London Travel Guide
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EVENTS

January

London International Boat Show
The biggest, splashiest boat show in Europe unfolds at Earl's Court Exhibition Center on Warwick Road. Call (020) 7234-5800 for more information.
New Year's Day Parade
Thousands of spectators line the streets as more than 10,000 participants follower the Lord Mayor of the city of Westminster on this quite spectacular two-mile parade. Call (44) 20 8566 8586 for more information.
Charles J. Commemoration
The last Sunday in January mark the anniversary of King Charles’ execution, as cavaliers march through Central London in 17th-century attire. Call (020) 7234-5800 for more information.

February

The Olympia Fine Art and Antique Fair
Held in Olympia, this fair features more than 200 exhibitors selling antique furniture and fine art works. Call (020) 7234-5800 for more information.
Chinese New Year
Heralding renewal after winter, London marks China’s traditional celebration with firecrackers, music, bustling street markets, drums and paper dragons. Call (44) 9068-663-344 for more information.

March

Classic Motor Show
Alexandra Palace, Wood Green, in north London, stage one of the world’s largest exhibitions of vintage, Edwardian and rare vehicles. Call (020) 7234-5800 for more information.
London Book Fair
Dispensing advice on publishing novels and showcasing collections of rare books, the London Book Fair hosts more than 1,000 companies involved with the trade along with authors, literary agents, librarians and avid readers. Call 44 20 8910 7850 for more information.
Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race
Cambridge and Oxford crews race along a 4.25 mile stretch of the Thames River, between Putney Bridge and Mortlake. Call (020) 7234-5800 for more information.

April

London Marathon
The 26-mile course for about 30,000 runners stretches from Greenwich Park and Black Heath to the Buckingham Palace Mall, with a continuous line of live bands entertainment and thousands of cheering fans. Call (020) 7234-5800 for more information.
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Race
Held on Shrove Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, teams of four run relays with frying pan and pancakes. Call (44) 20 7375 0441 for more information.
London Garden Show
The Alexandra Palace in Wood Green hosts hundreds of vendors and floral artists for this extravaganza ushering in spring. Call (020) 7234-5800 for more information.

May

Chelsea Flower Show
Plants and flowers for all seasons from some 600 exhibitors are on display at the Chelsea Flower Show, held annually since 1913 and always a sellout. Call (0171) 630-7422 for more information.
London Dollhouse Festival
Founded in 1985, this festival is a stop for miniature houses eventually making their way to the Museum of Miniatures in Los Angeles. Call (020) 7234-5800 for more information.
Outdoor Shakespeare
Bankets and refreshments go well with Shakespearean favorites presented in the open air. Call (0171) 486-2431 for more information.

June

Epsom Derby Stakes
The Epsom Derby Stakes, the most recognized event of the British horse racing circuit, unfolds at Epsom Downs. Call (01) 372 47 7747 for more information.
London to Brighton Veteran Car Run
This motoring spectacle is a run, not a race, with vehicles built before 1905 creeping through central London no faster than 20 m.p.h. Some vintage cars don’t finish, and some fail to even start. Call (44) 1753-765000 for more information.
Trooping of the Colour
The official birthday of the sovereign is observed at Horse Guards Parade in Whitewall as the reigning monarch inspects regiments parading their colours from the vantage point of a horse-drawn carriage. Call (020) 7414-2479 for more information.
Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition
From early June through mid-August, the Royal Academy, founded in 1768, sponsors Summer Exhibitions of living painters at Burlington House in Piccadilly Circus. Patrons can browse and purchase at reasonable prices throughout the summer months. Call (0171) 439-7438 for more information.
Kenwood Lakeside Concerts
This tradition of outdoor concerts from June through September has been preserved for 50 years, and is now embellished with fireworks and laser shows. Call (020) 7234-5800 for more information.
Wimbledon
From late June through early July, the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championship, started in 1877, draws a socially prominent crowd, often including royalty, along with tennis fans from far-flung corners. Call (0181) 946-2244 for more information.

