Home » Festivals and Events

Category Archives: Festivals and Events

The Museum of London Frost Fair from 19 November 2018 – 6 January 2019

The Museum of London will celebrate a unique London tradition that last took place over 200 years ago. The museum will become an immense frost fair as it begins a whole season of special events celebrating a traditional Christmas in the capital.

Between 1309 and 1814, the Thames would freeze on a regular basis; in that time at least seven frost fairs assembled on the ice. As the Thames froze, river traders and nearby businesses would take to the ice to sell their wares, creating a festival that would last until the ice thawed. Thames Watermen converted their boats into temporary stages and the frozen Thames played host to pubs, food stalls, coffee shops, souvenir stands and puppet shows. Printing presses produced souvenir publications and there were even rumours of an elephant being brought on to the frozen river near Blackfriars Bridge.

The water of the Thames was able to freeze as temperatures were much lower, but this was also due to the fact that the river flowed much more slowly than it does today. Since 1831, when the old London Bridge resting on nineteen solid piers was demolished and replaced with a new bridge with just five arches, the river has flowed too quickly to freeze. The Thames frost fair is a spectacle that will probably never happen again.

Visitors will create Christmas crafts and enjoy free performances of traditional festive tales, and the museum’s beloved Victorian Santa’s grotto will return, with children meeting Father Christmas and receiving a traditional toy, amidst a Victorian Street scene. The Museum of London frost fair runs from 19 November 2018 – 6 January 2019.

Museum of London Christmas Events

All events are free unless stated

Santa’s Victorian Grotto Dates: Sat 1–Sun 23 December 2018 Take a stroll through a twinkling Victorian Walk, transformed with festive decorations and the sound of carols, and discover Santa in his secret grotto. Tell Santa your Christmas wishes and receive a special gift. You can even have a photo taken to capture the moment. Book in advance, £10 (includes gift). Photographs available at additional cost.

The Thames frost fair Dates: Sat 1 & Sat 8 December 2018 at 1–1.30pm, 2–2.30pm & 3-3.30pm Imagine a winter so cold the Thames freezes over completely. It last happened over two hundred years ago during London’s final frost fair. Join us to create a frost fair scene that recaptures the magic of these special celebrations on the Thames.

Freezing frost fairs Dates: Sun 2 & Sun 9 December 2018 at 12.30–2pm & 2.30–4pm Join us for a Christmas craft session and create your very own frost fair scene that recaptures the magic of these special celebrations on the Thames.

Christmas Paper Crafts: a Frost Fair Workshop Dates: Sat 8 December 2018 from 1.30–4.30pm Get crafty for Christmas in this fun and festive workshop. Learn all the skills you need to make charming paper decorations and cards, inspired by the great frost fairs of Victorian London. You don’t need any experience, and all materials will be provided to create your beautiful crafts.

Season’s Greetings Dates: Sun 16 December 2018 from 12.30–2pm & 2.30–4pm Design a beautiful sparkly card to send to friends and family this festive season. Whether it’s a thank you card after the Festival of Lights, or a card in advance of Christmas, get creative and inspired by seasonal cards in our collection.

The Legend of Babushka Dates: Sat 15 & Sun 22 December 2018 from 1–1.30pm, 2–2.30pm & 3-3.30pm Take part in this interactive retelling of the traditional Russian story in which a little old lady heads off to see the baby Jesus. Along the way, she ends up giving away her gifts to people in need. After the story, discover different wrapping paper designs and create your own.

Cops & Robbers Dates: Thu 27 & Fri 28 December 2018 from 1–1.30pm, 2–2.30pm & 3-3.30pm Can you help a brave police officer catch the robbers of London town when they try to steal all the toys one Christmas Eve? Watch out for Granny Swagg and make sure she doesn’t get away in this fun re-imagining of Janet and Allan Ahlberg’s bestselling book, ‘Cops and Robbers’ with some traditional pantomime action!

Get Your Party Hats On! Dates: Sat 29–Mon 31 December 2018 from 12.30–2pm & 2.30–4pm Decorate a special hat and go hunting in the galleries for more at this art drop-in. From a worker’s cap or an office clerk’s bowler, to an aristocratic top hat, or the Queen’s crown, which hat will you choose to wear? Pick a hat from our silhouettes and decorate it with lots of glitter and festive sparkle to wear at your celebrations. Then try to spot them in the galleries!

If you would like further information, visit the Museum of London 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 2014, we have attracted 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

Review: Lord Mayor’s Show 2018 in the City of London – 10th November 2018

The Lord Mayor’s Show is one of the oldest and most important traditions of London, its origins go back to 1215 when King John was in trouble with his Barons looked to the City of London for support. In 1215 the King was persuaded to issue a Royal Charter that allowed the City of London to elect its own Mayor, but there was an important condition. Every year the newly elected Mayor must leave the safety of the City, travel upriver to the small town of Westminster and swear loyalty to the Crown. The Lord Mayor has now made the journey for 800 years, despite plagues and fires and countless wars, and pledged his (and her) loyalty to 34 kings and queens of England.

