London steps into its stride in throughout the summer, with sporty, historic and music events aplenty. Take a look at some of our favourites and plan ahead!
1-31 August: Clarence House opening
Step inside Clarence House, the official London residence of the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry. Attached to St. James’s Palace, the house was built between 1825 and 1827 by celebrated Regency architect John Nash, and was the home to Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother for nearly 50 years. The guided tour covers five rooms: the Lancaster Room, the Morning Room, the Library, the Dining Room and the Garden Room – where the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall undertake their official engagements.
1-31 August: Kids Week
Not just a week – this unmissable season lasts throughout the whole of the month. It's a selection of great offers and free tickets, where one child under 16 can go free to many West End musicals and performances, when accompanied by an adult, plus two more at half price. Check the website and see what's on offer. It's not only performances such as Memphis the Musical and Wicked, but there are tailor-made shows for little ones, plus family tours and workshops.
See more details about Kids Week here.
17 July-6 September: BBC Proms
As the world’s greatest classical music festival, the BBC Proms are designed for people of all ages and musical tastes. Whether you’re a traditionalist or a newcomer to the genre, you’ll be swept up by the pomp and splendour of a live concert in the magnificent Royal Albert Hall. Featuring world premieres of contemporary works alongside well-known pieces by the likes of Beethoven, Mozart and Bach, you’ll be spoilt for choice in the Proms’ two-month programme.
See full listings of the BBC Prom here.
2 August: Prudential RideLondon 100
This weekend sees a variety of cycling events taking place culminating in RideLondon100, in which 25,000 amateur cyclists get the opportunity to cycle 100 miles through London and Surrey along the route used for the London 2012 Olympic road cycling races. Roads are closed specifically for the event and the route is lined with spectators from the start at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park out to the Surrey Hills and then to a spectacular finish on The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace.
From 8 August: Premier League Football
The Brits love football. During the season, millions of fans (in London and around the world) are glued to the Premier League season, which was won by Chelsea last year. Fans will be asking themselves if Liverpool can recover from a disappointing sixth-place finish, if Manchester United can return to power and if this is finally Arsenal’s year. If you can’t get hold of tickets, then go on a stadium tour in Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge or Wembley Stadium, which is where the FA Cup final was held. Or you can always watch a live game on TV in a London pub!
See more sports venues here.
11-15 August: Great British Beer Festival at Olympia
Tea is what the Brits like to drink in the afternoon, but beer is certainly the popular tipple of choice in the evening. Organised by the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), the Great British Beer Festival is a celebration of all things beer-related. There are more than 900 real ales, ciders, perries and international beers, 350 British breweries across 27 bars as well as food, seating areas and traditional pub games.
17-30 August: David Byrne’s Meltdown Festival
Over the years, the Southbank Centre’s Meltdown festival has invited influential musicians, including David Bowie, Elvis Costello and Yoko Ono, to be guest directors of the event. This year it falls to David Byrne, co-founder of Talking Heads, and he has an eclectic line up that includes Grammy Award-winning Guatemalan experimental electronica duo Psapp; and Pulitzer Prize-winning classical composer John Luther Adams.
Find more entertainment in London here.
30-31 August: Notting Hill Carnival
Jerk chicken, booming sound systems, colourful parades and steel drum bands. It can only mean one thing: Notting Hill Carnival! Europe’s biggest street carnival sprang from the Caribbean community living in Notting Hill in the 1960s and has grown to become a huge party that is a tribute to multicultural Britain. Sunday is the relatively sedate ‘Children’s Day, while the main day (Monday) sees 60 bands in magnificent costumes dance to the tantalising rhythms of the sound systems and steel bands. Expect big crowds, loud music and lots of dancing.