You might have heard: August is the heart of summer in the UK and Europe. Thanks to their generous PTO policies across the pond, many people take time off to enjoy the amazing weather, long days, and fun activities offered all month long. Whether you also have a generous PTO policy or not, August is a great time to visit London and locals will be there to enjoy it with you.
I’ve been to London in August several times, including the summer I lived there; it can be hot and sticky some days and then tends to cool off as the month wears on and autumn approaches. It’s a great time to visit because you get to enjoy both seasons depending on when you visit – the great weather and abundant sunshine of summer, and the brisk mornings and occasional early-falling leaf that heralds the cooler weather to come.
If that all sounds great, it’s time to start planning your August trip to London. Below you’ll find a guide to visiting London in August and everything you need to know. From exactly how long you can expect daylight each day to weather tips and what to pack, I cover all the important details – as well as a list of activities and experiences you can only have during August 2023 in London.
August Sunrise & Sunset Times in London
Knowing how long days are during August will be helpful when organizing your itinerary. Mainly because you’ll get a better sense of how many activities you can allocate in one day.
August is the last month of summer in the UK. Consequently, you won’t experience as long days as in July. Still, you get an average of fifteen sunshine hours a day throughout most of the month.
Here’s a quick chart of sunrise and sunset times in London in August:
Watching the sunrise or setting against the London skyline is a pretty cool activity to include in your itinerary. Check out my two guides to help you plan an unforgettable sunrise or sunset experience:
- The 13 Best Places to See Sunrise in London (& Sunrise Times)
- The 16 Best Places to See Sunset in London (& Sunset Times)
London August Weather & Temperature
Despite August being the UK’s last summer month, the weather remains pleasant, with temperatures hovering around 73°F early in the month. If you’re lucky, afternoon temperatures can rise to 80°F. The only downside is that the sky is mostly cloudy for about 45% of the month.
As a heads up, visitors can expect temperatures to decrease towards the end of August.
What to Pack for London in August
Travelers know that wearing the right clothes is a must to have a pleasant stay. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of the things you should bring in your bag if you’re visiting London in August.
- Pack 1 pair of shorts and/or a few light dresses to explore the city.
- Bring a pair of jeans, just in case you have chilly days during your stay.
- Throw in your favorite pair of pants. You might need to dress up to attend some venues or events.
- Pack a couple of t-shirts or lighter fabric tops to stay cool during the day – especially on the Tube!
- Bring a hoodie and a light jacket. London nights can still be chilly, and you’ll need to wear a few more layers.
- Also, bring a scarf in case you need an extra layer! I always love using mine when on the plane at a minimum.
- Pack a pair of sunglasses. Yes, London is cloudy and rainy, but it is shiny and bright when the sun comes out!
- Lastly, pack an umbrella. An umbrella should always be on your London packing list when you’re visiting London, even in generally bright and sunny August.
17 Great Events in London in August 2023
You already know what clothes to bring and what weather to expect. Now it’s time to learn about the events you can attend throughout the month. Below are 13 great events taking place during August in London.
Camden Fringe (July 31 – August 27)
If you’re the kind of person who loves a good joke, you’ll have a blast at Camden Fringe. Established in 2006, Camden Fringe is a performing arts festival that brings the best comedians to its stages. It hosts numerous shows throughout the day that range from stand-up to sketch comedy to cabaret. Performances last one hour, and the lineup changes every year, welcoming experienced performers, companies, and talented newcomers.
Great British Beer Festival (August 1-5)
Beer lovers, the Great British Beer Festival is the closest you’ll ever experience to a beer paradise. Organized by the Campaign for Real Ale, the Great British Beer Festival reunites hundreds of beers from the UK and the world.
In 2022, the festival celebrates its 10th anniversary and is preparing a huge event, inviting its favorite breweries from the last decade, plus some of the hottest new breweries you can’t leave without trying.
Step Inside Abbey Road Studios (August 4 – 6 and 11 – 13)
Music lovers know very well that London has an enviable music scene. They also know that the iconic Abbey Road studio is usually closed to the public. That’s why Step Inside Abbey Road Studios is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The event lets visitors explore the building’s three legendary studios, hear about the artists that recorded some of their most influential albums, and interact with some of the studios’ equipment. I don’t have to tell you that tickets sell fast! So stay tuned.
