Category Archives: Tourist Attractions

Tourist attractions of London

Exploring the stories behind the art | Inspired! exhibition launches at Guildhall Art Gallery

Exhibition explores the theatre, literature and music which has inspired the visual arts.

The ‘Old Drury Lane Theatre on Fire’ by Abraham Pether (1809) is one of the artworks in the Inspired! exhibition

Artists find inspiration in many places, often in real-life subjects, such as people or landscapes. However, there’s a wealth of artworks which have grown from the fictional – be it theatre, literature and music. Launching this spring at the Guildhall Art Gallery is a new exhibition which explores the way artists have turned to poetry, plays, novels and music to inspire their work.

A large section of Inspired! will focus on Victorian story-telling. Much of the period’s artwork was nostalgic in reaction to the Industrial Revolution with artists looking back to simpler times, thanks to William Shakespeare‘s works, Medieval folktales and Greek myths. For example, Thomas Lawrence’s portrait of actor John Philip Kemble (1757-1823) as Coriolanus in the Bard’s tragedy. Meanwhile, the burning of Drury Lane Theatre in 1808 was depicted by Abraham Pether’s painting the following year.

For those who enjoy Pre-Raphaelite art, pieces by William Holman Hunt (1827-1910), John Everett Millais (1829-1896) and George Frederic Watts (1817-1904) found inspiration in the Romantic poets and the work of John Ruskin and Thomas Carlyle. Also at the exhibition include works inspired by the likes of Sir Walter Scott, Chopin, Joseph Addison, among many others.

  • Inspired! Art inspired by theatre, literature and music runs from 8 April – 11 September 2022. Opening times TBC. Tickets: £8. Guildhall Art Gallery, Guildhall Yard, City of London, EC2V 5AE. Nearest stations: St Paul’s, Bank or Moorgate. For more information, visit the City of London.gov website.

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Guide to what’s on in London in March 2022

Find out what’s on in the capital, including art fairs, Secret Cinema’s Bridgerton experience and the Ideal Home Show.

Kew Gardens Palm House daffodils © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2019

Spring is in the air… well at least it’s supposed to be! With March having notoriously erratic weather, fortunately London has plenty of indoor festivals, exhibitions and events on this month. 

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 3 – 6 March 2022 : The Stitch Festival

Haberdashery festival featuring hundreds of workshops, demonstrations, interactive features and 200 exhibitors selling specialist craft supplies. Open 9.30am-5.30pm. Tickets: Adults £15.50, Children £7.50. Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, N1 0QH. Nearest station: Angel. For more information, visit the Stitch Festival website.

  • Now until 6 March 2022 : Orchid Festival @ Kew Gardens

An orchid display is coming to the Princess of Wales Conservatory for four weeks, with this year being inspired by Costa Rica. General entrance tickets to Kew Gardens includes orchid exhibition: Adults £15, Children (4-15yr) £5. Kew Gardens, Brentford Gate, Kew, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website.

  • Now until 6 March 2022 : Beano – The Art of Breaking the Rules

Exhibition of Britain’s naughtiest kid and the comic’s history. Explore original artwork and artefacts. Open Sat, Sun & Tue 10am-6pm, Wed-Fri 11am-8pm. Tickets: Adults £16, concs £12.50, Under 6s free. Embankment Galleries (South Wing), Somerset House, Strand, Westminster, WC2R 1LA. Nearest station: Temple. For more information and booking, visit the Somerset House website. 🐻

  • Now until 9 March 2022 : The Green Planet AR Experience

Enjoy an immersive, augmented reality experience with Sir David Attenborough as you explore the green planet. Open Mon-Wed 10am-6pm, Thu-Sun 10am-8pm. Free entry, but book a time slot in advance. 55 Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus, W1 5RF. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Green Planet Experience website. 🐻

  • 10 – 13 March 2022 : Affordable Art Fair – Battersea Spring

A chance for people to buy a unique piece of art or photography for their homes at an affordable price. There are over 100 galleries, with pieces for sale ranging from £50 to £7,500. Tickets: £10-£27. Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park, SW11 4NJ. Nearest station: Battersea Park or short bus ride from Sloane Square tube. For more information, visit the Affordable Art Fair website.

  • 11 – 13 March 2022 : WOW – Women of the World

A festival of talks, debates, music, film and comedy celebrating women. Marian Keyes, Lisa Taddeo, Pandora Sykes, Patrisse Calours, Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan, Warsan Shire, Deborah Frances-White and Elizabeth White among the featured names. Events range from free to £38. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information and booking, visit the Southbank Centre website.

  • 11 – 13 March 2022 : Move It

The world’s biggest dance event featuring performances, classes, workshops, shopping, and talks by experts from all genres, including Layton Williams, Dane Bates, Dannielle ‘Rhimes’ Lecointe, Dark Angels, Flawless, Jess Baddie, Josh Denyer, Josh Wharmby, Kloe Dean and more. Day tickets: Adults from £21, Children from £16.50 (show and class tickets also available). ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, Docklands, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Custom House or Prince Regent. For more information, visit the Move It website. 🐻 © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018

  • 11 – 27 March 2022 : Ideal Home Show

A place of inspiration for homeowners including interiors, fittings and gardens. Includes plenty of opportunities to buy things both big and small for the house and food. Celebrity guests and experts include Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, Phil Spencer, Martin Lewis, David Domoney, Rosemary Shrager, Lisa Faulkner, Melissa Helmsley, and many more. Open Mon-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat-Sun 10am-6pm. Advance tickets (more on the door): Weekday £14 or Weekend £16, Children 15 yrs and younger free (Tickets also include free access to the Eat & Drink Festival). Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more tickets, visit the Ideal Home Show website. Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London in February 2022

Find out what events, festivals and exhibitions are on in London.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2014Last February was a bit of a wash-out thanks to lockdown, so no doubt many Londoners will be looking forward to getting out and about. This month sees plenty of festivals and exhibitions, including the launch of the Beatrix Potter at the V&A and the return of the Orchid Festival to Kew Gardens.

