Should your visit to the capital coincide with the August Bank Holiday (25th-27th August) you’ll need to find something to do. Well, there’s always the Notting Hill Carnival, of course, winding its way through the streets of Central-West London. But what if that event’s not, er, up your choice? Well, here’s some different, more unusual things to see and get up to this bank holiday weekend…
(5 Kingdom Street W2 6PY)
Something of a hidden hotspot in the Paddington district of the city (and so very easy to reach from centrally-sited hotels near Hyde Park London) that’s full of fantastic foliage and glorious greenery, this out-of-doors but covered, terrifically trendy place is a food court capable of seating as many as 850 people – and it’s returned for another summer. Featuring four different food outlets as well as seven comfy day-beds, its top-deck terrace is ideal for soaking up the city’s summer feels and catching sunny rays – if the weather stays good for the August Bank Holiday weekend, of course (which, unfortunately, is far from a given on a British bank holiday weekend!). additionally, this two-floor venue brings together burger specialists Patty & Bun, Mexican street food servers DF Mexico, shredded-duck eatery Canard and Vietnamese barbecue cuisine die-hards MAM. For a relaxed day of chilling-out spent in the summer sun, you can’t beat this place.
(Jubilee Gardens, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX/ 6th April-30th September)
A family-focused, lively and marvellously offbeat multi-arts festival that’s been goiing for a number of years now on the South Bank, Underbelly is – in its 2018 guise – undoubtedly not to be missed. To be found along the South Bank strip between the London Eye Ferris wheel (next to Westminster Bridge) and the Southbank Centre (a few moments from Waterloo Bridge), it’s actually celebrating its first 10 years of existence this summer and so is brimming with great stuff – fantastic but affordable comedy acts, circus shows, cabaret spots and children’s events and showcases.
Mire specifically, we’re talking the residence of Circus Abyssinia, who’s presenting the London premiere of their new show Ethiopian Dreams; high-wire daredevils Circolombia; funnies courtsey of Austentatious: An Improvised Jane Austen Novel; big names including ventriloquist extraordinaire Nina Conti and stand-up comic James Acaster and the ‘something very different’, like the exhibition ‘The Thinking Drinkers: History of Alcohol’ or ‘Festival of the Spoken Nerd: You Can’t Polish A Nerd’.
Zip Now London
(Archbishop’s Park, Lambeth Palace Road SE1 7JY/ 22nd May-4th September)
Finally, you prefer your entertainment as fully-throttled outdoors activity and adrenaline-fuelled this Bank Holiday, then what better than undertaking a thoroughly high-energy past-time that also maybe, just maybe includes facing down a fear or two? Yup, this one’s ideal for adrenaline junkies, all right; it’s Zip Now London (which is located just across the Thames from much of the best accommodation in the capital, such as the Grand Royale London Hyde Park hotel) and sees people to ride the fastest zip wire to be found anywhere in London at a speed of 50kmh and as far as100 feet above the ground. And it enables three people to do so side-by-side as well! Also, there’s the ‘Mega Drop’, which lets you free-fall all the way to Earth (but it’s totally safe; don’t fear!). It ought to be noted, though, the lowest entry age for participation is eight-years-old and under-15s must be accompanied by a grown-up.