February half-term in London: the best things to do
Get stuck into London’s many special half-term events with the whole family this 16 to 23 February 2019.
17th December 2018
Two great musical legends would have been next door neighbours in Mayfair if there wasn’t 200 years between them. The German-born British baroque composer George Frideric Handel lived at 25 Brook Street for 30 years, while Jimi Hendrix lived at 23 Brook Street during the 1960s. The properties have now been turned into one of London’s lesser-known museums – a must visit for music aficionados.
A London stalwart and a globally recognised institution, the RA is one of Mayfair’s best-known sites. One of London’s artistic icons, this is a place where art has been promoted and celebrated for 250 years. There’s always something new going on here, from special events to one-off exhibitions.
A throwback to London in another era, Shepherd Market is a quaint square that dates back to the 1700s. The square was formerly the location of a 15-day fair and a theatre, becoming a hub for London’s writers and creatives. Nowadays it’s a place to find nostalgic alleyways, traditional pubs and bewitching boutiques housed in centuries-old buildings. It’s the perfect place to get lost amid some of Mayfair’s magic.
Another icon of London, the Ri dates back to 1799 and has been a centre for making technology and science publicly accessible ever since. It’s a place where the likes of Michael Faraday discovered electromagnetism and where Humphry Davy’s lamp was conceptualised, which went on to save thousands of lives in the mines. There’s plenty going on nowadays for members of the public to get involved in, including a calendar of fascinating talks and lectures.
This covered shopping street is found in the midst of some of the busiest shopping streets in London, yet it feels like stepping back into another time and place entirely. Burlington Arcade dates back to 1819, commissioned to be built by Lord George Cavendish. Nowadays, the quaint shop units still exist much as they did back then, with high-end brands and adored London artisans selling their wares from the beautiful surroundings.
This iconic shopping street is well-known for being home to some of the best men’s tailors in the world. Tailors have been doing business on the street for more than 200 years and Savile Row is still a global destination for men’s suits and fashions today. This historical street isn’t just known for fashion, however. The Beatles famously held their last ever live performance on the roof of 3 Savile Row too.
The spiritual home for wine lovers from across the world, this is in fact the oldest wine merchant in the UK, dating back to 1698. Recognised by Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, this is not just a place for wine aficionados to find their tipple of choice. History fans will also appreciate the fact Napoleon used to hold secret meetings in the shop’s cellar when he was in exile.
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