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Find something new in London

London street.

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 October

In October, the summer has truly wound down and the days are getting shorter, but the change in season brings new exhibitions, shows and concerts to welcome the autumn months. From classical music and high – brow art to skiing and yoga, October is an exciting month in London.

1 – 7 October

1 – 7 October

October begins with Italian crossover tenor, Andrea Bocelli coming to London’s O2 Arena on his Cinema tour. On 1 October, be stunned by his beautiful and captivating voice – love songs and classic cinema soundtracks make up the playlist for this unmissable night. With support from Nicole Scherzinger (on the back of her West End debut in CATS), this promises to be an amazing show.

Between 3 and 9 October, make sure you get involved in London Cocktail Week at the famous Spitalfield’s Market in the east end. Over 250 bars have set up camp in the market, offering signature cocktails for a mere £5 (with an armband), alongside delicious street food and some great bands.

8 – 4 October
cake and bake.

8 – 14 October

From cocktails to cakes, when the Great British Bake Off team take over ExCel over the weekend of 7 to 9 October. The Cake and Bake Show  sees the GBBO crew and past – competitors put on a show, including live bake – offs, which alongside some delicious cakes and delectable baked goods sounds a good way to spend a Saturday.

However, cinema might be more your thing, so head over to the BFI Southbank from 5 to 16 October where the 60th annual BFI London Film Festival is taking place. Watch world premieres, see cast members and live in the glamourous world for the week as the stars come out in force.

15 – 21 October
GB london.

15 – 21 October

Starting on the 6 October until February, the unbelievable talent of Pablo Picasso is explored at the National Portrait Gallery. From the realist paintings of his childhood to the ultra – cubist humorous caricatures of his later life, this is a huge collection of Picasso’s Portraits from the most famous artist in the world.

It is the last chance to see the theatrical version of George Orwell’s dystopian nightmare 1984 at the Playhouse Theatre. It finally ends its run on 29 October, after being extended previously. This fantastic take on Orwell’s dark future feels pertinent in our ever more surveillance – filled world, be careful Big Brother is watching.

22 – 28 October
peter pan goes wrong.

22 – 28 October

Following widespread critical acclaim, the hilarious Peter Pan Goes Wrong comes to the Apollo Theatre in its Christmas run. From the 20 October to January, mishaps, cast disputes and flying problems make JM Barrie’s classic a hysterical farce, but be warned this is not a pantomime.

The Om Yoga Show London brings the capital’s finest yogis and yoginis to Alexandra Palace from 21 to 23 October. As it is the biggest yoga exhibition in Europe, and offers free classes, workshops and stalls of all things yoga, you will find thousands of fellow enthusiasts striking a warrior pose or two.

29 – 31 October
comic con london.

29 – 31 October

Comic book and cosplay fans unite at the 28th biannual MCM Comic Con London, which takes place at ExCel in London’s Docklands. Over the weekend of the 28 to 30 October, fans can meet their favourite comic writers and artists, plus celebrity film and TV stars. Alongside this, there will be cosplay competitions and masquerades, where simply amazing costumes are recreated to a fine detail.

During the same weekend, The Telegraph Ski and Snowboard Show brings the mountains to Battersea Park. Get ready for the winter chill at London’s biggest and best alpine event, from 27 to 30 October, browse all the new kit, watch some high – octane sport and listen to some great music.

Find out what's on in London this November

Before the city turns festive with pop – up ice – skating rinks and Santa's grottos, the skies light up with firework displays to commemorate Guy Fawkes, and later the Lord Mayor's Show. Remembrance Sunday brings a glorious show of red poppies, to mark those who lost their life in the line of duty.

1 – 7 November

1 – 7 November

The skies of London will light up with elaborate firework displays on and around 5 November, as the capital remembers Guy Fawkes and his famous plot. With displays across the city, it’s hard to escape the beautiful sights and familiar sounds of Bonfire Night. Head out to Battersea Park Fireworks for the annual display on 7 November, which will enjoy a ‘Royal Night Out’ theme.

Marking its 120th year, on 6 November around 400, pre – 1905 vehicles, will take part in the Bonhams London To Brighton Veteran Car Run. These vintage car enthusiasts will depart from Hyde Park between 7am and 8:30am, ready for their picturesque, 60 – mile journey to the south coast. If you’re not up for the early start, waving them off – you can get an up – close – glimpse of 300 old cars on 5 November at The Regent Street Motor Show – when the whole of Regent Street, from Oxford Circus to Piccadilly Circus, is closed to traffic.

8 – 14 November

8 – 14 November

The Lord Mayor's Show takes place on 12 November from 11am until 2.30pm. Find a space to spectate along the three and a half miles between Bank and Aldwych, and watch the huge procession of marching bands, floats and acrobats pass by. Or gather at 5pm for the Lord Mayor's Firework display.

Two minutes' silence will be held at 11am, before the laying of the wreaths, to commemorate Remembrance Sunday on 13 November. Follow the Cenotaph Parade as it goes from Whitehall towards Parliament Square, and concludes on Horse Guards Parade.

