Top 5 August Bank Holiday events

The London calendar is packed with events all year round, but the gloves really come off for Britain’s favourite day off – the August Bank Holiday. Venues come out fighting with some of the best events of the year on offer. Here is our pick of the top five things to see and do during the August Bank Holiday weekend:

Film 4 Summer Screen

18th Century Somerset House plays host to this fantastic yearly film festival in association with Film 4. The huge courtyard – an ice rink in the winter months – opens for an open-air cinema experience for two weeks in August. The festival actually finishes just before the Bank Holiday weekend, but it’s a great way to gear up for it. Everyone brings rugs and cushions and camps out on the floor. Many visitors bring picnics to eat before the film starts, and there is a bar and food stalls on-site.

Film 4 Summer Screen

Ciderfest

Pop down to The Alma on Newington Green Road in Islington to celebrate the making and drinking of the great British cider over the Bank Holiday weekend. Running from Friday 23rd August to Monday 26th August 2013, the event is free to enter and there will be a range of English ciders and traditional perrys on offer. There will be live music and DJs all weekend, so it’s sure to be fun and frolics all round.

Africa Mini-Market

The great Spitalfields market in East London will celebrate the capital’s cosmopolitan side on the Bank Holiday Monday when it transforms into the Africa Mini-Market. With free entry to the market, visitors can spend their cash on traditional African street food, face painting and hair braiding for the kids, and stalls of clothing, crafts and books. Entertainment includes traditional hot-stepping African dancers, the beats of Djembe drummers, live acoustic music, crafts and traditional story-telling.

Notting Hill Carnival

Held every August Bank Holiday, this eclectic and ever so slightly bonkers festival comes back to West London for another year. A twenty mile route will fill with processions, Caribbean food and drink stalls, thumping sound systems, steel bands, dancers and decorated floats. Although it runs all weekend, the main parade takes place on the Monday, beginning on Great Western Road and winding its way along Chepstow Road, onto Westbourne Grove, and then finishing in Ladbroke Grove. Don’t miss Europe’s biggest street festival!

Notting Hill Carnival

FrightFest London

Another Film 4 event, FrightFest isn’t for the fainthearted. This horror fantasy film festival is celebrated at the West End’s Empire Cinema – the UK’s largest traditional cinema screen. Passes allow visitors to watch any number of screenings in one day, or over the course of the entire festival. The festival is now in its 14th year and tickets sell out fast, so be sure to pre-book.

Stuart Leckie is Director of Sales & Marketing at St. Ermin’s Hotel.

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