Things to do in London in May 2017

Home > What's on in London > 2017 > May 2017

The ianVisits guide to May's unusual events, tours, lectures and exhibitions happening around London.


Coronavirus: Events may be cancelled and venues closed at short notice, you are advised to check on their websites before making a trip.

Monday 1st May

On International Workers' Day, MML welcomes visitors for tours, a look at special Russian Revolution slide show exhibition.
clock 10am to 3pm
 
location Clerkenwell
Head to Little Venice over Bank Holiday weekend for the yearly IWA Canalway Cavalcade,
clock 10am to 5pm
 
location Maida Vale
Annual event where a tall plant covered man is paraded around Deptford and Greenwich.
clock Starts at 12pm
 
location Deptford

More London events on Monday 1st May

Tuesday 2nd May

An evening of activities inspired by the arts and culture of Asia,
clock 6pm to 8:30pm
 
location South Kensington
An evening in the Sir John Soane's Museum with the rooms lit by candles.
clock 6pm to 9pm
 
location Holborn
Katherine J. Cramer will explore how rural American resentment toward cities and the urban elite can provide fertile ground for right-leaning candidates to win elections,
clock 6:30pm to 8pm
 
location Holborn

More London events on Tuesday 2nd May

Top events in London on Wed 3rd May 2017

Western Scholars are non-commital. Putin’s Russia is embarrassed. How should the centenary be commemorated?
clock 6:30pm to 8pm
 
location Holborn

More London events on Wednesday 3rd May

Thursday 4th May

An early morning bird walk in the woods. We'll be looking and listening out for the many species of birds that use the woods at this time of year.
clock 4:45am to 7am
 
location Sydenham
The talk will investigate the long history of this day, especially in London with its apprentice holiday associations.
clock 2pm to 3pm
 
location City of London
Three talks about tourism which focuses in the macabre and spooky.
clock 5pm to 7pm
 
location Greenwich
This May 4th, Greg Eghigian explores the strange history of UFO and alien contact phenomena.
clock 6pm to 8:30pm
 
location Clerkenwell
Join Amanda Harvey Purse for the launch of her new book, to hear more about the lives of these policemen, making them more real than just names mentioned within the famous case.
clock 6pm to 8pm
 
location City of London
This event brings together scholars from urban studies and geography to explore how the vertical dimension relates to cities, politics and power in the contemporary world.
clock 6:30pm to 8pm
 
location Holborn
This event brings together professionals from across various sectors to address the impact of the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index on LGBT+ equality in the workplace and beyond.
clock 6:30pm to 8pm
 
location Holborn
Hear how a rise in more efficient and affordable modes of transport opened up the joys of the British countryside and seaside resorts to the general public.
clock 7pm to 8:30pm
 
location Covent Garden

More London events on Thursday 4th May

Friday 5th May

Learn about the practices of stone and wood carving, watch carving and gilding demonstrations and live competitions and have a go at stone carving.
clock 10am to 7pm
 
location Kennington
Monthly opening of the private gardens within Lambeth Palace in the heart of London.
clock 12pm to 3pm
 
location Southwark

More London events on Friday 5th May

Saturday 6th May

A weekend of talks and debates on the role of religion in modern society.
clock All Day
 
location Southwark
Learn about the practices of stone and wood carving, watch carving and gilding demonstrations and live competitions and have a go at stone carving.
clock 10am to 5pm
 
location Kennington
Visit one of the Geffrye's 18th-century almshouses which has been fully restored to its original condition.
clock 11am to 3pm
 
location Bethnal Green
Participants receive an introduction into the craft of letterpress printmaking and have the opportunity to get hands-on.
clock Starts at 12pm
 
location Islington
A weekend of exciting science, new technology, live music, talks, and creative workshops.
clock 12pm to 5pm
 
location Islington
Monthly open day at one of London's more curious and delightful museums, devoted to the history of the sewing machine.
clock 2pm to 5pm
 
