National Park City Festival is a nine-day homage to London’s parks and gardens.
We don’t really shout enough about the fact that London is 47% green space, but that’s all about to change. From July 20-28th, London will welcome the first-ever National Park City Festival, with nine days of revelry dedicated to the incredible woods, parks, gardens, and wetlands of our fair city.
See also: Ten extraordinary places you won’t believe are in London.
It’s all part of Sadiq Khan’s pursuit of becoming the world’s first National Park City, and the city is going all-out to achieve it. A massive programme of events is currently planned for the festival, with enough excitement to keep you outdoors for the duration. For instance, a whole host of the capital’s green rooftops will be open and hosting events, including the likes of IKEA Greenwich, Crossrail Place Roof Garden, Coq D’Argent, and the White Collar Factory, which boasts its own rooftop running track.
Other festival highlights including walking tours of ancient trees, outdoor cinema screenings, bat walks, family nature clubs at ZSL London Zoo, and a wildlife photography competition with Bear Grylls on the judging panel. Excitingly, there’s also a free screening of The Living Thames documentary, introduced by Sir David Attenborough, which follows the Thames from spring to sea, and investigating the threats to our river.
On the cultural side of things, ‘Living Symphonies‘ will spend the duration of the festival in Epping Forest. Part Waltham Forest’s Borough of Culture programme, this musical composition and installation mimics the processes of a forest ecosystem, translating it into a symphony piped through speakers hidden in the woods.
The National Park City Festival will also involve more hands-on activities, with free taster sessions for stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, rowing, canoeing, and open water swimming taking place at lakes across London. There’s also an evening of non-stop music on the South Bank, with DJ sets from Supa Dupa Fly and Night Czar Amy Lamé (spinning top tunes from London’s best female DJs) – the twist is, static bikes mean you’re providing the pedal power, so if you stop, so does the music.
It’s all very exciting, and more events will be unveiled as the festival draws closer. There’s no excuse to stay indoors this summer, so get yourself out there, get active, and explore the green spaces that make London incredible!
Find out more about the festival on their website.
Featured image: @sudantielli
Also published on Medium.