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London is one of the world’s greatest cities for entertainment and the UK has a rich and diverse multi-cultural history and way of life. There’s always something on in the city and homestay hosts will be able to recommend places to go, events to attend and things to see in their local community. However, there are some large events that epitomise areas of British culture that may require a tube ride a little further – but if you do find yourself in the capital while these are on, we’d recommend making the trip and checking them out! Here is HFS London’s round up of some of the most anticipated events in 2020.

WOW Women Of the World Festival, 6-8th March, Southbank Centre

You may well have a WOW festival held in your home country, and London’s is one not to be missed. These events are for anyone who wants to learn more about equality issues, what it means to be a woman in the UK and on the fantastic achievements made by British women. A variety of events including talks, poetry readings, workshops, seminars, and ‘speed-dating’ topic activities take place across the three days; some free to attend, and some bookable.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show, 19th-23rd May, Royal Hospital Chelsea

A staple in the British events calendar, the Chelsea Flower Show is an ornate and extravagant show of all things green-fingered and pollen-filled! It isn’t cheap to attend but the world’s most famous flower show is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Even those who aren’t into gardening can easily fill a whole day wandering and exploring the displays. It’s also a great place to celeb-spot, so you may be able to grab a selfie or two with some British TV stars while you do!

Gala Music Festival, 23rd-24th May, Peckham Rye Park

London’s music festivals tend to be very crowded and very large, but Gala is a smaller and more intimate event than most. The Peckham festival showcases local DJs and musical acts alongside local street food stalls, so you can enjoy all the positive, Summer-y vibes of a festival without the ridiculously priced drinks and elbow-to-elbow crowds you find elsewhere.

Greenwich and Docklands International Festival, 19th June – 4th July, various venues

The Greenwich and Docklands International Festival is a fantastic collection of art installations, acrobatics, dance, circus and live music performances… and best of all? It’s all free! Hundreds of performers take to the South London streets to show off their skills and involve audiences. There’s no need to book and no fees to pay; just show up and see what you can see!

Pride, 27th June, various venues

Almost every city worldwide now hosts a Pride event and there’s no doubt about it: London’s is fabulous! The whole capital dons rainbow flags for the occasion and main parade on the 27th, which is free to attend and walk in. All along the route (which changes annually) you’ll find performances and events celebrating inclusivity, diversity and love. Everyone is welcome (you don’t have to be part of the LGBTQ community yourself) and no requirement to have attended anything like it before. Love wins… so grab some glitter and publicly proclaim your love for love!


If your study buddies aren’t able to attend any of these with you, why not ask your homestay hosts along? They may well be attending anyway and it’ll make for a great way to genuinely experience UK culture with locals; learning new things, seeing new places and immersing yourself in Britishness!

Still looking for a homestay? You can find our application form here.

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