The city of London lights up for the holiday season
It’s that time of year again! Snow is glistening and Jack Frost is nipping at your nose. Christmas spirit has settled over London like fresh snow as the city lights up like a Christmas tree. In this article we’ve compiled all the best things to do for the holiday season, including holiday markets, outdoor ice skating, seasonal must-sees, and of course all those great Christmas activities you can’t live without.
The Winter Wonderland holiday market in Hyde Park
Hotly anticipated every year is the first day the holiday markets open. Glittering little shops spring up throughout the city, all of them great places to pick up a hot cocoa or a present for that difficult-to-shop-for relative. But of all the markets in town we’ve tracked down the very best. So be sure to visit one or two this holiday season!
- A gorgeous park any day, Hyde Park looks like it’s straight out of a snow globe around Christmas. For that reason it has one of the best holiday markets in the country. The whole attraction is called Winter Wonderland but the market section is known as the Angels and Yuletide Christmas market, known for its unique stalls offering handmade gifts and hot cider. You can buy tickets to Winter Wonderland’s Christmas circus and ice sculpture garden, as well as to the biggest outdoor ice skating rink in the whole United Kingdom. The Angels and Yuletide market itself is, of course, free of charge. It runs every day from November 21st to January 4th, but the best time to come is just before dusk so you can watch the sun set over the park as the shops light up one by one. Read the entire story here…»
Most people travel to escape from the daily grind or to open their eyes to different cultures, geology and scenic views that will be remembered forever. According to search engine reports, searches involving the phrase “best things to do in ___” skyrockets during peak holiday seasons. With London standing at the forefront of the world’s best travel destinations, is it any wonder people want to know what’s happening in the Smoke City? Fear not! Through a careful selection process we have narrowed down the list of London’s best events to the truly exceptional top 10. These events are always internationally renowned, frequently attended by A-List celebrities, and often free or low-cost . If you’re heading to London this season, mark your calendars with these great events, and don’t forget to brush up on your London etiquette!
Runners cover the final stretch in the London Marathon
Founded by previous Olympic Champions, the London marathon is a long-distance running event spanning over 26 miles (42+ kilometers). The majority of the route is over level ground along the Thames River. The course begins at three different points – the “red start” in southern Greenwich Park, the “green start” in St. John’s Park, and the “blue start” on Shooter’s Hill Road. All three routes converge in Woolwich and the finish line is on Birdcage Walk in Westminster. The London marathon is one of the top six world marathons that form the World Marathon Majors (for which there is a $1 million dollar prize). As such, it regularly attracts world-famous athletes and Olympic champions. The event is free and is usually held on a Sunday in April. Read the entire story here…»
The Tower Bridge in London crossing the Thames River.
Ah, London in the summertime. Filled with warm breezes and cloudless skies, the city is most pleasing during this season – and there is no shortage of activities in which to revel! Whether it be kicking it in the shade or cheering on your favorite sports team in the open air, London offers a variety of fun and exciting events to make your summertime memories extra special.
Read on to discover all that London has to offer in the sunshine of the 2014 summer season– with this list of festivals, cultural events, movies and more!
Watch Outdoor Movies in London:
View of the Film 4 Summer screen at the Somerset House.
- Pop Up Screens: Looking for a romantic night out with your significant other? Perhaps you’d like to spend some down time with friends? This cult-classic movie night takes place all over London, and is usually outdoors. Film lovers can indulge in popcorn and a bar while watching a favorite flick. This summer will kick off with a showing of the hit-film Notting Hill at St. John’s Church in Notting Hill on May 4th. It will be indoors – rain or shine! Tickets cost £12 plus a £1.20 booking fee. If you’re interested in staying in the area, you may want to learn how to live like a local in Notting Hill. Read the entire story here…»
Christmas lights at Oxford Street in London
Twinkling lights, frosty air and mulled wine: London is at its most magical during Holiday Season! From November until January, the city is turned into one big winter wonderland. There’s ice-skating at the Tower of London, holiday markets all over town, a huge Christmas tree at Trafalgar Square, and, of course, Christmas shopping on Boxing Day! In this article we’ll list some of our favorite activities in London during the holiday season, so you’ll be able to make the most of your visit to London in the autumn and winter of 2013.
Holiday Markets and Fairs in London
Some of the best things about holiday season in London are the many amazing Christmas markets in the city. Besides Christmas gifts, these markets also offer culinary delights such as mulled wine and farmhouse food.
- If you only have the chance to visit one Christmas market, go to the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. This fair not only includes a huge Christmas market full of stalls offering handmade gifts and hot cider, but also has a Christmas circus, an ice sculpture garden, and the biggest outdoor ice-skating rink in the UK. While these last activities are ticketed, you can enter the Winter Wonderland site and Christmas Market for free. Walking around the snowy park, you’ll truly be filled with Christmas spirit! Read the entire story here…»
The Tower of London basks in the sun on a hot summer’s day
Summer is an ideal time to visit London. The Royal Parks are absolutely beautiful, the weather is at its best and London is simply flooded with festivals and concerts! From open-air movies in the city to the carnival in Notting Hill, there’s something new to engage in every day.