Of course, halfway through the month is Valentine’s Day so plenty of spaces will be offering romantic events, while others will be giving singles the opportunities to have some fun. During February, expect to see some family-friendly activites and events during half-term.

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 2 February – 18 April 2022 : Bob Marley – One Love Experience

An immersive experience celebrating the late, great singer, along with previously unseen photographs and memorabilia. Open Mon-Sun 10am-6pm. Tickets: Standard £18/£24, Children 9-14 yrs £10, Under 8s free when accompanying an adult. Saatchi Gallery, King’s Road, Chelsea, SW3 4RY. Nearest station: Sloane Square. For tickets, visit the Saatchi Gallery website. 🐻

  • 3 February – 8 May 2022 : Van Gogh Self-Portraits

Vincent Van Gogh’s self-portraiture is explorer in a new exhibition. Entry times from 10am-5.15pm. Tickets: Adults £16-£20, Under 18s free. The Courtauld Gallery, Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 0RN. Nearest station: Charing Cross, Embankment or Temple. For tickets, visit the Courtauld Gallery website.

  • 5 February – 6 March 2022 : Orchid Festival @ Kew Gardens

An orchid display is coming to the Princess of Wales Conservatory for four weeks, with this year being inspired by Costa Rica. General entrance tickets to Kew Gardens includes orchid exhibition: Adults £15, Children (4-15yr) £5. Kew Gardens, Brentford Gate, Kew, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website.

  • Now until 6 February 2022 : London International Mime Festival

Festival at various events across London including performances of physical theatre, dance, circus, puppetry and live art. Workshops also available. Tickets range from £13-£45. Venues include the Barbican, Jacksons Lane, Sadler’s Wells, Puppet Theatre Barge, Shoreditch Town Hall, The Peacock and The Place. For more information, visit the Mime London website. 🐻

  • 9 – 22 February 2022 : Imagine Children’s Festival

Two week children’s festival at the Southbank Centre, including art, theatre, books, music, performances and workshops. Including Julia Donaldson, Francesca Simon, Steve May, Michelle Harrison, YolanDa and more. 10.30am-4pm daily. Many activities and events are free, but some go up to £20. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information and booking visit the Southbank Centre website. 🐻

  • 10 – 13 February 2022 : Classical Vauxhall

Series of classical music concerts returns to Vauxhall, featuring the music of Brahms, Schubert, Shostakovich, and more. From 8pm. Tickets: £20. St Peter’s Church, 310 Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, SE11 5HY. Nearest station: Vauxhall. For more information, visit the BeInVauxhall website.

  • 10 – 12 February 2022 : Ealing Music and Film Festival 2022

Scaled down version of the annual festival in Ealing. Events take place at The Old Library or St Barnabas Church. Tickets range from free to £20. Nearest stations: Ealing Broadway or South Ealing. For booking, visit the Ealing Music & Film website.

  • 11 – 13 February 2022 : Carole Nash MCN London Motorcycle Show

Bike festival, featuring the latest bikes and launches, a Rossi tribute, bike kit deals, fire-ups and racing. Open Fri 11 10am-5pm, Sat 12 9am-6pm, Sun 13 9am-5pm. ExCel London, Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, Docklands, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Prince Regent or Custom House (DLR). For more information and tickets, visit the MCN Motorcycle Show website.

  • 11 – 20 February 2022 : City Lights

Light and sound installations come to the Square Mile. From 5.30pm-10pm. Free. At various locations across the City of London. Nearest stations: St Paul’s, Mansion House or Cannon Street. For more information, visit the City of London website.

  • 11 February – 9 March 2022 : The Green Planet AR Experience

Enjoy an immersive, augmented reality experience with Sir David Attenborough as you explore the green planet. Open Mon-Wed 10am-6pm, Thur-Sun 10am-8pm. Free entry, but book a time slot in advance. 55 Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus, W1 5RF. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Green Planet Experience website.

  • 11 February – 12 March 2022 : Spaces of Light and Colour

Never before seen paintings by Ulrich Erben, from his early work until more recent creations. Open: Tues-Sat 10am-6pm. BASTIAN, 8 Davies Street, Mayfair, W1K 3DW. Nearest stations: Green Park or Bond Street. For more information, visit the Bastian Gallery website. Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London in January 2022

Find out what events, festivals and exhibitions are on in the capital as the new year kicks off.

Happy New Year! Let’s hope 2022 is way better than 2021 and 2020 (although, let’s face it, that won’t be hard, will it?!). Although January is one of London’s quieter months for special events and festivals, there’s still plenty on to keep you occupied during your free time.

As well as the last few days and weeks of festive events like Winter Wonderland and Winterfest at Wembley, there is also plenty of arts events. The Vault fringe festival is making its long-awaited return, along with the London International Mime Festival and the London Short Film Festival. In the early part of January, there’s still opportunities to catch some of the festive entertainment, including pantomimes, ballets and other theatre productions.

Find out what special events, exhibitions and festivals are on around the capital this January 2022. However, it’s recommended to check the events’ social media or websites before heading out as some may be impact by Covid-19 rules or cancellations.

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 1 January 2022 : New Year’s Day Parade

Hundreds of thousands of spectators are expected to gather to watch 10,000 performers from around the world. Starts from Piccadilly’s Berkeley Street at 12pm, ending at Parliament Square at 3.30pm. Free. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus, Westminster or Charing Cross. For more information, visit the Parade website🐻

  • Now until 2 January 2022 : Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition

Explore the Vatican’s majestic chapel in an immersive experience, featuring the iconic ceiling paintings, which have been reproduced with HD photography. Open Wed-Sun 10am-6pm. Tickets: Adults from £11, Children from £8. Cannon Factory. Ashley Road, Tottenham, N17 9LH. Nearest station: Tottenham Hale. For tickets, visit the exhibition website. 🐻

  • Now until 2 January 2022 : Summer Exhibition 2021 @ Royal Academy of Arts

The delayed summer 2021 exhibition features over 1,300 works from new and established artists. Open Tues–Sun: 10am-6pm. Tickets: £20–£22. Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1J 0BD. Nearest station: Green Park or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the RA website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the exhibition.

