Punch and Judy Festival Covent Garden – Why, and When in 2017?
Every year in May, there is a Punch and Judy Festival Covent Garden. This fun festival is a popular annual treat for families. Punch and Judy Professors and Puppeteers from all over the country come to perform Punch and Judy Puppet shows throughout the day. These shows celebrate the art of puppetry on Mr Punch’s “birthday” (see below).
In 2016, the event was held on May 10th at St Paul’s Church on the West Piazza, celebrating the spot where Samuel Pepys first recorded in his diary seeing a Punch and Judy-style show in London on 9th May 1662. (This date is now considered Punch’s birthday.) This year was the 40th anniversary of the Covent Garden May Fayre and Puppet Festival, and Punch’s 353rd birthday!
The 2017 Punch and Judy Show Covent Garden May Fayre is always held on the second Sunday in May (on or near the date of Punch’s birthday). Details to come.
Punch and Judy Festival Covent Garden Proceedings
Each year, the Punch and Judy Festival Covent Garden includes:
- a grand procession around Covent Garden starting in the Church garden, led by the Superior Brass Band with a birthday toast to Mr Punch by the commemorative plaque on the church wall in the Piazza
- a special church service in St Paul’s Church with Mr Punch in the pulpit
From 12.30pm until 5.30pm, there’s usually Punch and Judy puppet shows, puppet workshops, stalls, refreshments, folk music by local bands, maypole dancing and clowns.
If you are wanting to know more of what’s on in London, or things to do in London with kids, check out our Ultimate Guide of Things to do in London with Kids. We find all the fun things to do during family holidays and when travelling with kids.
The Inside Scoop – Punch and Judy Festival Covent Garden
Opening Hours & Entry Fees
- Admission is free.
- Festival opens at 11am until 5.30pm
- Phone:+44 (0)20 7420 5856
- Punch and Judy Website
- Email (guest relations): firstname.lastname@example.org
- Covent Garden’s tube station is a very short walk from the Market Building at the end of James Street. Covent Garden is on the Piccadilly Line.
- Other local tube stations include: LEICESTER SQUARE – 5 minutes walk, CHARING CROSS – 6 minutes walk, HOLBORN – 10 minutes walk, TEMPLE – 11 minutes walk and TOTTENHAM COURT ROAD – 12 minutes walk
- The best way to get to Covent Garden and discover its secret passages and surrounding areas is to walk. To find out the best route for you, visit WalkIt.com.
- There are bike racks in Southampton Street, Bow Street, and on the corner of Russell Street & Wellington Street.
- For more information on cycling in central London, visit the Transport for London web site: www.tfl.gov.uk/cycling
- If you’re heading for Covent Garden by bus, the RV1 stops at Covent Garden. The 9, 13, 15, 23, 139 and 153 all stop at Trafalgar Square and Aldwych (both a short walk from the Market Building).
- The No. 24 stops at Leicester Square; Covent Garden is signposted from there.
- For more information on buses in London, visit the Transport for London website: www.tfl.gov.uk/buses.
- Hail a London Black Cab and just ask the driver to take you to Covent Garden Market.
- If possible, it is best to avoid driving to Covent Garden as parking is very restricted. There is limited on-street parking with meters on some surrounding roads.
- If driving, it is essential to remember to pay the Congestion Charge. The charge can be paid online, in selected shops and petrol stations, by post, by SMS from your mobile phone or by phone on +44 (0)20 7649 9122. Two of the largest car park providers in central London are Masterpark and NCP.
- The closest jetty to Covent Garden where regular boats dock is at Embankment. You can find out more information on the Transport for London website: www.tfl.gov.uk/river
Location and Map
- Address: St Paul’s Church Garden, Bedford St, Covent Garden London WC2E 8RF
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