15 – 21 November

15 – 21 November

Get in the festive spirit and celebrate 10 years of London’s magical Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, which opens on 18 November and runs until 2 January 2017. Browse the Bavarian markets for yuletide gifts, warm up with a mulled wine and enjoy a bratwurst in the Grand Hall. Don your skates and glide around the UK’s largest outdoor ice rink. Or book tickets to some of the best attractions including Santa Land and The Magical Ice Kingdom – which is new for 2016.

Experience Hogwarts in the Snow at Warner Bros from 19 November to 29 January 2017. The Harry Potter studio tours get a festive makeover and the Great Hall gets ready for a Seasonal Feast during this unforgettable seasonal experience. Sets will be decorated as they were for festive scenes and behind – the – scenes secrets will be revealed about how filmmakers created fire, snow and ice. Book now to avoid disappointment.

22 – 28 November

22 – 28 November

For a magical interpretation of the beautifully – illustrated book by Raymond Brigg’s, book tickets to see The Snowman at the Peacock Theatre from 23 November to 1 January 2017. Suitable for children aged four and over, this much – loved festive tale is told through dance, song and mesmerising lighting effects.

From the 23 November until 2 January 2017 Christmas at Kew transforms the already breathtaking botanic gardens into one of the most magical displays in London. Make your way along the one – mile sparkling path, as coloured laser beams dance over water, alongside illuminated fountains and glowing waterside reflections, and aromas of the scented Fire Garden fill the air. Santa and his elves will be in the North Pole village, with vintage rides, Christmas gifts and traditional festive fare.

29 – 30 November

29 – 30 November

Catch Georgia – born songstress Katie Melua when she performs with the 23 – piece Gori Women's Choir at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 27 November. This one – off gig will see her perform new material, from forthcoming projects, as well as a selection of classic songs from her six album back catalogue – accompanied by the vocal orchestra of the choir.

Or get your theatre fix with two new openings for November. Get tickets to the West End premiere of Dreamgirls, when the Tony Award – winning musical comes to the Savoy Theatre. Or head to the Young Vic where 1930’s throwback Once in a Lifetime has been revived and returns to the stage for a short time only.

Find out what's on in London this December

There’ll be festive spirit coming out of your ears. December means fairy lights, champagne hampers, carols and ballet. Have a traditional London Christmas, with modern art and dance throwing in a few unexpected surprises – like silver charms in a glorious Christmas pudding.

1 – 7 December
Museum skating rink.

1 – 7 December

The Natural History Museum’s skating rink is open until 8 January 2017 under the light – strewn trees. While you’re there, visit the museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year which displays extraordinary snaps of animals – as you’ve never seen them before, from 21 October until 10 September 2017. Kids will love it.

What’s Christmas without ballet? Daring choreographer Matthew Bourne has created a new version of the fairy tale The Red Shoes at Sadler’s Wells. A wondrously ambitious world premiere from the man who brought us an all – male Swan Lake, from 6 December to 29 January 2017.

at Sadler’s Wells. A wondrously ambitious world premiere from the man who brought us an all-male Swan Lake, from 6 December to 29 January 2017.
8 – 14 December
La soiree.

8 – 14 December

The circus comes to Leicester Square The ‘Spiegeltent’ hosts a lewd and loud cabaret, La Soirée for open – minded adults. The infamous handkerchief trick is being retired after this run. Until 8 January 2017. For kids, visit Leicester Square’s new Christmas venue hosts Santa’s Grotto.

For families, from 10 December head to the London Palladium for a big fat pantomime of Cinderella with British celebrity cameos and Natasha J Barnes, who recently stunned by stepping into the lead in Funny Girl from being the understudy, proving she has star status. She’ll fit the part of Cinderella like it’s a perfect glass slipper.

15 – 21 December
Abstract expressionism.

15 – 21 December

For the first time in 50 years, London hosts an exhibition of Abstract Expressionism at the prestigious Royal Academy, until 2 January 2017. Don’t let the name put you off. Think of the vibrant canvases of Pollock’s famous ‘drip paintings’ and Rothko’s massive colourscapes.

In true Christmas tradition, the enchanting Sam Wanamaker Playhouse puts on a moving performance of The Little Matchgirl until 22 January 2017. If her story, or the show’s tales don’t captivate, the candlelit venue, a counterpart to Shakespeare’s Globe, will make this performance one your kids won’t forget.

22 – 28 December
Westminster abbey christmas.

22 – 28 December

Go carolling at London’s most magical church. Westminster Abbey waives its hefty admissions charge for the popular free carol services on the 23 and 24 December – but book in November to avoid being left out in the cold.

Check out a bit of magic with your Christmas shopping by visiting a department store – enjoy the window displays and Christmas lights covering Harrods or stock up on Christmas Tea and hampers from Fortnum and Mason. Remember – sales shopping starts straight after Christmas.

29 – 31 December
vintage new years eve party

29 – 31 December

To welcome the New Year on 31 December with a bit of style – head back in time with the popular annual Vintage New Year’s Eve Party on the south bank of the Thames at Royal Festival Hall. Get a great view of the fireworks as you get jazzy to five floors of music. Don’t forget to dress up… and make a few trips to the Tiki Bar.

With kids, head to Somerset House for a special ice skating session in the magical courtyard.

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. Alternatively, the 4* Doubletree by Hilton London West End is a stylish contemporary hotel in a beautiful Edwardian block, just off Russell Square. King's Cross St Pancras is one of London’s most newly regenerated areas and 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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