Last Orders by Leigh Banks is one the many pieces on display at the Summer Exhibition 2021
  • Now until 3 January 2022 : Winter Wonderland

The south east corner of Hyde Park is transformed into a festive fair with rides, food and drink stalls, ice rink, the Magical Ice Kingdom, Cirque Berserk, Zippos Christmas Circus, Bar Ice, Ice Sculpting Workshops, Santa Land, Real Ice Slide, and more. Open 10am-10pm daily. Tickets (must be pre-booked): Peak £5-£7.50, Off-peak free. Entrance fee waived if you spend over £20 on attractions, rides or games in advance. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner, Victoria, Knightsbridge or Marble Arch. For more information, visit the Winter Wonderland website. 🐻

  • Now until 3 January 2022 : Winter Night Garden @ Backyard Cinema

Backyard Cinema’s permanent home has been transformed into a magical festive garden for one of its two winter cinematic experiences (the other being the Snow Kingdom). Walk through a magical wardrobe and travel through an enchanted forest to reach the big screen, which will be showing festive favourites and new releases. Tickets range from £10.50-£29.99. Backyard Cinema’s Capital Studios, Ram Quarter, 13 Wandsworth Plain, Wandsworth, SW18 1ET. Nearest station: Wandsworth Town or East Putney. For more information and booking, visit Backyard Cinema’s website. 🐻

  • Now until 3 January 2022 : Palace of Stardust @ Hampton Court Palace

A spectacular new light trail illuminates the historic Hampton Court Palace, as it winds around the gardens. Expect illuminations, projects and festive food and drink. Open daily 4pm-8pm (closed 11, 24-26 Dec). Tickets: Adults £12.50, Children £8, under 5s free. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court (36 minutes from Waterloo). To book, visit the Hampton Court Palace website. 🐻

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Guide to what’s on in London in December 2021

Find out what festive events and exhibitions are on in London over the Christmas 2021 period.

Christmas tree in Hay's Galleria, LondonDecember is finally here! We’re sure many of us can’t wait for this difficult year to be over after another long struggle through pandemic and Brexit impacts. As usual, many festive events already started in November, but they really ramp up in the run-up to Christmas.

Among the events on in the capital this December include festive cinematic experiences, illumination and light trails, and many events celebrating food and drink on the most gluttonous time of the year.

As you would expect, there’s plenty of family-friendly activities as many relatives are reunited after spending last Christmas apart. Theatreland is well and truly back in action with a host of pantomimes, ballets and other Christmas shows to keep the whole family entertained. There’s also opportunities for alfresco ice skating or shopping at one of London’s many Christmas markets.

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 1 – 5 December 2021 : Sparkle in the Park

Follow a festive light trail around the park alongside fire art installations, before enjoying live music, children’s shows, a Christmas disco, market stalls and hot food and drink. From 4pm-9pm. Free entry. Maryon Park, Maryon Road, Charlton, SE7 8EN. Nearest stations: Charlton or Woolwich Dockyard. For more information, visit the Royal Greenwich website. 🐻

  • 1 – 19 December 2021 : Cinema in the Snow

Pop Up Screens are bringing their festive, cinematic experience to south London. Step through a magical wardrobe into a winter wonderland, where you can watch classic Christmas films and newer festive releases on the big screen (indoors!). Licensed bar and snacks available. Tickets: Under 12s £12, Adults £22. Brockwell Park (Lido gate), Dulwich Road, Herne Hill, SE24 0PA. Nearest station: Herne Hill. For booking, visit the Pop Up Screens website. 🐻

  • 1 – 30 December 2021 : Backyard Cinema’s Christmas Movie Spectacular

Cinematic experience experts Backyard Cinema are launching a third festive spectacular away from their permanent home in Wandsworth. Watch one of the three classic Christmas films (Love Actually, Home Alone or Elf) along with a live choir and performances by George The Poet in a stunning Art Deco setting. Times vary. Tickets start from £15.  Troxy, 490 Commercial Road, Limehouse, E1 0HX. Nearest station: Limehouse. For tickets, visit the Backyard Cinema website. 🐻

  • 2 December 2021 : Christmas Lights Walk @ Marylebone

Explore the light installations of the Baker Street Quarter, telling the story of famous people and places from the district. Starts at 6pm. Free. Starts at Punch Tavern, 55 Baker Street, Marylebone, W1U 7DA. Nearest station: Baker Street or Marylebone. For more information, visit the Baker Street Quarter website. 🐻

  • 3 – 5 December 2021 : Hampton Court Palace Festive Fayre

A celebration of festive food in the grounds of historic Hampton Court Palace. Featuring street food, pop-up bars, artisanal producers, live music, and more. 10am-5pm. Tickets (inc entry to courtyard and gardens): Adults £25.30, Children 5-15yr £12.60, Under 5s free. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court (36 minutes from Waterloo). For more information and tickets, visit the HRP Food Festivals website. 🐻

  • 4 December 2021 : Rumblin’ Cocktails Rum Education @ Museum of London Docklands

Rum cocktail experts Rumblin’ host a history and mixology workshop in the old Rum Store. Explore the heritage of the tipple, before mixing your own and take a bottle of rum punch home. Over 18s only. From 5.30pm. Tickets: £55. Museum of London Docklands, No.1 Warehouse, West India Quay, E14 4AL. Nearest stations: West India Quay or Canary Wharf. For booking, visit the Museum of London website.

