Things To Do In London This Weekend: 5-6 October 2013

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All weekend

ELEPHANT: Elefest makes Elephant & Castle the coolest place to be this weekend with big film events, art shows, skateboarding, beatboxing, The StockMKT, subway murals, treasure hunt, guerilla gardening, pub quiz and parties. Lots of stuff is free, a festival pass is just £10, full programme online, Friday to Sunday.

LITERARY WALKS: Footprints of London’s literary walking festival offers ambles about Keats, Shakespeare, Chaucer and Orwell as well as a stroll around Covent Garden this weekend. Tickets £10, £7.50, book. Festival runs throughout October.

THAMES ARCHAEOLOGY: Thames Discovery Programme’s Foreshore Forum runs over both days of the weekend, offering a series of talks on recent archaeology and newly pieced-together history of the Thames and its shores. Includes a reception/party on Saturday night. £20/£25/£40, prebook, 10-5pm

NOUR: Seek the best in contemporary art, film, literature, music and performance from the Middle East and North Africa in Kensington & Chelsea this October and November with Nour Festival of Arts. There’s a range of exhibitions to visit this weekend, check out the festival calendar for more.

VEGFEST: A “plant-based food festival” unites vegans, vegetarians and anyone curious about a meat/fish/dairy/animal product free lifestyle at Olympia. Tickets £10/day, book, 11am-7pm

RECORDS: Vinyl Junkies, you need to get to London Record Fair at the Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane. Free entry, just turn up, from 9am

ART LICKS: Young artists get a chance to showcase their work and talents over the Art Licks Weekend festival with a plethora of events and exhibitions happening in east and south London galleries. Browse the map and programme. Free, just turn up, 11am-6pm

BLACK HISTORY: It’s the first weekend of Black History Month. Check out Hackney Museum’s exhibition Sankofa looking back on 75 years of the history of African and African Carribbean people in the UK and the rise of Black History Month on Saturday, then follow the influential black Londoners trail around Sutton House. Loads happening all month, check the website for activities by participating borough.

CRAFTY FOX: Crafting is the new clubbing in Brixton. There’ll be stalls, workshops, DJs, tea rooms, events for creatives and more for the Crafty Fox weekend market at the Dogstar. Free entry, just turn up, 11am-5pm

OPEN STUDIOS: Artists and crafts people across the the boroughs of Lambeth and Wandsworth open their doors to the public this weekend. Free, just turn up.

BIRTHDAY PARTY: Discover Children’s Story Centre in Stratford is 10 years old and opens its doors for a Birthday Party weekend of festivities for children and their families including immersive theatre, special tours, hip hop stories and more. Free, just turn up, 11am-5pm

ISLINGTON: Candid Arts (round the back of Angel tube) hosts Islington Contemporary Art & Design Fair and it’s Art week with painting, photography, sculpture, printmaking and illustration on show. Free entry, just turn up, 11am-6pm

LIT: The London Lit Weekend at King’s Place invites big name writers to speak. Hear Jung Chang, Lottie Moggach, Penelope Lively, Jonathan Coe and others. £6.50 / £9.50 per event, day passes available.

DEPTFORDX: The quirky contemporary art festival finishes this weekend with installations, exhibitions, workshops, open studios and a quiz. Head for Deptford and see what you find – map. Free, just turn up.

Saturday 5 October

FOOD: It’s the final day of Brixton Food Fest with a huge International Food Market on Brixton Station Road from 10am-5pm

URBAN SYMPOSIUM: Tate Britain hosts Urban Encounters: Urban Materialities, a one-day multi-disciplinary conference looking at the notion of “thing-ness”, whether you’re interested in architecture, archaeology, visual arts or geography. Tickets £20, £15, book, 10.30am-6pm

PHOTO FESTIVAL: The themes for this year’s London Photo Festival are Black & White and Night Photography. Head to The Crypt on Borough High Street for a showcase of new and emerging photography talent. Free, just turn up, 10.30am-6pm

HARVEST: Surrey Docks Farm Harvest Festival celebrates the season with farm stalls, donkey rides, live music and kids’ activities including Splat the Rat! Free entry, just turn up, 11am-4pm

JAPAN: Trafalgar Square hosts a day of Japanese culture, fun and food, Japan Matsuri. Free, just turn up, 11am-9pm

BEER: London Fields Brewery host a free Oktoberfest Cockney knees-up with traditional British and German fayre (*beer*) all afternoon. Free entry, just turn up from 12 noon

MISSING ANCHOR: Deptford’s famous anchor was recently removed from the High Street. A Give us Back our Blooming Anchor procession marches today from the Dog and Bell pub towards Deptford High Street and market. Free, just turn up, 12 noon

