35+ Spectacular Things To Do In London This Month: September 2022

Laura Reynolds
By Laura Reynolds Last edited 6 months ago

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35+ Spectacular Things To Do In London This Month: September 2022
Life Lessons Festival takes over King's Cross for a weekend this month

TOTALLY THAMES: The annual celebration of London's river returns for a month of tours and river cruises, music performances, talks, art installations, theatre shows and guided walks. See the full Totally Thames 2022 programme. 1-30 September

MEATOPIA: Carnivores will be drooling as Meatopia takes over Tobacco Dock for three days of live cooking and exclusive dishes celebrating cooking over fire, plus a beer hall and live music to get the party swinging. 2-4 September

PUB IN THE PARK: Making its final London stop this summer, Pub in the Park comes to Chiswick for three days of food, drink and live music. Craig David, Beverley Knight and Sophie Ellis-Bextor are on the music line-up, with Tom Kerridge among the chefs doing live demos. 2-4 September

LONDON TATTOO SHOW: Keen to get your next tattoo, or just looking for inspiration? Seasoned tattoo enthusiasts and those without a single inking (yet) are welcome at the Big London Tattoo Show, which has around 360 world-class tattoo artists present. There are also fairground rides, side shows, and other entertainment. 3-4 September

The Emperor's Old Clothes is part of Unlimited Festival at Southbank Centre. Photographer: Simon Alleyne

TIM PEAKE:Astronaut Tim Peake makes a one-off appearance at the London Palladium to talk about his 2015 experience of being the first British astronaut to visit the International Space Station to conduct a spacewalk while orbiting Earth. He also shows photos and never-seen-before footage of his career, and reveals what life as an astronaut is really like. 4 September

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: Fan of Marvel Studios? You need to know about Secret Cinema's new Guardians of the Galaxy live immersive experience. Choose between the immersive experience, or watching the film AND enjoying immersive experience, with locations and characters you'll recognise, recreated in typical Secret Cinema style. 4 September-30 October

LENNY HENRY: Actor and comedian Lenny Henry takes to the stage at Alexandra Palace to celebrate the publication of Rising To The Surface, the sequel to his best-selling memoir, Who Am I Again. Hear him discuss his life and career, from early life in Dudley through to professional comedian and co-founder of Comic Relief.  6 September

UNLIMITED FESTIVAL: Southbank Centre shines a light on disabled artists and companies with Unlimited Festival. The five-day programme covers dance, performance, comedy, music and visual arts, including BSL performances, and a street art project designed for users of mobility wheels to take part in. Some events FREE, 7-11 September

Open House London gives you access to all corners of the capital. Photo: Londonist

DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL: Open City Documentary Festival is a celebration of non-fiction cinema in London, organised in conjunction with UCL and taking place at various locations around the capital. Confirmed for the programme so far are a film about Minamata, a small Japanese town where mercury was dumped into the sea — as well as talks, masterclasses, book launches and more. 7-13 September

LONDON PODCAST FESTIVAL: Headphones at the ready for London Podcast Festival at Kings Place, which sees both mainstream and niche podcasts filmed in front of a live audience, with some of the recordings streamed online too. The Guilty Feminist and the Empire Film Podcast are some of the big name shows, along with offerings on comedy, food and politics. 8-18 September

OPEN HOUSE LONDON: It's the most wonderful time of year, when all manner of London buildings and structures which are usually off-limits to the public fling their doors open and welcome us in. Our previous Open House London highlights include going inside the St Pancras clock tower, and on the roof of 55 Broadway. 8-21 September

ELIZABETH LINE LATE: Yes, yes it was. But now it's finally up and running, London Transport Museum is celebrating the Elizabeth line with a Friday Late dedicated to the #PurpleTrain. Stay in the Covent Garden museum after hours for talks, purple cocktails, a chance to 'drive' an Elizabeth line train, and activities inspired by the different decades of the Queen's reign. Age 18+. 9 September

Enjoy three days of talks, masterclasses, arts and culture at Life Lessons Festival