  • Now until 4 December 2021 : Pigs Ear Festival 2021

Annual beer festival in conjunction with CAMRA, featuring over 230 real ales plus ciders, perries and bottled beers, food stalls and unique festival brews. Open 12pm-10.30pm. Tickets: £3 (CAMRA members), £5 (general). Round Chapel, Glenarm Road, Hackney, E5 0LY. Nearest station: Hackney Downs or Hackney Central. For more information, visit the Pig’s Ear website.

  • 4 December 2021 – 9 January 2022 : The Gingerbread City 2021

The Museum of Architecture returns with another Gingerbread City. Over 100 architects, artists and engineers create a mini city made entirely of gingerbread and icing. In addition to the exhibition of the final creation, there is also the opportunity to take part in gingerbread house-making workshops. Open daily 9am-9pm. Tickets (45 min sessions): Adults and over 12 yrs: £14, Children 3-12yrs £8.50. 6-7 Motcomb Street, Belgravia, SW1X 8JU. Nearest station: Knightsbridge or Hyde Park Corner. For more information, visit the Gingerbread City website. 🐻

  • Now until 5 December 2021 : Christmas Floating Film Festival

Cosy up on a sofa or deckchair on a floating pontoon to watch your favourite festive films against the backdrop of St Katharine Docks. Screenings at 7pm (weekday and weekends), 2pm (weekends). Tickets: £16.76-£32.93. St Katharine Docks, 50 St Katharine’s Way, E1W 1LA. Nearest station: Tower Hill or Tower Gateway. For more information, visit the St Kats website. 🐻

  • 7 – 9 December 2021 : Borough Market’s Festive Kitchen

Get inspired for your festive food with live demonstrations, tastings, masterclasses, tips and tricks at Borough Market. Events from 11am-4pm. Free entry. Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, SE1 1TL. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information, visit the Borough Market website.

  • 8 December 2021 : Festive evening @ Leadenhall Market

Enjoy Christmas workshops, live music and late-night shopping at historic Leadenhall Market. Open 6pm-10pm. Free to attend, but register for a place on one of the workshops via Eventbrite. Leadenhall Market (access from Gracechurch Street, Lime Street and Whittington Avenue), City of London, EC3V 1LT. Nearest stations: Monument or Fenchurch Street. For more information, visit the Leadenhall Market website.

  • 8 December 2021 – 3 January 2022 : Palace of Stardust @ Hampton Court Palace

A spectacular new light trail illuminates the historic Hampton Court Palace, as it winds around the gardens. Expect illuminations, projects and festive food and drink. Open daily 4pm-8pm (closed 11, 24-26 Dec). Tickets: Adults £12.50, Children £8, under 5s free. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court (36 minutes from Waterloo). To book, visit the Hampton Court Palace website. 🐻

  • 9 December 2021 : Miracle on Leake Street 2021

A one-off Christmas event comes to the colourful, graffiti-decorated tunnels of Leake Street. Featuring market stalls, free wreath-making workshops, face paint, activations, food and drink, comedy and cabaret teasers of the Vault Festival 2022 and a free screening of Home Alone. From 6pm-9pm. Free entry. Leake Street tunnels, Lambeth, SE1 7NN. Nearest station: Lambeth North or Waterloo. For more information, visit the We Are Waterloo website.

  • 9 December 2021 – 16 January 2022 : The Beatles exhibition @ Shapero Modern

Exhibition of newly-discovered photographs of The Beatles filming A Hard Day’s Night in 1964. Open Mon-Fri: 10am-6pm. Free entry. Shapero Modern, 41-43 Maddox Street, Mayfair, W1S 2PD. Nearest station: Oxford Circus. For more information, visit the Shapero Modern website. Check out Metro Girl’s post for details.

  • Now until 9 January 2022 : Wave @ Greenwich Peninsula

Squidsoup presents an interactive sculptural light installation, offering an audio-visual experience. Open 7pm-10pm. Free entry, but queues expected at busy times. Peninsula Square, Greenwich Peninsula, SE10 0SQ. Nearest station: North Greenwich. For more information, visit the Greenwich Peninsula website. 🐻

Enchanted Eltham lights up the grounds of Eltham Palace

  • 9 – 30 December 2021 : Enchanted Eltham

Late-night opening of Eltham Palace sees the Tudor and Art Deco buildings and gardens dazzle in a show of light, colour and sound. Follow the trail around the gardens. Also including fairground rides and hot food and drink on offer, including a roasting marshmallow pit. Open Thu-Sun 4.30pm-9pm (staggered entry times). Tickets: Adults £14/£16, Children 5-15 yrs £9.50/£11.50. Eltham Palace, Court Yard, Eltham, SE9 5QE. Nearest stations: Eltham or Mottingham. For more information, visit the English Heritage website. 🐻

  • 10 December 2021 : Paper Craft Masterclass – Christmas Card Making

Using images from the British Library’s collections, design and make your own Christmas cards under the guidance of expert Shelagh McCarthy. From 10:30am-4.30pm. Tickets: £65, seniors, students or young people (18-25yrs) £55. Harry M Weinrebe Learning Centre, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, NW1 2DB. Nearest stations: King’s Cross St Pancras or Euston. For booking, visit the British Library website. Read the rest of this entry

National Archives launches 20sPeople events and exhibitions to celebrate release of the 1921 census

The National Archives are hosting special events and activities to mark the publication of the 1921 Census for England and Wales

A century later, the decade of the 1920s continues to fascinate many of us. In between two World Wars, it was a time of great change, with many discovering new freedoms and exploring their creativity following the restrictive constraints of Victorian and Edwardian society. The fashion and architecture of the period remains popular today, with events and parties often opting for 1920s themes.

If you’ve ever wondered what life was like in the 1920s, particularly for your ancestors, the publication of the 1921 Census for England and Wales will answer some of those questions. To celebrate the release of the Census in January 2022, The National Archives are hosting a programme of events and activities, entitled 20sPeople.

