Once March rolls around, the weather starts being a little warmer and friendlier, leading to a number of London festivals and other events throughout the city. Of course, the big event for the month is the city’s St. Patrick’s Day parade and festival, but there are plenty of other events you should check out if you’re going to find yourself in London during this time and don’t feel like getting your green on. From spectator sports to the future of technology, we’ve identified five different activities going on during March below. If you have any suggestions for what to do in London for the month, you can let us know in the comments.
WoW: Women of the World Festival
The future is female at the Women of the World Festival, which goes from March 6 to March 8 and is an event dedicated to the history of feminism and celebrating women and girls all over the globe. Special guests for this year run the gamut of public speakers, authors, and performers including Naomi Wolf, Deborah Frances-White, and Sandi Toksvig. It’s possible to purchase a day pass if you want to catch particular events such as seminars on how to succeed in business, important women throughout history, or performances from poets to comedians.
Bicycling is not only a popular method of getting around, but it’s also an excellent way to exercise and quite a lot of fun. The London Bike Show celebrates all these aspects of bicycling and more and offers presentations and exhibits for cyclists of all levels from those whose training wheels just came off to athletes preparing for a race. Vendors are also present to show off the latest advances in cycling tech and accessories so you can make sure you’re equipped for anything. The bike show runs from March 27 to 29, so be sure to get your tickets in advance.
FutureFest isn’t just a showcase of new technologies, but an exhibition on what we as a people can do to help shape the years to come. Speakers include authors and activists such as Elif Shafak and Moniot, musicians including Charlotte Church, politicians such as David Lammy, and notable filmmakers like Louis Theroux and Richard Ayoade. Events include art shows, virtual reality cruises, a presentation on how technology is changing our dating lives, and what else our advances have in store. To get an idea of what awaits us ahead and how we can best prepare for it, be sure to check out FutureFest.
If you’re a fan of the annual Boat Races on the River Thames, the Head of the River Race runs the same course in reverse in from Mortlake to Putney. 400 crews of eight row the course, making it one of the largest competitions in the city with crews coming from all over the world. It can be quite a sight and spectators will line up along the racecourse to see the race, so it behooves you to get there early on March 21st for a prime spot.
Vault is a performance festival like no other. Full of cabaret, standup, concerts, spoken word, drag, theater, and more. Mostly focused in Waterloo, the performance events take place at different venues over the district, so you’ll need to check out the website to see what’s on and where. Vault festival started on January 28 but runs for eight weeks through March 22, so there’s still plenty of time to catch one of the craziest arts events that London has to offer.
Earth Hour is an annual event organised by the WWF that sees millions of people all around the world switching their lights off in recognition of the issues facing the planet. This year, Earth Hour will be taking place on March 28 between 8.30pm and 9.30pm, and there’s a host of events planned in London to mark it.
As well as a live countdown from the huge screens in Piccadilly Circus, there’s going to be a conceptual pop-up shop opening its doors on Carnaby Street, a silent disco in Covent Garden and, most excitingly of all, we reckon, a bike ride through the darkened city in association with safe-parking provider Cyclehoop. The details are still being finalised, and we’ll update you as soon as we hear more – but in the meantime, you can read all about the event here.
Earth Hour started 13 years ago in Australia, and now sees landmarks including the Sydney Opera House, the Great Pyramids, the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building switching off their lights to raise awareness. ‘We’re sending a powerful message to our local and global leaders that saving our home should be at the top of their agendas,’ the WWF has said.
This post was originally published Feb 2015 and updated Feb 2020
From bustling Christmas markets to traditional witch-burnings (and everything in between), there will be no shortage of Prague festivals to attend in 2020. This ‘events in Prague to-do list’ will help make sure you don’t miss out on any of the action no matter what time of year you’re planning to visit the Czech capital.
Masopust – February 25, 2020
Masopust loosely translates to ‘meat fasting’ and is the Czech celebration of Carnival celebration. While the parade through Prague’s Žižkov neighborhood might not be as big as the Mardi gras party on Bourbon Street, it’s full of fun, colorful costumes as well as delicious food and drink.
Prague Easter Markets – March 28, 2020 – April 19, 2020
Easter markets are one of the most colorful events in Prague. Popping up on squares throughout the city, including Old Town Square, Easter markets resemble a brighter version of the Christmas market stalls that occupied these spaces a few months earlier. Here you’ll find tasty treats, unique gifts, and the braided willow whips part of a local Easter tradition.
