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.
LEONARDO DA VINCI: A LIFE IN DRAWING AT THE QUEEN’S GALLERY, BUCKINGHAM PALACE – until 13 October 2019
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.