Summer London – Top 5 Things To Do In London
The summer of 2012 is already one of the most extraordinary events ever held in London. As the host city of the Olympics and Paralympics, the eyes of the sporting world will be on the UK’s capital as the greatest athletes go for gold.
London is also going for gold with a magnificent line-up of entertainment and events to captivate the imagination and attention of residents and visitors alike, in a Cultural Olympiad hailed by the city as “A Summer Like No Other”.
by Chris JL
In a city already renowned and revered for its superb variety of museums and art galleries, theatre and music, top-class attractions and world-class shopping, the events of summer 2012 are an outstanding addition to the roster of existing talent in London.
Even better news is that many of the events staged this summer will be absolutely free.
So here are the top 5 things to do in London in summer 2012.
- BT London Live at Trafalgar Square, Hyde Park, and Victoria Park, from July 27 until August 12. Three of London’s most iconic outdoor sites become the setting for a free celebration of summer and sport, with giant TV screens covering live action from the Olympics. Spectators will also be able to try out different sports, see musical performances by the likes of Alexandra Burke, Amy McDonald and Rebecca Ferguson, and enjoy diverse cultural activities such as theatre, dance and orchestral performances at all three venues across every day. Hyde Park is also the setting for the Olympics opening and closing ceremony concerts on July 27 and August 12. Tickets are priced £60 for each concert, which will features the likes of Snow Patrol, Stereophonics and Blur.
- Dazzled: London’s bridges illuminated, until September 9, free. Seven London bridges will be lit up in spectacular colours to celebrate the 2012 Olympics. The seven are Tower Bridge, Millennium, Southwark, Golden Jubilee, Waterloo and Blackfriars. As dusk falls nightly, each bridge will be bathed in different lights, providing an amazing light show and wonderful photo opportunity. The light show starts at 9.30pm until 5am daily. At Tower Bridge, the lights will bring giant Olympic rings and Paralympics agitos to life in 1800 special energy efficient LED lights that can change both colour and intensity.
- What You Will: Pop-up Shakespeare, from August 28 until September 9, free. Award-winning actor Mark Rylance brings the Bard’s extraordinary canon to the streets of London, and into the lives of ordinary people. In pop-up style, around 50 actors will be engaged to fall into conversation with unsuspecting passers-by, to bring to life some of Shakespeare’s most famous characters, and most memorable and evocative speeches and soliloquies. The venues will be announced nearer the time but will take place in central London and around the Olympic Park at Stratford in East London.
- Notting Hill Carnival, August 26-27, free. Europe’s biggest, free street festival is a superb combination of street parades, musical extravaganzas, Caribbean soul food stalls, and non-stop partying. The first carnival took place in 1964, and has grown over four decades to become one of the most iconic and colourful events in London. More than one million revellers will pack the streets of Notting Hill in North London to enjoy a Bank Holiday weekend to remember. The main events are centred on Great Western Road, Chepstow Road, Westbourne Grove and Ladbroke Grove, with the Carnival Children’s Day taking place on Saturday, August 25.
- Hidden London – Northala, August 8-27, free. As part of Hidden London, some of the city’s least-known or hidden landscapes, including canals, lidos and nature reserves, have been transformed into art installations by leading artists. One of the most visually stunning is at Northala Fields in Ealing, West London, where four giant, man-made conical hills have been created to transform the area into an environmental art and performance site. The hills have actually been constructed from the rubble created when Wembley Stadium was demolished and rebuilt. Environmental performance company Red Earth have created stunning natural wood sculptures in an art installation that includes a performance element and will culminate in a primeval ritual of sound and fire.
The line-up of cultural, sporting, music and art events across London during summer 2012 is unrivalled, and offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for both residents and visitors to experience the unknown, the unique and the unforgettable.
As well as events organised by the Mayor of London’s office as part of its “A Summer Like No Other”, London’s usual array of superb attractions, such as the theatres of the West End, national museums and world-class art galleries, riverboat tours, and historical sites continue to entice and amaze visitors.
Whatever event in the top 5 things to do in London you choose this summer, you are assured of a day to remember.
Written on behalf of the Berkeley hotel, a luxury hotel in the heart of Knightsbridge. Find out more about what’s happening in London by visiting the Berkeley’s “London Diary”