Things To Do This Weekend In London: 20-21 July 2019

Things to do this weekend is sponsored by Hearst.

All weekend

See inside the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace

GREEN FILM FEST: This 9-day film festival consists of two screenings daily, all focusing on environmental issues, and how to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Our picks this weekend are anti-poaching documentary Chasing The Thunder, and family-friendly film Babe: Pig in the City. Regent's Place, free, just turn up, 17-26 July

SCIENCE FESTIVAL: Kew is more than just a pretty garden — there's a lot of botanical science going on behind the scenes, and the family-friendly Kew Science Festival is a chance to learn all about it. The theme is 'rare and threatened', with staff offering pop-up science sessions, behind-the-scenes tours, hands-on activities, talks and shows. Kew Gardens, included in admission, just turn up, 19-21 July

BOTANICAL MARKET: Stock up on house plants of all varieties at the Green Rooms botanical market sets up shop. Browse plants, herbs, pots, planters, terrariums and all manner of other equipment for caring for plants, and pick up tips from advice sessions and workshops. Canopy Market (King's Cross), free entry, just turn up, 19-21 July

MOON FESTIVAL: There’s a double dose of lunar celebrations in south-east London. Moon Festival incorporates art exhibitions, music performances, pop-up science lectures, moon gardens, moonlit film screenings, night night food markets, and street parties. Woolwich, various prices, book ahead, 19-26 July. Meanwhile, the UK’s biggest exhibition dedicated to the Moon opens in Greenwich. Lunar samples and artworks are displayed side by side, showing what we've learned from the moon. National Maritime Museum (Greenwich), £9, book ahead, 19 July-5 January

Get stuck in at the Nat Geo Traveller Food Festival

LAMBETH COUNTRY SHOW: Thousands and thousands of people descend on Brockwell Park every year for the Lambeth Country Show, a huge free event that's part agriculture show, part music festival, part food and drink market. Meet animals from Vauxhall City Farm, catch live samba performances, tuck into dishes from street food stalls, browse stalls from local organisations and charities... and that barely scratches the surface. Brockwell Park, free entry, just turn up, 20-21 July

SUMMER FAIR: Animal shows, and craft and food stalls pop up in the grounds of Morden Hall Park for the whole weekend, for the summer fair. It’s worth visiting the rest of the National Trust property while you’re there — it’s at its best in summer with wildlife, plants and trees in full bloom. Morden Hall Park, £7.50/£6/£3, just turn up, 20-21 July>

NATIONAL CITY PARK FESTIVAL: Dozens of events celebration London's great outdoors feature in the National Park City Festival — our picks include open rooftops, water sports taster sessions, and a documentary screening, but there's much more on the programme. Various locations, free, 20-28 July. As part of the festival, National Park City takes over National Theatre's River Stage this weekend. South Bank, free, just turn up, 19-21 July

FOOD FESTIVAL: Tuck into food and drink from all over the world at the National Geographic Traveller Food Festival. Sample dishes from various cuisines, learn more about them — and how to make them at home — in the culinary theatre, and hear food writers talk about their work. Business Design Centre (Islington), £22, book ahead, 20-21 July

A new exhibition about the Tatty Devine jewellery brand

BUCKINGHAM PALACE: It's that time of year when Buckingham Palace flings open its doors and invites the public inside — well, into a few select rooms. Have a nosey around the splendour of the ballroom, throne room and picture gallery, where various important events and gatherings have taken place. End your tour in the garden, where there's a cafe overlooking the lawn. There's also a special exhibition about how Queen Victoria transformed the palace. Buckingham Palace, £25, book ahead, 20 July-29 September

PEOPLE'S TOWER: Help build a new tower in the City of London — then knock it down again. The People's Tower is a project by artist Olivier Grossetête, which invites the public to help build a 20m high tower out of cardboard boxes on Saturday... then tear it down on Sunday. Guildhall Yard, free, just turn up, 20-21 July

EDVARD MUNCH: Time’s running out to see British Museum’s blockbuster Edvard Munch exhibition. A copy of the artist’s most famous work, The Scream, is on display, but it’s also a chance to see some of his lesser-known paintings in an angst-filled show. British Museum, £17, book ahead, until 21 July

TATTY DEVINE: Jewellery brand Tatty Devine has become very popular for its statement jewellery in recent years. Find out a bit more about the history and aims of the company — which began as a Spitalfields Market stall in the 1990s — at this Crafts Council exhibition, and see some of the most famous pieces including a lobster necklace. Lethaby Gallery (King's Cross), free, just turn up, 20 July-11 August


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Revamp your wardrobe without paying a penny

Got loads of clothes but nothing to wear? You need to know about Comfort Swap Shop, launched in partnership with Cosmopolitan, Elle, and The Prince's Trust. Head to 52 Brewer Street in Soho Thursday 18 July-Monday 22 July and exchange your pre-loved clobber for a fresh new look . And when we say fresh, we mean fresh — all items are washed with Comfort Intense and ironed so they look as good as new.

The shop is well-stocked with hidden gems from Oxfam and there are items for sale, too. So even if you've recently Marie Kondo-ed your wardrobe, you can still get in on the action. All proceeds from the day go to The Prince's Trust, which provides young people get into education and work. Click here to book your free tickets.

