Can you believe it’s September already? Better fill your diaries before you blink and it’s over.
Don’t put your shorts away just yet, we reckon there’s still a little bit of sunshine left before we can all start raiding our scarf collection – after all, it’s technically not autumn until September 23. With a plethora of different events happening throughout September, there’s plenty to keep you all busy and entertained. Here are Secret London’s picks for the best things to do in London in September 2021. Let’s get started!
The Chocolate Factory aims to immerse you in a world of sweets, where sight, smell, and taste all bring this candy-themed adventure to life. You journey will take you through a series of magical themed rooms, and naturally, you’ll be able to eat your way through the experience too. It opens on September 17 at Westfield London in White City, and you can find tickets here!
Well, not the real Northern Lights, admittedly. Dan Acher’s jaw-dropping art display ‘Borealis’ is quite the spectacle, though, and it’s currently shining each night out in Greenwich. Here’s the full story.
At Murder on the Underground, you’ll need to mind the gap and your fellow passengers, with a killer on the loose in the Postal Museum’s underground railway, the Mail Rail. You’ve never tackled a mystery quite like this before; one poor soul has been picked off by a killer who’s haunting the Mail Rail and its underground stations, so keep your wits about you. You’ll need to solve mysteries, question suspects, and stay one step ahead of the killer in this exciting interactive game, and you’ll also get the chance to ride the Mail Rail (for purely investigative purposes, you see). Tickets can be found here.
4. Battle the dead to save the living at London’s Army of the Dead VR experience
Since a catastrophic zombie outbreak apparently isn’t enough of a challenge, why not add in a $200 million heist? You can drop into the heart-pounding cinematic world of Army of the Dead, with the new ‘Viva Las Vengeance’ VR experience opening in London this month. This exclusive prequel experience – created with input from the filmmakers – will give you an inside look into what happened right before Vegas was sealed off to the world to contain the (un)deadly threats. Netflix has partnered with Pure Imagination Studios and Fever to bring the ultimate immersive zombie VR experience to London, and you can grab tickets to take part here.
5-14. Throw out some shapes at the final music festivals of the summer
Feels like only yesterday we were excitedly prepping for our first music festival in two years, doesn’t it? Still, we mustn’t complain – especially because this brilliant lot are still to hit London and the surrounding areas before summer is out!
👀 Wide Awake (September 3): new arrival for 2021 with a properly eclectic mix of artists
🌈 Mighty Hoopla Festival (September 4): the pop-tastic bash returns to Brockwell Park with a powerful new lineup
💁♀️ Beautiful People Festival (September 4): formerly Southport Weekender, this soul, R&B, garage, and disco fest remains “the world’s friendliest party”
❌ Cross The Tracks (September 5): Sister Sledge and Lianne La Havas are confirmed for this fun-loving festival
💚 Cambridge Club (September 10-12): Rag’n’Bone Man, Beverly Knight, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, and Jack Savoretti all feature at this show in the Cambridge countryside
💻 Wireless Festival (September 10-12): Future, Skepta, Migos, AJ Tracey, Megan Thee Stallion and more. Need we say more?
🌟 We Are FSTVL (September 11-12): big beats out east, as Camelphat, Gorgon City, and more head to Central Park in Dagenham
🌊 City Splash (September 12): another newbie, City Splash features a genre-spanning lineup, all linked by the influence of reggae
⚡️ Electric Woodlands (September 12): enter the forest for electronic music, including an appearance from Chase & Status
❤️ Strawberries & Creem (September 18-19): a tasty festival with Burna Boy, Little Simz, Giggs, and Bugzy Malone starring
15. Celebrate the Thames at this river-ting month-long festival (September 1-30)
Totally Thames is an annual celebration of the River Thames, featuring brilliant and diverse events such as riverside walks, exhibitions, art projects, and workshops for children and adults alike. View the full lineup of events here.