The main part of the programme will be The 1920s: Beyond the Roar exhibition. Visitors can explore the decade’s politics, social changes, design and more as they happen upon a series of encounters walking down a typical 1920s street. Using the Archives’ vast collection of records and artefacts, you can find out the truth behind the era’s stereotypes and the turbulence, as women fought for the right to vote and people recovered from the ‘Spanish Flu’ pandemic. The exhibition will take visitors to a newspaper stand, polling station, draper’s shop, and typical 1920s home, before ending in a nightclub. A reimagining of popular Soho nightspot, The 43 club, tells the story of the venue, which was owned by Kate Meyrick and entertained film stars and gangsters of the day.

Along with the exhibition, there will be a series of events (both online and in-person), along with digital activities and access of learning resources. 20sPeople events, such as online talks, audio dramas and webinars on how to research your family history are already taking place from November 2021.

  • The 1920s: Beyond the Roar exhibition runs from 21 January 2022 until TBA. 20sPeople events are on from November 2021 onwards. The National Archives, Kew, TW9 4DU. Nearest station: Kew. For more information, visit the National Archives website.

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What’s on in London this Halloween 2021

Find out what fairs, club nights, film screenings, family fun and other Halloween activities are on this October.

After a rather lacklustre Halloween in 2020 due to the pandemic, fans of the spooky season will be in for rather more choice with ways to celebrate it this year.

Halloween itself falls on a weekend at the end of the autumn half-term break, so there’s plenty of ghostly events for families during daytime and evenings.

Find out what exhibitions, boat trips, film screenings, story-telling, installations, club nights, ghost tours, supper clubs and beer fests this Halloween. While most day-time events are for families, there are some evening events open to children.

Be aware, some events or locations may have Covid-19 requirements for entry, such as vaccination proof, negative rest results or other protocols.

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

Daytime Halloween events

  • 23 September – 7 November 2021 : Dark Arts @ Warner Bros. Studios

Dark Arts returns to the Harry Potter experience for the Halloween season. The Great Hall is full of 100 floating pumpkins, while the table features a Halloween feast. Watch a procession of the Death Eaters. Tickets: Adults £47, Children £38. Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, Hertfordshire, WD25 7LR. Nearest station: Watford (then a shuttle bus to studios). For booking, visit the Warner Bros Studio Tour website. 🐻

  • 9 – 31 October 2021 : The Surgeon @ London Dungeon

A special Halloween show explores the horrors of Victorian surgery. Step into an old operating theatre as things turn gory. Times vary. Show included with general entry. Tickets: Adults from £20, adult entry & ‘Bloody Bellini’ cocktail £38, Children from £24. The London Dungeon, The Queen’s Walk, South Bank, SE1 7PB. Nearest station: Waterloo, Westminster or Embankment. For booking, visit the London Dungeon website. 🐻

  • 16 – 31 October 2021 : Halloween @ Battersea Power Station

Two weeks of family-friendly activities will be taking place around the Power Station, including Halloween Hunt & Competition, Spooky Maze, Halloween-themed food at Queen of the Crepes, Spooky Story Telling & Thriller Dance Sessions and performances. Times and prices vary.  Battersea Power Station, Battersea, SW8 5BN. Nearest station: Battersea Power Station. For more information, visit the Battersea Power Station website. 🐻

  • 19 October – 13 November 2021 : Halloween @ Backyard Cinema

Spooky screenings at Backyard Cinema’s two winter experiences – the Winter Night Garden or the Snow Kingdom. Full bar and street food stalls available. Matinees and evening screenings. Tickets: £10.50-£29.99. Capital Studios, 13 Wandsworth Plain, Wandsworth, SW18 1ET. Nearest station: Wandsworth Town. For booking, visit the Backyard Cinema website. 🐻

  • 22 – 31 October 2021 : Halloween @ The London Bridge Experience

Get scared silly at one of two shows at the London Bridge Experience, with the Family Halloween Show taking place during the day. Children can take a spooky stroll through the dark past of London Bridge, before visiting the tombs, while counting the pumpkins along the way. Open 11am-5pm. Tickets: Adults £25, Children 5-15yrs £19. London Bridge Experience, 2-4 Tooley Street, Borough, SE1 2SY. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information and booking, visit the London Bridge Experience website. 🐻

  • 23 – 31 October 2021 : Ghost Raiders @ Tower of London

Help a team of ghost raiders investigate spooky occurrences in the Tower and track down the evil spirit trying to take over. Suitable for 8-14yrs. 10am-4pm. Tickets: (event included in tower admission) Adults £29.90, Children £14.90. Tower of London, City of London, EC3N 4AB. Nearest stations: Tower Hill, Tower Gateway or Fenchurch Street. For booking, visit the Tower of London website. 🐻

  • 23 – 31 October 2021 : Halloween at KidZania

Join a ghost tour through the world of KidZania, visiting haunted spots and listening to terrifying tales. Aspiring fashion designers can make creepy-crawly costumes or perform a spooky soundtrack. Open 10am-7pm. Tickets: Adults from £16, Children from £26. KidZania, Westfield London, Ariel Way, W12 7GA. Nearest station: Shepherd’s Bush or Wood Lane. For more information, visit the KidZania website. 🐻

  • 23 – 31 October 2021 : London Eye River Cruise presents Halloween Spooky Sailing

Enjoy a 40-minute circular boat tour as you learn about the spooky history of the River Thames. Boat departure: 6pm. Tickets: Adults from £20 (in 1 Beefeater Gin mulled drink), Children from £15. Departs from the London Eye Pier, South Bank, SE1 7PB. Nearest stations: Waterloo, Embankment or Westminster. For more information and booking, visit the London Eye website. 🐻

  • 23 – 31 October 2021 : Pumpkin Quiz Trail @ Battersea Park Zoo

Find out which animals are hording pumpkins on a family-friendly trail around the zoo. Open 10am-4.30pm. Quiz trail £1.50 entry (includes prize at the end). General entry tickets: Adults £10.95, Children £8.95. Battersea Park Zoo, Battersea Park, Chelsea Embankment, Battersea, SW11 4NJ. Nearest station: Battersea Park. For more information, visit the Battersea Park Zoo website. 🐻

