Things To Do This Weekend In London: 25-26 March 2023

Looks like this article is a bit old. Be aware that information may have changed since it was published.

All weekend

A gazebo structure in the Horniman Gardens, with the cental London skyline in the distance
Take a special tour of the Horniman Museum Gardens on Saturday. Photo: Matt Brown

AFTER IMPRESSIONISM: The period between 1880 and the outbreak of the first world war in 1914 is the focus of the National Gallery's new exhibition, After Impressionism: Inventing Modern Art, which opens on Saturday. Find out about the influence that Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin had on younger generations of artists, resulting in a new genre of modern art. From 25 March

ENFIELD ART EXHIBITION: Enfield's newly-refurbished Dugdale Arts Centre hosts the first annual Enfield Community Art Exhibition, which aims to showcase local talent and promote diversity and inclusivity in the art world. FREE, 25-28 March

AUSTRIAN FILMS: The Austrian film festival WatchAUT is on at South Kensington's Cine Lumiere. It's a celebration of the best new films to come out of the country covering everything from space missions to how to deal with the issue of manmade rubbish. This weekend, I Am the Tigress follows the journey of Tischa "The Tigress" Thomas during the last year of her career as an African American female bodybuilder, and Rubikon is about a group of astronauts weighing up the risks of returning to Earth. Until 26 March

TEENAGE CANCER TRUST GIGS: This year's series of gigs in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust at the Royal Albert Hall come to a close this weekend. At time of writing, a handful of tickets are still available to see Kasabian on Saturday night, and more for Roger Daltrey and friends on Sunday. Until 26 March

LITERARY FOOTPRINTS: A reminder that Literary Footprints walking tour festival is still ongoing. Organised by the excellent Footprints of London, it's a programme of walking and virtual tours with a bookish slant — events this weekend include a tour around James Bond author Ian Fleming's Mayfair, and a walk focusing on books sets on the River Thames. Until 31 March

AFRICA FASHION: There's less that a month left to see Africa Fashion at the V&A. See outfits by 45 designers from 20+ countries, plus photographs and artworks, which combine the rich history of the African continent and the Western influences that have been co-opted by African designers. Until 16 April

CHINESE AND BRITISH: Also closing next month is Chinese and British, a free display at the British Library focusing on the culture of British Chinese communities. Photographs, manuscripts and interviews come together to tell the stories of people within these communities, from merchant seamen to the business owners who set up Europe's first Chinatowns. FREE, until 23 April

Saturday 25 March

It's a day of art and magic at Conway Hall

CALLIGRAPHY WORKSHOP: Get to grips with the basics of calligraphy at this beginners pointed nib workshop at Forty Hall in Enfield. Through a series of exercises under expert guidance, learn how to create different letters of the alphabet and join them up using specific techniques and equipment. 10am-12.30pm

BLOOD & BATTLE: Today's the final day of the Old Royal Naval College's current exhibition, Blood & Battle: Dissecting the Life of William Beatty. Find out about 19th century naval surgeon and physician Sir William Beatty, who took up his post as Physician to the Royal Hospital for Seamen in Greenwich 200 years ago. The exhibition includes a replica of Nelson’s life mask, Beatty's own medical chest and 18th and 19th century surgical instruments. Age 10+. 10am-5pm

WAR WALKING TOUR: Chelsea's National Army Museum offers a guided walking tour around the local area, focusing on different ways the first world war is remembered and commemorated. It's led by London Blue Badge Guide Ruth Polling, starts at the museum, and ends near Victoria station. 11am-1pm

THE HAUNTED GALLERY: Conway Hall is the venue for a day of talks and discussions on artists and magic in art. Hear from archivist Victoria Jenkins about the occult collection of artworks, letters, objects, and ephemera in the Tate Archive, and Vivienne Roberts, curator and archivist at The College of Psychic Studies, about its collection of spirit-inspired art, photographs, and artefacts from 1850 to the present day. Several other speakers will be there too. 11am-5pm

GARDENS WALK: As part of National Lottery Open Week, Horniman Museum offers a guided walk around the gardens, led by Errol Fernandes, the Horniman's Head of Horticulture. It's free, you just need to show a ticket from a recent National Lottery game to join. FREE, 12pm-1.30pm

MEADFEST: Peckham-based Meadery Gosnells of London hosts what is apparently Britain's first Meadfest — think a traditional beer festival, but focused on the fermented honey drink. Head to Gosnells' new taproom in Surrey Quays to sample your choice of five meads, included in your ticket. 1pm-10.30pm

