Let’s do London

By | Category: Travel destinations

This is the name of the new tourism initiative announced by London Mayor, Sadiq Khan.

tower of london
the Tower of London should see plenty of visitors this summer

With a £7 million budget, the aim is simple – to get people from the rest of the UK visiting London again.

But what will London offer visitors that couldn’t be found in other years?

There will be a programme of one-off special events created in partnership with London’s cultural institutions and tourism attractions and it will start later this month with the famous chefs, foodies and hospitality venues coming together to promote and celebrate London’s world-class food scene.

For the rest of the Spring, there will be a public video artwork by David Hockney. As part of a takeover of Piccadilly Circus he has redesigned part of the area as ‘Hockney Circus’ celebrating the arrival of Spring in the run up to his exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts

Royal Academy artists Yinka Shonibare, Michael Armitage, Farshid Moussavi, Vanessa Jackson and Isaac Julien CBE will also transform road crossings and street furniture in the west end.

Turning central London into a huge outdoor art gallery, designer, Yinka Ilori will lead major new temporary streetscape commissions in central London Westminster and the City of London and designer, Es Devlin, is planting a living forest at Somerset House for her Forest of Change project as this year’s artistic director of the London Design Biennale.

the Forest of Change by Es Devlin outside Somerset House

For early summer, there will be a celebration of sport in London, with the capital hosting eight games in UEFA Euro 2020, including the semi-finals and the final at Wembley, brand new cricket competition (The Hundred), followed by the Rugby League World Cup and the Virgin Money London Marathon later this year. And, of course, Wimbledon returns.

On two days (July 10th and 11th) ROH Unlocked will see the Royal Opera House out and about, taking over Covent Garden with performances, participation and installations.  

A new exhibition at the V&A called Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser  which the organisers say “is an immersive theatrical show for all ages” That opens later this month from the 22nd of May.

Next week at the Natural History Museum how the wonders of the natural world have inspired myths and magical creatures for generations, will be the subject of an exhibition entitled, “Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature Exhibition.”

Kids Week returns and will showcase the best of the West End as theatre re-opens its doors

Any number of London theatres will be welcoming back audiences from 17 May but still with social distancing, and even will re-open from 21 June subject to government decision-making.

Breakin’ Convention, the world’s biggest festival of hip hop dance, returns at Sadler’s Wells (July 3-4)

 At the British Museum, there is a Roman Weekend Takeover at the British Museum in August where families will be able to enjoy a Roman Encampment on the front lawns and meet Emperor Nero himself although why anyone would want to meet such an odious creature is beyond me! There are concurrent exhibitions about Nero and Thomas Becket whose death, 850 years ago, was meant to be remembered in an exhibition last year but which had to be postponed because of lockdown.

The Tower of London will teach you how to become a knight in the traditional manner rather than more modern ways during the  ‘Knight School: The Show’ which will be held from May 29 until June 6.

London Play, the capital’s leading charity for children’s play, will be opening up central London for families and transforming streets with play. In addition, there will be free activities for families at Tate Modern throughout the school summer holidays

At the Southbank Centre there is the Summer Reunion programme – 15 consecutive weekends of free outdoor activity from May 21 including music, poetry and visual art as well as indoor performances of ballet, literature, contemporary and classical music starting with the Chineke! Orchestra on May 28 in the Royal Festival Hall

The Mayfair Sculpture Trail where galleries from across the area present sculptures, with visitors being able to enjoy artworks across Bond Street, Berkeley Square and in Grosvenor Square throughout most of June.

Lawrence Holofcener’s ‘Allies’, 1995 to be found in Bond Street, part of the Mayfair Sculpture Trail. Image c. Cherie Silver

On top of that the Chris Beetles Gallery will be holding its summer exhibition from May 17th right throughout the summer will make a welcome return to visiting the gallery after all the amusing online cartoons and exhibitions that he has held during lockdown.

Remember that many events will be timed and that you willl need to book in advance.

For events later in summer, you need to click here to see the Mayor’s press release but it does only list some of the events that you can “do.”

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