CLASSIC BOAT FESTIVAL: All manner of vintage vessels moor up at St Katharine Docks (next to the Tower of London) for the Classic Boat Festival. Even if you don't know your port from your starboard, it's a fascinating spectacle, with around 40 preserved vessels on display, including Dunkirk Little Ships. FREE, 9-11 September

LIFE LESSONS FESTIVAL: The Times hosts Life Lessons Festival, three days of talks, masterclasses, arts and culture in King's Cross. Louis Theroux, Caitlin Moran, Paloma Faith, David Gandy, Dan Snow and  Vicky McClure are among the big names on the programme, along with Jeremy and Ian, the duo behind the All On The Board tube station messages. Topics include business, motherhood, happiness, careers, and the importance of nature. 9-11 September

TURNING TIDES: Free world music festival Turning Tides is back at Greenwich Peninsula. Enjoy live, open-air performances from DakhaBrakha (a world-music quartet from Kyiv who played at Glastonbury this year)  and Brixton Chamber Orchestra, along with street food stalls and a pop-up bar. FREE, 10-11 September

MEMORY WALK: The Alzheimer's Society is looking for people to take part in its London Memory Walk. Pick between a 2km or 5km route, both starting and ending at Potters Field Park, next to Tower Bridge, with a fundraising target of £160 per person. The shorter route is wheelchair and pushchair accessible, and suitable for all ages. 11 September

DakhaBrahka headline Turning Tides Festival

UKRAINIAN BALLET: For four days, the United Ukrainian Ballet performs Giselle at the London Coliseum, raising money for the DEC Ukraine Appeal and The United Ukrainian Ballet Foundation. 13-17 September

FOURTH PLINTH: Take a last hungry look at Trafalgar Square's oversized pile of whipped cream, as the Fourth Plinth artwork is being replaced this month. Samson Kambalu's Antelope will be erected in pride of place, a sculpture depicting preacher and pan-Africanist John Chilembwe alongside his white friend John Chorley, based on a photo from 1914. FREE, 14 September

GREENWICH COMEDY FESTIVAL: Frankie Boyle, Rosie Jones, Reginald D Hunter and Sophie Duker are among the headliners at Greenwich Comedy Festival, taking place in a seated arena in the grounds of the National Maritime Museum. Arrive early to make the most of the pop-up bars and street food stalls running alongside the festival. 14-18 September

YINKA ILORI: Artist Yinka Ilori — best known for colourful works such as these psychedelic pedestrian crossings — is the subject of a new Design Museum exhibition. The playful show invites visitors to dive into Ilori's colourful world through joyful installations, patterns and graphics. Expect to see this one all over Instagram... FREE, from 16 September

Band of the Scots Guards at the Chelsea Physic Garden during Chelsea History Festival. © James McCauley

ASTRONOMY PHOTOGRAPHY: The 14th Astronomy Photographer of the Year exhibition opens at Royal Observatory Greenwich this month. Ogle awe-inspiring scenes from this year's shortlist, capturing the Milky Way rising, galaxies colliding, stellar nurseries, and the luminous Aurora Borealis. From 17 September

QUEEN'S PARK BOOK FESTIVAL: The annual Queen's Park Book Festival is back, 50 guests taking part in 20 different events. Hear from Robert Harris about his new novel, Act Of Oblivion; celebrate the centenary of James Joyce's Ulysses; and hear a discussion about the controversy surrounding the Qatar World Cup. 17-18 September

CHELSEA HISTORY FESTIVAL: The National Army Museum, the Royal Hospital Chelsea and Chelsea Physic Garden team up again for this year's Chelsea History Festival, which covers local, national and global history. There's a special concert celebrating 40 years of Michael Morpurgo's War Horse, a walking tour focusing on the spies of Chelsea, and another about Chelsea in the blitz — plus plenty more on the programme for all ages. 17-25 September

LONDON DESIGN FESTIVAL: The 20th anniversary edition of London Design Festival continues its aim of showcasing London as the design capital of the world. At time of writing, the programme has yet to be announced, but we're expecting the usual blend of displays and exhibitions, talks and more. 17-25 September

These guys + Kate Humble, on London Bridge. Photo: Matt Brown/Londonist

PLANTED: Head to King's Cross for two days of talks about how we can use plants and nature in designing buildings, food systems and outdoor spaces to improve sustainability and protect the environment for future generations. FREE, 23-24 September