16. Get a taste of New York at this luxurious afternoon tea
The Big Apple comes to Camden, thanks to DUO London’s chic Made in Manhattan afternoon tea. Delightful sandwiches, creative cakes (including a black and red chocolate heel, and a Biscoff mousse cup), and cosmopolitans all feature here, leaving you feeling like you’ve been whisked away for the weekend. Tickets available here.
17. Sink your teeth into London’s magnificent meat festival (September 3-5)
Carnivore heaven Meatopia arrives back in town, with a whole host of famous names on board to sear, flame, and sizzle up a feast. The festival uses quality, ethically-sourced meat for a joyous weekend of flame-grilled perfection that you’ll be desperate to sink your teeth into! There’s more info from their website.
18. Hit up a cult ramen bar (September 3)
Supa Ya Ramen began as a hyped supper club, and after some sell-out pop-ups and an unfortunate lockdown-mandated setback, it’s finally becoming a bricks and mortar restaurant. You’ll find it on Kingsland Road, with space for twenty lucky punters and carefully crafted ramen. There’s even a noodle ice cream with miso caramel for dessert!
19. Settle in for Streatham’s magical Secret Garden Candlelight Concerts
For an eclectic mix of music, theatre, and performance under the stars, head down to the Secret Garden Candlelight Concerts in south London. BRIT Award-nominated singer Nerina Pallot, acapella legends The King’s Singers, and tango-tempting ConcerTANGO are all scheduled for appearances in September, and with fab food vendors on site too, you’re in for some spectacular nights here. Find tickets here.
20. Have a nosey inside some of London’s most mysterious buildings (September 4 – 12)
Open House London is back, and it’s still your best chance to peek inside important buildings that are usually closed to the public. This year’s highlights include 10 Downing Street, New Scotland Yard, and Nunhead Cemetery, but there are hundreds of places to discover. Read all about it here.
21. Gather the gang for a glamorous sky-high bottomless brunch
Swish new bar Skylight Peckham aren’t wasting any time in hosting fab events; September sees the arrival of their High Glam Bottomless Brunch, which offers dishes such as burrata with smoked aubergine and pepper, toasted sourdough, and nduja, and charred asparagus with smoked trout and poached egg. Add to that bottomless prosecco, and access to the Bloody Mary cart, and you’ve got one of London’s best new brunches. Tickets can be found here.
22. Make cute new friends at this dog-filled rooftop (September 5)
What’s better than sundowners on a dreamy London rooftop? Sundowners on a dreamy London rooftop filled with adorable doggos, of course. Dog Day returns to Skylight this September, and you don’t even need a dog to head along. They’ll also be helping to raise money for charity Dogs On The Streets, which is jolly nice.
23. Bob along to the UK’s first ever float-in cinema (from September 8)
We love it when a new open-air cinema rocks up in London, but this one won’t so much rock up as it will serenely float into Paddington Basin for a second round of summer showings. Dock your boat (or take a seat in the waterside deckchairs) for an unforgettable night of film. Tickets are available here.
24. Putt your money where your mouth is at a crazy golf course
Crazy golf, that noblest of sporting contests, is a popular game in these parts, as our guide to the best courses in town proves. Oh, and many of them come handily equipped with on-site bars – just don’t blame us if the cocktails mess with your putting game…
25-26. Groove out with a double dose of Afrobeats and brunch (September 11-12)
Pitch Stratford are wringing the last drops of joy out of summer, and they’ve decided the best way to do that is with Afrobeats and brunch dishes. As the DJs blast out golden oldies and 2021 anthems, you’ll be able tuck into bottomless rum punch and incredible food, and enjoy Pitch’s array of games and shisha. Find your tickets here – but just know, it’s not the last of the fun that weekend…
Nope, before summer winds down, they’re planning one final blowout, with a huge closing party on September 12. The final party will bless us with even more huge Afrobeat hits, and there’ll be an array of African dishes to keep you dancing until the party’s over. It’s the best way to see off summer, and your tickets are available here.
