As the pristine tennis courts of Wimbledon open their gates for the Championships, it looks likely to be the old favourites lifting the famous trophies. Our own champion Andy Murray has revised his retirement plan and is likely to be appearing in the doubles, plus his older brother Jamie, both gunning for glory. Roger Federer is on course to win his ninth Wimbledon title, while Serena Williams is hoping for her eighth singles Wimbledon title, in her astounding 22nd consecutive Championships.
The annual RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival (2-7 Jul) returns with a new crop of gardens and events, all designed around the timely theme of ‘reconnecting with nature’. The gardens explore biodiversity and the future of gardening, including botanical engineering developments, a garden that encourages pollination and even a smart meter garden. Make a day of it and explore the palace.
London’s Pride events now take place across the entire month leading up to the exuberant Pride parade (from noon; starts at Portland Place). This year, Pride in London marks 50 years since New York City’s Stonewall Uprising (which led to the global Pride movement) with a Pride Jubilee. Celebrate 50 years of LGBTQI+ activism in multiple events around the capital, including film screenings, bingo nights, talent shows and museum specials.
6 JULY–1 SEPTEMBER
Who doesn’t love a surprise? Seven stars, each with their own specialist skill, perform tricks, stunts and jaw-dropping acts in The Illusionists at the Shaftesbury Theatre. Performers include The Manipulator (Yo Ho-Jin), who began his career at the age of nine, and the self-taught, multi-talented The Futurist (Adam Trent).
8 JULY–7 SEPTEMBER
Europe’s first pop-up Shakespearean theatre is coming to Blenheim Palace, in the Shakepeare's Rose Theatre series of performances. The makeshift theatre is modelled on an Elizabethan playhouse, with an open-air standing area at its centre, and tiered seated. In the ‘Shakespeare Village’, enjoy local ales and ice cream before watching Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream or Richard III.
Gillian Anderson, Damian Lewis and Ruby Wax are just some of the famous faces you can see in this murder mystery, Whodunnit (Unrehearsed). Set in an isolated manor, each show features a different star playing the inspector, and the audience will only know their identity on the night. None of them have rehearsed or know the ending, which means each performance is unique. While the Park Theatre is located outside of the West End, in Finsbury Park, it’s known for putting on critically acclaimed plays.
19 JULY–14 SEPTEMBER
Now in its 125th year, the BBC Proms has grown from a humble festival into a worldwide event that celebrates the best of classical music. The shows are varied and range from ‘the queen of African music’, Angélique Kidjo (30 Jul), to the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto in B flat major (23 Jul)–plus free talks and family-friendly events. The majority of the shows take place at the Royal Albert Hall, with some performances at Cadogan Hall.
20 JULY–29 SEPTEMBER
The mighty doors to London’s most famous dwelling are swinging open once again, inviting the general public to peek into the world of Queen Elizabeth II. The Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace not only shows off the luxurious interiors of the State Rooms, but is also set to be a treat for fans of strong, powerful women, as this year it includes an exhibition honouring 200 years since the birth of the Queen’s great-great grandmother, Victoria. Discover how the young Queen Victoria transformed the John Nash-designed palace from an unfinished, partially decorated monolith into the heart of the British royal family and a national focal point.