VAN CLEEF & ARPELS: Luxury jewellery brand Van Cleef & Arpels is the subject of a new Design Museum exhibition. 100 pieces from the collection are on display, alongside archive documents which offer an insight into the company's skilled use of precious materials. FREE, 23 September-20 October

BUS OPEN DAY: One for transport fans — the Thames Valley & Great Western Omnibus Trust teams up with TfL for a celebration of 90 years of Victoria Coach Station with a static display of vintage coaches inside the building for one day only. FREE, 24 September

KOREAN WAVE: The V&A opens a new exhibition about the popular culture of South Korea. Hallyu! The Korean Wave covers cinema, drama, music, fandom, beauty and fashion, ranging from the 1988 Seoul Olympics to PSY performing hit song Gangnam Style. From 24 September

Grada Kilomba's O Barco/The Boat comes to Somerset House. Image courtesy of the artist

SHEEP DRIVE: One of London's wackiest annual events is the London Bridge Sheep Drive and Livery Fair. Each year, a chosen celebrity has the honour of herding sheep over London Bridge — this time it's Kate Humble. There's no public access to the bridge, but everyone's welcome at the livery fair next to the Monument afterwards. FREE, 25 September

CAPITAL CRIME: Love a good crime thriller book? You need to know about Capital Crime, a literature festival pitching up in Battersea Park and giving the public a chance to meet writers and filmmakers from the genre through talks, panel discussions and meet and greet sessions. 29 September-1 October

O BARCO/THE BOAT: Large-scale installation O Barco/The Boat by interdisciplinary artist Grada Kilomba takes over the courtyard at Somerset House. The 32-metre-long installation consists of 140 wood blocks, laid out to depict the outline of the hold of a historical European slave ship. 29 September-19 October

Ending in September

In The Black Fantastic comes to a close at Hayward Gallery. Rashaad Newsome, Build or Destroy, 2021 (still). © Rashaad Newsome. Courtesy the artist and Jessica Silverman Gallery

EDVARD MUNCH: The Courtauld Gallery's Edvard Munch: Masterpieces From Bergen exhibition is the first major exhibition of the Norwegian painter's work in the UK. It features 18 paintings including early examples of Munch's 'realist' period, as well as examples of his later expressive era.  Until 4 September

BBC PROMS: The Last Night of the Proms falls on 10 September this year, which gives you 10 days of musical goodness to enjoy this month before then. Shows include the first ever Dream Prom, and Chineke! (Europe’s first majority Black and ethnically diverse orchestra) performing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Until 10 September

PICTURING PICKWICK: This special Charles Dickens Museum exhibition celebrates the illustrations of Dickens' 1836 debut novel, The Pickwick Papers. Find out about the often-tricky relationship between the author and his illustrators, and see further Pickwick illustrations, which were created almost a century after its publication. Until 11 September

GDIF: Free outdoor performing arts festival Greenwich and Docklands International Festival offers two weeks of theatre, art, dance and circus in outdoor locations across August and September. Highlights include a rainbow island of foam taking over Greenwich Peninsula, and Unfurl, a light, colour and sound installation celebrating design in nature. Until 11 September

IN THE BLACK FANTASTIC: Hayward Gallery exhibition In the Black Fantastic, brings together myth, science fiction, spiritual traditions and the legacy of Afrofuturism. See works by 11 contemporary artists from the African diaspora, which question our knowledge of the world. Until 18 September

WALTER SICKERT: Painter and printmaker Walter Sickert is the subject of a Tate Britain exhibition — the first major retrospective of his work in over 60 years. It looks at his often radical, distinctive approach to setting and subject matter through works including self portraits, and nude portraits in domestic settings. Until 18 September

FUTURE OF AGEING: A hands-free cargo-carrying robot, and a self-balancing, two-wheeled personal electric vehicle are among the objects on display at The Future of Ageing, a Design Museum exhibition which confronts the fact that by 2040, more than a quarter of the UK's population will be aged over 60, and looks at what can be done to help an ageing population. Until 25 September

Last Updated 12 September 2022