With the new year in full gear now, we decided to give you a run-down of all the 2014 London must-do events for the rest of the year. So start planning your itinerary!
Until the end of March you can still catch the incredible Drowned Man show at the National Theatre. The mind-boggling stage production, realised by the renowned Punchdrunk team, takes you into a dark and twisted journey linking Hollywood of the 1960s to a tragedy from the 1800s. This award-winning play requires for you to walk through different stages and can last up to 3 hours – depending on how curious you are about the Drowned Man..
With spring in the air, April is a sporty month on the annual events calendar, with the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race marking the highlight of the season, especially in west London. Thousands flock to the banks of the River Thames in Hammersmith and Barnes to watch young men row their hearts out on 6 April. The event is mostly a social get-together though, designed for people to meet with old friends and make new ones, though it is of course steeped in history.
By the time May comes around, London has usually begun to blossom and bloom in more ways than one. The Chelsea Flower Show provides an annual opportunity to look for your own green thumb and explore the rich world of botany. From English gardens to tropical plants, you’ll find plenty to discover here between 20 May and 24 May. And don’t forget to drink plenty of champagne while you’re there – it’s a true Chelsea Flower Show tradition.
The social season in London really only starts kicking in by June, with the Wimbledon Championships providing plenty of outdoors fun for the entire family to enjoy – and not just for tennis enthusiasts. Beginning at the end of June (and running into July), the championships are quite easy to get tickets for during the qualifiers, but the real action at the semi-finals and finals might be more difficult to gain access to. However, there are plenty of opportunities to watch the matches live on the lawn just outside the courts, with large screens putting you right into heart of the action while still enjoying a lovely picnic.
The theme of the sporting summer continues with boat enthusiasts flocking to the Henley Royal Regatta in early July. The world-famous regatta features over 200 races over the course of one week, and attracts thousands of visitors – all dressed to impress. With countless social events and musical performances providing an engaging framework to the regatta, there’s plenty of reason to come out to the races and discover your inner poshness.
If you prefer to stick to the land rather than hit the water, stay in London and wait for the competitors in the Tour de France to hit Westminster on 7 July.
BuckinghamPalace opens its doors to the public each August, allowing you partake in guided tours of the majestic building and hopefully spot a few members of the Royal Family while there. Explore the centre of the British Monarchy and enjoy being in this privileged proximity to this monumental institution. Just don’t mention the war…
You can alternatively catch the Notting Hill Carnival, which brings you the best of Caribbean culture right into London on 24 and 25 August.
As summer draws to an end in London, locals like to celebrate the last few balmy evenings by partaking in some great musical events. The Last Night at the Proms in Royal Albert Hall and the open-air Proms in the Park (just outside) both provide excellent opportunities to bask in some incredible classical music in early September. Summer in London wouldn’t be the same without kissing it goodbye at the proms.
Long before the awards ceremonies in Los Angeles start gearing up, the BFI London Film Festival gives you a chance each year to learn about the most outstanding and interesting movies from around the world. There are plenty of red-carpet events and star-studded moments to enjoy during the festival for about half the month, so make sure that you get an all-access pass. Cameras rolling and ACTION!
If you prefer visual arts over film, there’s also the Frieze Art Fair taking place in mid-October, where young designers highlight their work and sell to the public at amazing discount prices.
With autumn in full action by now, the Lord Mayor’s Show might just be the last opportunity for you to get outside without having to wear scarves and mittens. The pompous event held on 8 November has been happening for almost 800 years and marks the Lord Mayor’s journey to see the Queen and swear his service and allegiance to her Royal Highness. In other words, it’s just another good excuse for a colourful party.
With a fairground atmosphere and loads of activities, eateries and other stalls, several Christmas Markets adorn the streets of London each December. Whether you spend a day at the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park or go the South Bank Centre for some candy floss, the city is transformed in anticipation of Santa Claus, which is obvious to see on every child’s face, as Christmas lights go up all over the city.