September may have kicked off with a last flurry of summer, but it won't be long before conkers replace barbecues and long sleeves replace short. Never fear, London always puts on a last flurry of events and activities and happenings before the nights draw in for October, and we're all invited. Here's my weekend by weekend guide to free September delights. [permalink]
Weekend 1: September 3/4 » E17 Art Trail (continues next weekend): An independently organised extravaganza of 100+ installations in and around Walthamstow. Make sure you take a copy of the Art Trail Guide with you, because you may not be able to find anything without one.
» Liberty (Sat, 1-5): Celebrating the contribution of deaf and disabled people to London's culture, this year shifted from Trafalgar Square to the South Bank. (Yes, I know this finished yesterday, sorry) » London Skyride (Sun): Family-friendly cycling event aimed at the less confident rider (and potential satellite dish purchaser), as all four-wheeled traffic evacuates the roads between Buckingham Palace and the Tower.
» Brentford Festival (Sun, from 12): Funfair, stalls and a dog show, in the grounds of Boston Manor House.
» London Mela (Sun, 1-8.30): A celebration of South Asian culture, especially live music and food, in Gunnersbury Park.
» Angel Canal Festival (Sun, 11-5): Waterside gaeity beside City Road Lock.
Weekend 2: September 10/11 » Thames Festival (Sat & Sun, noon-10): An extensive programme of riverside entertainment along the South Bank, no doubt over-overcrowded, including a bridge-top feast on Saturday, and culminating with a huge firework display on Sunday.
» Heritage Open Days (Thu-Sun): 100s of buildings that aren't usually open, are open. Most of them are outside London - the Home Counties are swarming - but there are plenty open in Kingston (which is spending the weekend pretending it's in Surrey).
» Kings Place Festival (Thu-Sun): Head to King's Cross for 100+ performances of spoken word, comedy, dance, jazz and classical music.
» ??? (???): Hmmm, there's usually more big free stuff on the second weekend in September. Any more?
Weekend 3: September 17/18 » Open House London (Sat, Sun): The grand-daddy of architectural festivals, with hundreds of weird and wonderful buildings throwing open their doors across the capital. Most of the really special events have been fully booked for weeks, but you're not too late to sign up for the BT Tower raffle. There'll be tons to see over the weekend, in fact far too much to choose from. Be there, or regret it for the next 52 weeks.
» The Great River Race (Sat, 1.40-4.40): A spectacular paddle up the Thames from Docklands to Richmond.
» Tour of Britain (Sun, 11-6): The final stage of this cross-country bike race is a lycra-tastic sprinty circuit between Whitehall and the Tower.
» Hackney Wick Festival (Sat, Sun): Arts-inspired fete out E9 way (with an as-yet blank programme, but that'll change).
» London Design Festival (continues until next weekend): Hundreds of design-er events will be taking place across the capital.
Weekend 4: September 24/25 » Eid in the Square (Sat, 2-8): Boris conveniently ignores the fact that Ramadan ended in August, and celebrates Eid more than three weeks late in Trafalgar Square.
» Great Gorilla Run (Sat): Dress up as a gorilla and run 7km to raise money for charity (or just come along and watch sweaty knackered apes)
» Bermondsey Street Festival (Sat, noon-5): Food, Fashion, Film and Fun (will Zandra be there again this year?)
» Autumn Ambles (Sat, Sun): Guided walks around London's strategic footpath network. Enjoy peripheral bits of the capital you'd never normally dream of visiting, or get beneath the skin of central London. Recommended, if you can be bothered to trawl through the wholly unhelpful websearch interface.