As well as swapping 'till you drop, every day from 12pm you can even customise your newfound treasures with the help of an in-store embroiderer. What's more, on Thursday and Friday, Sairey Stemp, Senior Fashion Editor at Cosmopolitan, and Molly Haylor, Accessories Editor at ELLE, are running workshops. Email hearstevents@hearst.co.uk to register your interest for their styling session (Thursday 6pm-6.30pm) or their workshop in getting into the fashion industry (Friday 1pm-1.30pm). Finally, don't forget to keep an eye out for competitions and giveaways happening in the shop — details will be revealed in-store, and everyone is invited to enter.


Saturday 20 July

Pup Idol comes to Hampstead

ARCHAEOLOGY STORIES: Shipwrecks, religion and pottery are some of the topics covered in a day of archaeology talks. Find out about some of the shipwrecks found along the Thames, religious artefacts found by mudlarks, and evidence of former performance spaces in London, in a series of talks by experts. Southwark Cathedral, £10/£8.50, book ahead, 10am-4pm

PUP IDOL: Canine charity All Dogs Matter hosts a fundraising dog show, where pooches go head to head in categories include Cutest Pub, Golden Oldies and Best Rescue. A panel of celebrity judges picks the winners, and there's plenty of human entertainment on offer too. Garden Gate pub (Hampstead), £5 per entry, just turn up, registrations from 11am

Ciderdog takes place in London Bridge

MINDFUL DRINKING: Club Soda's Mindful Drinking Festival is all about what to drink when you're swerving the booze. Browse and buy products from alcohol-free brands, including beers, wines and ciders, and take part in talks and tasting sessions with producers and experts. Spitalfields Market, free, just turn up, 11am-5pm

TAPROOM PARTY: At the other end of the scale, Fourpure Brewery is all about the booze. The Bermondsey-based brewery celebrates the launch of its new taproom with a party. There's live music throughout the day, and burgers, hot dogs and fries available to buy from Oh My Dog! as you explore the new space... and plenty of beer. Fourpure (Bermondsey), £5-£15, book ahead, 11am-10pm

Fourpure launches its new taproom

STREET PARTY: Legendary Soho jazz club Ronnie Scott's turns 60, and celebrates with an epic street party. The road is closed to traffic while musicians offer live al fresco performances, with face painting and balloon modelling for kids, and pop-up bars to keep the refreshments flowing. Frith Street, free, just turn up, 12pm-6pm

INTERNATIONAL BUSKING DAY: Over 50 acts perform across five stages at this International Busking Day event. A variety of singers, songwriters and street performers from London and beyond showcase their talents, and there are also talks and events for up-and-coming musicians. Wembley Park, free, book ahead, 12pm-8pm

The Candlelight Club takes place in a secret central London location

CIDERDOG: Apparently London's biggest cider festival, Ciderdog is now in its seventh year, offering more than 100 ciders and perries to try. Expect traditional blends, as well as cider mixed with everything from passion fruit and blueberry to chilli and ginger — and it's all £3.50 a pint. The Miller (London Bridge), free entry, just turn up, 12pm-1am

CANDLELIGHT CLUB: Dance the night away at The Candlelight Club, a 1920s style speakeasy in a central London location. Live music comes from the Lucky Dog Dance Band, with cabaret and cocktails to keep things lively. Secret central location, £25-£40, book ahead, 7pm-midnight

Sunday 21 July

There's an open day at Brompton Cemetery. Image: Shutterstock

CANAL WALK: Join Living London for a canal-side amble, beginning at Warwick Avenue and finishing at Westbourne Park. Along the way, visit London's oldest nursery, catch a glimpse of the Trellick Tower and hear stories about the area. Warwick Avenue, £10, book ahead, 11am-1.30pm

CEMETERY OPEN DAY: The Friends of Brompton Cemetery offer an open day, including a chance to go inside the historic catacombs on guided tours.  Other tours cover the wider cemetery, with specialist events focusing on the trees, and women buried in the cemetery. Entertainment comes in the form of music, storytelling and amateur dramatics. Brompton Cemetery, free entry (£5 charge for some of the tours), just turn up, 11am-5pm

SUMMER FESTIVAL: Portobello Green and surrounding areas come alive with music and crowds for Portobello Summer Festival. In addition to live performers and DJs, be entertained by skaters, breakdancers and circus acts, and tuck into dishes from street food stalls to keep your energy levels up. Portobello Green, free, just turn up, 12pm-7pm

The Nat Geo Traveller Food Festival continues all weekend

GAMING MARKET: Retro video games, board games and related merch are available to view and buy at the London Gaming Market. Browse games, computers, consoles, artworks and posters, arcade machines and more, and meet fellow gamers. Royal National Hotel (Russell Square), £2 entry, just turn up, from 12pm (or pay £5 to enter from 11am)

BANDSTAND MUSIC: Spend a chilled out afternoon enjoying free live music at the bandstand in Regent's Park. Every Sunday through the summer, a selection of bands perform for free, with the lake as a backdrop. Bring your blanket and picnic, or hire a deckchair and make an afternoon of it. Regent's Park, free, just turn up, 12.30pm-5.30pm

SWING DANCING: Put your dancing shoes on and head for this evening of swing dancing — regardless how experienced you are. The event starts with a beginners' class, so anyone new to the dance can learn how to Lindy Hop, before an evening of social dancing open to all. Bishopsgate Institute (Liverpool Street), £10/£8, book ahead, 6.30pm