  • 23 – 31 October 2021 : The Wizards of Once Halloween Quest @ Eltham Palace

Follow an adventure trail inspired by Cressida Cowell’s Wizards of Once series. Search for the ingredients for the Spell and find the Cup of Second Chances. Fancy dress competition. Open 10am-5pm. Event included with general admission. Tickets: Adults £17.30, Children 5-17yrs £10.40. Eltham Palace, Court Yard, Eltham, SE9 5QE. Nearest station: Eltham or Mottingham. For booking, visit the English Heritage website. 🐻

  • 26 October 2021 : Family Day: Halloween @ Benjamin Franklin House

A spooky family day with spooky 18th century stories told by Polly Hewson and gruesome games and crafts for 5-11 year olds. 11am-12.30pm. Free, but advanced booking recommended. Benjamin Franklin House, 36 Craven Street, Westminster, WC2N 5NG. Nearest stations: Charing Cross or Embankment. For more information, visit the Benjamin Franklin House website. 🐻

  • 26 – 27 October 2021 : Ghosts, Gargoyles, and Goodies @ Charlton House

South-east London’s Jacobean mansion is a hosting a variety of Halloween sessions, including ghost stories, make-your-own-gargoyle workshop, treasure hunt and spider trail in the gardens. Fancy dress welcome. Suitable for children 5-12yrs, must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Sessions @ 10am, 11.30am and 2pm. Tickets: £5 per child, free for accompanying adult. Charlton House, Charlton Road, Charlton, SE7 8RE. Nearest station: Charlton. For more information, visit the Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust website. 🐻

  • 26 – 29 October 2021 : Halloween @ King’s Cross

A series of children’s activities are taking place during half-term across the King’s Cross site. Including Spooky Drawing Workshop, ‘Pimp your Pumpkin’ digital art class, Spooky Costume Swap Shop, scary storytelling, and more. Times and dates for each activity varies. Free, but advanced booking recommended. At various locations across King’s Cross, N1C. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the King’s Cross website. 🐻

  • 27 October – 1 November 2021 : Halloween @ Merchant Square

Enjoy a host of Halloween activities for the family, including pumpkin carving, photo competitions, pirate treasure hunts and a free film screening of Casper the Friendly Ghost. Times vary. Merchant Square, Paddington Basin, W2 1JS. Nearest station: Paddington. For more information, visit the Merchant Square website. 🐻

Greenwich Domes in fog

Enjoy a spooky evening at the Old Royal Naval College for Halloween

  • 29 – 31 October 2021 : Halloween @ Old Royal Naval College

Celebrate with the spooky season with a series of Halloween-themed events for children or adults at the Old Royal Naval College. Children can listen to Icy Mystery: Halloween Voyage Into The Unknown, story-telling session (29-30 Oct, 11am, 12pm, 2pm, 3pm); or adults can enjoy late-night visits, with Ghoulish Ghost Tours accompanied by either a Spooky Supper (29-30 Oct, 7pm) or Chilling Cocktails (29-31 Oct, 7pm). Tickets vary depending on event. Old Royal Naval College, King William Walk, Greenwich, SE10 9NN. Nearest stations: Cutty Sark, Greenwich or Maze Hill. For more information, visit the ORNC website. 🐻

  • 31 October 2021 : Kids’ Halloween Party @ Beckenham Place

Head to a Georgian mansion for a children’s party, featuring interactive games, funky dancing, monster hat making and treasure hunt. For ages 4-7yrs. Fancy dress encouraged. Session 1: 2pm-3.15pm, Session 2: 4pm-5.15pm. Tickets: £15 (1 adult and 1 child). Beckenham Place Mansion, Beckenham Hill Road, Beckenham, BR3 1SY. Nearest station: Beckenham Hill. For more information, visit the Beckenham Place website. 🐻

Evening and late-night Halloween events

  • 6 – 21 October 2021 : Burials, Bombs and Fantastic Beasts’ walking tours @ Leadenhall Market

Every Wednesday in October, explore the dark side of Leadenhall Market on a guided tour. Discover the history of the site, dating back to Roman times, featuring witchcraft, murder and death. 6.30pm-8pm. Tickets: £8.14. Leadenhall Market, Gracechurch Street, City of London, EC3V 1LT. Nearest stations: Monument or Bank. For more information, visit the Leadenhall Market website. Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London in July 2021

There’s a host of events on, including Taste of London, RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival, Cocktails in the City and London Wonderground.

Taste of London © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2019

Taste of London returns to Regent’s Park

Lockdown appears to be largely relaxing this month so London’s seasonal events are starting to return. A host of festivals, exhibitions and more are bringing life back to the capital. With the school holidays kicking off later this month, expect lots of attractions for families. Many events will be offering limited numbers compared to previous years to provide social distancing, so are likely to sell out fast.

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 1 July : Meet Me in Marylebone Shopping and Dining Day

One-day shopping event in Marylebone Village, featuring local shops and restaurants offering activations, promotions, offers, freebies and special menus. Event takes place all day. Marylebone Village is a short walk from Marble Arch and Oxford Street. Nearest stations: Baker Street, Regent’s Park and Great Portland Street. For more information, visit the Marylebone Village website.

  • 1 July – 31 August 2021 : Louis Roederer pop-up @ The Savoy

Champagne house Louis Roederer is hosting a chic pop-up at London’s iconic Savoy this summer. Along with a boutique selling Louis Roederer champagnes, including rare vintages, there will also be a Suite Dining Experience, offering a three-course private dinner accompanied by Champagne in a riverview suite. Find out more on The Savoy website.