For the next few hundred years, Lord Mayor of London was by far the grandest position to which a commoner could aspire, and the Mayor’s journey was the celebrity spectacle of its day. Over the centuries it grew so splendid and so popular that by the 16th century it was known everywhere as the Lord Mayor’s Show. It features in the plays of Shakespeare, the diaries of Pepys  and in the pantomime story of Dick Whittington, who was the Mayor of London three times. In the 20th century the Lord Mayor’s Show was the first outside event ever to be broadcast live and it still attracts a TV audience of millions.

The modern Lord Mayor’s procession is a direct descendant of that first journey to Westminster. The state coach is 250 years old and the show features the City’s businesses, Livery Companies, charities, Her Majesty’s Forces, the City Police and Londoners from all walks of life come together to enjoy a celebration of the City’s ancient power and prosperity.

This is a procession unlike any other in the world: this year there were over 7000 participants, 20 bands, 200 horses, 150 floats and hundreds of other carriages, carts, coaches and other vehicles including vintage cars, steam buses, tanks, tractors, ambulances, fire engines, steamrollers, giant robots.

The procession sets off from Mansion House at 11am,  and was led off by the Band of HM Royal Marines (HMS Collingwood) .

Some of the highlights of the procession include:

Other Royal Marine units followed by The Bank of England’s float returns to the Lord Mayor’s show for the fourth year running.

Next came, Gog and Magog, the traditional guardians of the City of London. They first walked at the head of the Lord Mayor’s procession around five hundred years ago.

The Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office, London focus on artificial intelligence and smart city technology look with two 5m-tall robots.

There were plenty of pandas in a China float.

The City officials bring up the rear of the procession with Late Lord Mayor, the Light Cavalry, and Pageantmaster

The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment Band struck up the music for the new Lord Mayor.

The new Lord Mayor is Peter Estlin who becomes the 691th Lord Mayor and rides in the procession within the magnificent State Coach.

The new Lord Mayor is followed by the Company of Pikemen & Musketeers which is a ceremonial unit of the Honourable Artillery Company who provide a ceremonial bodyguard for the Lord Mayor of the City.

The procession lasted for around an hour long and reached  the Royal Courts at around 12.30. The return leg left Temple Place at 1.10pm and the tail of the procession arrived back at Mansion House at 2.30.

This eclectic procession is one of the great free shows of the London year, although part of a long tradition, the emphasis is always about fun and spectacle.  With an inflatable bear and pig, marching bands, military personnel, horses, carriages, colourful floats and much more. The Lord Mayor’s Show is one parade that you are never sure what you are going to see next.  The warm weather bought out huge crowds estimated at around 500,000 who enjoyed the procession and the free family festival fun in Paternoster Square and Bloomberg Arcade.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

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 2014, we have attracted 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

 

World Travel Market London at ExCel – 5th to 7th November 2018

World Travel Market London is one of the leading global events for the travel industry which generating more than £3 billion of business. Now in its 39th year, the event began at London Olympia in 1980, it moved to Earls Court in 1992 and ExCeL in 2002.

Over three days, the travel industry comes together as almost 5,000 exhibiting destinations from 182 countries and regions. A wide range of travel companies network with 51,000 travel professionals, key industry buyers, journalists, digital influencers, students and tourism ministers.

This event explores trends, issues and innovations in the travel industry and travel experts discuss some of the current travel issues.

The travel industry is undergoing considerable change and tourist boards, companies and destinations are looking more to the digital world to make their presence felt in a highly competitive market.

There will be a number of talks on a variety of subjects, although some of the main topics will be Brexit, responsible tourism and digital trends.

Too much tourism is another strong theme of this year’s event,  how do destinations with little infrastructure deal with massive increases of visitors ? This is becoming an increasing problem for a number of destinations.

The event is not open to the general public but is one of the major travel shows for travel professionals and those who work in the travel industry.

For more information , visit the Event 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 2014, we have attracted 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

Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 : A Space Odyssey IMAX screenings at the Science Museum – November 2018

Photo – Warner Bros

To celebrate its 50th Anniversary, The Science Museum will be presenting a series of IMAX 15/70mm screenings of Stanley Kubrick’s science fiction masterpiece “2001: A Space Odyssey,”.  This will be the first time that the 70mm IMAX print of Kubrick’s groundbreaking 1968 epic is being screened in the UK.

