London Annual Festivals and Events
There are a large number of Festivals and Events in London throughout the year from the excitement of firework displays the the musical extravaganza of the Proms.
Many of the festivals and events are free to attend and present a year long celebration of the remarkable diversity of the capital.
New Year's Day Parade – 1st January
The London New Year’s Day Parade has grown considerably from its origins in 1987.The Parade offers an eclectic mix of pageantry, marching bands and contributions from some of the London Boroughs. Over 8,500 performers representing 20 countries world-wide assemble for the Parade.
Chinese New Year – January/February
Taking in some of London’s most famous areas including Leicester Square, Charing Cross Road, Chinatown and Trafalgar Square, London’s Chinese New Year festivities are the biggest outside Asia. Chinese New Year is an important traditional Chinese holiday celebrated at the turn of the Chinese calendar.
St Patrick's Day Parade – March
Thousands of people join together to celebrate St Patrick’s Day in the heart of central London. This popular annual event brings the best of Irish culture and a packed programme of great entertainment to Trafalgar Square.The whole day is a celebration of all things Irish.
London Marathon – April
The London Marathon is unique among international sporting events in that ordinary people can compete with the best in the world, and over 35,000 people run the Marathon course of 26.2 miles.The first London Marathon was held in 1981 and thousands of spectators line the course every year.
Chelsea Flower Show – May
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show has been held in the grounds of the Chelsea Hospital, London every year since 1913, apart from the two World Wars. The title of Britain’s largest flower show has now been overtaken by RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, but the Chelsea Show is still considered the most prestigious.
Trooping the Colour – June
This military ceremony dates back to the early eighteenth century but follows earlier traditions.
Since 1748, this parade has also marked the Sovereign’s official birthday. From the reign of Edward VII onwards, the Sovereign has taken the salute in person at Trooping the Colour.
Epsom Derby – June
The Epsom Derby is one of the oldest and Britain’s richest horse race. It has been run at the Epsom Downs for over 230 years except for the war years. Run over a distance of one mile, four furlongs and 10 yards, and due to the difficulty of the undulations of the racecourse is considered the ultimate test for horse and jockey.
Wimbledon Tennis Championships – June/July
The Wimbledon Championships is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, and widely considered one of the most famous. It has been held at the All England Club in London since 1877, Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam still played on grass.
BBC Proms - July
The BBC Proms is one of the largest global classical music festivals with over 90 concerts as well as a number of other events. Proms were originally ‘promenade concerts.’ These were outdoor music performances during which the audience could walk (or ‘promenade’) around. The first Proms concert took place on 10 August 1895.
Notting Hill Carnival – August
The Notting Hill Carnival was created as a response to the Notting Hill riots in 1958, A Caribbean Carnival was held in 1959. By the 1970s, the festival had become distinctly Caribbean in flavour. Over the last 20 years it has grown into one of the biggest carnivals in the world and an important date in the London Events calendar.
Thames Festival – September
The Thames Festival celebrates London’s river throughout the month of September with an exciting season of arts, cultural and river events. In 2015, the festival drew 2.7 million people to 134 events which celebrates the Thames and the many different ways London’s residents and visitors connect with the river.
London Film Festival – October
The BFI London Film Festival is Britain’s leading film event and one of the world’s most established film festivals. For over 60 years, The festival has celebrated a rich and diverse programme of international films, events and talks with leading lights of the international film and creative industries.
Lord Mayor's Show – November
The Lord Mayor’s show is one of oldest civic pageants in the world. It began in 1215, when King John allowed the Mayor of London to become one of the first elected offices in the modern world.It is the connection between the modern and the ancient that makes the show a strange mixture of pageant and spectacle with weird and wonderful costumes and vehicles.
New Year's Eve Celebrations - 31st December
One of the highlights of New Year’s Eve is the spectacular London New Year’s Eve Fireworks display. Centred around the London Eye, the display is famous around the world. When midnight strikes, Big Ben’s famous bells ring out before the UK’s largest annual fireworks display.
Impressionists in London
From 2 November 2017 to 7 May 2018
Ice Rink Canary Wharf
From 4 November 2017 to 24 February 2018
Oxford Street Christmas Lights
From 7 November 2017 to 6 January 2018
Red Star Over Russia
Dates: 8th November 2017 to 18th February 2018
Carnaby Christmas Lights
From 9 November 2017 to 6 January 2018
Southbank Centre's Winter Festival
Dates: 10th November 2017 to 4th January 2018
Christmas in Leicester Square
Dates: 10 Nov-07 Jan
Venom: Killer and Cure
Natural History Museum
From 10 November 2017 to 13 May 2018
Lake Keitele: A Vision of Finland
Dates: 15th November 2017 to 4th February 2018
Skate At Somerset House
Dates: 15th November 2017 to 14th January 2018
Regent Street Christmas Lights
Dates: 16th November to 31st December 2017
Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2017
National Portrait Gallery
Dates: 16th November 2017 to 8th February 2018
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Dates: 17th November 2017 to 1st January 2018
Tower of London Ice Rink
From 17 November 2017 to 2 January 2018
Hamleys Toy Parade
Dates: 19th November 2017
Christmas at Kew
Dates: 22nd November 2017 to 1st January 2018
Dates: 23rd November 2017 to 2nd April 2018
Winterville on Clapham Common
23 Nov-01 Jan
Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink
From 24 November 2017 to 7 January 2018
Greenwich Winter Time Festival
Old Royal Naval College
Dates: 1st to 31st December 2017
Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree & Carols
Dates: 1st December 2017 to 4th January 2018
Charles II: Art and Power
The Queen’s Gallery
From 8 December 2017 to 13 May 2018
ABBA: Super Troupers
Dates: 14th December 2017 to 29th April 2018
A Vintage New Year's Eve Party
Dates: Sunday 31st December 2017
London New Year's Eve Fireworks 2017
Dates: Sunday 31st December 2017
New Year's Day Parade
1st January 2018
London Short Film Festival
5-14 January 2018
London Boat Show
10-14 January 2018
The London Art Fair
Business Design Centre
17-21 January 2018
18-21 Jan January 2018
Burns Night in London
25 January 2018
El Greco To Goya: Spanish Masterpieces
Until 7 January 2018
Scythians: Warriors of Ancient Siberia
Until 14 January 2018
Until 21 January 2018
Ilya And Emilia Kabakov
Until 28 January 2018
Basquiat: Boom for Real
Barbican Art Gallery
Until 28 January 2018