This article will list some of the best events to attend in London for Summer 2013. Enjoy the festivities! Read the entire story here…»
Every year, people across the globe ask the same question: where will I celebrate New Year’s Eve this year? If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous and spectacular than your regular New Year’s Eve celebration, celebrate New Year’s Eve away from home this year, in a global city where you can party like never before!
New York City, London and Paris all offer New Year’s Eve celebrations that will make December 31st 2012 a night to remember! For something else entirely, you can also try one of the bubbly cities in the South of France, such as Cannes or Nice, where the New Year’s Eve parties last all night long.
Let yourself be inspired by the New Year’s Eve celebrations across the globe listed in this article to ensure you’ll have the best New Year’s Eve yet!
New Year’s Eve in New York City
The ball drops in New York City’s Times Square on New Year’s Eve
Celebrating New Year’s Eve in New York City is nothing short of spectacular! Every year crowds gather in Times Square to watch the ball drop as a new year begins, and parties can be found across the city! Read the entire story here…»
In the first part of this Bastille Day blog series, we highlighted le quatorze Juillet festivities in Paris and Nice, where the 14th of July is one of the biggest holidays of the year. In other countries, the holiday may not be as big an event as it is in France, but there are still many festivities held in cities all over the world! In this second part of the series, we’ll take you across the English Channel to London and then across the Atlantic to end with Bastille Day in New York City. Whether you are an expat who misses the French culture, a true Francophile, or simply someone who enjoys baguettes, crêpes and macarons, Bastille Day 2012 in New York City and London will bring France right to you!
Bastille Day Festival in London
Bastille Festival in London
London is only 2 hours away from Paris by train, so it comes as no surprise that the capital city of the United Kingdom celebrates Bastille Day extensively!
For example, starting July 8th, the Lion & Unicorn Theatre and the Echange Theatre Company in London will even celebrate with an entire Bastille Week! Meanwhile, on the day itself there will be a Bastille Day Celebration at Canada Square Park in Canary Wharf.
The largest free event in London on July 14th 2012, however, will be the Bastille Festival. This festival has been celebrated at Bankside for five consecutive years now. The festival will take place on the southern bank of the Thames River roughly between Southwark Bridge and London Bridge. The free festival’s main locations are the Borough Market between Stoney Street and Bedale Street, and Park Street which will house the French Street Market. Read the entire story here…»
Hyde Park is a great place to attend concerts in London during the Summer
While all eyes this summer will be on the Olympic Games, even if you can’t get a coveted ticket to one of the events there will be still be a whole lot more going on in London than just sports.
London is hosting a city-wide festival coinciding with the games, named the London 2012 Festival, with events highlighting the best in music, art, and film the city has to offer. Furthermore, the festival will host live public viewings of the games in Hyde Park, Victoria Park and Trafalgar Square.
For music fans, BT London Live will feature a concert for the opening of the Olympics on July 27 in Hyde Park, featuring Duran Duran, Snow Patrol, Stereophonics and Paolo Nutini. On July 28 there will be a free show in Hyde Park featuring Tom Jones. The closing ceremony of the Olympics on August 12 will feature Blur’s last performance, alongside performances by other bands such as New Order and The Specials. Read the entire story here…»
For just the second time in history, London will be celebrating a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee from June 2-5 to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s 60 years as queen.
The weekend will be full of events and chances to catch a glimpse of Her Majesty, starting with the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on June 3. There are expected to be 1,000 boats, led by the Queen and the Royal Family on the Royal Barge, proceeding down the Thames from Putney to Tower Bridge. It will be the largest flotilla on the Thames in over 350 years with the boats ranging from tall ships to steam boats. The public can watch the boats sail down the Thames, and there will be a special festival in Battersea Park with vantage points of the pageant.
The Queen's Portrait on Buckingham Palace
On Monday June 4, 2,012 beacons will be lit around the UK, including the Queen lighting the National Beacon. The BBC Diamond Jubilee Concert will take place at Buckingham Palace, featuring musical legends Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, and Annie Lenox among others. Tickets are gone, but it will be broadcast on the BBC and you should still be able to hear the music from the public spaces around Buckingham Palace. Read the entire story here…»
A BAFTA award
The glitz of Hollywood comes to London on February 12. And better yet, you can be a part of it.
The annual British Film Academy Awards are held at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in Covent Garden. While you will have to known someone in Hollywood to get into the ceremony, movie fans line up along the red carpet to watch the stars enter every year.
In order to secure a spot along the red carpet, you’ll need to get a numbered wristband from the theater, with distribution starting at 8 a.m. When I attended in 2009, I arrived only 15 minutes before the distribution was set to start and waited in a long line, taking around two hours before I actually got my wristband. I’d recommend arriving around 7 a.m. to guarantee a spot.
The wristbands are individually numbered, so once you receiver the wristband you are allowed to leave. They start letting people into the viewing area around 3 p.m., so when you return to the Theatre Royal, you get in line numerically and rush to find a spot along the rails.
If you are looking to get autographs, make sure you bring a Sharpie and something for them to sign. The easiest thing to do it get a stack of index cards. Otherwise you can get pictures printed out at a Boots Drugstore or a place like that. Read the entire story here…»