With the welcome of light nights and warmer weather, here are our top 10 things to do in London this May.
Location: London Gate, Royal Hospital Road, Royal Hospital Chelsea, SW3 4SR.
Date/times/price: 23rd – 27th May, Tue – Fri: 8 am – 8 pm, Sat: 8 am – 5.30 pm. Prices start from £37.85 for RHS members and £48.85 for non-members.
This year Show Gardens and Sanctuary Gardens will be celebrating the positive effects that gardens and gardening have on our health and well-being. With a focus on creating green spaces for socially deprived communities and gardens for patient recovery in hospitals. The Show Gardens will be including a category for Plants and Balcony and Container Gardens designed for urban living. The famous Great Pavilion will showcase some of the world’s best growers and nurseries. In addition, the Chelsea Flower Show gardens will also be judged on how eco-friendly they are to reflect the demands of sustainable gardening.
This free flower festival takes place each year to coincide with the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, where local shops, restaurants and other businesses adorn themselves with flowery artworks. This year’s theme is Flowers on Film, celebrating all things cinema related. These are free sculptures that cover King’s Road, Duke of York Square, Sloane Square, Sloane Street, Dovehouse Green and Royal Avenue between the 22nd and 27th of May.
Location: The festival takes place across the city at over 200 separate locations – independent shops, studios, pop-ups, national museums, contemporary galleries, department stores and luxury boutiques – with digital content hosted on londoncraftweek.com
Book Tickets here
Prices vary for each event.
Date: 8th-14th May,
Celebrating outstanding British and international creativity, London Craft Week brings together over 250 established and emerging makers, designers, brands and galleries from around the world. A curated selection based not on price or fame, but underlying substance. Plus, that essential dash of magic and inspiration that separates the great from the good.
Location: No 1, West India Quay, Hertsmere Rd, London E14 4AL
Date/times/price: 27th May – 4th June, from 10 am, entry: free drop-in (aged 7+)
Explore the museum’s physical collections by taking part in their brand new trail for families based on the BAFTA-winning BBC TV series, Dodger. Go on a journey around the museum’s galleries and help Dodger, Fagin and the gang stay one step ahead of the police in this immersive self-paced experience, set against a converted 19th-century sugar warehouse. Pick up your free trail map on arrival at the Museum of London Docklands and let the adventure begin. Or, download the digital map and take it with you. The Dodger Trail is created in collaboration with Universal International Studios and the BBC.
Location: Surrey Quays Rd, London SE16 7PJ
Date/time/price: 5th & 6th May, Fri – 6:30 pm – 11:59 pm, Sat – 11:30 am – 5:00 pm & 11:30 am – 11:59 pm, £29.96.
Brew//LDN 2023 will take place at Printworks, London, with a huge choice of independent brewing, cider production, spirits, snack stands and street food. 12,000 members of the public are set to attend this welcoming, eye-opening and unforgettable beer experience, so make sure you’re one of them. There will be fantastic music from DJ Spoony & Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy setting the vibe for the evening sessions and more artists to be announced. Included in your ticket will be your entrance fee, a festival glass and a show programme. All food and drink are sold separately. Tickets are non-refundable. Also if beer is not your thing they have independent cider, wine and spirits brands too! Brew//LDN is an 18+ event.
Location: screenings are in various locations around London: please check the program
Date/time/prices: 4th-14th May, prices vary – please check the program.
The world’s longest-running South Asian film festival is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and it’s going to be hosted in different UK cities, including London and Manchester! presented by Tongues on Fire and is supported by the BFI and Arts Council England. #HereforCulture. Famous for highlighting South Asian female-centric cinema and recognising talented women both behind and in front of the camera. This year’s theme for its silver jubilee is ‘Celebrating Our Stories’ and will present a curation of film stories centring on the British Asian experience. If you’re in London, you can enjoy exclusive UK and world premieres of amazing films from India and Pakistan, along with lectures, workshops, live performances, and art exhibitions.
Location: Strand, London WC2R 1LA.
Date/time/price: (10th May preview) 11th-14th May, Thurs & Fri 1 pm-8 pm, Sat: 12 pm-8 pm & Sun: 12 pm-6 pm.
Price: standard day ticket: £32, cons: ticket (disabled, student, youth, 13-17):£22, under 13: free, Weekend pass: £52, under 13:free.
The eighth Photo London promises to be the most international edition to date. Showcasing the very best in past, present and future photography. Internationalism is at the core of this year’s edition. As well as a chance to collect and purchase photos from around the world, there are talks, tours and workshops on all aspects of photography.
Location: Lower Fairground Site, Hampstead Heath, London NW3 1TH
Date/time/price: 11th-14th May, general opening times: Thurs & Fri: 11 am – 5 pm, Sat & Sun: 11 am -6 pm, family hour 11 am – 12 pm. Weekend general admission – £14. Weekday general admission – £11 / Weekend family hour – £20; admits two adults and up to three children under 16. Concessions: £10. Under 16s – free, booking required and must be accompanied by an adult. For all other ticket times/prices, check their website.
Affordable Art Fair returns to the Heath this spring with the best in contemporary art from 100 leading local and international galleries, 1,000s of stunning contemporary artworks, and much more. Enjoy an art-filled day out with special installations, curated edits of the best art under £500, rising star artists from the University of the Arts London and Jackson’s Painting Prize. There will be delightful bars and cafés, and expert advice available from our new Art Consultancy service, to help make finding your dream artwork a breeze! There is also a Dog Photoshoot bundle – £110; which includes entry to the fair for one human and one dog, with a professional photoshoot with Amie Barron, an award-winning dog photographer, and up to 5 digital photos for you to keep. Framing and printing services are available and can be arranged with the photographer at the end of your session.
Location: Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street, London W8 7NX
Date/times/price: May 12th 11 am – 6 pm. May 13th 10 am – 5 pm, from £6:14
This is a real celebration of our miniature life. Not only will they have around 120 of the top miniaturists from around the world attending, but they welcome the return of the Perfection in Miniature Awards. Plus activities for children and also displays of dolls house & miniature collections.
Location: 14th May, 21st May & 2nd June. free event
We welcome back the historic Lord Mayor’s Hot Air Balloon Regatta. Each year up to fifty hot air balloons take flight across central London raising awareness and funds for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal. Leading the launch is the official Lord Mayor’s Appeal hot air balloon which carries both the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress. See the website http://www.balloonregatta.com/ for updates and more information.
Location: Syon Park, Brentford, Middlesex, TW8 8JF
Date/time/price: 27th-29th May, times: Sat-Sun: 11 am -9 pm, Mon: 11 am – 8 pm. Adult tix:£21, cons: £18, 12-16 yrs: £6, 6-12 yrs: £3.
This Foodies Festival has everything to whet your appetite! Live music from Fleur East, Scouting For Girls and Sophie Ellis-Bextor are among the performers. Live demos by celebrity chefs, street food and artisan markets, kids’ cookery sessions, fairground rides and a bouncy castle, pop-up bars and more.