It’s time to up the ante. Throw yourself into the last month of summer with events to suit every need and mood. Whether you need to take some time out after a jam-packed six weeks with a handful of kids, are raring to keep the summer party going, or fancy learning something new ahead of September, below is a list that leaves you spoilt for choice. From renaissance sword fighting classes to outdoor karaoke, massages, Bollywood bottomless brunch, and fairytale gardens, this month’s packed with enough to distract you from Autumn creeping around the corner…
Whether you’ve just moved to Vauxhall or know its streets like the back of your hand, this 3-mile-long walking tour is a must. From leafy parks and green streets to the modern trappings of riverside skyscrapers, you’ll get the opportunity to explore the model villages, gardens, and famous film sets that make Vauxhall what it is today. Vauxhall’s sporting, transport, political, and architectural firsts are many and more than camera worthy, so buckle in and prepare to have your view of the borough transformed. With rest breaks along the way, the tour will end up at the Black Dog pub for a debrief and Q&A over a well-earned pint.
11.00am – 2.00pm | Meet Oval Station, SE11 4PP | £12
Not quite been the romance or friend-filled summer you’d imagined? You’re not alone and thankfully, there’s a solution. The converted 1930s Dutch barge, Tamesis Dock, which is permanently moored between Lambeth and Vauxhall Bridge has partnered with Socialite Connections for an evening of relaxed socialising. Your host Michelle will greet you at the door and you’ll be led to the barge’s mid-deck, a quieter space with views across the Thames to the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament, and Battersea Power Station. After some brief introductions, you’ll be free to mingle and meet the rest of the guests. Arrive before 6pm and leave after 8pm with a bunch of new contacts and friends.
4.00pm – 8.00pm | Tamesis Dock, SE1 7TY | £6
It’s really not every day that you’re given the chance to learn the fundamental principles of renaissance European swordsmanship right on your doorstep, for free. Within the beautiful setting of a grade 2 listed hall, you’ll be taken through the 16th century North Italian martial systems which were popular in London during the Elizabethan period. Everything taught by Tempus Fugitives is taken directly from the printed and handwritten manuals of the original Italian masters and all lessons come with a full breakdown of each technique’s historical origin. Learn to wield a sword, dagger, targa and rotella shield, the weapons of elite troops like the partisan or halberd, and the methods used in short and brutal street brawls. Whether you have a particular fascination with the world of Shakespeare, are bored of the gym, or have a keen interest in the history of martial arts, you won’t want to miss this free introductory class.
7.00pm – 10.00pm | Wheatsheaf Community Hall, SW8 2UP | Free
The penultimate outdoor karaoke event of the year is upon us. Don’t miss your chance to take part in what has undeniably been one of the highlights of the summer. Bring pets, friends, family, or come solo to take to the stage and live your Glastonbury headline dreams. With a whole range of delicious food and drink options Bokit’la’s French-Caribbean street food, Mother Kelly’s beer collection and more, it really is a no-brainer for a sunny August afternoon. Come and celebrate the last days of summer by singing along to your favourite feel-good bangers. No song is too cheesy or voice too rusty!
4.00pm – 8.00pm | Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, SE11 5HL | Free
Blow their tiny minds with this storytelling festival full of magic, mystery, bugs, and nature. Perfect for kids aged 4-10, The Garden Museum’s lush gardens and medieval church backdrop will transform into a fairytale wonderland of pop-up performers, cooking and craft workshops, live music, gardening activities, and circus performances. What’s more, kiddies are encouraged to come dressed as their favourite insect or creepy crawly so they can immerse themselves completely in a world that is even more vibrant than their wildest imaginations. Fill their eyes and minds with wonder.
10.00am – 4.00pm | The Garden Museum, SE1 7LB | £12 Adults, £5 Children
Manifest an Indian summer with an afternoon of outdoor bottomless brunch accompanied by Bollywood anthems, Bhangra, and club classics played by Desi Beatz resident DJs. Starting at £25 for a table for two, tickets include entry, bottomless cocktails served for a whole hour between 1-2pm, and a reserved area shared with another pair. Food will be served by five amazing street vendors throughout the event with a selection of Mexican, Chinese, French, and Greek options as well as a burger van. And as if that wasn’t enough, you can also expect live entertainment which will include Dhol players, saxophone, and more.
12.30pm – 5.00pm | Vauxhall Food & Beer Garden, SW8 1SP | From £25
Get involved in an exciting bumper week of dance, drama, and singing classes with Boury Academy teachers. From workshops to performances, crafts, games, and movies on the Boury big screen, it’s set to be a week of fun, learning, and making new friends. All spaces will be prioritised for those on free school meals though there is a £10 booking fee. For those not eligible, the Mini B’s school for ages 4-7 will be £30, and the Main School for ages 8-21 will be £50. Lunch will be provided for all participants.
10.00am – 1.00pm or 10.00am – 4.00pm | The Boury Academy Studios, SW9 2TJ | £10 – £50
Vauxhall but make it Victorian! Get involved in the free bank holiday fun at the Pleasure Gardens as they’re returned to their former Victorian glory. Complete with all the classic delights of a nineteenth-century funfair, you can expect vintage games, live performers, circus acts, sweet treats, and a range of stalls selling a variety of food and drink options. Become a juggling or plate-spinning pro, have a spin on the carousel, a giggle with the jester, enjoy the music, and be awed by the static hot air balloon that really will make you feel like you’ve stepped into the past.
2.00pm – 7.00pm | Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, SE11 5HL | Free
Every single August bank holiday since 2007, the LGBTQ+ community have turned out in their hundreds to raise money for LGBT HERO, a national health and wellbeing charity that helps LGBTQ+ people lead happier and healthier lives. From offering trusted information and advice services to providing support groups and one-to-one sessions on issues including gender and sexuality, sexual and mental well-being, suicidal feelings, and general health, the charity is a pillar of support for the community. The day itself is an event like no other, featuring a tug of war, sack race, drag race relay, handbag toss, rhythmic gymnastics (arguably the best), and much, much more.
1.00pm – 5.00pm | The Royal Vauxhall Tavern, SE11 5HY | Donations
Fancy watching a good old-fashioned grilling? Look no further as a firm favourite returns to the Tea House Theatre. In just 30 minutes, speakers of the blind debate will see a motion raised for the first time and have to prepare arguments for the audience without the use of the internet. As the prep is ongoing, a series of 2-minute quickfire debates will be held where anyone can show off their skills or try their hand for the first time arguing topics ranging from Cats vs Dogs, Computer games in the Olympics, Vegetables are tastier than fruit, etc. Speakers will fight hard to get your vote and you can get involved in the grilling as part of the audience Q&A round.
7.00pm – 9.30pm | Tea House Theatre, SE11 5HL | Free
Have you looked after yourself enough this month? Summer can be tiring, from looking after the kids, to balancing work and play, it’s important to take some time out, do some exercise, and unwind. Take yourself down to Embody Wellness for over 30 yoga, Pilates, barre & circuit weekly classes fit for all levels from beginners to advanced. If you’re looking for something more zen, sound therapist Chai Francesco will host a blissful evening of relaxation on Friday 25th with the healing tones of crystal singing bowls and oriental gong. And if what you really need is a deep tissue muscle reset then book yourself in for some massage therapy and relieve any stress and tension ahead of the next academic year. Treat yourself!
Various | Embody Wellness, SW8 2LE | Various