DANDY LION: It’s a harvest themed market at The Oxford in Kentish Town as Dandy Lion proffers affordable art, craft & vintage wares in a pub that does a roast and serves ales. Free entry, just turn up, 12-5pm

LONDONIST PUB CRAWL: We’re heading out to Richmond to do part ‘R’ of our long-running alphabetical pub crawl. Want to join in? The crawl starts in the Sun Inn and tours the seven best pubs as voted for by our readers. Find the full itinerary at the bottom of this article. You’ll also get a Londonist booze badge. Free, but please email matt@londonist.com so we can keep an eye on numbers, 1pm till late

CHISENHALE: As part of their 30th anniversary programme, Chisenhale Dance Space spends an evening looking at dance and politics with a performance that addresses awkward and uncomfortable everyday experiences and a discussion about feminism. Tickets £8, prebook, 7pm

TANGO BAND: Bermondsey Arts Festival presents a trumpet-led tango band, Los Piantados, at The Vibe Gallery, SE16. Check them out. Entry £6, £5, just turn up, 8-10pm

WELSH POETRY: The London Welsh Literature Festival has Joe Dunthorne, Huw Edwards, Mary Medlicott and Caught by the River among its guests at the London Welsh Centre. £20, 10am-11pm

Sunday 6 October

YAM YAM!: The Albany in Deptford hosts a food and art festival. Yam Yam! launches with a one-day food extravaganza with local suppliers and tasting events plus many fun activities. Free, just turn up, 11am-6pm

APPLES: A bumper apple harvest is predicted this year so brush up on apple varieties and taste freshly pressed juice at Roots and Shoots Apple Day in Kennington. Children can enjoy storytelling at 1pm, Wesminster Morris Men will be jigging about around 2pm and there’ll be plenty of advice about fruit growing. Adults £1, kids free, just turn up, 11am-4pm

PHOTO WALKS: Four Urban Walks take place for Urban Photo Fest. £10, book, 11am & 2pm

JIMI HENDRIX: Classic Album Sundays present Electric Ladyland by the Jimi Hendrix Experience to celebrate the 45th anniversary of its release. Listen to it in full, undisturbed at the Hanbury Arms. Tickets £8, book, 5-8pm

Other good stuff

Catch up on all latest features, see what we like in theatre and arts and browse more things to do in London.

Photo by Chris Guy via the Londonist Flickrpool

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  • http://www.oldworldcreative.com Evan Skuthorpe

    Have you been to Elephant and Castle? Grim, not cool, would be the word to describe it.

    • Sarkie

      Having lived there. Agreed. Lived there for 6 weeks, house mate got mugged, neighbour had his door kicked in, friend had bike stolen. URGH.

      • paratize

        Been living here for over a year now and never had a problem.

    • Tim

      I love Elephant and Castle. It’s a great place nowadays. Living there for 6 weeks does not make you an expert.

  • fluffy thoughts

    There is a great market in Muswell Hill on Saturday http://muswellhillmarket.com/

  • Footprints of London

    Elephant and Castle may not have the best reputation but there are not many places so close to the centre of London that you can find a shopping centre that isn’t just the usual chain shops. Shopping centre that has a Colombian salsa school and a Chilean food shop sounds pretty cool to me. And if you like modern architecture why not pop down to take a look at Goldfinger’s Alexander Flemin House. Area is set for drastic redevelopment so worth taking another look now.

    • DiscoStu

      Elephant & Castle is bleak and somewhere I now purposefully avoid at all costs having traveled through the area on a regular basis for almost 2 years.

      The shopping centre is the worst bit – it’s appalling – utterly decrepit, smells. The area is most definitely not cool…!

      Somewhere cool, I would apply the phrase too, would be like the Barbican complex, or Little Venice, or Greenwich. Not places like Camden, Shoreditch, Brixton, Elephant & Castle etc..

      They’re all just urban & noisy. Not to mention high crime areas.

      • paratize

        The Barbican is cool, but not E&C? At least the shopping centre has some character and interesting characters. Not just the same crap as every other shopping mall in the country as someone mentioned before.

      • HHGeek

        I think maybe that you should move out of London. It all sounds a bit too much like a city for you?

    • Caroline Bottomley

      Ace Polish restaurant in the shopping centre too, Mamuska. And agreed, Elephant & Castle is a bit weird and interesting. And very cheap.

  • Bowl Of Chalk

    Sunday 6th is ‘Silver Sunday’. There’s loads of free events happening in London for ‘older’ people, and I’m doing 2 completely FREE walks in central London. So … if you’re old enough to have a free bus pass and fancy coming on a free walk, let me know. Alternatively, check out other events here: http://silversunday.org.uk/

  • http://www.tbeds.com/ Richard Chown

    Wow! amazing things to in London