July

Great British Beer Festival
Sometimes stretching into August, this gigantic suds festival features more than 200 British beers, plus another 200 imports, and assorted food stalls. Organized tastings offer opportunity to sample award winners. Call (44) 1727-867-201 for more information.
Party in the Park
Party in the Park, a huge open-air pop festival to benefit the Prince’s Trust, takes place on the first Sunday of July, featuring big name acts on one ticket. Call 44 (800) 333-958 for more information.
The Proms
From mid-July through mid-September, the traditional Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, launched in 1895, attract music aficionados from around the world. Call (020) 7589-8212 for more information.
Royal Tournament
Electrifying displays of athletic and military skills are performed by the British armed forces at the Earl’s Court Exhibition Center in Warwick. Call (020) 7234-5800 for more information.

August

African-Caribbean Street Fair
Live reggae and soul music and Caribbean food attract more than half a million people, making it one of the largest festivals in Europe. Call (020) 7234-5800 for more information.
Carter’s Steam Fair
Chair-0-Planes and Rock & Roll Dodgem are traditional at this fair. Call (020) 7401-2255 for more information.
River Cultures Festival
Family activities and street entertainers are part of the River Cultures Festival fun. Call (020) 7538-5422 for more information.
Notting Hill Carnival
Caribbean rhythms arrive in West London, with steel drums, floats, colorfully attired dancers, rap, reggae and Red Stripe beer. The parade route covers Chepstow Road, Westbourne Grove, Ladbroke Grove and Kensai Road. Call (020) 8964-0544 for more information.

September

Chelsea Antiques Fair
Running for more than a qeek, the Chelsea Antiques fair is known for having something for all budgets. Call (20) 7928-0011 for more information.
Covent Garden Festival of Street Theatre
For more than two weeks, Covent Gardens comes alive with acts of quality. Call (020) 7836-9136 for more information.
Thames Festival
Celebrating London’s life source, the Thames, this river festival on the south bank provides free exhibitions for the arts, accompanied by fireworks, treasure hunts and a torch-lit procession with illuminated floats. Call (020) 7401-3610 for more information.

October

Opening of Parliament
The British Monarch opens parliament in the House of Lords, riding from Buckingham Palace in a in a royal coach. Call (020) 7234-5800 for more information.
Horse of the Year Show
Riders arrive from all over the world to join in this “equine extravaganza” at Wembley Arena. Call (0181) 902-8833 for more information.
London Film Festival
Top films from around the world are screened shown at cinemas across the UK. Call (020) 7234-5800 for more information.
Trafalgar Square Festival
The Trafalgar Square Festival is in devoted to poetry, chamber music and the visual arts. Call (020) 7234-5800 for more information.

November

Christmas Lighting Ceremonies
From mid-November on, London is ablaze with Christmas lights, especially on famed shopping byways such as Bond Street, St. Christopher’s Place, Regent Street, and Covent Garden Market, all celebrating the lighting of Christmas ornamentation. Call (020) 7234-5800 for more information.
Guy Fawkes Night
Fireworks on Nov. 5 mark renegade Guy Fawkes’ failed effort in 1605 to blow up Parliament over religious differences. Other activities include the burning of an effigy, and many parks have fairs. Call (020) 7234-5800 for more information.
London’s Annual Film Festival
For Long includes a selection of some of the best films from around the world shown at cinemas across the UK. Call (020) 7234-5800 for more information.
Lord Mayor’s Procession and Show
For inauguration of the new Lord Mayor of the City of London, the Queen must ask permission to enter the city's square mile, a right guarded since the 17th century by London's merchants. Ceremonies are at Guildhall to the Royal Courts of Justice. Call (020) 7234-5800 for more information.

December

Christmas Tree
Each year the people of Norway give the people of Britain a fir tree as a salute to British help during World War II. The tree is placed and lighted in Trafalgar Square, with concerts scheduled at intervals. Call (020) 7234-5800 for more information.
Boxing Day Sale Celebrations
Retailers and shopaholics agree that the sales beginning the day after Christmas are not to be missed. Bargains galore are big not only in the West End, but all over London. Call (020) 7234-5800 for more information.

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