  • 1 July – 26 September 2021 : London in the Sky

Take the phrase ‘dine with a view’ to a whole new level as you are suspended 100ft in the air while dining. Enjoy breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, afternoon tea or cocktails while safely strapped to a hovering platform above the O2 in Greenwich. Diners must be at 1.4metres tall. Times vary. Tickets: £89-£199. The O2, Peninsula Square, Greenwich Peninsula, SE10 0DX. Nearest station: North Greenwich. For more information and booking, visit the London in the Sky website.

  • 5 – 11 July 2021 : London Cocktail Week Warm-Up Festival

A one-off reopening celebration to support our favourite bars returning to their glory after a difficult time, ahead of the official LCW in October. Thirty bars across the capital will be offering special £7 signature cocktails to those with a participating wristband. Tickets £15. At participating bars only. For more information, visit the LCW website.

  • 6 – 11 July 2021 : RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival 2021

The world’s largest garden show returns to the grounds of the historical Hampton Court. Attractions include show gardens, floral marquee, plant village, shopping, Festival of Roses, and celebrity talks, demonstrations and workshops. Open Tues-Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 10am-5pm. Tickets: £28.75-£43.75 (cheaper for RHS members). Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court. For tickets, visit the RHS website.

  • 7 – 11 and 14 – 18 July 2021 : Taste of London

Following a hiatus due to the pandemic, Taste of London is back with a bang, taking place over two consecutive weekends so Londoners can get reacquainted with London’s restaurant scene after a challenging time for the industry. Expect pop-ups, tasting menus, workshops, demos, talks and plenty of opportunities to eat and drink to your heart’s content. Tickets start from £23 (choose a timeslot). Regent’s Park, NW1 4NR. Nearest station: Regent’s Park or Great Portland Street. For more information and tickets, visit the Taste Of London website.

  • 7 July – late August 2021 : The Summer of 1321 @ Leadenhall Market

The City of London market celebrates 700 years of history with a series of free events. From live music to art exhibitions to guided and self-guided history tours. Leadenhall Market (access from Gracechurch Street, Lime Street and Whittington Avenue), City of London, EC3V 1LT. Nearest stations: Monument or Fenchurch Street. For more information, visit the Leadenhall Market website.

  • 13 July 2021 : The Comedy Store @ Skylight Rooftop

Rooftop destination Skylight are teaming up with The Comedy Store for a night of alfresco laughs. Acts include Jarred Christmas (MC), Dane Baptiste and Jo Caulfield, among others. Doors: 5.30pm, First act: 7.30pm. Tickets: £15. Skylight, Tobacco Quay, Wapping, E1CW 2SF. Nearest station: Shadwell or Wapping. For more information or tickets, visit Design My Night.

  • 13 – 31 July 2021 : Sommergäste: Jean Dubuffet exhibition

A new summer series of single work spotlight exhibitions launches at the BASTIAN gallery. For three weeks in July, it will showcase French artist Jean Dubuffet’s Site avec 5 personnages (Site with 5 characters). Open Tues-Sat 10am-6pm. Free entry. BASTIAN, 8 Davies Street, Mayfair, W1K 3DW. Nearest station: Green Park or Bond Street. For more information, visit the BASTIAN website.

  • 14 – 17 July 2021 : Vauxhall Pride

Celebrate Pride with four days of entertainment at Vauxhall Food & Beer Garden. Including bingo, live music, drag and cabaret performances and a closing party. Times and ticket prices vary. Vauxhall Food & Beer Garden, 6A South Lambeth Place, Vauxhall, SW8 1SP. Nearest station: Vauxhall. For more information, visit the Be In Vauxhall website.

  • 15 July – 22 August 2021 : Dodge @ Somerset House

The iconic courtyard of Somerset House is transformed into an open-air fun palace, featuring dodgems, art installations and drinking and dining options, as well as late-night DJ events. Times vary. Dodgem tickets: £5pp. Somerset House, Strand, Aldwych, WC2R 1LA. Nearest station: Temple. For more information and booking, visit the Somerset House website.

  • 15 July – 25 September 2021 : London Wonderground

Summer culture extravaganza has moved from the South Bank to Earls Court. Expect the best in comedy, circus, music and family entertainment in the big top and upside cow Udderbelly. As well as performances, there will also be outdoor bars, street food, musical bandstand performances, vintage fairground rides, family activities and a ‘beach’. Tickets: free entry to site, but shows are ticketed. London Wonderground, Empress Place, Earls Court, SW6 1TT. Nearest station: West Brompton. For more information and tickets, visit the London Wonderground website. 🐻

  • 17 July 2021 : Crouch End Festival Chorus

Enjoy some big band jazz and works for an unaccompanied choir at the concert hall of Ally Pally. Doors 6pm, Curtains: 7.30pm. Tickets: £10-£20. Alexandra Palace Theatre, Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY. Nearest stations: Alexandra Palace or Wood Green. For more information, visit the Alexandra Palace website.

  • 17 July 2021 : Nocturnal Creatures

A late-night art festival, featuring new installations, films, live performances, music and food experiences. 6pm-11pm. Free. Aldgate Square, Aldgate High Street, Aldgate, EC3N 1AF. Nearest station: Aldgate or Fenchurch Street. For more information, visit the Whitechapel Art Gallery website.

  • 17 July – 30 August 2021 : Summer Showtime on The Coaling Jetty

Enjoy open-air theatre and cinema against the backdrop of the River Thames and the iconic Battersea Power Station. The theatre will features many family-friendly productions. Times vary. Cinema tickets: Two seats £35, Four seats £60. Theatre tickets vary. The Coaling Jetty, Battersea Power Station Pier, SW8 4NR. Nearest stations: Battersea Park or Queenstown Road Battersea. For more information, visit the Battersea Power Station website. 🐻

  • 18 July 2021 : Independent Label Market

As part of Soho Music Month, a one-day vinyl market comes to Carnaby Street. Expect to see a host of independent labels for sale across many stalls. 12pm-6pm. Free entry. Carnaby Street, Soho, W1F. Nearest stations: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Carnaby website.

