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Monthly Archives: August 2014

Totally Thames – 1st to 30th September 2014

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30 days, 42 miles, 100+ events, 1 river…

Totally Thames takes place over the whole month of September, a new season of arts, cultural and river events presented by Thames Festival Trust throughout the 42-mile stretch of the Thames in London.

The  programme will feature arts, music and community festivals, colourful regattas, thrilling river races, foreshore archaeology, exploration, environmental and educational activities, as well as river-linked activities in all 17 London riverside boroughs.

Highlights include

Source to Sea River Relay

1 bottle, 200+ miles.  Walkers, swimmers, rowers, and more come together in this unique relay, passing a bottle filled with water from the Thames’ source, through the capital, and out to sea.

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The Fire Garden is an illuminating, artistic tribute, delivered on a monumental scale, to Battersea Power Station before it is closed for redevelopment.

St Katharine Docks Classic Boat Festival

Sat 13 – Sun 14 Sept, 11am – 6pm / Free event

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Barge Driving Races

Sun 14 Sept, 11am – 3pm / Free event

The Great River Race

Sat 27 Sept, 12.30pm – 7pm / Free event

Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Festival

Fri 5 – Tues 9 Sept /Free event

For more information , visit the Totally Thames website here

 London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

The Great River Race – 27th September 2014

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The Great River Race, London’s River Marathon, is a spectacular boat race up the River Thames over 21.6 Miles from London Docklands to Ham in Surrey. It attracts over 300 crews from all over the world and appeals to every level of competitor from those who enjoy fun, fancy dress and charity stunts, to serious sportsmen and women who like to win.

It has become popular with competitors and spectators and  has become truly international event with crews coming from America, Canada, Croatia, Holland, Italy, Sweden, France, Germany, Ireland, and the Channel Islands, as well as all over the UK.

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With entries now well over 300 boats carrying approx. 2,400 competitors racing for 35 trophies, The Great River Race has become the biggest and most prestigious event of its kind in Europe.

The Race timings:
From 9:30 hours. MILLWALL RIVERSIDE, WESTFERRY ROAD
Competing crews arrive, register and prepare their boats for the launch and of course the Race.

Start
12:40  MILLWALL DOCK SLIPWAY
The starter fires the maroon to start the first of the 300-odd entrants. Boats leave on a ‘slowest first, fastest last’ handicap basis, giving all crews an equal chance.

13:10 TOWER BRIDGE
Not long after passing Canary Wharf, the unmistakable outline of Tower Bridge comes into sight. The Bridge is a great favourite with spectators who love to line the rails to watch the crews fighting for position as they approach.

13:25 WESTMINSTER BRIDGE

Tricky currents give crews, especially novices, a tough challenge as some fight to hold on to their handicap advantage, while others try to weave their way through. Great racing for the crowds as the competition hots up.

13:30  LAMBETH BRIDGE
The leading boats are now passing the Houses of Parliament and concentrating on the long haul upriver. Back at Millwall there are still more than one hundred boats yet to start.

13:45  BATTERSEA BRIDGE
Approaching the halfway point and the crews have now received maximum assistance from the incoming tide. The riverside promenades above and below the Bridge make excellent vantage points.

13:55 WANDSWORTH BRIDGE
While the best crews in the slower boats are still leading the field, the more powerful crews in the faster craft are now showing their speed as they move through the field.

14:00 PUTNEY BRIDGE
While the head of the Race is now two thirds of the way home, the end of the fleet has just cleared central London.

14:15 HAMMERSMITH BRIDGE
Tricky currents around the Dove Pier just above the Bridge will test tiring crews and weary coxes.

14:45 CHISWICK BRIDGE
With around an hour to go, speculation mounts as to whether those low-handicap boats which have led the fleet for so long will be able to hold on to their advantage or be overwhelmed.

15:00 KEW BRIDGE
Now racing a against a semi-rural backdrop, the faster dragonboats, Waterman Cutters, Pilot Gigs and Celtic Longboats are beginning to show their superior pace and feature in the top twenty.

15:30 RICHMOND BRIDGE
Richmond’s riverside spectators cheer on the crews as they pass through the Bridge. With 35 trophies up for grabs, crews must draw on their last reserves to vie for a winning spot.

15:40 RIVERSIDE BELOW HAM HOUSE, RICHMOND
The Race winner crosses the line to a cannon broadside, rousing applause, and the prospect of receiving The Challenge Trophy of The Company of Watermen & Lightermen and becoming the UK Traditional Boat Champions in the process.

 For more information visit the Great River race website here

 London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

 

 

London Fashion Week – 12th to 16th September 2014

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London Fashion Week  is one of the highest profile fashion events in the world and one of the ‘big four’ international catwalk events. The event is organised by the British Fashion Council  and funded by a number of sponsors.