The front of Downing Street unlit
Earth Hour starts at 8.30pm. Image: U.K. Prime Minister under an Open Government Licence

THE EFFECT: Part psychological thriller, part chemical romance, it's the final day to catch play The Effect at St Bride Foundation. It's about two young volunteers who agree to take part in a clinical drug trial, but manage to throw it off-course when they succumb to the attraction between them. 2.30pm/7.30pm

FULHAM SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: Birtwistle's Night's Black Bird and Mahler's Symphony No. 10 are on the programme as Fulham Symphony Orchestra performs at St John's Smith Square. The latter was the composer's final masterpiece and remained unfinished at his death, but was completed by musicologist Deryck Cooke. 7.30pm

EARTH HOUR: For one hour on Saturday evening, London's switching the lights off for WWF's Earth Hour, raising awareness of the effects of global warming. Individual businesses and households are encouraged to take part by turning off the lights, but several of the capital's major landmarks will be plunged into darkness too. FREE, 8.30pm

GUILTY FEMINIST: Tonight is one of the evenings to catch a live show of popular podcast The Guilty Feminist at Soho Theatre. Deborah Frances-White is joined by musician Grace Petrie as co-host, and writer Molly Naylor as special guest. 9.30pm

Sunday 26 March

Boats going head to head on the Thames in Hammersmith, with crowds cheering them on from the river bank
It's Boat Race day! Image: ale

CLOCKS CHANGE: Just a reminder that the clocks go forward at 1am in the early hours of Sunday. The bad news: we lose an hour. The good news: it's a sign that the days will start to get longer, and Summer is on the way.

WHERE'S WALLY: Though it's previously taken place in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (and virtually), this year's Where's Wally Fun Run is at Battersea Park. Don your best Where's Wally stripes, choose whether to run 1km, 5km or 10km — and get sponsored in aid of The National Literacy Trust. Alternatively, head down to Battersea Park to cheer the runners on. 9am

PALACE HALF: If ever a half marathon route was fit for a king/queen, it's the Palace Half. Start your run at the gates of Hampton Court Palace and take in the local area — including crossing the Thames twice, before finishing in the palace gardens. Plenty of charities are still looking for runners to take part on their behalf. 9am

MILITARY VEHICLE DAY: Today is the monthly Sunday opening of Whitewebbs Transport Museum in Enfield. It coincides with a pre-war car and military vehicle day in the museum's grounds, giving you even more vehicles to ogle. Read about our previous visit to the museum for an idea of what to expect. 10am-4pm

ANTIQUES FAIR: In the mood for a bargain? Head to the Royal Horticultural Halls in Westminster for the Adams Antiques Fair, which brings together over 120 dealers from across the UK, selling jewellery, decorative pieces, collectables and more. 10am-4.30pm

OLIVER TWIST: The Charles Dickens Museum offers a guided walking tour of the London locations which inspired the author when he was writing Oliver Twist. Meet at the museum and wander through the City, finishing up at the Old Bailey. Age 12+. 11am

A collection of vintage motorcycles and paraphernalia on display inside at Whitewebbs
Whitewebbs is open today

WEATHERING WITH YOU: Calling all anime film fanatics! Here's a rare chance to see Makoto Shinkai's fantastical climate crisis fable, Weathering With You, on the UK's biggest screen. Joining cinemagoers at BFI IMAX will be Michael Leader and Jake Cunningham — hosts of the Ghibliotheque podcast — who'll stick around for a post-film book signing. 11.45am (sponsor)

BOAT RACE: Pimm's and gilets at the ready! The men's and women's rowing teams from Oxford and Cambridge universities go head-to-head on the River Thames in the annual Oxford Vs Cambridge Boat Race today. Head down to the riverside between Putney and Mortlake early to secure a prime position. FREE, women's race 4pm, men's race 5pm

WOMEN TALKING: The weekly film club at the Charlotte Street Hotel in Fitzrovia continues with a screening of 2022 film Women Talking. Starring Rooney Mara, it's the true story of a group of women in an isolated religious community revealing secrets about the group's men. 5pm

POETRY LONDON: Magazine Poetry London launches its spring 2023 issue with a special event at Southbank Centre. Poets Imtiaz Dharker, John Challis (not the late actor...), Karen Solie and Qudsia Akhtar all give live readings of their work. Age 16+.  7.15pm

ELIZABETH DAY: Author and podcast host Elizabeth Day is at Southbank Centre to celebrate the publication of her new book, Friendaholic: Confessions of a Friendship Addict. She chats to close friend (and Fleabag creator) Phoebe Waller-Bridge about how the pandemic forced her to reassess what friendship means. 8pm