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…»
The National Gallery in London boasts one of the finest art collections in the world, a must-see on any trip to London.
But until February 5, the National Gallery is home to one of its biggest blockbusters ever. The exhibit, “Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan” focuses on da Vinci’s work from the years of 1482 until 1499, when he firmly established himself as the renowned da Vinci we know today while working for the Duke of Milan.
The National Gallery in London
On display are 7 of the 14 known da Vinci paintings (like both the Louvre and National Gallery’s Virgin on the Rocks), 60 da Vinci drawings (more than half of which are from the Royal Collection including10 of his work for preparation of “The Last Supper”) as well as works from da Vinci’s pupils and a reproduction of “The Last Supper” by his pupil Giampietrino. All of this makes it perhaps the easiest way to see Leonardos since the 15th century.
But with the show brining in such important pieces of art, the show has unprecedented demand. With tickets already sold out, the best way to get a ticket is through the 500 tickets distributed at the beginning of the day. But there is no need to worry about overcrowding in the gallery, as the museum has limited the capacity to 180 people while the gallery can hold 230. Due to the fragile nature of the art, the show will not be traveling and it’s possible this will be the only chance you’ll have to see so many da Vincis in one place. Read the entire story here…»
There may be no better place to spend Christmas than in London.
Trafalgar Square at Christmas
Crossing the neighborhoods of Mayfair, Soho , Marylebone and Fitzrovia, Regent Street and Oxford Street, the two main shopping streets in London, are dressed-up in Christmas lights for the holidays, a must-see. A great time to check out the lights is on December 10-11 when Oxford Street is closed to all automobile traffic and pedestrians can walk down the street to go shopping. Those days there are many different sales and events put on by the stores on Oxford Street, making it maybe the best shopping day in London.
For those who want a different way of shopping, there are many Christmas markets that open across London. From traditional Christmas gifts to alternative gift ideas and great food, the Christmas markets are a great way to experience a fun way of shopping. The Cologne Christmas Market opens around the Southbank Centre and the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is another traditional German Christmas Market. You’ll find some of the most unique gifts as the Duckie Christmas Market in the Barbican.
For the kids, Santa Grotto’s are set up in many stores, most famously in Harrods and Selfridge. Both stores are located around Hyde Park, with Harrods in Knightsbridge and Selfridge to the west side of the park This gives the children a chance to Santa for gifts for Christmas. At the Selfridge store, there are many activities besides just speaking to Santa, including an ice grotto where kids can play with real snow, meet with a Wish Fairy, and dodge snowballs thrown by Jack Frost and snowmen. Reservations for both stores are recommended. Read the entire story here…»
Winter is a great time in London. The primary tourist season is over so many of the attractions are easier to get into. And on top of that, London in the winter is unique time. Like always. London offers numerous special events.
Tower Bridge in London with Fireworks above
On November 12, the Lord Mayor’s Show takes place, just as it has ever year since 1215. The procession is for the Lord Mayor to pledge allegiance to the Queen. The procession takes place in theCity and goes from the Mansion House, home of the Lord Mayor, through St. Paul’s Cathedral and finishes in the area of Bloomsbury – West End at the Royal Courts of Justice. At 5 p.m. the event concludes with a firework show on the Thames. Read the entire story here…»