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our pick of free things to do in london this may

1st May 2019. Deptford Jack. A man inside a nine foot high mock tree parades each May Day through south London. He is accompanied by Morris Dancers. More info. 

1st May 2019. Harp Recital by Claudia Lamanna. Royal Academy of Music, 1.05pm, Angela Burgess Recital Hall. Bach, Salzedo, and Godefroid. More info.

2nd May 2019 to 6th June 2019. Sound and Light Installation by Geoffrey King. Royal Academy of Music Museum. Visitors participate in generating new aesthetic experiences – of composing – as they enter the exhibition. More info.

3rd May 2019. Nuevo Tango Quintet. Royal Academy of Music, 7pm, David Josefowitz Recital Hall. The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires. More info.

7th May 2019. The Unacclaimed Accompanist. Gresham College lecture by Prof. Graham Johnson, Guildhall School of Music. Mercers’ Hall, 6pm. More info.

9th May 2019. Mozart Piano Concerto. Royal Academy of Music, 1.05pm, David Josefowitz Recital Hall. More info.

8th May 2019. Gresham’s Exchange. What does the Exchange tell us about Gresham’s ambitions both for himself and for London? Gresham College lecture by Prof. Stephen Alford, University of Leeds. Museum of London, 6pm. More info.

9th May 2019. Jesus, Hitler, and the Abolition of God. Gresham College lecture by Prof. Alec Ryrie, Durham University. Museum of London, 6pm. More info.

11th & 12th May 2019. Barnes Children's Literature Festival. Two days of free performances, dance, football, workshops and surprises. More info. 

12th May 2019. Chestnut Sunday, Bushy Park. Richmond. Pony riding, arena displays, refreshments, a traditional Fairground Carousel and a concert band. Each May. More info. 

14th May 2019. Inna Montesclaros piano recital. Enescu & Brahms. Royal Academy of Music, 1.05pm, David Josefowitz Recital Hall. More info.

18th May 2019. Waterloo Classics. Monthly classic car and motorcycle show and meet-up, with market stalls. Third Saturday of the month behind Waterloo Station. More info. 

20th May 2019. J.S.Bach organ recital by Andrzej Malitowski. Royal Academy of Music, 7pm, Duke’s Hall. More info.

21st May 2019. Exploring Earth from Space. Gresham College lecture by Prof. Jacqueline McGlade, University College London. Museum of London 6pm. More info.

21st to 23rd May 2019. Clerkenwell Design Week. A free design festival. Street installations, talks, discussions, and open studios and workshops. More info. 

22nd May 2019. Piano recital by Yoanna Prodanova. Crumb, Faure & Franck. Royal Academy of Music, 1.05pm. Angela Burgess Recital Hall. More info.

22nd to 26th May 2019. Central St. Martin's Art Degree Show. Showcasing graduating students' work in fine art and photography. More info. 

25th May 2019. Inspection of the Royal Horse Artillery. Annual inspection of the Royal Horse Artillery on Horse Guards Parade. Musical drive and gun salute. More info. 


Azaleas in Isabella Plantation. This woodland within Richmond Park has a splendid display of azaleas and rhododendrons, at their best in April and May. More info. 

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. Rescuing stray dogs and cats since 1860. Visits cost a modest £2 per adult, which we deem to be virtually free. A great institution. More info. 

Wisteria at the Hill Garden Pergola. The wisteria is at its best in May in this unusual and secluded hill-side garden on the western edge of Hampstead Heath. More info. 

And go online to Paul Talling’s remarkable photographs of Derelict London. They include Factories, Pools & Baths, Cinemas & Theatres, Porticos & Pillars, and abandoned cars and boats.

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