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August bank holiday 2021: 10 of the best things to do in London this weekend

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Amy Beecham
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August bank holiday 2021: 9 of the best things to do in London this weekend

Summer 2021 doesn’t have to end in disappointment. Here are 1o things to do in London this bank holiday weekend to seize the last of Hot Girl Summer.

Summer 2021 was the one we were all desperate for. After so many long, cold, lonely months of isolation, we were ready to seize our Hot Girl Summer with both hands, determined to make up for everything the pandemic and multiple lockdowns deprived us of.

Except a lot of us feel a bit disappointed with how it actually turned out. Between ever-increasing news anxiety, crazy weather, cancelled trips and the dawning realisation that we may have expected a little bit too much, it’s hardly been the summer of dreams, or given us that stress release we were really in need of. 

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But all hope is not lost. There is one final bank holiday weekend left to seal our Hot Girl Summer fate once and for all – and it looks like the Great British weather might even be on our side for it, too.

So now it’s time to make the most of it. We’ve curated some of the best things you can do in the capital this weekend to soak up the dregs of the Hot Girl Summer that never truly was. From art exhibitions to rooftop parties, afternoon tea to late night drinking, whatever your vibe or budget, we’ve got you covered.

Ready to chase it one last time? Then read on.

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10 things to do in London this bank holiday weekend

  • Head to the “beach” at London Wonderground

    Things to do in London: visit London Wonderground
    Things to do in London: visit London Wonderground

    Being unapologetically extra is the true Hot Girl Summer energy, and there’s nowhere better to do it than among the beachy paraphernalia in London Wonderground, Earl’s Court. Think artificial beach with deckchairs, a helter-skelter, bumper cars, endless bars, alongside comedy, music and a smattering of cabaret: aka everything you need to let loose in the sunshine.

  • Absorb some aura art

    Things to do in London: visit Elena Gual's Aura exhibition
    Things to do in London: visit Elena Gual's Aura exhibition

    One for the culture seekers.

    Spanish artist Elena Gual’s layered paintings are centred around the emotional experiences that are inherently female and yet resonate universally. “My goal is to focus on these women, highlight their shapes, beauty and persona,” she told Creative Boom. You can visit her beautiful Aura collection on show from 26 August at Grove Square Galleries, 156 New Cavendish Street, London W1W 6YW.

  • Take your tastebuds abroad with a Middle Eastern inspired afternoon tea

    Things to do in London: try Mamounia Lounge's Middle Eastern afternoon tea
    Things to do in London: try Mamounia Lounge's Middle Eastern afternoon tea

    While it may be considered a typically British dish, Mayfair’s Mamounia Lounge has put a tasty Middle Eastern spin on afternoon tea. Featuring a mouthwatering selection of sweet and savoury Lebanese and Moroccan treats with Moroccan tea, gin or champagne options. Prices start at just £20 per person.

  • Drink garden cocktails from Midnight Apothecary

    An enchanted garden for adults, complete with campfire cocktails? Yes please. Head over to the candle-lit roof garden at the Brunel Museum for a delightful drink made from locally grown or foraged ingredients. Make ours a Woodland Martini with Douglas fir vodka.

  • Attend a carnival on Clapham Common

    Clapham’s Yam Carnival is a celebration of Black culture from across the globe, combining an immersive experience of culture, food, music and more.

  • Party on the rooftops

    Head to Brixton’s famed The Prince of Wales for their final rooftop shindig of the summer, where the music, view and cocktails speak for themselves.     

  • Watch the “Northern Lights” without catching a flight

    Things to do in London: see Borealis at the Greenwich and Docklands festival
    Things to do in London: see Borealis at the Greenwich and Docklands festival

    Forget Iceland, you only have to make your way to Greenwich this summer to see the spectacular Borealis, a laser show which aims to recreate the Northern Lights over Greenwich and Woolwich. And even better – tickets are free and are being sold on the door over the bank holiday weekend on a first come, first served basis.

  • Sketch in the square

    Things to do in London: try an outdoor art class in Trafalgar Square
    Things to do in London: try an outdoor art class in Trafalgar Square

    Twenty life-size replicas of the nation’s favourite paintings (including Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’) are going on display in Trafalgar Square in August as part of the National Gallery’s late-summer outdoor celebration of art. Alongside the exhibition, there will be free daily outdoor art classes in the square, giving you the perfect creative outlet for all your Sad Girl Summer-related frustrations. 

  • Add some funk and soul to bottomless brunch

    Things to do in London: Funk and Soul brunch
    Things to do in London: Funk and Soul brunch at The Stratford hotel

    Head to east London to dine, drink and dance along with a live DJ playing the very best in funk and soul across the whole weekend. Pair this all with your bottomless drink of choice: frozen margaritas or prosecco (£50) or non-alcoholic cocktails (£40) – a feast for the eyes! Alternatively, you can still choose from the a la carte brunch menu, and simply add bottomless prosecco or frozen margaritas for £33.

  • Don’t let the summer end in a late night bar

    Things to do in London: best late night bars
    Things to do in London: best late night bars

    Wherever you are in the capital, there’s always somewhere to keep the party going just that little bit longer. North Londoners can head to Aces and Eights for rock’n’roll until the early hours or the iconic Camden Blues Kitchen.

    For those south of the river, The London Cocktail club in Clapham is the perfect place for a night cap, as is Camberwell’s The Tiger.

    Homerton’s The Spread Eagle is open until 2am for easterners, and to the west VQ in Chelsea is your place for 24-hour dining and drinks.

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Amy Beecham

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