The Ultimate Guide to events in London

London Events


With so events taking place in London throughout the year, you can certainly bank on some sort of holiday event, parade or celebration happening in or around London during your stay in the English capital.

From Christmas events, Halloween events, religious events, and even royal and political events…if you plan on staying longer than a week or two in London, there’s bound to be a celebration in a major square or touristy area at some point or another.

If you’re hoping to attend a major event during your stay in London, or even if you plan on travelling to London in the near future and you want to book your trip around a London event, here are some of the many must-see events happening in London throughout the year:

Spring events in London

When it comes to the top springtime events in London, none are as massive as the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations which take place every March 17th. Not only is there a massive parade through central London as well as a festival in Trafalgar Square, many of London’s Irish pubs are decked to the nines for various St. Patrick’s Day parties, and shouldn’t be missed by any visitor to London.

If you happen to be in London during the Easter holidays, then a visit to The Kew Gardens is a must, as the area hosts an incredibly popular Easter Egg hunt as well as numerous chocolatey-themed events for visitors of any age to enjoy.

There’s also a handful of events during the spring in London which are centered around England and the royal family. Every May, a ton of tourists flock to the streets of London to watch the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh make their way from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster for the State Opening Of Parliament, which is broadcasted live on BBC. The Feast of St. George for Saint George’s Day(which usually occurs sometime in April) is another massive springtime event which celebrates the English national holiday with celebrations being centered around Trafalgar Square.

The London Marathon also takes place every April, during which close to 30,000 people run a 42.2 km route through the streets of London to help raise money for various charities, and no other event provides a perfect conclusion to the spring season than the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, when the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea are decorated with various floral exhibits and garden designs by various world-renowned garden designers, plant specialists and florists.

Summer events in London

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that there are a ton of events to choose from during the summer months in London. As a matter of fact, several of London’s most popular tourist attractions have events that take place only during the summer, and draw in huge crowds for the entire season.

Somerset House’s Film4 Summer Screen event is one of the biggest summertime events, as visitors can watch a classic film in Somerset House’s courtyard under the stars, and Greenwich Park also hosts live jazz night evenings every night during the summer at The Pavilion Cafe.

Snagging a seat at The Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre is another must during the summer, as you can watch a play, musical, film or comedy performance in their outdoor auditorium, and Holland Park also hosts various operatic performances during the summer months for its Opera Holland Park events as well.

Besides these several summer-long events, there’s also a handful of other events in London which take place during one weekend, or even one day during the summer season.

The start of the summer season is unofficially marked by the annual Trooping The Colour event, which celebrates the Queen’s birthday each year. During this event, there is a massive parade through the streets of London which is led by the Queen herself along with her Guards down The Mall to Buckingham Palace, and guns are fired in Green Park as well as in the Tower of London. To close the event, the Queen as well as other members of the royal family head to the iconic Buckingham Palace balcony to watch the Royal Air Force fly-past central London.

The annual Pride In London event usually takes place on a Saturday in either June or July of each year, and is essentially a massive street party to celebrate London’s LGBT community. During this event there is a massive Pride in London Parade which leads through the streets of central London, and there’s even free performances in Trafalgar Square as well.

Foodies will especially enjoy the annual Taste Of London Festival, during which close to 50,000 locals and tourists head to The Regent’s Park over five days in June to sample delicious food from some of London’s best restaurants.

But out of all the events during the summer months in London, none draw as big of a crowd as the annual Notting Hill Carnival when the streets of West London are transformed into a vibrant, Caribbean-styled street party. The Notting Hill Carnival has been taking place every year since 1966 over the August bank holiday weekend, and is the perfect ending to the summer season in the English capital.

Autumn events in London

Just because the temperature is dropping and the nights are getting shorter doesn’t mean there’s a shortage of events during the autumn season in London. As a matter of fact, some of London’s creepiest attractions and landmarks hold fabulous Halloween-related events that shouldn’t be missed by any visitor to London.

Some of London’s museums take part in the Museums At Night’s Halloween-themed events around the end of October each year, and the BFI Southbank normally screens one or two Halloween-y films around Halloween as well. The Old Royal Naval College allows visitors to explore the haunted dungeons and creepy old tunnels underneath the building near the end of October every year, and The London Dungeon normally offers a few additional Halloween-related shows during the month of October as well. The ZSL Zoo also puts on a fang-tastic Halloween-themed animal event called Boo At The Zoobetween the last week of October each year, and kids can even join in on some pumpkin carving at The London Eye near the end of October as well.

Besides these several Halloween-y events, there’s also a handful of other events in London which only take place during the autumn season.

On November 11th (AKA Remembrance Day), Trafalgar Square holds its special Silence In The Square event in honour of all of those who died during the First World War. The Imperial War Museum also hosts events on Armistice Day (November 11th) as well as Remembrance Sunday (November 13th) during which visitors can learn more about the various historic wars which took place around the world.

And of course there’s the The Lord Mayor’s Show which has been taking place along the streets between Bank and Aldwych every November 12th since 1215, as well as the St. Andrew’s Day celebrations on November 30th to celebrate the Scottish national holiday.

Winter events in London

With tons of Christmas markets and ice skating rinks popping up around London, as well as Christmas trees and decorations being put up in nearly every major square, one could spend the entire winter season in London and still not see every event there is to see.

Out of all the winter events in London, none are as hugely popular as Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland, during which London’s most popular park is transformed into a magical wintry paradise with an ice skating rink, ice bar, rollercoaster rides, and even Bavarian-style Christmas stalls. But the winter events in London don’t just stop there…

Trafalgar Square hosts several Christmas events throughout the winter season, which shouldn’t be missed by any first-time visitor to London. Every winter since 1947 Trafalgar Square has put up a massive Norwegian spruce tree at its centre, and around the end of November/beginning of December the square hosts an annual lighting of the tree event which draws in tons of visitors from around the city, and even the world. Following this event, throughout the month of December more than 50 different carol groups sing for an hour each day beneath the tree during the build-up to Christmas Day.

The Southbank Centre’s Winter Festival is always a big hit, as well as its ever popular Winter Market which runs along the banks of the River Thames. The London Bridge also has a picturesque riverside market, and Victoria Park also hosts its Winterville event, which includes a ton of attractions, entertainment as well as food and drink stalls around the park.

Leicester Square is another great spot to help you get into the Christmas spirit during the winter months as the streets are lined with wooden huts selling all sorts of Christmas trinkets, and the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew Palace have an ever-popular night-time Christmas event during which a mile-long trail inside the park is lit up with more than 60,000 Christmas lights.

And let’s not forget that New Year’s Eve events in London are some of the best events around the world to ring in the New Year. There’s a New Year’s Day Parade on January 1st of every year which goes along a 2.2 mile route past Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and Big Ben, and of course snagging a good spot in central London to watch the New Year’s Eve fireworks at midnight on January 1st should be at the forefront of everyone’s mind on New Year’s Eve.

There’s also a handful events that take place during the month of January that shouldn’t be overlooked by any first-time visitor to London. As a matter of fact, if you happen to be in London during Chinese New Year, then a visit to Chinatown or anywhere in London’s West End to see all the Chinese New Year celebrations is a must.