London, June, 2014 – with so much going on in London this July and the summer holidays just around the corner – guests need to start planning their tip to the Capital City today…
Where to stay… with great rooms, great amenities – including free Wi-Fi – and weekend rates starting at just £99 London Bridge Hotel is a great base for exploring Bankside and the Capital.
The Tour de France will be going through London on Monday 7th July. The riders will leave Cambridge around midday; go through Essex, then east London and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park before passing the Tower of London and the Houses of Parliament to reach Buckingham Palace around 3.30-4.00pm. The ‘Fan Parks’ will be in Trafalgar Square and Green Park for you to enjoy the atmosphere and watch the action on the big screen.
If you are near the Thames on Saturday 28th June you may well hear a sound signal from the vessels on the river at 6pm. Ships are being encouraged (although it is not compulsory) to give one long prolonged blast of their horn at this time to indicate mourning, in memory of the firing of the first shot in WWI. Keeping up with the military theme, The Imperial War Museum reopens on Saturday 19th July with new First World War Galleries as well as revealing the new, reconfigured atrium with its large object displays.
Tower Bridge was officially opened on 30th June 1894 by the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) so the most famous bridge in the world is celebrating its 120th anniversary on Monday 30th June. This is a great day to visit the Tower Bridge Exhibition as admission will be just £1.20 for the day. There’s also a free exhibition at the Guildhall Art Gallery celebrating 120 Years of Tower Bridge.
Close to Tower Bridge, there’s another birthday party on Saturday 5th July for the Design Museum as it celebrates its 25th year at its current home – a converted banana warehouse in Shad Thames. It’s an all-day event with a BBQ by the river. The first 25 guests will receive a goodie bag and visitors are encouraged to bring photos and mementoes from the Design Museum and Shad Thames for a free family-friendly Memory Lane workshop exploring the museum’s unwritten history.
The Wimbledon Championships are on until Sunday 6th July and The Refinery Bar on Southwark Street has an outdoor terrace with striped deck chairs and a big screen making this a fine place for a glass of Pimm’s while watching the tennis. They will also be showing the World Cup Final on Sunday 13th July and there are film nights here too. Another venue for open-air cinema is The Scoop, by City Hall, where the 2014 More London Free Festival has started so look out for free music every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday lunchtime and evening, and open-air cinema every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evening.
The Refinery are showing Belleville Rendezvous on Sunday 13th July at 1pm as part of the Bastille Festival on Bankside which includes cheese and wine tasting at Vinopolis, pétanque at La Cave Restaurant and lots of fun at Borough Market.
The Digital Revolution is on from 3rd July to 14th September and explores and celebrates the transformation of the arts through digital technology since the 1970s. The creative possibilities offered by technologies including augmented reality, artificial intelligence, wearable technologies, robotics and 3D printing will be included plus Robert Henke: Lumière and Robin Fox: RGB on Saturday 19th July for audiovisual laser performances. Other great concerts at Barbican this month include American singer-songwriter, pianist and composer Ben Folds performing the European premiere of his new Piano Concerto on Saturday 5th July and the Founder of The Specials and 2 Tone Jerry Dammers’ Spatial AKA Orchestra and Reggae Ensemble on Friday 18th July.
It’s Big Dance Week 2014 from 5th to 13th July so look out for the Big Dance Routemaster Bus in town. It’ll be in Covent Garden on Tuesday 8 July and on Regent Street on Sunday 6th July as part of Regent Street Summer Streets where all Sundays are traffic-free this month.
Gillian Anderson is starring in A Streetcar Named Desire at The Young Vic from 23rd July to 6th September. It’s a sold out show but look out for returns on the day. Epstein: The Man Who Made The Beatles opens for preview performances on Wednesday 30th July with booking until 6th September 2014. The play was a hit in Liverpool and the story of this 1960′s icon who shaped music across the world should be popular in London too.