Photo – Warner Bros

Widely considered to be one of the greatest films of the 20th century, “2001: A Space Odyssey” redefined the Science Fiction genre with its revolutionary special effects and intelligent screenplay which Kubrick co-wrote with legendary science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke.

Photo – Warner Bros

The film was originally released in the 70mm Cinerama roadshow format in 1968 and starred Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood. In keeping with the original 1968 release, all IMAX screenings will feature a brief interval. Visitors are also welcome and indeed encouraged to come to any screening in 1960s dress.

Photo – Warner Bros

The Science Museum engagement comes on the heels of the widely successful “unrestored” 70mm film release of “2001: A Space Odyssey,” which was overseen by acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan, a lifelong admirer of Kubrick and who’s Dunkirk was recently screened at the Science Museum.

To get filmgoers in the mood for the film, they can visit the Science Museum’s Exploring Space Gallery which is home to a large and rich collection of space objects and memorabilia including rockets, satellites, probes and landers.

“2001: A Space Odyssey” runs at the Science Museum IMAX at varying dates and times from Thursday 1 November 2018.

Dates:

Thursday 1 Nov – 19.00
Saturday 3 Nov – 14.30 and 19.00
Wednesday 7th Nov 19.00
Saturday 10 Nov – 14.30 and 19.00
Wednesday 21 Nov – 19.00
Saturday 24 Nov – 14.30 and 19.00

Rating: The film is rated U but please note all under 12s must be accompanied by an adult

Running Time: The film is 2h 29 mins long plus interval

Costs: £14-£7, concs available

For more information and tickets, visit the Science Museum 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 2014, we have attracted 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

Dickens After Dark: A Hallowe’en Special at the Charles Dickens Museum – featuring The Grand Gothic Magic Lantern Phantasmagoria

For a very different Hallowe’en experience, take a trip the Victorian home of Charles Dickens for A  Hallowe’en Special after dark. Explore the mysteries of the future with a Tarot reading from the fortune teller in the basement. As guests move through the historic house, actor Dominic Gerrard will be performing best loved Victorian horror story extracts from The Signalman, The Monkey’s Paw, The Ghost in the Bride’s Chamber, The Ensouled Violin, Captain Murderer, Porphyria’s Lover & John Charrington’s Wedding. Performed in the shadows, with a live underscore, these stories will delight and fright.

For an added touch of Hallowe’en magic, tickets can be upgraded to include a Grand Gothic Magic Lantern Phantasmagoria by internationally renowned performers Jeremy and Carolyn Brooker. At the heart of the shows will be an authentic triunial magic lantern from 1880-90, the rarest and most complex device, combining three projectors in one. This will be a bizarre and fantastical celebration of goblins, ghosts and the downright weird.

Date: 25 October; Timed entry from 6pm. Tickets: £20; £25 (incl. magic lantern show).  Recommended suitable for ages 18+

Weekend of Magic Lantern shows – A Grand Magic Lantern Show (family show) and A Grand Gothic Magic Lantern Phantasmagoria

Amidst his fascination with science, Dickens was a great lover of the visual spectacle created by the magic lantern shows that he enjoyed as a boy; he also adored a good ghost story. The Museum presents a weekend of special magic lantern shows from internationally renowned performers Jeremy and Carolyn
Brooker, combining these two passions. At the heart of the two very different shows will be an authentic triunial magic lantern from 1880-90, the rarest and most complex device, combining three projectors in one. This will be a fast-paced, seasonal celebration of goblins, ghosts and the downright weird, featuring
the most spectacular effects the lantern can produce; an entertainment for children and families including acrobat pigs, exploding volcanoes and the most famous of all magic lantern illusions, the Man who Eats Rats.

Dates: Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 October at 11am (family show), 12 noon (family show), 1.30pm (Phantasmagoria show), 3pm (Phantasmagoria show).
Tickets: From £6 – £16.50 from dickensmuseum.com.

Charles Dickens Museum is at 48 Doughty Street, Bloomsbury, the London Townhouse into which Dickens moved with his family in 1837. The Museum holds the world’s most comprehensive collection of Dickens related material, including the desk at which he wrote his later novels, including Great Expectations, A
Tale of Two Cities, Our Mutual Friend and The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Charles Dickens Museum 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 2014, we have attracted 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 Literature Festival at the Southbank Centre – 18th to 28th October 2018

Held over eleven days across Southbank Centre’s 17-acre site, the festival features a packed programme of exclusive appearances, live readings, newly commissioned performances, talks, debates, poetry, visual displays, workshops, award ceremonies, book launches, family events, music, free activity and more.

Playing host to a wealth of award-winning literary greats, iconic artists, emerging talent, international writers and leading thinkers, Southbank Centre’s twelfth London Literature Festival explores the world in which we live and celebrates the power of literature to reflect on the burning issues of our times.