London Fashion Week is seen as important to highlight London and British fashion’s place on the global stage; it is estimated that orders of over £100m are placed during LFW each season

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Over 5,000 visitors attend: buyers, TV & radio crews, journalists and photographers. Media coverage equals or exceeds most major news and international sporting events.

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There are 60 catwalk shows on the official schedule  as well as further 45 show off schedule and more than 30 on-schedule presentations and salon shows. The Designer Showrooms that run alongside the catwalk shows showcase over 120 ready-to-wear and accessories designers each season. LFW visitors have access to many more designers through presentations, multi-brand and individual showrooms.

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In addition to the official and off-schedule events, LFW has become a focus for a large number of fashion linked activities with international designers, media and other high profile brands choosing to host their own events during the week.

 For more information visit the London Fashion Week Website here

 London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

London Open House Weekend – 20th and 21st September 2014

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Open House started in 1992 as a small, not-for-profit organisation to promote public awareness and appreciation of the capital’s building design and architecture. The intention was to open up London’s  buildings to the general public who don’t otherwise have access. This was seen as  a way of helping the wider community to become more knowledgeable, engage in dialogue and make informed judgements on architecture.

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The ethos of Open-City is to draw attention to the value that public space offers to the community, their pioneering programmes and initiatives are designed to meet the needs of decision-makers, young people and the wider community.

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The concept has become so successful it has spread to nearly 20 cities worldwide. These are New York, Dublin, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Helsinki, Melbourne, Galway, Barcelona, Slovenia, Chicago, Rome, Lisbon, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Thessaloniki, Limerick, Buenos Aires, with Gdansk-Sopot-Gdynia, Athens, San Diego and Vienna joining in 2014. All cities are part of the Open House Worldwide Family, which strongly holds that the ethos behind the original event remains consistent.

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The vast majority of buildings are on a first come basis, however, a few of the properties will require you to book in advance through them and contact details are given in the building entry.

 For more information , visit the Open House London weekend website here

 London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta – 5th to 9th Sept 2014

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The biggest fleet of tall ships to come to the capital in a quarter of a century will be visiting London for the Greenwich Tall Ship festival in September.
Over 50 tall ships attending the festival which will be moored at Greenwich, Royal Arsenal Woolwich, Wood Wharf (Canary Wharf), Enderby Wharf and Victoria Deep Water Dock. The will be a number of Cruises operating from Woolwich, and you can gain access on board some other ships for free.

Tall Ships And Glamour Camping Coming To Greenwich For Summer 2012

Greenwich is the destination port of the Falmouth – Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta 2014. The ships leave Falmouth on 31 August and will arrive in Greenwich on the 4th of September.

The Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta will be the highlight of the Festival. Over 20-30 Class A Tall Ships and more than 40 smaller Tall Ships from 4 to 9 September 2014. This event starts 4 September, when the Tall Ships arrive on the Thames after an exciting race from Falmouth. During the regatta the Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Festival will be from 5 to 9 September 2014.

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From 5 to 9 September, Royal Greenwich will host five days of activities. The Royal Greenwich Tall Ship Festival will provide a spectacular programme of music, dance and family entertainment.

For more information, visit the Royal Greenwich Festival website here

 London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

All you need to know about the Notting Hill Carnival – 24th to 25th August 2014

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The  Notting Hill Carnival was created as a response to the Notting Hill riots  in 1958, A Caribbean Carnival was held in 1959 at St Pancras Town Hall , for many years it was a jointly organised with  a London Free school festival in Notting Hill which promoted cultural unity.

However by the 1970s, the festival had become distinctly Caribbean in flavour and  attracted crowds of 150,000. It also attracted an element of trouble , when riots threatened the future of the Carnival.

Gradually over the last 20 years it has grown into one of the biggest carnivals in the world and an important date in the London Events calendar.

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Map of the parade route and sound systems

Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance has been the carnival’s traditional starting point. The carnival procession itself begins at 9am on both Sunday and Monday,  The main parade starts on Great Western Road, winding its way along Chepstow Road, then on to Westbourne Grove, and then down Ladbroke Grove.

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23rd August 2014

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A fabulous, free open air evening for the entire family, steel band lovers, general music lovers or anyone looking to enjoy a great evening in a Caribbean style atmosphere.

The evening consists of a competitive performance by national steel bands and other entertainment.

•Venue: Emslie Horniman Pleasance Park, Bosworth Road, W10
•Fee: Free
•Time: 6pm to 10pm

24th August 2014

Sunday Parade / A Family Day
Children Parade showcase their flamboyant costumes dancing along the carnival route to the rhythms provided by the mobile sound systems or steel bands.

A fabulous display of vocals, on the “World Music Stage” at Powis Square.

38 systems are strategically located around the footprint of the carnival. Family workshops at Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance, a variety of tasty Caribbean foods, drinks and lots more.

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A fun time to mark the opening of the carnival. Dance along the streets to the pulsating rhythms of steel bands, riddim bands and African drummers.

