September is an eclectic mix of festivals, river races, art fairs, and comedy — all to be enjoyed in the fantastic city of London. Whether you want to explore the Thames foreshore or bag some vintage finds, listen to a lecture or live music, or perhaps discover hand-made art or architectural gems, there’s something for everyone this month.

Totally Thames Festival | Various Locations

This annual arts and culture powerhouse spans the length of the Thames for a full month. Highlights include river cruises, a public art walk, mudlarking, a tour of the RNLI lifeboat station, fireside storytelling and of course the Great River Race (to name just a few). For our top events picks, be sure to check our complete guide.

Frieze Sculpture 2023 | Regents Park

Fabulous art works by 22 international artists can be found in the English Gardens in Regent’s Park for six weeks; there will also be a free audio guide narrated by the curator.

The Great River Race | From Docklands to Richmond

The oldest boat race in the world, this event is a river marathon race between London Docklands and Richmond. You can get a good view from any of the bridges in between and, as start times are staggered, you will have plenty of time to catch the action. The race is just a small part of the month-long Totally Thames festival, listed above.

Greenwich Comedy Festival | Greenwich

The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich is the annual host for this comedy-packed few days in the city. It’s a stellar line-up again this year, with some of the biggest international acts making appearances. Highlights include Jack Dee, Phil Wang, Ed Gamble, Russell Kane, Fern Brady and Stewart Lee. Tickets cover performances from four comedians in one night — so choose wisely!

GDIF (Greenwich & Docklands International Festival 2023) | Various locations

This festival aims to bring groundbreaking art to London’s iconic buildings and spaces: opening with a tightrope walker performing acrobatics on a high wire above General Gordon Square, GDIF also includes Resurgam, which sees a vertical dance company perform on the front of St Paul’s Cathedral, and Cygnus – 12 life-size illuminated model swans moving together in a water ballet across Royal Victoria Dock. Most performances are free – check the website for details.

Bermondsey Street Festival | Bermondsey

Experience Bermondsey’s village vibe with their annual street festival, back for 2023. Bermondsey Street is lined with stalls from local small businesses, along with their many restaurants and bars. There’s a dog show, food trucks, street performers and live music in the park; it’s a great day out.

BEAT (Borough of Ealing Art Trail) | Ealing

BEAT is a West London art trail which takes place every year over two consecutive weekends in September. There are 72 open studios to view this year; it’s a fascinating glimpse into the working life of artists and you may even find a unique piece to buy.

London Design Festival | Various locations

2023 is the 21st anniversary of this city-wide festival exhibiting the best of London’s design community. As always there’ll be installations at a variety of popular spots including two landmark projects created for the 300th anniversary of the death of Sir Christopher Wren.

Acton Depot Open Weekend: Transport & Stories | Acton

The third and final of this year’s open weekends, this event will focus on Transport and Stories, sharing stories about London’s public transport, the customers who use it and the people who work behind the scenes to make it possible. There’ll also be talks, tours, storytelling and a full schedule of activities for the whole family to enjoy!

Peckham Festival | Peckham

Peckham Festival 2023 returns with a long weekend of free art, performances and activities celebrating its diversity and vibrant creativity; why not try your hand at something new in one of the workshops?

Open House London | Various Locations

Making the bold claim of being the biggest architectural festival in the world, this festival sees over 800 buildings opening their doors. Usually closed to the public, the buildings all offer a different insight into the architectural history of the capital with tours and talks offered too.

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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