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Find something new in London

London is one of the most visited cities in the world, no surprise when you appreciate its diverse culture, cuisine and historical attractions. Full of art and creativity, it continues to aspire and seek out new innovations that invite discovery.

London’s skyline ostentatiously displays both its history and modernity – Big Ben dominates Westminster, while the Shard casts a shadow over Tower Bridge. Focus the lens and a city of villages starts to emerge, culminating in a metropolitan melting pot of ideas and beliefs, of sights and sounds, from all corners of the globe. From the grandiose mansions of Kensington to the pop-up bars of Brixton, its vast and distinctive green spaces, and everything in between. With worldwide flights to London you will find something to suit your holiday in this magnificent capital.

London festivals calling…

London festivals.

London’s festival scene is as eclectic and diverse as the British capital itself, with something for all tastes. This summer Lovebox is the festival with the big names. Head over to Victoria Park on the 15 and 16 July to see Major Lazer, LCD Soundsystem and Jungle do their thing. Alternatively, for the more dance-inclined, South West Four at Clapham Common will provide all the beats you could want. The Chemical Brothers, Rudimental and Dizzee Rascal vie for your attention, among many more over the bank holiday weekend – 27 and 28 August.

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Find out what's on in London this June

June brings the early summer sun, so expect outdoor sports, music festivals and some delicious food events. You’ll also find new exhibitions, including the grand opening of the new section of Tate Modern. And don’t forget to bring your dancing shoes to the London's best Pride event at the end of the month.

1–7 June
london doctor faustus.

1–7 June

Head to Hurlingham Park on 3 to 5 June to see some of the best polo players in the world at the annual Polo in the Park.The rules have been simplified for new spectators not versed in the intricacies of the original game, so grab a glass of Pimm’s and enjoy the show as six teams compete for the cup.

Game of Thrones fans can see actor Kit Harrington sink his teeth into something a bit more high-brow at the Duke of York Theatre. This is your last chance to see Christopher Marlowe’s story of a man’s descent into madness at the loss of his soul, Dr Faustus,as the play ends on 25 June.

8-14 June
london field day festivals.

8-14 June

There are two festivals starting this week, first up is the brilliant Meltdown, this year curated by Guy Garvey of Elbow fame, taking place at the Southbank Centre between 10 and 19 June. Using his extensive black book of fellow musicians and friends, Garvey has created a great line up including Femi Kuti and I Am Kloot, among many others.

On 11 and 12 June the wonderful Field Day Festival returns to Victoria Park in East London. A stunning line-up awaits, with PJ Harvey and James Blake headlining, and many other eclectic bands and artists performing over the weekend. This is sure to sell out, as it is one of London’s best summer parties.

15-21 June
london new tate modern.

15-21 June

Gourmets of London unite at Taste of London for five days of signature dishes from some of the capital’s finest restaurants. Explore new ideas of the culinary world, watch live cooking shows guaranteed to set your mouths watering and sample the delights of the world’s best chefs. Head to Regents Park between 15 and 19 June to learn some new recipes.

Tate Modern has a new building, and with it new spaces for art and a new ethos. The beautifully-designed New Tate Modern opens to the public on 17 June, just behind the original power station site. Allowing visitors to see contemporary art, interactive and experimental projects from further afield – Russia, Latin America and the Middle East.

22-30 June
pride in london.

22-30 June

The Pride in London Festival starts on 10 June, but the big celebrations are not until the end of the month on 25 and 26 June. Head to Trafalgar Square on 25 June for the Pride Parade, or Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens for the party on the 26 June. Expect a fabulous time, full of wild costumes and smiling faces all round.

And again at Southbank, it is your last chance to see the wondrous The Wondercrump World of Roald Dahl before it ends on the 3 July. Embark on this magical journey through Roald Dahl’s life and work, reliving childhood moments of fanciful fiction and inspirational ideas.

Find out what's on in London this July

The summer hits London in July, bringing the sun and even more music events – like the annual Citadel day festival. Brand new shows debut in the West End, including the kid-friendly Gruffalo musical. Plus conventions galore, a wonderful flower show and the biggest cycling event in the country – what more could you ask for?

1–7 July
Royal Academy of Arts to see David Hockney.

1–7 July

Starting the month with a British art icon, visit the Royal Academy of Arts to see David Hockney RA: 82 Portraits and 1 Still Life starting on 2 July. In this fantastic new body of work, Hockney has rediscovered his love for portraiture and painted various subjects over the past two years living in Los Angeles.

A kids’ favourite starts at the Lyric Theatre on 6 July, in a musical version of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s family classic The Gruffalo. Performed by Tall Stories, this is a brilliant telling of this timeless story, with laughter, a few scares and great music to guide you along the way.

8-14 July
Wireless Festival.

8-14 July

All those with green fingers should venture to Hampton Court Palace, where the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is in full bloom from 5 to 10 July. With stunning floral arrangements, delicious artisanal food and some celebrity gardeners giving talks, this is not to be missed.

The 11th annual Wireless Festival takes place at its new-ish home of Finsbury Park from 8 to 10 July. With some of the biggest names in electronic dance music and hip hop gracing the stage, this is definitely one to see. Calvin Harris leads up the Friday line-up, while Chase & Status are Saturday’s headliner, so book tickets now.

15-21 July
star wars celebration europe 2016.

15-21 July

Returning from a galaxy far, far away to London’s ExCeL London Exhibition Centre, the Star Wars Celebration Europe takes place from 15 to 17 July. Fans of the epic saga will revel in the success of the latest film, The Force Awakens, and get a sneak preview glimpse of the upcoming Rogue One. There is also an impressive cosplay competition and a few celeb speakers to enjoy.

