The City of London’s best September festivals

Totally Thames festival
Rivers of the World 2020, Totally Thames Festival - Southbank Installation - Photo Milo Robinson

The City of London’s festival scene is hotting up this September.

As we head into autumn, London’s festival scene is bursting at the seams with exciting events.

Feed your nosy side with this year’s London Open House Festival, where you can sneak a peek at many interesting homes across the City.

Or sharpen your creative eye with 2021’s London Design Festival. Whether it’s waterworks or woodwork, there’s a festival in London this month for you.

Here are the City of London’s best September festivals.

London Open House Festival

Not only is this year’s Open House marking its return after a hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is also celebrating its 30th anniversary. Very poignantly, the festival is literally and figuratively opening its doors and welcoming the public back after a difficult year. Hailed as the capital’s largest celebration of architecture, design, engineering and public space, you’ll be able to explore London and it’s buildings often hidden from view. What’s more, you can open your unique space and be part of the festival, too.

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Check out all the new happenings around Smithfield with their guided tours. Image by Forbes Massie.

Totally Thames

Running until Thursday September 30, the annual Totally Thames festival will celebrate the River Thames and its contribution to London’s evolution with a month of exciting events across the capital – with many taking place in the Square Mile. You’ll be able to see London glow when Leo Villareal’s Illuminated River lights up the River Thames every night alongside a full schedule of events, head to the shore for mudlarking, and check out river-themed art from children around the world at the National Maritime Museum in the Rivers of the World exhibition. Definitely one of the City of London’s best September festivals.

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Totally Thames Festival. Image by UBTC Jupiter Houses Of Parliament

London Design Festival

Taking over London for nine days, this year’s Design Festival will be an explosive festival featuring more than 200 events and exhibitions. Traipse around the capital and indulge in high-end design and creativity. Explore Clerkenwell Design District and Shoreditch Design Triangle to name just a few areas. Make sure you check out British designer and maker Mac Collins and his handcrafted wooden furniture inspired by his heritage. A map and programme for the design festival will be available online.

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London Design Festival. Image courtesy of Doshi Levien Uchiwa

Mela in The City

Hone your dance moves and celebrate all things Bengali this September in Aldgate Square. You’ll see live performances, taste delicious food and take part in interactive workshops. Why not give Bengali dancing a go, get a henna tattoo or simply relax and enjoy a poetry performance by a professional? Meaning ‘fair’ or ‘festival’, a Mela brings communities together, and this one will be no different as it celebrates the diversity of the Square Mile. So, time to start practicing those moves.

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Mela in The City. Image courtesy of The City of London Corporation

Feature image: Courtesy of Rivers of the World 2020 – Southbank Installation – Photo Milo Robinson

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