Are you looking for something to do over the May Bank Holiday weekend?
The celebration of May Day dates back to ancient times, but it still takes place in the UK every year on May 1 or the first Monday of the month.
May Day is traditionally the fourth UK wide bank holiday, following on from New Year’s Day, Good Friday and Easter Monday.
The celebration of May Day dates back to ancient times, when Romans celebrated the festival of Flora, the goddess of flowers and spring. In Britain, people celebrated the festival of Beltane on 1 May to mark the halfway point between spring and summer.
Nowadays, people are generally given a day off work to organise and attend events to celebrate the approaching summer season.
This brings me nicely to the point of this article in the first place.
What to do in and around Bromley this May Bank Holiday?
The rich history of activism in Lewisham will be told via the medium of music thanks to a month-long festival, Rebel Music. There’s all sorts going on, from an in-conversation evening with legendary dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson, to an Afrofuturistic vogue ball. Pick of the programme this weekend is the Reggae Roast at the Fox and Firkin pub, which promises rum cocktails, Caribbean street food, and plenty of reggae and dancehall.
Launching for the weekend, Underbelly is promising food and drink stalls aplenty — Indian from Tandoori Tadkaa, seafood from the London Grilled Fish Company, sustainable choices from Ewe Pulled — as well as Spiegeltent promising everything from cabaret to comedy, drag to burlesque to acrobatics. This weekend is more about sinking a few pints in the sun than getting in the tent, but there’s plenty to enjoy as it runs throughout the summer.
Blackhorse Beer Mile
Move aside, Bermondsey: there’s a new beer mile in town. Taking in six breweries and taprooms along Blackhorse Lane in Walthamstow, it’s one to explore on the bank holiday Monday. Start at the northernmost spot, Hackney Brewery, and work your way south before ending up in the beer hall at Truman’s Social Club, which will be serving food and playing music all day and into the evening.
Rooftop Film Club, Peckham
Rooftop Cinema at the Bussey Building in Peckham opens this bank holiday, kicking off with True Romance with Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette. Jurassic park, West Side Story and Belfast, which will be captioned and signed as part pf Hard of Hearing Week, all so feature on the big screen through the course of the weekend.
Bredgar and Wormshill Light Railway, Sittingbourne
Enjoy the stunning bluebells and forest flowers that shower the woodlands around this light railway. Take a comfy seat on a traditional train carriage and watch from your window as you whizz past the colourful spring flowers and wild nature growing either side of the tracks. Once you’ve journeyed through the area on the train, you can take part in a family-friendly treasure hunt with fun prizes for those who manage to solve the clues.
Chatham Historic Dockyard
Kick off your bank holiday weekend with a historic day at Chatham’s fascinating dockyards. The Railway Day gives enthusiasts a chance to see traditional locomotives, explore the restoration projects and meet the volunteers who work tirelessly on these unique engines. It’s been estimated that in the past there was around 17 miles of standard gauge railway in the dockyard; today, just under one mile of track remains and runs from just outside the dockyard to the far end of Anchor Wharf. During your visit, you can also explore the rest of the dockyard, including the ropery and submarine.
Hever Castle, Sevenoaks
Dance around the Maypole, clap along to traditional Morris dancing and take a seat to watch the May Day play as Hever Castle celebrates the bank holiday weekend. Take in the colourful sights, from the bright ribbons of the Maypole to the spring gardens full of pear, apple and cherry blossom, as you explore the castle grounds. Children can also visit the Tudor Towers adventure playground, which features its own moat and drawbridge, and have fun in the water and yew mazes while you take a break with a light lunch in the castle restaurants, cafes, or in any of the beautiful picnic spots.