London Triathlon (August 6)
Right after the beer festival ends, the London Triathlon starts. It’s all about balance, right? Don’t worry; you won’t be doing any sports, just choosing a comfortable place to watch others.
One of the world’s biggest triathlons, the London Triathlon welcomes 13,000 elite triathletes from diverse fields who swim, bike, and run around London’s landmarks, like the London Eye, Westminster, and London Bridge.
London Craft Beer Festival (August 11-12)
I don’t have to tell you that Londoners love a good pint of beer. If you don’t have enough time to do some bar (or pub) hopping in the city, the London Craft Beer Festival is a great chance to sample a few ones. The festival takes place in Tobacco Dock and reunites over 100 breweries from all over the world showcasing their finest craft beers – this year there’ll be around 800 beers to sample!
Field Day (August 19)
Bring your best dance moves to Field Day, an annual outdoor music festival in London that welcomes the world’s finest DJs. Those who attend 2022’s edition will enjoy listening to The Chemical Brothers, Carl Craig, Otik, and many more! The festival has a capacity of 25,000 attendees, and tickets sell fast. So make sure you purchase them in advance!
FrightFest (August 24-28)
FrightFest is a five-day film festival held in London and Glasgow. It started in 2000 and is the UK’s premier fantasy, thriller, and horror film festival.
Famous actors and directors also attend the festival, and visitors can see them before the screening of their movies. The festival hasn’t unveiled its lineup yet, so check out its website to know what movies will be on screen.
Greenwich+Docklands International Festival (August 25-September 10)
London’s largest outdoor arts festival, Greenwich+Docklands International Festival, is an annual event across Royal Greenwich, Docklands, and Tower Hamlets. The festival invites British and international artists who present an extensive program of art installations, street theater, circus, dance acts, and music events.
Their lineup isn’t up yet, but here’s what they did in previous years to give you an idea of what to expect.
There are theater companies presenting street art performances, like the i-Puppets parade – giant eye robot puppets that stomp down the street. Visitors can also see immersive installations like Borealis inspired by the Northern Lights. Black Victorians, a dance company, delighted the audience with choreographies inspired by often-overlooked Black figures in pre-Windrush Britain.
You’ll find plenty of diversity, making the art installations appeal to children and adults alike. Best of all, the festival is free!
Eastern Electrics Festival (August 26)
There’s no better time to explore London’s rave scene than August when the Eastern Electrics Festival takes place. The festival started in the early 00s when East London was dotted with endless disused buildings and bare bones arts venues that eventually gave birth to the authentic underground warehouse party movement that defines the city’s music landscape. The festival is hosted in Lea Valley Showground and tickets for the 2023 edition are already available!
Hampton Court Palace Food Festival (August 26 – 28)
What better way to enjoy London’s summer weather than with a picnic in Hampton Court Palace? The stunning building hosts the Hampton Court Palace Food Festival, where its grounds become a land filled with the best food in town. There’ll be street food vendors pop-bp bars, and boutique drinks. Those who want to upgrade their culinary skills can attend the drinks masterclasses or the famous Pop-up ProCook Cookery School. Tickets will be on sale soon!
Ice Cream Festival (26 – 28 August)
After you enjoy your picnic in Hampton Court Palace, head to Covent Garden to indulge in delicious ice cream. It’s not any ice cream. The festival summons some of the best ice cream makers. This year the festival will welcome heavy hitters: Crosstown, Barafat Café, Bears Ice Cream, Kelly’s Ice Cream Van, and Little Orange Van. Avobar, Ladurée, Bubblewrap, and Mariage Frères will also be present. Each one will be serving its frozen specialties, and some of them with an unthinkable twist for the daring palate.
Notting Hill Carnival (August 27)
Put on your flashiest clothes and join locals dancing and singing at Notting Hill Carnival. A celebration of Caribbean culture, Notting Hill Carnival takes place in the last days of August in London.
