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Spoonfed - Things to do in London



Upminster Windmill  2014 OPEN DAYS

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We give you an essential list of major events in London we'd suggest visiting. Of course, as there are plenty of interesting events, you should check daily what's on in London:


New Year's Eve - On New Year's Eve, there are plenty of celebrations, fireworks and parties in every corner of the capital. Enjoy spectacular fireworks along the river Thames (space in viewing areas along the Thames to watch the fireworks will be limited, but the display will of be broadcast live on television), or one of the other London fireworks displays on New Year's Eve. For those of you who like to party, New Year's Eve in London offers some of the best clubs, pubs, dining, private celebrations and sophisticated functions in the world. Be informed that many of these venues are likely to be ticketed with advance booking.


London is full of places to visit alone or with your significant other, think about that especially in occasion of St. Valentine's Day. You could simply walk around in a green environment (take some air in one of London's Royal Parks or enjoy the magnificent winter display at Kew Gardens, Hyde Park is an ideal spot to rendez-vous, the same as Kensington Gardens) or follow an urban path (explore the quirky and cultural aspects of Bloomsbury, or the boutiques of Covent Garden. You could impress your date with panoramic views (there are several London restaurants that take advantage of their location near London's river Thames), catching a West End show, taking a romantic stroll (London has plenty of lovely places to wander, even in frosty February!). For romance mixed with culture, see an opera or ballet at London's Royal Opera House or visit Hampton Court Palace). You could also snuggle up in a cosy pub or soak up some history and culture. In addition, don't forget one of the many hot spots to impress: The London Eye, The Millbank Tower or Vinopolis.


St Patrick's Day - Saint Patrick is one of the patron Saints of Ireland and the day is traditionally celebrated with a feast all over the world, by people of both Irish and non-Irish descent. This event celebrates all things Irish, with laughter, fun and, of course, Guinness! There are special events taking place throughout the week. Enjoy London St Patrick's Day Parade, which involves marching bands, floats, street theatre and more. All 32 Irish counties are represented, dressed in their traditional county colours, as well as London's Irish community and other Londoners. As well as the parade, you can see the best of Irish music, dance and culture in Trafalgar Square at the St Patrick's Day Festival. St Patrick's Day is celebrated across the capital, with parties in many London pubs and bars.

The Cambridge Boat Race - Can Cambridge win Oxford? Enjoy this race by seeing the teams from a bridge or the river banks!


St George's Day - St George is the patron saint of England. His name is most commonly associated with the legend of St George and the Dragon: George obtains glory by slaying a dragon that is terrorising the countryside and is about to eat a beautiful princess. George survives the ordeal by invoking the sign of the cross. As a mark of their gratitude, the local citizens all convert to Christianity and seek to copy George's chivalrous, princess-saving behaviour. London celebrates St George's Day with a lot of free events including parades, food festivals, theatrical events, children's activities and more. St George's Day is officially 23 April, but London usually celebrates the English patron saint for the entire the week leading up to that date. The Mayor of London usually puts on a free, family-friendly St George's Day Concert in Trafalgar Square.

The London Marathon It's a must, don't miss it!


Chelsea Flower Show It's the world's greatest flower show!


Trooping the Colour - London celebrates The Queen's official birthday each year with Trooping the Colour, a fantastic military parade, which after existing in various forms from around 1700, was restored in 1820 on the accession of King George IV. Although the official birthday is celebrated in June, Queen Elizabeth II's actual birthday is in April. Monarchs are traditionally given a second birthday if they were born in winter, in case the weather is unsuitable for an outdoor event! Trooping the Colour takes place on Horse Guards Parade in London's St James's Park. The ceremony of Trooping the Colour is full of military pomp and pageantry as The Queen carries out an inspection of the troops from the Household Division. The Queen then leads the troops down the Mall to Buckingham Palace, one of London's most famous landmarks. The Queen salutes and guns are fired in Green Park and at the Tower of London. Finally she joins other members of the Royal Family on the balcony to watch the RAF flypast.

Royal Ascot - It's Britain's most popular race meeting. It's the place to see and be seen for high society, royal watchers, fun seekers and horse racing enthusiasts alike! Steeped in tradition, heritage and pageantry, Royal Ascot dates back 300 years and is attended by the Royal Family, including Her Majesty the Queen. Founded by Queen Anne in 1711, Royal Ascot features a daily horse-drawn procession from Windsor Castle to Ascot Racecourse led by the Royal carriage.

Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships - It is one of four annual Grand Slam tennis tournaments held around the world and is the world's longest-running and most prestigious tennis tournament. Games are still played on the original playing surface, grass, and there's a strict white-only dress code for players. The tournament attracts around 500,000 spectators and millions of television viewers worldwide. Advance tickets for Wimbledon are allocated via a public ballot, which was first introduced in 1924. The ballot is always oversubscribed, so entry does not entitle you to tickets. Successful applicants are selected at random by computer. It is not possible to request tickets for specific days or courts.


