Spending August in Kensington is a real treat. When everyone is galavanting off on beach vacations across Europe, the city gets a very chilled summer vibe. Kensington is a hotspot with loads to offer all year round, but this is especially true in August. It may be hot, but leave your Park Grand Kensington hotel suite and go exploring the neighbourhood – the AC will be there when you get back.
Nottingham Hill Carnival
Every August, Kensington welcomes 2 million visitors over the bank holiday weekend. This year it is happening from 24 to 26 August. It’s one of the most notable carnivals in London that is absolutely unmissable.
It’s the perfect opportunity to celebrate Caribbean culture, embracing and learning the artistic talents and cultural diversity. It’s a costume-clad celebration that takes place on the streets of Notting Hill. A day here introduces you to Carribean cuisine, like jerk chicken, callaloo and goat stew. You’ll be able to listen to live music on stages in Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance Park and Powis Square.
The BBC Proms
Kensington hosts four of the famous BBC Proms during August. It’s a traditional celebration that brings a great mix of people together. Here’s the lineup:
- 3 August, Prom 20: Pekka Kuusisto and the BBC SSO
- 7 August, Prom 27: The Sound of Space: Sci-Fi Film Music
- 16 August, Prom 40: Queen Victoria’s 200th Anniversary
- 22 August, Prom 26: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
When you’ve chosen and booked your Prom, go for Indian Afternoon Tea to make it a truly British day. You can get season and weekend passes. Hit up a Park Grand Restaurant after the festivities to keep the fun-streak going.
Punk Band Descendents
If you’re a big fan of punk, just wait for 2 August, when the Descendents are coming to O2 at Sheperd’s Bush Empire. Pioneers of hard-core punk, they’re showing no signs of slowing down. Doors open at 19:00 and will allow a limited 2,000 tickets. So get booking if you long for the good old days of punk and eyeliner.
Serpentine 5K Race
Hyde Park is hosting monthly 5K races on Friday’s. If you’re up for a lunch run, join in on the fun and head towards the park. You won’t be the only one, you’ll be sharing the path with around 300 other runners. There is a small fee of £6, which is £3 for members. The Race begins at 12:30 and lasts till 1:30, so if you’re up for a challenge, this is a must this August in Kensington.
Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle
If you’re into cycling, don’t miss out on this Race on 3 August. The Race runs from 9:00 to 16:00 from the Strand and Lincoln’s Inn Fields and ends at the Victoria Embankment. It passes iconic landmarks like Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Bank of England.
RideLondon hosts six festival zones that everyone can enjoy, if you’re less enthused by the cycling element. Music and entertainment can be found along the route, allowing cyclists to take a break and enjoy the festivities.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a bicycle, you can rent one very easily.
DJ Yoda and House Gospel
Not to be confused with Star Wars’ Yoda, DJ Yoda is hitting up the Natural History Museum for a night full of music mix and fun. Partying beneath a 25-meter blue whale is like nothing you’ve experienced before, so you might want to check out this great Kensington attraction. House Gospel Choir Soundsystem are supporting DJ Yoda. They’re a great, fresh new sound.
Whole Foods Market
Nothing beats the smell of fresh produce on a summer morning. Kensington plays host to one of the largest whole foods markets in London. You can buy anything from regional cheeses, handmade chocolate, fresh meat, fish and poultry. For vegans and vegetarians, there’s a vast array of fresh greens just waiting to be eaten.
It’s one of the most popular markets in London because the foods are free from artificial preservatives, colours, flavours, sweeteners and hydrogenated fats.
Czech Centre Expo: Miss Amerika
Miss Amerika is a compilation of text, music, photography and animation. The creator tells the story of a New York misfit, exploring the themes of immigration, loneliness and dislocation.
Mckenzie Tomski is at the centre of this narrative, a persona created by Czech performer Mirenka Cechova. She’s a Bridget Jones type everywoman representing the outsider of the American Dream. This expo is on from 3 August to 25 August at the Czech Centre in Kensington.
Japan House Exhibition: Anno Mitsumasa
Starting on 22 August, Anno’s Journey: the world of Anno Mitsumasa is running in Kensington at the Japan House. The expo features the work of Anno Mitusmasa, Japan’s most celebrated children’s book illustrators and authors. Her books were first published in the late ’60s.
The expo is a visual orientation of the author’s creative journey, featuring 300 of her books, introducing the Japanese language to children. If this exhibition doesn’t quite feel like enough, head over to the Embassy of Japan to view her landscape paintings.
Learn About Mathematics at the Science Museum
Don’t skip over this one, even the most mathematically-wary individual will find the science museum pretty interesting. Zaha Hadid has created a thought-provoking gallery examining the fundamental role of mathematicians, including the tools and ideas that have influenced the world we live in today.
Hadid merges war and peace, life and death, money, trade and beauty with mathematics. The aim of her exhibition Mathematics: The Winton Gallery displays the connection between maths and life. It will spark an immediate interest in the world of mathematics.