Witches Night (Čarodejnice) – April 30, 2020
One of the more unique events in Prague, crowds gather annually on April 30th to burn witch effigies. This is part of an ancient ritual meant to symbolize the end of winter. This festival isn’t as grim as it sounds. It’s a light-hearted family-friendly event with plenty of food and drinks to go around.
Veggie Náplavka – May 1, 2020
Veggie Náplavka, the biggest Czech vegan event, will celebrate its tenth anniversary this year. One of the largest vegan festivals in Europe, this open-air event takes place on the banks of Prague’s Vltava River and offers a large selection of vegan food and products.
Prague Fringe Festival – May 22-30
The Prague Fringe Festival is modeled after the famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival and brings together performers from around the world for nine days worth of theater, comedy, dance, and more. There are many traditional and non-traditional pieces performed in English.
Mini-Brewery Festival – June 12-13, 2020
It’s no secret that Czechs make excellent beer. While there will be plenty of opportunities to sip pints from the big breweries, don’t miss the opportunity to try some of the country’s best craft brews. The festival takes place in the Prague Castle gardens so you’ll not only get great beer, but also an amazing view.
Prague Museum Night – June 13, 2020
On Museum Night, Prague opens the doors to some of its most famous museums so that visitors can explore them after dark. Transportation for the event and entry to the museums is free of charge, making it a very popular event with over 100,000 people attending annually.
Prague Harley Days – July 3-4, 2020
Harley Davidson fans from around the world descend on Prague for this ultimate motorcycle festival. The event involves a parade, test rides, classic bikes, and more.
Prague Folklore Days – July 23-26, 2020
Enjoy traditional costumes and tunes at the Prague Folklore Days event, the biggest folk music and dance festival in Central Europe.
Prague Pride – August 3-9, 2020
Prague celebrates Pride with a weeklong festival with the big parade taking place on August 8th. It is one of the biggest cultural festivals in the country with hundreds of activities and events taking place.
Wine Festivals – throughout September
September is all about the wine in the Czech Republic. The country’s flourishing wine scene brings a number of festivals along with the harvest. Prague plays host to several wine events throughout the month including a popular wine festival at Prague Castle.
The Signal Festival lights up the sky and some of Prague’s most famous landmarks every year. This event uses light design to create projections and installations throughout the city, many of which are free of charge to visit.
Saint Martin’s Day Festival – November 11, 2020
Many Prague festivals center around food and drink, and Saint Martin’s Day is no exception. It’s tradition to eat goose and drink lots of young wine to mark the occasion every year on November 11th.
Prague Christmas Markets – throughout December
Christmas markets will cover the main squares again from the end of November all the way through the new year. One of the most well-loved events in Prague, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to admire the twinkling lights on the giant Christmas tree in the heart of Old Town Square or sip hot mulled wine while picking up some traditional holiday gifts from the market stalls.
Whether you’ve visiting to attend one of the city’s famous festivals or enjoy seasonal events such as the Christmas and Easter markets, Prague will surely not disappoint.
Located just minutes from the UK Houses of Parliament (where the cacophony of MPs barking at one another fill the Westminster air), the wonderful St. John’s Smith Square provides discerning classical music fans with a chance to feast their ears on a wide programme of concerts, festivals and recitals.
Built in the early 18th century, St. John’s Smith Square is an example of English Baroque architecture. But the real joy of the building is the acoustics that makes a building of its size seem so intimate. The building even appears in the film ‘An Education‘, where Carey Mulligan’s character heads there to see a classical concert.
The types of concerts range from lunchtime concerts, chamber orchestras and Christmas carols performed by both seasoned veterans and young classical stars of the future. A night of classical music does not have to be expensive; it’s quite easy to get tickets for about £ 10. That’s less than 10% of what Royal Opera House tickets could cost!
The Smith Square restaurant downstairs also provides quick meals before the concert and some wine and snacks during the interval (I can highly recommend the chocolate cakes).
A firm favourite among Londoners, the Victoria Line is the second shortest, one of the fastest and runs for just 16 stops between the trendy Brixton and the even trendier Walthamstow, stopping through Camden and Central London on the way. Read on for the best things to do along the light blue line. South London…