London in the Autumn – What’s on in the capital in September…

What’s on in London in September?

Autumn has arrived…and it is a fine time to be in London.  Days are cooler but skies are often blue and with the leaves turning colours, it’s a great month to get out and about.  Here are five events you don’t want to miss this month…

  1.  Open House – Held on the weekend of 21st and 22nd September, it’s the world’s largest architectural festival and it takes place in London.  For just two days in the Autumn, the capital throws the doors open to over 800 different buildings (yes, you read that right) and all for free.  ‘From the intimate to the paramount’ as it’s been said, previous showings have included Lloyds of London, the Bank of England, The Gherkin and the Foreign Office, to name but a few.

Photo courtesy of Open House

And whilst you might have to queue a while, your patience will be rewarded…as Open House themselves put it “This established date in London’s cultural calendar is a truly citywide celebration of the buildings, places and neighbourhoods where we live, work and play, and the value of good design in creating and sustaining a vibrant city. It is a unique opportunity to get inside what makes London great and be inspired by the power of architecture to transform the quality of our lives.”

2.    ‘Totally Thames” – this popular and month-long event takes place all through September, along the river’s 42 miles. Celebrating the magnificent River Thames, which winds its way along the banks and under the bridges, it offers a host of events – many of which are free!  Art, music, and educational events will be on offer both on the water and along its banks and bridges at various riverside locations from Westminster Bridge to Tower Bridge and beyond.

Photo courtesy of

So whether you want to take part in an archaeological dig, learn about its past or just soak up the atmosphere, take a look at their website…

3.    Chiswick House Dog Show – Looking for a fun day out for the entire family? Then think about heading to West London Not just to enjoy a great dog show but to also raise money.

Each year, the show has a theme and this year, it is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first landing on the moon.  There will be prizes for the best fancy dress costumes, and if previous years are anything to go by competition is bound to be stiff!

Photo courtesy of

Dog show classes being held will include, Waggiest Tail, Best Rescue Egg & Spoon Relay Challenge and Naughtiest Dog!  There will also be a wide range of food on offer, so there’s no need to bring a packed lunch! Just show up with your canine…

4.   Pearly Kings and Queens Harvest Festival

There’s nothing like a bit of London history and what better   way to learn than to attend a festival of the Pearly Kings and Queens.  Dressed up dark suits, with hundreds of shiny white buttons sewn on, these men and women will be celebrating the harvest festival.   It’s truly a sight to behold, complete with marching bands, maypole dancing and probably some singing too.

Photo courtesy of

The tradition of the Pearly Kings and Queens was started in the 19th century by Henry Croft, an orphan who worked as a street sweeper in the market of Somers Town, London. Henry went out on the streets to collect money for charity, wearing a suit covered in pearl buttons to attract attention. When demand for his help became too much, Henry asked the Costermongers for assistance, many of whom became the first Pearly families.

Sunday 29th September at Guildhall Yard

5. The Pixies – in concert at Alexandra Palace – More than 30 years on since Pixies revolutionised American rock music, they’re still going with their enthralling live shows.   On 20th September they will be performing in north London’s “Ally Pally” (as it’s fondly known by locals).

Photo courtesy of

As Time Out recently commented: “The pioneering alt rockers are back in London to scratch and scream their way through selections from their classic albums, plus their as-yet-untitled new LP due in September. You can expect them to rip through a 30-song setlist with their trademark blend of buzzsaw surf guitar, quiet-LOUD dynamics, scream-along choruses and totally whacked-out lyrics about sex, sin and surrealist cinema. Kim Deal is sadly out of the picture, still, but Pixies remain one of the best indie bands of all time.”

What are you waiting for?