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Guide to what’s on in London in June 2021

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018Summer is here! It’s been a long, tough winter and spring thanks to lockdown and the dismal weather of May! But thankfully, London is starting to open up a bit more and everyone is feeling more positive. While, some big events will be missing from the usual London summer calendar, there’s no chance of getting bored with plenty of culture and fun on around town. Of course, half-term has kicked off already so parents will no doubt be looking for ways to entertain the children after spending way more time at home recently than anyone wanted!

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 1 – 30 June 2021 : London Festival of Architecture

After the year we’ve had, it’s no surprise to see this year’s festival theme is ‘care’. Expect a host of virtual and physical events across town, including exhibitions, walks, talks, workshops, conferences and many more. For more information, visit the London Festival of Architecture website.

  • 4 June – 26 September 2021 : Van Gogh Alive UK

An immersive, multi-sensory experience inspired by the art and life of Vincent Van Gogh. Open: Sun–Thur 10am–8pm, Fri–Sat 10am–9pm. Tickets: Adults £24. Kensington Gardens (East Albert Lawn), Kensington, SW7 2AP. Nearest stations: Gloucester Road, Knightsbridge or High Street Kensington. For more information, visit the Van Gogh Alive website.

  • 4 June – September 2021 : Summer of Play @ Wembley Park

A whole season of free events are taking place in and around Wembley Park, including live music, outdoor cinema screenings, public art trail and sporting activities. Free. At various locations in Wembley Park. Nearest stations: Wembley Park or Wembley Stadium. For more information, visit the Wembley Park website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the exhibition. 🐻

  • Now until 10 June 2021 : Travel Photographer of the Year (TPOTY) 2020 exhibition

Check out 160 travel photographs of landscapes and people from around the world during a crazy year. Alfresco exhibition allows social-distancing and safe perusal of the imagery. Open 24/7. Free. Coal Drops Yard, Stable Street, King’s Cross, N1C 4DQ. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the TPOTY website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the exhibition.

  • 11 June – 17 October 2021 : Serpentine Pavilion 2021

After a 2020 hiatus, the latest temporary pavilion by the Serpentine Gallery has been unveiled. This year’s Serpentine Pavilion is designed by Johannesburg-based practice Counterspace, directed by Sumayya Vally. Open 10am-6pm. Free. Serpentine Pavilion, Kensington Gardens, W2 3XA. Nearest stations: Lancaster Gate, Knightsbridge or South Kensington. For more information, visit the Serpentine Gallery website.

  • 12 – 14 June 2021 : London Fashion Week

The latest season of fashion week is dedicated to gender-neutral fashion. Expect a mix of virtual and physical events showcasing what we’ll be wearing next season. For more information, visit the London Fashion Week website.

  • 18 – 19 June 2021 : Cocktails in The City Summers Series

This season, the London summer series of  the popular cocktail festival with take place over three weekend monthly. Kicking off the first one in June, with London’s top bars setting up their own pop-ups, as well as live music, street food, tastings and demonstrations. Open 12pm-4pm and 5pm-10pm. Tickets: £20 (daytime or evening slots). Bedford Square Gardens, Bloomsbury, WC1B. Nearest stations: Goodge Street or Tottenham Court Road. For tickets, visit the Cocktails In The City website.

  • 25 – 27 June 2021 : London Classic Car Show 2021

Petrolheads with a penchant for the old school motors should head to Syon Park for a COVID-safe, outdoor car show. Expect vehicles dating back over the past 135 years, with opportunities to view and even purchase. Open Fri 10am–6pm, Sat 10am–7pm, Sun 10am–6pm. Tickets start from £26.62. Syon Park, Brent Lea, Brentford, TW8 8JF. Nearest station: Syon Lane. For more information, visit the London Classic Car Show website.

  • Now until 27 June 2021 : Sonia Delaunay: Rhythm and Colour

An exhibition of abstraction art pioneer Sonia Delaunay’s works from her Rythmes-Coleurs series. Open Tues-Sat 10am-6pm. Free entry. BASTIAN, 8 Davies Street, Mayfair, W1K 3DW. Nearest station: Green Park or Bond Street. For more information, visit the Bastian Gallery website.

  • Now until 1 July 2021: Gaia at the Painted Hall

Luke Jerram’s striking Earth installation is suspended in the recently-restored Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College for one month only. Late night openings on Fridays 5.30pm-10pm. Tickets: £13.50. Old Royal Naval College, King William Walk, Greenwich, SE10 9NN. Nearest stations: Greenwich, Cutty Sark or Maze Hill. For more information, visit the ORNC website.  Check out Metro Girl’s post for details. 
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Top London podcasts to inform and inspire

Discover these seven audio series dedicated to exploring the capital’s history and culture.

During lockdown, many of us have been kept entertained and informed by some of the tens of thousands of podcasts out there. Whatever your interests, there is guaranteed to be umpteen episodes on offers to whet your appetite.

If you’re interested in London history, trivia or culture, then check out some of these audio discoveries, along with some handy links to get listening straight-away:

Ladies Who London Podcast

Blue Badge tour guides Alex Lacey and Emily Dell started their London history podcast at the beginning of lockdown. Every week they choose a different area of the capital or Londoner. They often highlight lesser-known Londoners, particularly women or people of colour, who have been usually been under-represented by the history books. The Ladies Who London podcast is not all serious though and expect plenty of banter in between the facts.

Open City Podcast

The Open City team – who are famous for organising Open House London – started a radio show platforming conversations about the capital in summer 2020. Exploring everything from its people to buildings to its organisations, from past, present and future. Recent episodes include the Guildhall, Old Kent Road and rethinking London’s green spaces.

Macabre London Podcast

Whether you love Halloween… or are just intrigued by the more sinister side of the capital all-year round, the Macabre London podcast is for you. Host and writer Nikki Druce tells gruesome stories from London’s past so expect murder, mystery, and perhaps the odd ghost or two. Recent episodes include the Central Line, an Edwardian cold case set in Battersea and London’s killer weather.

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