Athenaeum Christmas Gift Guide
Look no further for original gifts this Christmas, as we unwrap our ultimate Christmas gift guide for 2019.
14th May 2019
London is home to just one remaining public soapbox site, where anyone is welcome to stand and share their views on a topic. Found near Marble Arch in Hyde Park, Speakers’ Corner has been a spot where people have spoken their mind since 1872. In fact, everyone from Karl Marx to George Orwell has spoken there! There’s nowhere else quite like it in London – and in fact – the world. Pay a visit to Speakers’ Corner on a visit to London for an unexpected insight into a topic you may never have thought about before!
In recent years, London has become increasingly known as a place to watch some great American sports. This June, Major League Baseball is making its debut in London, when the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees will go head-to-head. Later this year, the National Football League (NFL) returns to Wembley Stadium in London for two matches. London may be a home of cricket, tennis and rugby…but it’s also fast becoming a much-loved destination for baseball and American football too!
They may be native to slightly warmer climes, but pelicans can also be found in St James’s Park! Pelicans have actually been residents of the park since 1664, when they were gifted by the Russian Ambassador at the time. The city of Prague made its own contribution to London’s pelican population when they gifted more pelicans to the park in 2013! Be there around 14:30 daily to watch them being fed by park rangers.
Al fresco cinema and theatre isn’t new, but there is something truly magical about the sheer variety of performances on across London each and every year. Watch favourite films in the historic courtyard of Somerset House or in the city’s gorgeous parks. And when it comes to outdoor theatre, there’s nothing quite like Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. This season alone, the award-winning theatre is putting on productions of Hansel and Gretel, Our Town, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Evita!
London offers some unparalleled opportunities to see the city from some heady heights. As well as the giant London Eye Ferris Wheel and The View from the Shard – which is the tallest building in the United Kingdom – it’s possible to climb on top of another London icon. The O2 is a dome shaped arena that was built for the turn of the millennium in 2000. As well as playing host to some amazing events inside, it’s also possible to don jump suits and special shoes to climb all the way over the top of it!
It might not sound that appealing, but this is actually one of the most inventive things to do in everyday London. The Attendant in Fitzrovia is a café located inside a former Victorian public convenience. The grand wrought iron entranceway harks back to London from a different era, while the café inside serves delectable coffee next to the former – and now sparkling clean – urinals!
Great Britain is a nation of pet lovers, and this is clear in all kinds of quirky London experiences. One of these is Kennel Club London – which is said to be Europe’s largest dog library, with thousands of books and artefacts about our canine friends. Elsewhere in London, visit the lesser known courtyard of the V&A Museum for tributes to celebrity dogs, and pay a visit to Hyde Park for a one-of-a-kind memorial to millions of animals who have served for the British military.
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