location Tooting

More London events on Saturday 6th May

Sunday 7th May

A weekend of talks and debates on the role of religion in modern society.
clock All Day
 
location Southwark
Visitors are invited not just to look but to also get involved under the supervision of two Academy Instructors.
clock 10am to 7pm
 
location St James
Step back in history and visit the terminus building of London's original international airport - in Croydon.
clock 11am to 4pm
 
location Croydon
A weekend of exciting science, new technology, live music, talks, and creative workshops.
clock 12pm to 5pm
 
location Croydon

More London events on Sunday 7th May

Monday 8th May

Free Celebrity
If video killed the radio star, how are we to understand celebrity in a world of Twitter, YouTube, and reality TV?
clock 6:30pm to 8pm
 
location Holborn

More London events on Monday 8th May

Tuesday 9th May

One of the great theological debates in the early church arose from Gnosticism, a movement in late antiquity which held that the material world was evil.
clock 1pm to 2pm
 
location Barbican
The Monument commemorates London’s heroic achievement in recovering from the Great Fire of 1666, but what really happened? Pete Smith attempts to provide some answers.
clock 2pm to 3pm
 
location City of London
An evening of military displays in the heart of the city of London.
clock 5pm to 9pm
 
location Moorgate
A talk by a historian on the global history of the UFO and alien contact phenomena.
clock 5:30pm to 7pm
 
location Strand
A panel of leading scholars and commentators will debate what the outcome of the election tells us about the prospects for the left in France.
clock 6:30pm to 8pm
 
location Holborn
Taking its cue from the argument to not build tall in 1960’s, this panel will discuss whether the debate has had an effect on the current London skyline and should this rigour in assessing tall-buildings be reinstated?
clock 7pm to 8:30pm
 
location Regent Street
Hear a panel of experts discuss the unprecedented growth in London's skyline – and the potential wider impact of this surge
clock 7pm to 8:30pm
 
location Regent Street

More London events on Tuesday 9th May

Wednesday 10th May

This illustrated talk by Stuart Harvey will touch on a little of this area’s past and residents
clock 2pm to 3pm
 
location City of London
Illustrator Matthew Cook will give a guided tour of the War Paint exhibition, in which his work is featured.
clock Starts at 6:30pm
 
location Chelsea

More London events on Wednesday 10th May

Thursday 11th May

This festival consist of popular cultural exhibits, foods, crafts, and performances highlighting the history of the region in Turkey,
clock tba
 
location Stoke Newington
This talk by Sally Jeffery will tell the story of the creation of the Mansion House, the home and workplace of the Lord Mayor of the City of London.
clock 6pm to 8pm
 
location City of London
What opportunities exist for individuals to help to solve some of the most complex problems on Earth? And what motivates people to join an environmental research team?
clock 6pm to 7pm
 
location Barbican

More London events on Thursday 11th May

Top events in London on Fri 12th May 2017

This festival consist of popular cultural exhibits, foods, crafts, and performances highlighting the history of the region in Turkey,
clock tba
 
location Stoke Newington

More London events on Friday 12th May

Saturday 13th May

This festival consist of popular cultural exhibits, foods, crafts, and performances highlighting the history of the region in Turkey,
clock tba
 
location Stoke Newington
These tours have been created to mark the 100th anniversary of the Johnston typeface.
clock Starts at 11am
 
location Acton
Explore the restored George England organ.
clock 3pm to 4:30pm
 
location Dulwich
A note for those in the area, there will be parachutists performing a display over Buckingham Palace.
clock 5:15pm to 5:45pm
 
location Whitehall

More London events on Saturday 13th May

Sunday 14th May

This festival consist of popular cultural exhibits, foods, crafts, and performances highlighting the history of the region in Turkey,
clock tba
 
location Stoke Newington
From bouncy castles to beer tents, handmade children’s t-shirts to homemade cakes, designer jewellery to local photography,
clock Starts at 12am
 