27. Zip off to Europe with the addition of more Eurostar routes
Amsterdam and Paris have never been closer, thanks to the addition of more trains to Europe from the Eurostar team. It’s your ticket to an unforgettable continental adventure! See more here.
28. Dig into London’s first bottomless pie & mash brunch (September 12)
Combining good ol’ comfort food with the fun of day drinking and music, this is one unmissable event. The food is being provided by London’s famous pie shop, Robin’s Pie & Mash, and you can enjoy an hour of bottomless cocktails to go with it, along with music by DJ Cockney Kev, tribute acts, dance-off competitions, jellied eels eating contests, and a photo booth. Tickets can be found here.
29. Chow down on cheesecake at Whipped’s new dessert bar (September 15)
Opening on September 15 in Brixton Market, this sweet new spot from cheesecake legends Whipped will bring all manner of sweet treats to south London. Think milkshakes, sundaes, hot cookie dough pans, and gooey cheesecake-filled cookies (plus, you know, cheesecake), available for takeaway or outdoor dining. Here’s the full scoop.
30. Dive into a brilliant bubblepop bottomless brunch (September 19)
Korean fried chicken is the best KFC in my opinion, and after an hour of bottomless chucks and vodka punch at this wicked brunch, I reckon you’re going to agree. That’s before you even get to K-Pop, karaoke, quizzes, dancers, and much more. Find more info and tickets here.
31. Avo’ slice of goodness at this new avocado bar
A few years ago, Insta-famous restaurant Amsterdam restaurant The Avocado Show brought a pop-up restaurant to London. Now, they’re coming back to the capital, having secured a permanent site just off Oxford Circus from which to dispense their litany of dam good avo dishes. Here’s the full story.
32. Sway your way through a bottomless brunch and salsa class (September 19)
Proud Cabaret City host this Latin-flavoured brunch, where you’ll learn how to dance with the UK’s top salsa and bachata dancers, and tuck into a delicious two-course brunch. Bring your dancing shoes! Tickets available here.
33. Get your last meals in Soho’s vast outdoor dining area
All good things must come to an end, and on September 30, the time will come for the huge al fresco dining operation in Soho to finish. Traffic will return to the streets, per a new update from Westminster City Council, and whilst restaurants and bars will still be permitted to seat customers at tables on the pavement, it’ll be smaller space than before. Read more here.
34. Binge on bingo at this Motown-inspired night
Motown and bingo isn’t a combo I wouldn’t have put together, but it damn sure works. Non-stop motown and soul anthems will soundtrack your night of bingo at Proud Cabaret City, and you’d better believe there are prizes to be won. Find your tickets here.
35. Escape to these charming seaside towns near London
Fresh air, a sea breeze, and a bag full of fish and chips. There’s simply no other way to enjoy a seaside town, is there? Ooh, maybe ice creams! And amusement arcades! A boat trip? Find all this and more at our favourite seaside towns near London…
36. Grab a pint from Tottenham’s eye-popping new pub
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will have a brand new colourful local right next door for celebrations or the drowning of sorrows, depending on how the season goes. Beavertown Brewery are using the eye-catching design on their cans to decorate the pub’s exterior and interior, so it’ll be pretty hard to miss. More here.
Whilst your aim may steadily nosedive as the bottomless brunch winds on, the chance to defeat allcomers in the noble arena of the beer pong table mustn’t be passed up. You can find your tickets here.
38. Nab a bargain at the returning Walthamstow Flea Market (September 26)
Over 60 flea and vintage traders are taking to the humungous beer hall at Truman’s Social Club this month, offering you the chance to dig through “retro clothing, reclaimed furniture and unexpected rarities”. Plus, a host of stores serving up coffee, street food and pints! Nifty. Get more info here.
