Vauxhall, the Oval and Kennington

Free events in Vauxhall, Kennington & the Oval

This is a calendar of free events (or nearly-free events) in/around the Vauxhall/Kennington area, month by month throughout the year. See also separate web pages listing local places to visit and things to do, and places to go, and places to eat, with children.

Note: Please check the year in the following dates as some of the entries relate to events which have already happened, and whose future dates have not been confirmed.


Sunday 1 January 2017: The huge New Year's Day Parade, featuring some wonderful American marching bands as well as many local entries, departs the Ritz Hotel, Piccadilly from 1200, arrives Parliament Square between c.1245 and c.1515


Saturday 19 March 2016: The highly popular Children's Easter Egg Hunt takes place in Vauxhall Park. Registration begins 1030 and ends shortly afterwards:- You must be there early to avoid disappointment. The event itself begins at 1100.


Sunday 26 June 2016: 1400-1700 : Vauxhall Park Summer Fair:- This event goes from strength to strength and now includes donkey rides, a dog show, face painting, children's games galore, zumba in the Park, football training, stalls by local businesses and community groups, the amazing Oompah Band, mysteriously propelled Wheelie Bins from the Bureau of Silly Ideas, go karts for petrol heads, a giant inflatable slide, a small bouncy castle, delicious paella from Rebatos of Stockwell, Indian cuisine from Mumbai Delight, incomparable cakes from the Oval Montessori Nursery School and much, much more.

Saturday 25 June 2016: There is a rare opportunity to view the Lambeth Palace Gardens if you visit the North Lambeth Parish Fete from 2-5pm. Spend the afternoon in the Archbishop of Canterbury's beautiful gardens, listen to local jazz steel bands, browse the stalls, try your hand on the sideshows or have your face painted. Stalls include home produce, plants, books, bric-a-brac and the ever popular tombola. Enjoy ice cream and spicy hot food, or a cup of tea and a cake from the tea tent. Entry is via garden gate, facing the river. Admission 3 (or concessions) includes a guide to the garden.


Saturday 16/Sunday 17 July 2016: The Lambeth Country Show is held on the side of the hill in Brockwell Park near Herne Hill station:- see photos on left. It's hard to imagine a "country show" in Lambeth but this one works well. There is something for everyone, including farm animals, a fun fair, a steam engine parade, a battle re-enactment, a circus, and lots of craft, food and beer tents. Open 1100-1900.


Saturday/Sunday 17/18 September 2016: The London Open House Weekend is a London-wide event in which many fascinating buildings normally closed to the public open their doors. A leaflet giving full details is usually available in public libraries two to three weeks beforehand or much earlier via their website, which also contains a useful search facility. You need to book for some visits, and queue for others, but most of the smaller venues are readily accessible on a "turn up and enter" basis. Local attractions may include:-

Incidentally, there is a similar event for buildings outside London a few days before this one. Full details are on the Heritage Open Days website.

Saturday 26 September 2015: Lambeth Archives Open Day, Minet Library, 52 Knatchbull Road, SE5. A "must see" for all those even vaguely interested in local history. The exhibitions are open from 1000-1700, and there are lots of themed talks spaced throughout the day.

Saturday 12 September 2015: "Less po-faced than the Oxbridge race and much more colourful":- The Great River Race features 300 boats with crews from around the world including replica Greek galleys, Chinese dragonboats and Viking longboats! They sail with the tide from one side of London to the other, and pass under Vauxhall and Lambeth Bridges. Check the website for timings.


Sunday 1 November 2015: The London to Brighton Run: Veteran cars - built in or before 1904 - drive up Kennington Road, past Kennington Park, and up the Brixton Road. The first and oldest reach Kennington Cross at about 0715 and the last pass through at about 0830. It is said to be the World's longest running motoring event.

Saturday 14 November 2015: The Lord Mayor's Show is a great spectacle, featuring a long and entertaining procession culminating in some beautiful horse-drawn coaches. No Londoner should miss it!

The show is followed by fireworks in the early evening.

Information Please!

Please contact Martin Stanley by email if you can help update, or suggest improvements to, this webpage.