location East Dulwich
Annual displays by a number of Punch and Judy shows in Covent Garden.
clock 10:30am to 5:30pm
 
location Covent Garden
A day of organised display kite flying.
clock 11am to 5pm
 
location Streatham
The Embers Collective will take you on a journey deep into the heart of Yggdrasil, The World-Tree with stories and music.
clock 7pm to 9:30pm
 
location Homerton

More London events on Sunday 14th May

Monday 15th May

Late night opening at the Transport Museum including launch of their latest exhibition.
clock 6:45pm to 10pm
 
location Covent Garden

More London events on Monday 15th May

Tuesday 16th May

Find out from Inspector Jesse Wynn about the vast range of roles played by the City of London Police’s Mounted Branch since its establishment in 1873.
clock 2pm to 3pm
 
location City of London
Professor Jonathan Wolff will ask: Are we stuck with capitalism? How far can it be modified? How far should it be modified?
clock 6:30pm to 8pm
 
location Holborn
A panel will offer practical guidance to anyone seeking to exploit the possibilities of mass communication as they make their way in the food world.
clock 7pm to 9pm
 
location Southwark
Debate inspired by the new ‘Social Housing’ publication with architects from across the continent exploring shifting national attitudes, housing traditions, and pan-European challenges.
clock 7pm to 8:30pm
 
location Regent Street
A talk about the 12th century tale of 2 children who emerged from the soil.
clock 7:30pm to 9pm
 
location Holborn

More London events on Tuesday 16th May

Wednesday 17th May

Handle some of the kit used to identify crime suspects and learn how the police use it.
clock 6pm to 7pm
 
location City of London
Taking inspiration from the War Paint exhibition, an expert panel will discuss how art, historically and today, influences public perceptions of the army.
clock 7pm to 8pm
 
location Chelsea
Join Vin Walsh and a panel of experts for a discussion of the psychology and neuroscience of happiness
clock 7pm to 8:30pm
 
location Hanover Square
Janet Gough OBE, formerly the Church of England’s Director of Cathedrals and Church Buildings, describes her favourite churches.
clock 7pm to 8:45pm
 
location South Kensington
Nerd Nite London is a monthly event where three speakers give 20 minute talks across all disciplines, while the audience drinks along.
clock Starts at 7:30pm
 
location Bethnal Green

More London events on Wednesday 17th May

Thursday 18th May

Catharine A MacKinnon argues that the right seemingly minor interventions in the legal realm can have a butterfly effect that generates major social and cultural transformations.
clock 5pm to 6pm
 
location Holborn
The story of the London Rubber Company's marketing of condoms.
clock 6pm to 7pm
 
location Camden
Join Dr Matthew Green to discover how it blossomed into 'a human awful wonder of God' and 'the necropolis of the world' in the 19th century.
clock 6pm to 8pm
 
location City of London
The atmospheric rooms of Benjamin Franklin’s only remaining residence highlighting the original features of this Grade I listed Georgian townhouse in evening light.
clock 6pm to 9pm
 
location Trafalgar Square
Live folk music, tastings from local craft brewery Portobello Brewing and period entertainment through the historic spaces.
clock 6:20pm to 10pm
 
location Fulham
This is the history of how a secret science was developed to read and measure aerial imagery,
clock Starts at 6:30pm
 
location Picadilly
The Georgian interiors of Charles Dickens home will be open for twilight browsing.
clock Starts at 6:30pm
 
location Clerkenwell
Wander around the galleries and gardens after hours and enjoy music, curator tours, animation, and performances.
clock 6:30pm to 9:30pm
 
location Forest Hill
Discover the fading remains of advertising painted on walls which remain a ghostly presence in Bankside and over London. Illustrated talk by Sam Roberts
clock 7pm to 8:30pm
 
location Southwark
A drinks reception to celebrate the launch of Jamie Bartlett's new book Radicals.
clock 7pm to 9pm
 