 Featuring Akala, André Aciman, Yomi Adegoke, Ellah Allfrey, Becky Albertalli, Laura Bates, Mary Beard, Jay Bernard, Melvyn Bragg, Melvin Burgess, Sam Byers, Soraya Chemaly, Sarah Churchwell, Julian Clary and David Roberts, Roger Daltrey, Juno Dawson, Imtiaz Dharker, Carol Ann Duffy, Aida Edemariam, Esi Edugyan, Olafur Eliasson, Sally Field, Mohsin Hamid, Melissa Harrison, Terrance Hayes, E. Lockhart, Madeline Miller, Robert Muchamore, David Olusoga, Chibundu Onuzo, Sue Perkins, Marilynne Robinson, Salman Rushdie, Samanta Schweblin, Nikesh Shukla, Adam Silvera, Lemn Sissay, Sharlene Teo, Olga Tokarczuk, Elizabeth Uviebinené and more.

Highlights include                                              

Iconic artists and broadcasters reading from and discussing new books including Sally Field, Olafur Eliasson, Sue Perkins, Melvyn Bragg and the exclusive London launch of Roger Daltrey’s new memoir Thanks a lot, Mr Kibblewhite: My Life

A series of London exclusive in-conversation events with award-winning British and international writers including Marilynne Robinson, Salman Rushdie, Mohsin Hamid, André Aciman, Olga Tokarczuk and more

A special one-off live reading of Homer’s The Odyssey commissioned by Southbank Centre in partnership with the TLS and performed by a stellar cast alongside a series of panel discussions co-curated with the TLS and King’s College London exploring this epic poem featuring Mary Beard, Madeline Miller, Sharlene Teo, Simon Goldhill and more

The world premiere performance of Chibundu Onuzo’s 1991, a new commission from Southbank Centre

A series of discussions exploring contemporary America featuring writers and thinkers including Soraya Chemaly, Laura Bates, Terrance Hayes and Sarah Churchwell.

A series of events exploring race and society with writers and artists including rapper Akala and broadcaster David Olusoga in conversation together and Slay In Your Lane co-authors Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené

Live poetry readings from both emerging and established talent including Jay Bernard, Sarah Howe, Richard Osman, Helen Mort, Imtiaz Dharker, Mark Pajak, Keith Hutson and Carol Ann Duffy who presents her last collection as Poet Laureate in an exclusive event

Inspired by The Odyssey, a series of discussions with novelists exploring the theme of homeland including Esi Edugyan, Aida Edemariam, Samanta Schweblin, Laia Jufresa, Guiseppe Caputo, Melissa Harrison and Sam Byers

Awards celebrating marginalised voices in publishing including the Creative Future Literary Awards presented by Lemn Sissay, a panel with the SI Leeds Literary Prize shortlist chaired by Ellah Allfrey and the Polari First Book Prize

YA Day featuring the best writers of Young Adult Fiction including Nikesh Shukla, Juno Dawson, Nikita Gill, Robert Muchamore, Melvin Burgess, Adam Silvera, Becky Albertalli and more

A broad range of family events and free activity coinciding with half term week including writer Julian Clary and illustrator David Roberts with their latest tale in The Bolds series. 

For more information, visit the Southbank Centre 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 2014, we have attracted 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

 

Golf: Hero Challenge at Canary Wharf – 9th October 2018

After the excitement of the Ryder Cup, Londoners and visitors can see some of world’s leading golfers tee up for an innovative one-hole shootout in Canary Wharf. Some of the world’s leading players including Justin Rose will tee it up for this one-hole shootout, where they will hit the ball from a floating tee into a specially constructed floating green in South Dock amongst the skyscrapers in one of London’s main financial districts.

The exciting one-hole shootout called the Hero Challenge will act as the prelude to the Sky Sports British Masters, which takes place at Walton Heath Golf Club and will be hosted by World Number Two Justin Rose.

Joining Rose in Canary Wharf will be fellow Ryder Cup star Thorbjørn Olesen, the winning European Captain Thomas Bjørn, English duo Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston and Matt Wallace, as well as Irishman Paul Dunne – the defending Sky Sports British Masters Champion.

This is a fun and atmospheric opportunity to see some of the world’s top golf pros in action, the first 2018 edition of the Hero Challenge took place at Edinburgh Castle in July and was won by American Matt Kuchar.

For those looking for more golf action, the Sky Sports British Masters takes place between the 11th – 14th October 2018 at Walton Heath Golf Club in Surrey. Walton Heath Golf Club which is an hour away from Central London was founded in 1903 and has two top class 18-hole golf courses.

Hero Challenge takes place at Canary Wharf (South Dock) on Tuesday October 9 – 6:30pm (live show begins), 5:00pm gates open

For  free tickets, visit the Eventbrite 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 2014, we have attracted 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