Visiting London in August: Festivals & Family-Friendly Fun

London is one of the most exciting cities to visit in the world, with plenty for visitors to do all year round. But if you want to see London at its very best, we highly recommend visiting in August. Not only will you experience London in the glorious sunshine (fingers crossed), but you can also participate in a vibrant and eclectic range of festivals and fun activities across the capital!

Ready to plan your London in August itinerary? Here are five must-do things to add to your list…

Notting Hill Carnival 27th - 29th August

Notting Hill Carnival is one of the world's biggest and oldest street parties. The annual London event takes place over the August bank holiday weekend and sees a whopping 2.5 million people dancing on the streets of W11.

Why should you visit Notting Hill Carnival? It's free, a brilliant day out and a fantastic opportunity to celebrate freedom and Caribbean culture. Get the chance to listen to some of the best steel bands and sample traditional Caribbean street food. Watch the iconic Mas parade - a dramatic celebration of costume and dance with over 200 participants adorning hand-made vibrant outfits. Londoners will tell you it's an event everyone should experience at least once in their life!

Sunday is traditionally family-friendly, with fewer people and a slightly calmer atmosphere. So if you're visiting London with children who want to experience the carnival, planning your visit for Sunday is best.

Monday is the day for hardcore party-goers. The atmosphere is electric, and the streets of West London will be swamped with people. Bear that in mind when planning your journey and booking London hotels over the August bank holiday.

Summer on the Square 1st - 28th August

If you're looking for another free, family-friendly event in London this August, why not head to Trafalgar Square for 'Summer on the Square.' This free event, taking place 1st-28th August, is run by the National Gallery in Partnership with Westminster Council and offers a programme of daily creative sessions and activities for all ages and abilities.

Summer on the Square is designed to inspire you and bring out your inner artist. Participate in studio sessions with the opportunity to sketch, make, move, explore, experiment with new materials, build and play. Work together, join up with other families and collaborate to create a unique masterpiece. Explore some of the paintings from the National Gallery collection and bring a picnic to enjoy the fabulous surroundings.

It's an excellent opportunity for family bonding and to try something new together. Whether you're an arty family or not, Summer on the Square is all about unleashing the creativity within every one of us and making the art world open for everyone to enjoy.

Covent Garden Cool Down 20th - 28th August

Who fancies going to an ice cream festival? Yes, you've read that right! The annual Covent Garden Cool Down returns this August with over 40 varieties of ice cream, sundaes, sorbets, frozen drinks, gelato and more to sample across 35 destinations in the piazza. 

Visit pop-ups from well-known foodie names, including Crosstown, Bafarat Cafe, Bears Ice Cream, Kelly's Ice Cream Van and Little Orange Van, offering an ice-cool collection of summery frozen snacks. You'll also be spoilt for choice with a wide selection of the best international and independent restaurants offering all-day dining.

Visiting Covent Garden with kids? Keep them entertained with a visit to the Disney West End musical pop-up in Covent Garden. There's also a spellbinding Harry Potter Photographic Exhibition (complete with London's only butterbeer bar) for Potterheads to explore.

Hampton Court Palace Food Festival 26th - 28th August

Sticking with the foodie theme, the Hampton Court Palace Food Festival returns from the 26th - 28th August. A fantastic day out for all the family, the food festival takes place on the glorious grounds of Hampton Court Palace with the backdrop of Henry VIII's former palace.

Fill your shopping basket with delicious finds from handpicked artisan producers, sample delicious street food and pick up tasty treats to take home. Take part in a cocktail or gin mixing masterclass and relax in the sunshine with a drink, listening to live music from the bandstand.

Hampton Court Palace Food Festival is a family-friendly London event with plenty to entertain the kids, including arts and crafts, face painting and garden games for hours and hours of fun.

Tickets are available to book online and include entry to the palace. Adult tickets cost £29, Child admission (5-15 years) is £14.50, and children aged 4 and under go free. It's also worth mentioning you can save 50% on tickets if you plan to arrive off-peak at 3pm. 

Chelsea Physic Garden Summer Festival

To celebrate 350 years of London's oldest botanic garden, Chelsea Physic Garden has planned a Summer Festival of events for all to enjoy. From lawn sessions with live folk and jazz music during golden hour to late openings to experience the gardens at dusk, it's the perfect opportunity to relax and unwind in the most beautiful settings.

This August, Chelsea Physic Garden will also host a programme of wellness events, including:

  • Yoga, meditation, sound baths and workshops
  • Supper clubs - a unique experience under the stars with guest chefs and themed evenings
  • Family events -immersive theatre productions of Alice in Wonderland, soap-making activities, plant pot painting, seed collecting and a chocolate workshop

Visit the Chelsea Physic Garden website for more information and to book tickets for the Summer Festival events.

London Hotel Deals in August

With so many exciting festivals and family events in London this August, it's the perfect excuse for an extended stay in the city! Whether you stay overnight, fancy a mid-week break or want to book for the bank holiday, Plans Change knows the best London hotels and can help you book a room at the best price.

Take a look at our latest offers, including:

Can't see what you're looking for?

Enter your location, dates and guests into our hotel search bar or check out our Resale Deals for London rooms with at least 25% off the original booking price. You won't match these prices elsewhere!

If you are looking for a cheap last-minute London hotel room, you've come to the right place. Keep checking back and sign up for Plans Change hotel deal emails to be the first to snap up bargain hotel deals this August.