Let’s face it, there never really is a bad time to visit London! From scorching summers (yes they do exist!) with wonderful outdoor events, to cosy festive fun in the colder months, there really is something for everyone at all times of the year.
Though if you’re planning a trip to the capital in September, you’re in for an extra treat. London comes alive during this month, as the weather is still extremely pleasant, and the streets are a little quieter as the kids go back to school. So, what’re you waiting for?! If you’re still looking for some inspiration, you’re in luck. Here are our top September events in London you absolutely won’t want to miss. And don’t forget to book your flights, and especially your accommodation early so you can enjoy those great central London hotel deals.
London Design Festival
For those who love art, design and architecture, you’ll be pleased to know September is the best month to visit the capital, as it is home to the London Design Festival, which celebrates and promotes London as the design capital of the world. The festival is held at venues and institutes across the city from the 14th to the 22nd of September 2019.
One of the main components is the Landmark Project, which design fans from all over the globe flock to each year. This year, British designer Paul Cocksedge is transforming Finsbury Avenue Square, with his Landmark Project – Please Be Seated. Located in of Broadgate – an interesting area with a strong mix of art and finance – the project will be the most ambitious of British Land’s commissions to date.
The large-scale installation fuses together both innovation and technology, responding to the changing rhythm of the community. Its design features arcs for people to sit on and walk under, so it’s right at home in the city’s largest pedestrianised neighbourhood.
Totally Thames Festival
Experience London’s river Thames brought to life in a month-long season of events along the river’s 42-mile stretch. Totally Thames is an annual celebration of all things River Thames, with a creative and varied line-up to inspire, bring together and delight visitors.
Since its first launch back in 2014, the festival has been educating visitors about the river’s history, environmental issues and cultural impact and relevance.
Saunter along the Thames to discover large-scale art installations, free exhibitions and fun, family-friendly live performances. You can even enjoy a concert below the river-level, or join an archaeological tour of the river’s surroundings.
One of the highlights this year is The Ship of Tolerance – an international art project created by Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, two hugely respected artists, widely known for their large-scale installations.
BBC Proms in the Park
Classical music lovers rejoice – enjoy Britain’s largest open-air classical music event with BBC Proms in the Park, hosted in London’s famous Hyde Park.
One of the highlights of the BBC Proms calendar, this remarkable yearly outdoor concert is full of patriotism and British unconventionality, so it’s loved by Brits and tourists alike. Happening on the closing night of the two-month festival, this year’s main evening performance concludes with the traditional Last Night finale, which is performed live on stage by the world-renowned BBC Concert Orchestra.
You’ll be a stone’s throw away from the action by staying at the fabulous Grand Royale London Hyde Park.
Buckingham Palace Tour: Summer Opening
For a very special (and limited) time, you can visit the official London residence of the Queen, as Buckingham Palace opens its doors to the public each summer, and closes them again at the end of September.
Discover the decadence of the lavishly furnished State Rooms of one of the world’s few remaining working royal palaces, and spot some of the Royal Collection’s greatest treasures on display for all to see.
Annually, the palace’s summer opening features extraordinary exhibitions. The year 2019 marks 200 years since Queen Victoria’s birth, so it’s no surprise that this year’s exhibition tells the story of how the young queen changed Buckingham Palace from a private house into the working royal residence we all recognise today.
For those who love art, you’ll be pleased to learn of the second showing taking place this year. It’s the 500th anniversary of artist Leonardo da Vinci’s death, so another special exhibition will be hosted in the palace, which will convey more than 200 of the Renaissance master’s ultimate drawings in the Royal Collection, making it the largest exhibition of his work in over 65 years.
Keep the opulence going with a stay at one of the finest Paddington hotels not too far away, too.
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre Season
It’s not all just about Hyde Park; the award-winning Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre has become somewhat of a London landmark in recent years – a firm fixture of summer in the city, providing a cultural hub in the beautiful surroundings of a Royal Park.
Established in 1932, the award-winning Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre is one of the biggest theatres in London. Located in the stunning surroundings of a Royal Park, both its stage and auditorium are exposed. The theatre is celebrated for its daring and dynamic productions, welcoming audiences of over 140,000 each year during its 18-week season.
To conclude the season, Jamie Lloyd directs Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita (2nd August – 21st September). Evita originally premiered in the West End back in 1978, and features a chart-topping score.
The Great River Race
Considered as the rowing equivalent of the London Marathon, the Great River Race will take place once again on Saturday 14th September, where over 330 boats will come together for a 21.6 mile race from the Isle of Dogs to Ham House.
It’s a fantastic spectacle to witness, as it bursts with colour and competition in truly British fashion. Since the race’s launch back in 1987, entries have snowballed from a meagre 72 entrants to a whopping 330 boats, containing over 2,000 competitors in total, all competing for one of the 35 trophies at stake.
Want all the fun without getting wet? Join the festivities along the river at Richmond, which begin at noon with great live music, a children’s beach, donkey rides and food and drink stalls, concluding with a fun riverside party.