Hampton Court Palace Flower Show - It's the world's largest annual flower show. As well as the stunning floral displays, you can learn about growing your own fruit and vegetables, get tips on gardening in a changing climate, and shop for garden products. Enjoy yourself with six days of all things horticultural: thousands of gardening fans can see, smell and touch an abundance of floral delights. Visitors can enjoy around 50 inspiring display gardens including the tranquil water gardens (a unique category of this show), the rose marquee and the innovative conceptual gardens showcasing the next big names in garden design. From contemporary to traditional, there are plenty of design ideas to suit any garden lover.


Notting Hill Carnival - It's Europe's biggest street festival and takes over the streets of West London, which get packed with steel bands, Calypso music and tempting food stalls. The Notting Hill Carnival is a huge party with Carribbean theme! Everybody is welcome!

You should know in advance, nevertheless, that the streets are overcrowded and you're in danger because of plenty of pickpockets! Although you expect a sea of colour as amazing floats and costumed performers wind their way through the streets of London, you should know that your wallet is in danger because plenty of pickpockets! Anyway, whether you want to join in the fun or simply watch the crowds go by, don't miss the chance to be part of one of London's biggest and best annual events.The Notting Hill Carnival usually gets under way on the Saturday with a steel band competition. Sunday is Children's Day, with a shorter parade route. It's also the day that the costume prizes are awarded. Bank Holiday Monday sees the main parade. In the evening, the floats leave the streets in procession and people continue the festivities at the many Notting Hill Carnival after-parties.


Remembrance Day and Remembrance Sunday - Each year in November, the United Kingdom remembers the men and women who gave their lives in the two World Wars and subsequent conflicts. 11 November is known as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day. During the First World War, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the guns of the Western Front fell silent after more than four years of continuous warfare.

St Andrew's Day - St Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland. He was the brother of St Peter and was Christ's first disciple. He spent his life spreading the word of Jesus and died as a martyr on a diagonal cross (the St Andrew's flag shows a white diagonal cross on a blue background). His ties to Scotland stem from a traditional tale that St Andrew's bones were housed there for several hundred years up until the Reformation. On St Andrew's Day many people in London devote themselves to a celebration of all things Scottish. Expect bagpipes, tartan, golf, whisky and, of course, haggis!

Thanksgiving - The American holiday of Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. In Britain, while it's not an official holiday, lots of American expats and tourists, as well as their friends and relatives, like to mark the occasion by coming together to eat a traditional Thanksgiving feast. Festive food for Thanksgiving includes turkey, pumpkin pie, chowder and anything with an American theme. Thanksgiving menus are available on the day from lots of London hotels, pubs, clubs and restaurants.


Christmas - London acquires a special sparkle around Christmas time. The weather is frosty, the Christmas lights are twinkling, and shoppers line the streets. The centrepiece of London's Christmas spectacle is the giant pine tree – a gift to London from the people of Norway – which is beautifully adorned and set up in Trafalgar Square each year. On Christmas Day, London's hundreds of Christian churches, chapels and cathedrals hold Christmas services, which everyone is welcome to attend. Nothing gets you in the festive spirit like your favourite Christmas music. So head along to one of the many classical music and carol concerts happening in London this Christmas: many feature world-famous singers and orchestras as well as family-friendly, singalong shows. 
Beautiful historic houses and churches in London also have a wide range of recitals to lift the spirits and put everyone in a festive mood. Just to give you some ideas, you could enjoy St Martin-in-the-Fields, The Royal Albert Hall, St Paul's Cathedral, The Wetland Centre's courtyard, The Cadogan Hall, Southwark Cathedral, Westminster Abbey.

Further events

Changing the Guard - For a display of British pomp and ceremony, watch the Changing the Guard ceremony, also called Guard Mounting, outside Buckingham Palace, held every day (11.30 a.m - 12.00 p.m.). The event is the process involving a new guard exchanging duty with the old guard.
The Guard that looks after Buckingham Palace is called The Queen's Guard and is divided into two Detachments: the Buckingham Palace Detachment (responsible for guarding Buckingham Palace), and the St. James's Palace Detachment, (responsible for guarding St. James's Palace). All the guards taking part in the ceremony are dressed in traditional red tunics and bearskin hats, and the ceremony is set to music.

The Children's War - A major exhibition marking the sixtieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War. The exhibition looks at the home front in Britain and the impact of the war through the eyes of children who lived through it. Incorporating hands-on activities for visitors of all ages, it also features a recreation of a two-storey wartime house.

18/03/2005 - 18/03/2008 - Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, London, SE1 6HZ, ph. +44 (0)20 7416 5320, Fax: +44 (0)20 7416 5374,

Admission: Adult free, Child free, Concession free, Family free.

Ceremony of the Keys - The 700 year old ceremony of the locking of the main gate of the Tower of London carried out each evening by the Chief Yeoman Warder of the Tower accompanied by an escort of guards.

02/05/2003 - 31/12/2010, Tower Hill, London, EC3N 4AB,

Admission: Adult free, Child free, Concession free, Family free. Please, note that admission passes are required and must be obtained in advance upon written application. Quote name, date required & alternatives, number of people and enclose a SAE.

If you like history and or art, you're likely to visit London's most popular galleries and museums. The good news is that you can see six of the world's greatest museums and galleries for free, all them or part of them!: