Insider guide: How to enjoy a socially distant London staycation
Put the Berlin trip on ice, say ciao to Rome for now and indulge in some of the capital’s best bits with our guide to safely making the most of London in this new era.
31st December 2018
Cosy up behind the big screen from 11 to 20 January 2019 for the London Short Film Festival, now in its 16th year. With everything from British independent films to international documentaries – as well as workshops and discussions – this is a fantastic event for film buffs.
This contemporary art fair has been running since 1989 and features the best of contemporary art. From 16 to 20 January, visit the exhibits of more than 100 galleries, participate in screenings and talks, and buy some art to take home.
A day where people from around the world celebrate the life and poetry of the Scotsman Robert Burns, expect London to be filled with special Scottish dinners, poetry readings and plenty of whisky on 25 January.
Blow away the winter cobwebs and set yourself a new challenge on 3 February by taking part in this 10km run through London, along a route that passes the city’s most iconic landmarks.
See the best of British design at events and catwalk shows during London Fashion Week from 15 to 19 February.
February half-term from 16 to 23 February is a time for family in London, with a number of extra special events going on everywhere from the Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour London to ZSL London Zoo.
Be sure to eat a traditional pancake on Shrove Tuesday (5 March 2019) along with every other Londoner this year. There’s even an annual Pancake Day Race outside the Houses of Parliament that makes for fun watching too!
Enjoy the vibrancy of London’s iconic River Thames on 16-17 and 23-24 March to watch hundreds of rowing crews from around the world take part in races.
Celebrate this Irish tradition London-style by watching the annual parade and enjoying performances and festivities in Trafalgar Square.
Avid video gaming fans can get involved in a whole host of events between 2 and 14 April 2019, with the opportunity to try out the newest and most cutting edge games at venues across London.
A time of special events, chocolate and Easter egg hunts in London, 19 to 22 April 2019 is a time to get involved in one of the city’s much-loved Easter events. There’s usually even a special Easter egg hunt at Buckingham Palace!
One of the most anticipated events in the diaries of runners from around the world, 28 April will see more than 40,000 people run through the streets of London. The atmosphere as a spectator is incredible, so go along to cheer people along.
Every May, a new parliamentary session opens in London, marked by a journey made by the Queen in Westminster. This is a quintessentially British event to spectate from the side-lines.
London’s world-famous museums are amazing to visit by day, and even more incredible by night. From 15 to 18 May, many of London’s museums and historical attractions will open their doors to the public in the evening.
This horticulturalists dream attracts flower lovers from around the world. Held on 21 to 25 May this year, visit the show to see unusual flowers as well as innovative garden designs and exhibits.
This vibrant annual parade by military troops from the Household Division marks the Queen’s official birthday. It’s the perfect British tradition to watch from the streets.
Cricket fans cannot miss 2019’s World Cup taking place at London’s iconic Lord’s and Kia Oval grounds. Ten matches will be played in London throughout the cup, many of which will be happening throughout June.
London is home to innumerable green spaces and garden squares that form a central part of the city’s landscape, but many of them are usually closed to the public. But on 8 and 9 June, it’s possible to visit many of these previously unseen garden squares.
The most famous event of the tennis world takes place from 1 to 14 July 2019. Even those without tickets to the major courts can visit Wimbledon to watch matches on the outer courts, or join the crowds to watch the major matches on the big screen.
This annual music festival in the Royal Hyde Park sees some of the most legendary and contemporary bands hit the outdoor stages for ten days of music.
Classical music fans can soak up a summer of music that lasts from 19 July to 14 September, with amazing performances hosted in the best venues in London.
The courtyard of this impressive building opens up for two weeks every August for a calendar of open air cinema screening events.
As the Queen leaves her official residence during the summer, Buckingham Palace welcomes visitors to take tours of the most famous palace in the world – all the way through until 29 September.
This popular event from 1 to 4 August sees professional cyclists embark on an iconic race, while members of the public can take advantage of traffic-free roads for a few days by cycling around the city themselves.
Throughout the whole of September, get involved in a month of celebrating the famous River Thames with boat trips, riverside art events and river-inspired performance arts.
As the summer’s BBC Proms event ends, it’s time for one huge celebration at BBC Proms in the Park, when Hyde Park comes alive with huge classical music performances and fireworks.
This annual event is a time when creativity is unleashed in the capital city. Visit special design exhibitions and take a peek at some of the most innovative new design ideas at multiple venues between 14 and 22 September.
This is the perfect time of year to take advantage of late opening events at some of London’s many museums and historic attractions.
Taking place throughout the whole of October, this is a time of year in London for foodie fans, with the world’s best chefs and local restaurants putting on fascinating new menus for the occasion.
Art fans cannot miss sister art events Frieze London and Frieze Masters in Regent’s Park from 2 to 6 October 2019. Showcasing the best of international contemporary art and famous works of the Old Masters’, the events attract a loyal following each and every year.
This annual celebration on 5 November remembers the attempt of Guy Fawkes to blow up Parliament in 1605. It’s a time of fireworks, bonfires and hot chocolate for Londoners, with fireworks displays taking place across the city.
This annual jazz festival sees old favourites and up-and-coming jazz musicians flock to the city from all over the world to perform in venues big and small.
This colourful show is an age-old tradition in London, with a parade, performances and the golden Lord Mayor’s Coach making its way through the streets of London.
This annual fair in Hyde Park has become a London institution, with rides, food stands, live performances, shopping and a healthy dose of Christmas spirit.
The magic of the festive season comes alive at the Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour London. The sets of Harry Potter are recreated with a decidedly festive feel, and are sure to get the whole family feeling Christmassy. Tickets sell out well in advance, so book early in the year if you can.
London’s West End always has a December season of performances worth blocking out time in the diary for. From festive pantomimes to special appearances by famous actors in plays, book tickets in advance to take advantage of the magic of this time of year.
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