location Bethnal Green

More London events on Thursday 18th May

Friday 19th May

In this lecture, Dr Emma Hanna will explore the will explore the musical sound worlds of the airmen on active service 1914-18.
clock Starts at 12:30pm
 
location Colindale
The Bank of England Museum will offering a rare opportunity to visit out of regular opening hours.
clock 5:30pm to 9pm
 
location Colindale
An evening of events, talks and demonstrations at the National Gallery. Most events are free, some paid/booking.
clock Starts at 6pm
 
location Trafalgar Square
Talks on the craft of distilling, drinking songs, cocktail masterclasses, lessons on gin pairings and of course, lots of gin to taste
clock 6pm to 10:30pm
 
location Bethnal Green
The atmospheric rooms of Benjamin Franklin’s only remaining residence highlighting the original features of this Grade I listed Georgian townhouse in evening light.
clock 6pm to 9pm
 
location Trafalgar Square
Come on a journey to discover some of the most fascinating aspects of the era - from the Profumo affair, to mods and rockers, and the sexual revolution.
clock 6:30pm to 10pm
 
location Richmond
The opening night of the new Prize for Illustration: Sounds of the City exhibition at London Transport Museum.
clock 6:45pm to 10pm
 
location Covent Garden

More London events on Friday 19th May

Saturday 20th May

The Rickmansworth Festival celebrates canals, the community and the environment.
clock 10:30am to 10:30pm
 
location Rickmansworth
A monthly classic car show/meet in central London.
clock 12pm to 4pm
 
location Southwark

More London events on Saturday 20th May

Sunday 21st May

The Rickmansworth Festival celebrates canals, the community and the environment.
clock 10:30am to 5:30pm
 
location Rickmansworth
Dulwich Burial ground open; guided tours on the hour.
clock 1pm to 5pm
 
location Dulwich
The Notting Hill May Fair is known and loved for its traditional village games and stalls, music, Maypole dancing, Fancy Dress competition and Dog Show.
clock 1pm to 5pm
 
location Notting Hill
Open day at the school gardens, with Japanese Garden, Bonsai collection, exotic birds and a maze.
clock 1pm to 5pm
 
location South Croydon
Visit a series of 7 floating barge gardens connected by walkways and bridges.
clock 2pm to 5pm
 
location Southwark

More London events on Sunday 21st May

Monday 22nd May

Unfortunately, there seems to be nothing special happening today. Sorry about that!

More London events on Monday 22nd May

Tuesday 23rd May

A talk about a plan to map the universe to locate Dark Matter, which is thought to make up three-quarters of the universe but is invisible.
clock 6:30pm to 8pm
 
location St James
This event will invite fresh ideas and blue-sky thinking from London’s built environment professionals, providing a forum for new solutions to our transport and infrastructure needs.
clock 6:30pm to 8:30pm
 
location Euston
Hear some protagonists of the postmodern architecture movement discuss Number One Poultry and other postmodern buildings at risk
clock 7pm to 8:30pm
 
location Regent Street
Join a panel of experts to uncover what Donald Trump really wants – and how he plans to get it.
clock Starts at 7pm
 
location Holborn
A screening of the cult space alien singing plant film in a botanical venue.
clock Starts at 7:15pm
 
location Herne Hill

More London events on Tuesday 23rd May

Wednesday 24th May

Find out how VD was prevented and treated during the war - as well as society’s changing attitudes towards disease and sexual practice.
clock 1:30pm to 3:30pm
 
location Richmond
A rare opportunity to visit Lambeth Palace Gardens in the evening.
clock 5:30pm to 8pm
 
location Southwark
This talk will describe the remarkable challenges and opportunities associated with hypersonic flight and space access.
clock 6:30pm to 9:30pm
 
location Tottenham Court Road
Photographer Ed Richardson shares an insight into life at Trinity Hospital.
clock 7:30pm to 9pm
 
location Greenwich

More London events on Wednesday 24th May

Thursday 25th May

Moor Park Mansion is a Grade I listed Palladian mansion set within over 300 hundred acres in Hertfordshire.
clock 10am to 12pm
 