Procession begins and ends at Canal way, Ladbroke Grove W14 next to Sainsbury’s car park. Time: 6am to 10pm

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25th August 2014

Monday Parade / The Grand Finale
The Grand finale 60 bands in magnificent costumes dance to the rhythms of the mobile sound systems or steel bands.

Enjoy the magnificent continuation of vocals on the “World Music Stage” at Powis Square.

38 static sound systems will  entertain you with diverse genres of music and stage performances which contribute to the Carnival’s vibrant atmosphere.

Sample the diverse attractions of food, music, and additional activities.

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Top Carnival Tips

In many ways the Carnival is the victim of its own success attracting huge crowds into the often small backstreets of Notting Hill. Following some of the following tips will greatly enhance your enjoyment.

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The area is heavily congested so don’t even try to drive to the event . Use public transport but be aware of what stations are closed.

Try to arrive early, it will be a lot less crowded.

Wear comfortable shoes, you will be doing a lot of walking or standing around.

Avoid carrying expensive items, pickpockets like big crowds and will on the look out for easy pickings. (Don’t put valuables in your back pocket ).

Do tell police if you see an incident. Officers will be stationed throughout the Carnival area.

Don’t try to walk against the flow of the crowd.

Arrange meeting points in case you become separated. Remember mobile phones will often not work in the large crowds so don’t rely on them.

There is always large queues for toilets and they will run out of paper, bring your own toilet paper and hand sanitiser.

Children’s Day on Sunday is recommended for families because of  the smaller crowds and kid-friendly floats.

Pushing a buggy will be virtually impossible, carrying children is often the best option.

The Music will be very loud, Ear defenders may be necessary for very young children.

 For further information visit the official Carnival website here

 London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Book Review : Quiet London (Quiet Corners) by Siobhan Wall (Frances Lincoln Publishers)

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When Siobhan Wall’s book Quiet London was first published in 2011, it represented part of the authors search for peaceful havens in some of the worlds most iconic cities. Starting with Quiet Amsterdam, Quiet London was followed by Quiet Paris and Quiet New York.

The success of the original Quiet London  book has led to the production of three new Quiet London Books that further explore the many  places to sit and relax without excessive noise.
In the book Quiet London (Quiet Corners) , the author explores more peaceful places that often provide a sanctuary away from the stress and strains of modern city living .

After an introduction the book is divided sections which include Parks, gardens and opens spaces, Churchyards & cemeteries , Places to relax, Places of worship, Places near water, Places to sit, and finally Places to stay .

In the introduction, the author argues that Quiet Corners and places to breathe are not just a pleasure but a necessity for our mental health, this is especially important for children whose use of parks and woodland presents a natural balance to an increasingly digital world.

In recent years this is a message that London has taken seriously with a series of large parks being renovated and a large number of individuals, groups and organisations seeking to promote biodiversity by reclaiming waste ground for nature reserves and gardens.

It is within parks such as Lloyd in Walthamstow and Morden in recent years that wildlife and their habitat is taken seriously , Peckham Rye Park and Common is another green space that has been transformed by the local authority and local residents.

But as the author points out it is not just the large green expanses that offer a peaceful haven, even  deep within the city with Grosvenor Square Garden and Princes Square there are places to sit and reflect.

Perhaps one of best places to reflect on our mortality is in a churchyard or cemetery, Abney Park is a good illustration of the way that many Victorian cemeteries have turned into a woodland memorial park and local nature reserve. Many churchyards in London are particularly picturesque and often have well tended gardens.

For those who want a little more than sitting quietly , the author offers a selection of places to increase your wellbeing which include  Yoga , Meditation, Tai Chi and Spa’s .

After discussing the pleasure of sitting in churchyards, the next section covers the  inside of Places of Worships. Central London is fortunate to have a large number of churches that offer some sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of the street outside.  St George’s Hanover Square and All Saints Margaret Street both offer some spiritual respite from the crowds of Oxford Street.

In London, two of the greatest pleasures is finding Places near water and Places to sit and the book offers a wide range of spots to  enjoy.

Finally we are treated to Places to Stay, rather than large impersonal hotels, the author looks at a number of Bed and Breakfasts or lodges  which offer a refuge even in what could well be described as noisy areas.

The book is well written and informative with each location illustrated by a short  description and a photograph. The author is also an artist and uses those talents to find locations that may be quiet but are also aesthetically pleasing .

One of the major surprises of a book like this is that we often imagine in a major city there are very few quiet corners but actually when you look around you realise there are actually quite a large number. Many people who live in London will have their favourite quiet corner which they frequent, however this book offers a wide range of quiet corners.

Anyone who spends any period of time in London whether a resident or a visitor realises it can be extremely stressful and overpowering, this book offers an antidote by providing information about those all important sanctuaries where we can relax and recharge our batteries.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

 If you would like to find out more about the book or buy a copy , visit the publishers website here 

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here