It’s one of the most colorful events, with steel drum bands and dance troupes invading the city streets with elaborately decorated floats. It started in the mid-1960s and has evolved to become a symbol of London’s diversity and multiculturalism.
BBC Proms (All Month)
The BBC Proms, the world’s biggest and longest-running classical music festival, the BBC Proms is one of the top things to do in August in London.
Since 1895, the BBC Proms has been a series of concerts lasting eight weeks. The event has held a special place in classical music and British culture. Many people are familiar with the festival’s last day called The Last Night of the Proms, where an orchestra plays popular classics and then British patriotic pieces.
There’s an enormous demand for the last night tickets, but you can always attend any other concert throughout the month. Most concerts take place in Royal Albert Hall, but the BBC also broadcasts them across the UK on big screens as part of Proms in the Park events.
Kids Week (All Month)
Families traveling to London, I have the best summer deal for you! Kids Week is an initiative by Official London Theatre that allows any child aged 16 or under to attend a show for free at any participating London theater.
It’s a wonderful opportunity for kids to experience the magic of theater. As a heads up, the initiative allows only one child to go free, but you can buy up to two extra children’s tickets at half price. In 2023, tickets go on sale at 10 am on Tuesday 13 June, and participating shows will be announced closer to the time.
Carnaby Summer Festival (TBD)
If you have an artistic side, pop by the Carnaby Summer Festival. This event offers workshops for every craft imaginable. Kokedama, candle making, pottery painting, life drawing. There’s literally a workshop for everyone. You’ll also get to listen to live music and food vendors selling nibbles to keep you enjoying your day out in the sun.
Yam Carnival (TBD)
Yam Carnival is one of the newest additions to the festival scene in London. An Afrobeat music festival, Yam Carnival launched its first event in 2021. The organizers had a clear purpose: to celebrate black music, culture, and food.
Attending the event is a wonderful chance to watch and hear big names from the Afrobeat music scene that are almost impossible to catch in the UK and Europe. This year’s lineup includes performances by Fally Ipupa, Shasimone, and Naira Marley.
Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House (TBD)
Fancy watching a movie under London’s starry sky? Grab a ticket for the Film4 Summer Screen Festival then. Every year, the festival sets an enormous screen against the beautiful Somerset House, and locals come with blankets and picnic bags to enjoy classic films in the open air.
There’s still no news of what organizers have through for 2023. But for 2022, organizers curated a lineup focusing on themes of “dreams, fantasies, nocturnes, and reveries.” There were classic films, contemporary hits, cult favorites, and premieres. It is a must-see!
12 Other Things to Do in London in August
If you still have time to include more activities in your itinerary, here are other lovely things worth doing during August in London.
- Book tickets for an open-air hop-on, hop-off bus tour. There’s nothing like sightseeing in sunny and breezy London.
- Enjoy soothing paddleboarding sessions in London’s waterways.
- Explore a different side of the city with a Thames river cruise. There are tons of alternatives: dining, speedboats, afternoon teas, you name it!
- Grab a delicious cocktail with mouthwatering views in one of London’s rooftop bars.
- See an open-air movie or play. London’s parks set up outdoor cinemas during the summer months and screen everything, from cult classics to Hollywood’s latest releases. If you want to catch a play, head to Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre if you want to catch a play. The company will be performing 101 Dalmatians throughout August.
- Have a taste of Royal London by witnessing the Changing of the Guard in Buckingham Palace.
- Relax over the Bank Holiday weekend (August 29).
- Spend a sunny day at a London beach sunbathing and watching cruises go by along the Thames.
- Have a picnic in one of London’s parks.
- Take a stroll along one of London’s beautiful canal walks. It’s also a fantastic way to explore less popular areas of the city.
- Refresh yourself with an ice-cold pint of ale in one of London’s historic pubs.
- Enjoy Kew Gardens’ iconic Royal Botanic Garden. The grounds are a feast of color with all the flowers in full bloom!
And there you have it – all the good stuff to do in London in August, and so much more! Have any questions about planning your trip to London in August? Let me know in the comments below!