What to do this Bank Holiday in East London

With the last bank holiday of the year just around the corner, make sure not to miss out on some of East London’s most interesting and exciting events. From festivals to funfairs, and comedy shows to classes, let your hair down and make the most of the long weekend.

Near Royal Albert Wharf and Woolwich Reach (Royal Docks)

There’s always plenty going on at the Royal Docks, and this bank holiday is no exception.

A brand new summer events programme Meet me at the Pier will be sure to entertain  East London’s vibrant community with a series of pop ups featuring food and drink, live music, and all sorts of free things to do. Open seven days a week, visitors can relax at the Riverscape Pop Up, with stunning uninterrupted views across the Thames, acoustic music on Thursdays and Fridays, and a huge selection of food and drink to tickle your tastebuds.


Meet me at the Pier entertainment

To sample an even wider range of cuisine, Street Food Fridays takes place at the Royal Wharf on the last Friday of every month, between 3pm-9pm. With an array of international food vendors, you can be sure there’s something to tempt everyone.

East London is getting arty this month. A huge mobile sculpture has made the docks home this August with British artist, James Capper bringing his new work Mudskipper to the Royal Dock’s riverfront for a series of live demonstrations, and an exhibition of original drawings and photography charting its creation.  Be sure not to miss the Mudskipper and exhibition at Royal Victoria Dock until 2 September.


Mudskipper at the Royal Docks

Near Dockside at Millharbour (Canary Wharf) and Goodluck Hope (London City Island)

While Notting Hill Carnival may not be taking place this year, it doesn’t stop the carnival happening elsewhere. Restaurant, Boisdale is hosting a Carnival Weekend Special at Canary Wharf, with legendary DJs from Saxon Sound spinning a selection of the coolest house, disco, reggae and samba beats. Cocktails galore and a Caribbean-inspired menu, featuring jerk chicken, salt-fish fritters and all the Boisdale classics, guarantee carnival-goers won’t leave hungry.


Boisdale Restaurant Carnival with Saxon Sound and Caribbean food

For a different kind of party, head to the Greenwich + Docklands International Festival, London’s free, annual outdoor theatre and performing arts festival, running from 27 August to 11 September. Highlights include ‘Borealis’, a spectacular light show by Swiss artist Dave Acher, set to recreate The Northern Lights over Greenwich and Woolwich every evening from 8.30pm-10pm until 5 September. Other events happening after the bank holiday include the Thames-side Reflection Gardens’, a sensory spectacle bringing together light, sound and fire with a cross-river installation, and Black Victorians’, a powerful dance performance inspired by nineteenth-century studio photographs of Black men, women and children.


Borealis, Northern Lights Show

Wanting to get involved in the action yourself and even take up a new hobby? Why not limber up and sign up for a parkour class at the London Parkour Academy in Trinity Buoy Wharf. The outdoor classes are open to all levels of ability and experience, with an expert coaching team to help those just starting out, or push you to take it to the next level.

Near The Kiln Works (Limehouse)


Activity classes at the London Parkour Academy

There’s really nothing quite like an outdoor cinema, so with that in mind why not catch a film in a cool location at one of London’s best rooftop bars, Roof East. Previously a multi-storey car park, the repurposed space has become an urban park full of fun things to do.  Roof East’s regular movie nights offer a chance to watch a cult classic under the stars.


Colourful Roof East in Stratford

And if you are not completely exhausted after all of that, fitness lovers can head over to Lee Valley VeloPark at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic park on 28 August, where an event will give participants the chance to run the 2012 Olympic venue, a unique Moto GP-styled circuit.  The one-mile floodlit road means that runners can take part in a half marathon, ten mile, 10k, 5k or simply one mile run – suitable for every fitness level.


Cycling activities at Lee Valley VeloPark

Fancy a dip to cool off or unwind after the long weekend?  Why not head to one of East London’s lidos.  In Hackney, London Fields Lido’s 50m Olympic sized pool is kept at a tropical 25 degrees.  Whether your thing is a leisurely daybreak dip in the peace and quiet before the city stirs or a floodlit splash in the evening, London Fields Lido is the perfect place for early birds or night owls.

With so much to do across the weekend, don’t miss out – make your plans now!


Take a daytime dip at London Field's Lido