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London’s lost castles
The city skyline is increasingly dominated by towering structures of glass and steel, yet once upon a time inner London was fortified with castles made of bricks and mortar. Read on to find out where you can see the remnants of London’s lost castles.
Things to do
Just under two weeks left to marvel at the butterflies in a greenhouse outside The Natural History Museum. £6.50, concessions available, prebook, until 13 September
A new exhibition opens today at Leighton House Museum which celebrates the craft of painting and drawing while preserving classical techniques. The collection includes delicate sketches and studies; life-size, oil portraits; colourful landscapes and exquisite nudes. £5/£7, just turn up, until 4 October
BIG THAMES TIDY UP:
Spend the morning at Greenwich Pier doing your bit to help clear up the Thames. Families welcome and there will be plenty for children to see and do. Free, prebook, 9am-11.30am
See an exhibition at The National Gallery, which combines artistic masterpieces with specially commissioned sound installations created by talented musicians including DJ Jamie XX and composer Gabriel Yared. £6, prebook, 10am-4.30pm
PETANQUE AT ROOF EAST:
Petanque, a game we usually associate with old men in France, has arrived at Roof East in Stratford. Get a team of six together and enjoy views over the city while you test your bowling arm. Each participant receives a complimentary Orangina. £15, prebook, 6.10pm
Nicolas Winding Refn, the director of Drive, will be talking about his new book The Act of Seeing, a collection of rare exploitation posters at BFI Southbank. £5.32, prebook, 6.15pm
MUSIC AT MERCHANTS:
Continue the bank holiday partying at Merchant’s Tavern in Shoreditch where Lord of the Rings actor turned DJ Elijah Wood will be entertaining guests with vinyl classics. Free, just turn up, 6.30pm
Enjoy nibbles while you sip on some of the best Portuguese wine with Bedales at Spitalfields Market. £17, prebook, 7pm
AFRICAN DRUMMING WORKSHOP:
If you were impressed by the steel drums at Carnival over the weekend, why not have a go yourself at this African drumming workshop at The Kirtland Centre in Mile End. Suitable for 10 years+. £10, prebook, 7.15pm
Conway Hall in Holborn is hosting a talk on the financial crisis and why capitalism needs debt write-offs to survive. £5/£10, prebook, 7.30pm
Hear the mesmerising, hypnotic sound of SU:M, who’ll be playing traditional Asian instruments at Southbank Centre tonight. £9.50, prebook, 7.45pm
Join poet and host Sam Berkson at The Book Club in Shoreditch for Hammer & Tongue, one of London’s premier spoken word nights. Expect a talented mix of spoken word, poetry and hiphop. Sign up from 7.30pm, £5/£6, just turn up, 8pm-11pm
Good cause of the day
The Royal Parks Foundation has launched a campaign to restore the once iconic cherry tree avenue in Regent’s Park. The tradition of planting cherry trees there began in the 1930s, when Queen Mary’s Rose Garden was created with donations from the artist Sigismund Goetze. The last cherry tree was planted on Chester Road in 1978, and reached the end of its natural lifespan in February 2015, leaving the parks without these beautiful and iconic trees. You can help by sponsoring a cherry tree.
The real Ripper
The Jack the Ripper tourist industry is flourishing at the moment as N Quentin Woolf discovered in a Londonist Out Loud podcast where he chats to the man who claims to know who the real Ripper is. Has he solved the mystery or is he ripping people off? You’ll have to tune in to find out.
Find more London events in our Free & Cheap events listings. Want to see your event in these last-minute listings? Email us at hello@ at least 48 hours before the event, and we will consider it for inclusion. Note: due to high volumes of email, we can’t always reply.