London comes alive with an array of city-wide celebrations in September, many of which are free to attend. Autumn is already on our doorstep but the sky is still blue and the days are very warm.

September in London is the month of the Totally Thames festival, the annual London Design Festival, Open House London weekend when over 800 London buildings are opened to the public, London Fashion Week Festival and plenty of live music from On Blackheath.

Here’s our pick of the best events in London this September.

TOTALLY THAMES 2019 – from 1 to 30 September 2019

Totally Thames is an annual celebration of the River Thames with a creative and diverse programme that inspires, connects and enthrals. Walk along the Thames to see large-scale art installations, free exhibitions and live performances. Enjoy a concert below river-level or join an archaeological tour of the river’s surroundings. See boats of all sizes cruise down the river, or get on the water yourself with water sports and boat parties.


BBC PROMS IN THE PARK – 14 September 2019

Taking place on the closing night of the two-month classical music festival, this year’s main evening performance culminates with the traditional Last Night finale performed live on stage by the BBC Concert Orchestra. The Last Night of the Proms celebrations is hosted by Michael Ball in Hyde Park. The open-air concert celebrates the night with a host of stars from the worlds of classical music, rock and pop, choirs and musical theatre – nearly 150 performers in all!

LONDON DESIGN FESTIVAL – from 14 to 22 September 2019

Explore a range of creative installations and events celebrating contemporary design during the London Design Festival (LDF). The launch of the first Festival took place at Bloomberg on 25 March 2003, with a huge show of support from design, education, government and London organisations. 16 years later, this vision remains ever strong. During the festival, hundreds of large-scale installations, exhibitions and events pop up in many unique spaces across London, from world-famous museums to small local studios. The V&A is the hub of the London Design Festival, hosting a wide range of activities, from tours and workshops, to installations and exhibitions.

OPEN HOUSE LONDON – 21 and 22 September 2019

The annual Open House London weekend gives Londoners the chance to explore behind the closed doors of some of the capital’s biggest, most renowned and most secret venues for free. Enjoy free access to more than 800 public buildings, private houses, churches, museums, schools and offices, and join tours, guided walks and activities throughout the weekend. You can explore iconic buildings that are not usually open to the public, learn something new about more familiar spaces, and step into the private homes of the rich and famous. Highlights of the Open House London programme often include the BT Tower, The Gherkin, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the Royal Albert Hall and Fuller’s Griffin Brewery.



Marking the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, the exhibition brings together more than 200 of the Renaissance master’s greatest drawings in the Royal Collection, forming the largest exhibition of Leonardo’s work in over 65 years. Drawing served as Leonardo’s laboratory, allowing him to work out his ideas on paper and search for the universal laws that he believed underpinned all of creation. The drawings by Leonardo in the Royal Collection have been together as a group since the artist’s death in 1519. Acquired during the reign of Charles II, they provide an unparalleled insight into the workings of Leonardo’s mind and reflect the full range of his interests, including painting, sculpture, architecture, anatomy, engineering, cartography, geology and botany.



August in London is teeming with fantastic events, cultural happenings and things to do. Enjoy the capital’s many outdoor and open-air activities to make the most of the warm summer days. Don’t forget to hit up Europe’s biggest street party Notting Hill Carnival or bag a seat at the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. Furthermore London hosts family-friendly attractions to keep children entertained during the school summer holidays. Travelling solo? Don’t worry! It’s plenty of things to do and even more to see in London. Main football season starts in August. Soak up the atmosphere at one of the capital’s football clubs.
We have carefully chosen the events to make sure you have a wonderful time in London while staying at The Washington Mayfair Hotel.


Get together with family and friends to cycle on traffic-free central London roads for free, with Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle. The route features many of the capital’s world-famous landmarks, from Buckingham Palace to the Houses of Parliament and St Paul’s Cathedral. London’s greatest sights create an inspiring backdrop for a memorable day of cycling. The event, which attracted tens of thousands of cyclists in 2018, returns again as part of the wider Prudential RideLondon festival of cycling.

FILM4 SUMMER SCREEN AT SOMERSET HOUSE – from 8 to 21 August 2019

Watch modern and classic movies under the stars at gorgeous Somerset House this summer. Last year, the open-air film festival presented a mixed programme of UK premieres, old favourites and Cannes award-winning films in full surround sound, as well as DJ sets inspired by the films and special guest introductions. Films start at 9pm, but doors open at 6.30pm. Arriving early you can enjoy a picnic listening the DJ playing music inspired by the film.

NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL – 24-25-26 August 2019

Notting Hill Carnival, Europe’s biggest street festival, is a vivid spectacle representing London’s multicultural past and present. Elaborate floats and colourful costumed performers wind their way through the streets to the sound of steel bands and calypso music. Watch the carnival parade, join in the fun and visit the tempting food stalls at one of London’s biggest and best annual events. The Carnival celebrations take over the areas of Notting Hill, Ladbroke Grove and Westbourne Park.


BBC PROMS – until 14 September 2019

We have promised you that you would not get bored whenever you visit London. In couple of days after Wimbledon and British Summer Time Festival, The Royal Albert Hall and other venues are opening the doors to BBC Proms informal concerts of classical favourites, family concerts and contemporary world premieres. Proms founder Sir Henry Wood’s mission was to ‘bring the best classical music to the widest possible audience’. This year marks his 150th birth anniversary. Mozart’s, Rachmaninov’s, Beethoven’s, Straus’s, Brahms’s, Tchaikovsky’s, Mendelssohn’s masterpieces will be played by leading musicians and orchestras from across the world. A late-night Prom will bring together some of the best sci-fi film music. CBeebies: A Musical Trip to the Moon demonstrates for young generation the power of dreaming big. The eight weeks of concerts culminate in the famous Last Night performances including BBC Proms in the Park, full of chanting and quirky traditions.



Buckingham Palace is opening its doors to the public in the end of July every year. The iconic building is the official residence of the Queen. Delve into the States rooms to admire a grand place with the gilded ceilings and glittering chandeliers, the finest English and French furniture and breathtaking wall art. By the way, you will have a chance to see famous paintings of Rembrandt, Rubens, Vermeer, Poussin, Canaletto and Claude. Every year, Buckingham Palace’s summer opening features special exhibitions. The year 2019 marks 200 years since Queen Victoria’s birth so a special exhibition will tell the story of how the young queen transformed Buckingham Palace from a private house into a working royal residence. It is also the 50th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death so another special exhibition in the palace brings together more than 200 of the Renaissance master’s greatest drawings in the Royal Collection, forming the largest exhibition of Leonardo’s work in over 65 years.

Have a great time and feel Royal at Buckingham Palace.


UNDERBELLY FESTIVAL IN SOUTH BANK – until 29th September 2019

Enjoy a fun-packed festival of live entertainment and al-fresco eating and drinking at Underbelly Festival in South Bank. Stretching throughout the summer, the festival stages affordable circus, theatre, cabaret, comedy, music and children’s shows on the south bank of the Thames.