September is an eclectic mix of river races, art fairs, comedy and street festivals —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, live music or discover architectural gems, there’s something for everyone this September.

NOTE: Following the sad news of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II the UK has entered a period of mourning, with many events being cancelled as a mark of respect. Please check event websites for details.

Thames Ship of Tolerance
Ship of Tolerance | Photo by Totally Thames

Totally Thames Festival | Various Locations

This annual arts and culture powerhouse spans the length of the Thames for a full month. Highlights include The Cedar & the Sea, a multi-sensory adventure at Two Temple Place, a public art walk, sightseeing cruises, on-boat cinema screenings, fetes and of course the Great River Race (to name just a few). For our top events picks, be sure to check our complete guide.

The Great River Race | From the Docklands to Richmond

The oldest boat race in the world, this event is a semi-competitive race between the London Docklands and Richmond. You can get a good view from any of the bridges in between and it starts at 12.45pm. The race is just a small part of the month-long Totally Thames festival, listed above.

Kerry Godliman - Greenwich Comedy Festival
Kerry Godliman – Greenwich Comedy Festival

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 Frankie Boyle, Simon Amstell, Stewart Lee, Ed Byrne, Alan Davies, Sindhu Vee, Dylan Moran, Reginald D Hunter and Kerry Godliman. Tickets cover a night’s performances from four comedians—so choose wisely!

Stilt walker at Bermondsey Street Festival
Bermondsey Street Festival | Photo by Amanda David

Bermondsey Street Festival

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

London Design Festival | Various locations

2022 is the 20th 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 Cromwell PLace and the V&A. This year’s “Landmark projects” include interactive installation Henge at Greenwich Peninsula, inspired by the Neolithic stone structures that “create a space separate from the outside world”.

The intention is to create a welcoming gathering place for relaxing and contemplation and will feature music and sound design. The pavilion itself will be made of 150 million year old Jurassic limestone and marble, a zero carbon, recyclable material.

Acton Depot Open Weekend: All Change | Acton

The third and final of this year’s open weekends, this event will focus on the language of travel in London. It’s a chance to learn about not only the past of transport in the capital, but also around the world. There’ll also be talks, tours and a full schedule of activities for the whole family to enjoy!

Camden Kilo
Camden Kilo | Photo by Judy Berger

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The Camden Vintage Kilo | Camden

Get your vintage wardrobe sorted for autumn while shopping sustainably – and affordably. The guys at Shop Kilo are bringing thousands of kilos of vintage clothes from popular sports brands, groovy 80s denim, oversized fleeces, funky skirts and beyond.

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, the buildings all offer a different insight into the architectural history of the capital with tours and talks offered too.

Catford Arts Trail | Catford

An arts trail in the south east of London,this event features over 100 artists and over 50 venues to explore. The event supports local artists and you’ll have the opportunity to participate as well as admire with activities, classes, ceramic workshops, group events and more—though not all are free.

Last chance events

Anil Sebastian - Embark Festival
Anil Sebastian – Embark Festival

Embark Festival  |  Until Sept 3rd  |  St James’s Church Piccadilly

Free Jazz in Bermondsey Square | Until Sept 4th | Bermondsey

Superbloom | Until Sept 18th | Tower of London

Free Tango Lessons | Until Sept 27th | Spitalfields

GDIF: Greenwich & Docklands International Festival | Until Sept 11th | Greenwich

Ongoing Events

Shakespeare summer
Photo by Grant Cherrington used under CC

Summer Season at Shakespeare’s Globe | Until Oct 18th | South Bank

Brixton Windmill Open Days | Until Oct 14th | Brixton

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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