location Rickmansworth
An afternoon of talks on how gardens, plant medicines and urban landscape can contribute to the health and wellbeing of patients and communities.
clock 3pm to 7pm
 
location Euston
A historical seminar looking at nursing in the Boer War, the first major British conflict in which nurses in large numbers were deployed.
clock 3:30pm to 7pm
 
location Harley Street
The Beefeaters of the Tower of London and the clergy of All Hallows Church recreate an ancient confrontation and their beating of the bounds.
clock Starts at 6pm
 
location City of London
£5.90 Death Diary
Death Diary examines the most interesting, bizarre and audacious crimes to blight England’s first city.
clock 6pm to 8pm
 
location City of London
Join the London Forteans for two short talks on the ghosts and legends of Camlet Moat and the Crouch End Spriggan.
clock 7:45pm to 9:30pm
 
location Whitechapel

More London events on Thursday 25th May

Friday 26th May

Join Ceri Buckmaster on a wild food walk around Southwark and discover how to identify seasonal plants and flowers in some unexpected locations,
clock 11am to 2pm
 
location Southwark
This after-hours tour explores the history of the Tower of London through the lens of changing attitudes to gender and sexuality,
clock Starts at 7pm
 
location Tower Hill

More London events on Friday 26th May

Saturday 27th May

Visit the c.1397 Grade 2 listed ‘threshing’ barn, over 100ft x 40ft in size, with a fine crownpost roof.
clock Starts at 10:45am
 
location Rickmansworth
Guided tours of the London Transport museum's archive of posters and artwork.
clock Starts at 11am
 
location Acton
This after-hours tour explores the history of the Tower of London through the lens of changing attitudes to gender and sexuality,
clock Starts at 7pm
 
location Tower Hill

More London events on Saturday 27th May

Sunday 28th May

Occasional open day at the under-restoration Victorian steam pumping station.
clock 10:30am to 4pm
 
location Abbey Wood

More London events on Sunday 28th May

Monday 29th May

Open day at a 3 acre garden with a mile-long path in a Labyrinth.
clock 12pm to 5:30pm
 
location North Weald

More London events on Monday 29th May

Tuesday 30th May

Dickens also suffered with a number of medical conditions which will be discussed in detail during the lecture.
clock 6pm to 7pm
 
location Barbican
Within our apparently secular, globalised, and technology-driven world, we are witnessing a return of apocalyptic thinking.
clock 6:30pm to 8pm
 
location Holborn
Join microbiologist B Brett Finlay as he argues that the only way to save children from an over-sanitised world is to let them eat dirt.
clock 7pm to 8:30pm
 
location Hanover Square

More London events on Tuesday 30th May

Wednesday 31st May

Celebrate London’s extraordinary history and heritage with activities at Southbank Centre.
clock Starts at 12pm
 
location Southwark
An opportunity to hear BBC Radio London and The Robert Elms Show’s resident gardening expert, St John Stephen, talking in person about what he has learnt after a quarter of a century as a gardener in London.
clock 2:30pm to 4pm
 
location Whitechapel
A forest is full of chatter and trade, if only we could sense it.
clock Starts at 6pm
 
location City of London
A talk about the social impact of the industrial boom on the lives of the people of Battersea.
clock 6pm to 7pm
 
location Battersea
With introduction by film maker Peter Williams, the film charts the top-level deal under which Unit 731’s research was secretly traded to the USA.
clock 6:30pm to 8pm
 
location Russell Square
Explore nightlife in the capital from the 1920s to the present, through original archive materials and a series of talks in Bishopsgate Institute.
clock Starts at 7pm
 
location City of London
The first event of the Whitechapel Gallery's London-wide Jonathan Meades retrospective will screen Meades' work on artists, photography and modernity.
clock Starts at 7pm
 
location Clerkenwell

More London events on Wednesday 31st May

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