Diamond Jubilee bank holiday weekend: Top things to do in London



Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant, Jubilee Family Festival and the Diamond Jubilee Concert are some of the top things to do in London this bank holiday weekend.

Whether you’re a manic monarchist or a raving republican it’s time to party because London will boast an abundance of ways to celebrate either 60 years of Her Majesty’s reign or just two extra days off work this weekend.

On Sunday, the Queen will test  her sea legs and join a flotilla of more than 1,000 boats, which will sail from up-river of Battersea Bridge to Tower Bridge in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant ( www.thamesdiamondjubilee pageant.org). Landlubbers can also watch from the banks of the river or on 47 large screens. Meanwhile, the Diamond Jubilee Festival in Battersea Park, an eclectic celebration of British culture curated by creative brains Wayne Hemingway and Clare Patey, will provide a prime location for viewing the watery spectacle. Revellers who have bagged a ticket will see the likes of Noisettes and The Selecter perform live, and  legendary DJ Norman Jay will also be transporting his Good Times Sound System from the park to  A Right Royal Carry On after-party at the Clapham Grand ( www.norman jay.com).

Those with children can treat them to horse parades and a Disney-themed concert at the Jubilee Family Festival in Hyde Park on Saturday and Sunday ( www.ticketmaster.co.uk). Monday has Take That’s Gary Barlow gathering a starry line-up, including Jessie J, Elton John, Annie Lennox, Paul McCartney, Kylie Minogue and Stevie Wonder, for the Diamond Jubilee Concert with the BBC at Buckingham Palace ( www.thediamondjubilee.org). Free tickets to the show have already been distributed but you can catch it on TV and radio. Tuesday will draw festivities to a close with the Queen attending a service at St Paul’s  Cathedral before a carriage procession back to the palace for a balcony appearance, gun salute and a fly-by.

There will also be plenty on  offer for those after an alternative  to pomp and ceremony. As the Southbank Centre kicks off its  summer-long Festival Of The World, Goldie and Annie Nightingale will take it in turns to spin defining tracks from the past 60 years at Diamond Decades in the Clore Ballroom on Saturday afternoon. More classically-minded music fans can enjoy the Philharmonia Orchestra’s repertoire of great British concert music at Royal Festival Hall on Tuesday ( www.southbankcentre.co.uk). Laughter-hungry patriots can try  Udderbelly’s Diamond Night on Monday, a cabaret showcase featuring a mix of comics, acrobats and magicians ( www.underbelly.co.uk).

Finally, if you fancy some traditional, community-based fun, there are plenty of street parties taking place. The Book Club will host one of the best on Sunday, with a wristband-entry Jubilee Party featuring Guilty Pleasures DJs and a real  ale festival from London Fields Brewery ( www.wearetbc.com).