London’s Top Alternative Summer Events

London is well known for its high-profile summer events, but don’t miss these more unusual attractions

When it comes to internationally-renowned sporting events, historic society occasions and outdoor concerts, London is well known for its packed summer programme. This year, try something different and explore the British capital’s more unusual, alternative seasonal offerings. From a pop-up croquet bar to a meat themed celebration and an alfresco rooftop cinema, discover London’s best alternative summer events.


Hampton Court Palace Festival

Arguably the most elegant summer music festival in London, Hampton Court Palace Festival takes place amid the rarefied surroundings of a royal palace. With a wide range of musical acts performing over the course of several weeks, guests are invited to enjoy drinks and a picnic in the palace grounds before the concerts begin. For an extra treat, reserve a waterside gazebo, positioned in the East Front Gardens, for a luxurious take on a traditional picnic.

7th -19th June 2019 


Greenwich + Docklands International Festival

Summer is undoubtedly festival season, and there are plenty of lesser-known events scheduled for those who fancy trying something a bit different. The two-week Greenwich + Docklands International Festival is an intriguing and dynamic performing arts and theatre event. The majority of the programme takes place in Royal Greenwich and covers a wide range of themes and mediums.

21st June–6th July 2019

London National Park City Week

Making its debut as part of the London summer calendar this year, London National Park City Week is a celebration and showcase of the British capital’s green spaces and natural environments. Held over the course of a week, the event includes talks on subjects such as wildlife conservation and growing your own food alongside guided walks, family friendly events and outdoor activities such as street jazz, kayaking, bike rides and boat trips.

21st–29th July 2019



Mallets & Hoops

Describing itself as London’s first croquet bar, this summertime pop-up offers a light-hearted introduction to a quintessentially British sport. Located at the OXO Tower’s Bargehouse, the venue offers visitors the chance to play a game of what it calls social croquet, on one of its eight indoor pitches. Groups of between four and six people can compete in a 45-minute session, or you can simply enjoy hitting a few balls, appreciating the live music and working your way through the bar menu as you go.


This quirky, end-of-summer festival is a delicious celebration of all things meaty. The event is committed to showcasing only the finest, ethically sourced meat and making sure that every part of the animal is used to ensure minimum waste. Enjoy live cooking demos from critically acclaimed chefs who will put their skills to the test while cooking their choice of cuts over traditional fires of wood and charcoal.

30th August–1st September 2019

Rooftop Film Club

Experience fantastic city views and great cinema simultaneously at Rooftop Film Club. Taking place throughout the summer in venues across London, the programme includes both new releases and old favourites. Visitors will get to recline in comfortable deckchairs equipped with soft blankets, with wireless headphones provided to guarantee optimum sound quality.

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