Polish festival in the whole of the UK, this is a celebration of the culture, food, music and arts of our European neighbour. There will be activities for children and performances of both traditional and contemporary skills. If you’re feeling the need to experience a bit of Europe (before it’s too late) or show some support to our Polish residents, what better way?

Covent Garden May Fayre and Puppet Festival

Photo by Donald Judge used under CC

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 of course. The procession starts at 11 am and at 12 pm there will be a church service followed by more performances. Refreshments provided by Food Chain are raising money for Londoners living with HIV.

London Wine Week

What many people are really hoping for… | Photo by Vanessa Lollipop used under CC

For those who consider themselves to be a secret sommelier, London Wine Week is upon us (and the hangovers are expected soon after). Get yourself a wristband and enjoy self-guided wine tours, events and tasting sessions. Devonshire Square will be the main area for masterclasses, parties and pop-ups while participating bars will be offering deals and discounts to tempt you in for a tipple.

London Motor Show

Photo by Colin Howley used under CC

Car fanatics will already be prepping their passes and planning their days, but if you weren’t already in the know, this is your heads-up for the capital’s best-known car show. This is a great chance to see all the makes, models and futuristic inventions from the biggest names in the car industry as well as hear talks by motoring celebrities and a range of family-friendly interactive exhibits and activities.

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.

Antiques and Collectors Fair

Ally Pally will be hosting over 300 antique wheelers and dealers to tempt you in to spending some of your hard earned cash on a new-found treasure. Since taking over the venue in 2014 it has doubled in size and has a great variety of items on offer including ceramics, jewelry and art. Pop Up Vintage Fairs London will be there too so if you’re a vintage fashion lover don’t miss the best picks. Trade buyers enter from 8:30 am for £12.00 and public buyers from 9:30 am for £6.00.

Urban Village Fete

Urban Village Fete
Photo by Urban Fete

A modern twist on the traditional British fete, this event celebrates art, design, music and craftsmanship with creative workshops and stalls. There will be attractions like giant slinkies (worth it for that alone), hula-hooping classes and international street food to keep your energy levels up. DJ Giles Peterson will be presiding and Mr Wilson’s Second Liners will be bringing the soul of New Orleans via brass band performances.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show

RHS Chelsea Flower Show
Photo by Herry Lawford used under CC

Everyone’s favourite flower show of the year, this British institution is back with more incredible garden creations to make your green fingers itch. This is the first year that hours have been extended into the evening, so you can enjoy the views as the sun sets. The Chelsea Late Events are an attempt to encourage 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

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.

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.

Star of Bethnal Green Street Party

Star of Bethnal Green Street Party
Photo by used under CC

A fantastic street party to celebrate the second bank holiday of the month, this event runs from 12 pm to 9 pm before turning into a party and continuing until the early hours. There’s plenty for families to do including face painting, bouncy castles, entertainers and food to enjoy. Grab an early bird ticket for £3 if you can!

Last chance events

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

Cultural Revolutions: State Graphics in China | Until May 27th

The Chocolate Cocktail Club | Until May 28th

Ongoing Events

Skylight Summer Opening | Until September 1st

Smoke and Mirrors | Until Sept 15th

Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition | Until Sept 15th

Underbelly Festival | Until Sept 29th

Brixton Windmills Open Days | Until October 13th

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

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Filed under: Things to Do

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