Head down to Victoria Park in Hackney on Sunday 17 June for a wonderful one-day festival. Citadel brings a chilled out atmosphere to East London for a day of music, games and comedy, and Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós head up the live music.

22-31 July
alices adventures in wonderland.

22-31 July

Lewis Carroll’s influential and imitable fantasy Alice in Wonderland has been given the opera treatment by composer Will Todd. Now in its fourth year, Opera Holland Park brings this strange tale to life at Holland Park on 28 and 29 July, one for all the family.

And finally, Prudential Ride London sees thousands of cyclists takes to the road in an annual bike festival. This closed-road event is one of a kind in the UK and both professionals and amateurs alike can enjoy the events on 30 and 31 July. Those not cycling can get a taste of the action watching from the side-lines.

Find out what's on in London this August

With summer in full swing London adds a delightful medley of outdoor events to the mix, which include outdoor film screenings and an eclectic display of live music. Foodie gatherings and beer festivals invite you to sample and celebrate local produce, while the Bank Holiday brings three days of fun to the capital.

1 – 7 August
51st state festival.

1 – 7 August

For the second year running, the popular 51st State Festival will be returning to Trent Park on 6 August. This one day dance festival, which specialises in US house music, brings together new acts and dance legends for an unforgettable music event – set in one of North London’s most stunning parks.

Or enjoy a civilised weekend which celebrates music, arts and nature at Caught by the River Thames on 6 and 7 August. This new festival unites bands, brewers, authors and artists for two days of diverse and inspirational activities, held in the verdant grounds of Fulham Palace.

8 – 14 August
london craft beer festival.

8 – 14 August

Between 9 and 13 August, the Great British Beer Festival will bring more than 900 real ales, ciders, perries and foreign beers to the Olympia exhibition centre. Traditional pub games and live music add to the atmosphere, while the wide variety of food stalls offer everything from pub grub to innovative street cooking.

Or for craft beer, street food and live music head to Bethnal Green gas works for the London Craft Beer Festival from 12 to 14 August. With 60 world-class brewers uniting under one roof, you’ll have the opportunity to sample UK-brewed creations and dine on beer-inspired, locally sourced cuisine, whilst enjoying big music acts.

15 – 21 August
top gun 30th anniversary.

15 – 21 August

London’s parks, rooftops and open spaces provide plenty of opportunity to enjoy outdoor cinema throughout August. London’s favourite open-air film festival Film4 Summer Screen, held in the spectacular setting of Somerset House, ends on 17 August. Watch your favourite movie under the stars in a stunning courtyard setting. Choose from a variety of films, all showing on a state-of-the-art screen with full surround sound.

Celebrate the 30th anniversary of Top Gun at Regents Park Open Air Theatre on 21 August. Enjoy this 80s classic, and its iconic soundtrack, on the big screen. Soak up the surrounds of the impressive auditorium and its beautiful park setting…summer in the city doesn’t get much better than this.

22 – 28 August
the big feastival.

22 – 28 August

Enjoy a unique weekend of music, food and family fun at The Big Feastival coming to the The Cotwolds on 26 to 28 August. Set on Blur bassist Alex James’ idyllic farm, he and TV chef Jamie Oliver have created an exciting fusion of live music and foodie favourites, with a huge helping of family fun on the side – in the form of vintage funfair attractions and animal encounters.

Don’t miss the excitement of the Notting Hill Carnival, which takes place over the Bank Holiday weekend on 28 and 29 August. The overwhelming sights, sounds and smells are at the very heart of this colourful celebration - with two days of festivities including live music, traditional cuisine and a flamboyant parade that is not to be missed.

29 – 31 August
foodies festival alexandra palace.

29 – 31 August

Don’t miss the Foodies Festival Alexandra Palace, which takes place over the Bank Holiday weekend and ends on 29 August. The culinary elite come together for this food-themed event, as celebrity chefs and familiar MasterChef faces cook up a storm. Enjoy flavours from around the world and creations by expert mixologists, or pick up tasty products from the Artisan Producers Market. Cookery classes for children and live music make this a great day for everyone.

Alternatively head to the stunning setting of Hampton Court Palace for the BBC Good Food Festival, which also finishes on 29 August, after three days of fun over the long weekend. Discover a great selection of artisan producers, an unbeatable line up of cooks and chefs, fantastic live entertainment and fun for all the family.

London neighbourhood guide

If you’re planning a trip to London, one of the most important considerations you’ll make is where to stay. London is like a city of villages, each providing a different city break experience. Our hotels in London are spread across many of London's neighbourhoods. For entertainment there’s no better place than the West End. Westminster is at the heart of politics and royalty. Or stay around Tower Bridge and soak up quintessential London and the ‘city life’.

Bloomsbury & St Pancras
St Pancras train station

Bloomsbury & St Pancras

Bloomsbury has attracted writers and liberal thinkers for centuries. Streets lined with Victorian architecture and beautiful garden squares contribute to its distinctive village feel. Our bestselling hotel in this area is 3* Royal National – it’s basic but, as a comfortable base in a great location, it is ideal. King's Cross St Pancras is one of London’s most newly regenerated areas and it’s now an exciting place to be. Here you’ll find The British Museum, The British Library and the much underrated Charles Dickens’ Museum. Fantastic transport links provide easy access around London and across the UK, with Eurostar serving London's high-speed rail link with Paris, Brussels and continental Europe too.

London: An insiders guide

Saska portrait.
London: An insiders guide

Author and resident Saska Graville unearths off-the-radar places to eat, sleep and shop.

Read the full article here

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