Fever’s Candlelight concerts are still dazzling Londoners, and September brings an amazing range of music genres and inspirations for you to enjoy! Here’s what’s coming up:
🕯 Open Air Candlelight: Soundtracks of Ennio Morricone, Hans Zimmer & More (September 1 & 8)
🕯 Best of Magical Movie Soundtracks (September 2, 10, 11)
🕯 The Best of Anime (September 3 & 8)
🕯 Hans Zimmer’s Best Works at Central Hall Westminster (September 4)
🕯 Soundtracks of Ennio Morricone, Hans Zimmer & More (September 9 & 15)
🕯 Hans Zimmer’s Best Works at Castle Hotel Windsor (September 12)
🕯 Candlelight Jazz: A Tribute To Aretha Franklin (September 16)
🕯 Magical Movie Soundtracks at Syon Park (September 22)
🕯 Candlelight Jazz: A Tribute To Nina Simone (September 23)
🕯 Tribute to Ludovico Einaudi at Central Hall Westminster (September 24)
🕯 The Best of Bond (September 25)
🕯 Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake & More ft. Ballet (September 27 & 29)
Before autumn starts to wrap its sodden, leaf-strewn fingers around us, plan a jaunt to the most incredible natural wonders in the UK, which we’ve helpfully rounded up for you!
52-63. Mosey along to a top London art exhibition
About time you got out and saw some art, isn’t it? This lot will get your culture fix sorted nicely, with the longest-running art show in London amongst September’s arrivals.
ART EXHIBITIONS OPENING IN AUGUST
🖼 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition (September 22): the world’s largest open submission art show is back with a theme of ‘Reclaiming Magic’
🌊 Hokusai: The Great Picture Book of Everything (September 30): enchanting drawings from the famed Japanese artist
💫 Noguchi (September 30): retrospective of the multi-talented dancer, architect, and sculptor at the Barbican
ART EXHIBITIONS CLOSING IN AUGUST
⛵️ Turner’s English Coasts (ends September 5): a display of Turner’s maritime watercolours and prints at his former residence
🚂 Turner’s Modern World (ends September 12): a second Turner show, this time at Tate Britain
🇮🇷 Epic Iran (ends September 12): sweeping review of Iranian art, culture, and history at the V&A Museum
🤩 Ryoji Ikeda (ends September 18): trippy, immersive display at 180 The Strand has to end this month
🛹 No Comply: Skate Culture and Community (end September 19): Somerset House explore the rise and significance of skateboarding in the UK
💛 Michael Armitage: Paradise Edict (ends September 19): a Royal Academy show for a former Royal Academy graduate
🎨 Naturally Brilliant Colour (ends September 26): the brightest colours in nature are on display at Kew Gardens
🖥 David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020 (ends September 26): Hockney’s iPad doodles have been better received that his redesign of Piccadilly Circus
👂 Van Gogh Alive (ends September 26): one of London’s two Van Gogh shows comes to an end
64-74. Alternatively, why not try out some of these absolute gems?
We highlighted some brilliant London spots throughout August, and honestly it’d be rude if you didn’t go visit them this month…
🏎 Chaos Karts: wicked augmented reality go-kart video game experience
🕹 Four Quarters: London’s fab arcade bars are home to dozens of retro games
🍷 PocketSquare: east London’s natty new rooftop bar
😇 Mercato Mayfair: heavenly food hall found inside a restored Mayfair church
🎮 Gravity: epic, multi-storey house of games in an old Debenhams store
😋 House of Cinn: brilliant bakery that sells cinnamon buns to fight homelessness
🎪 The Aeronaut: quirky west London pub with a big top and themed brunches
🍹 Yes Please: vibrant new restaurant with fab frozen cocktails
🍻 Lord Napier and Star: Hackney Wick’s legendary graffiti pub has been reborn
💗 Magenta: swanky Kings Cross restaurant that’s all pink every day
🤫 The Lucky Club: hidden club that serves bottomless bao
More things to do inspiration…
Also published on Medium.