Haunted London

Spooky view of the Big Ben clock tower in London at sunset, with a dark tree and bats in the foregroundOn dark autumn nights, when the fog rolls in over the Thames, many visitors to London find their thoughts turning to tales of spooks and ghouls. With its long and sometimes troubled history, it’s hardly surprising that many places in London have acquired a reputation for ghostly happenings over the centuries. From the noblest palace to the humblest pub, here are a few of the most famous haunted locations in London, most of which you can still visit today – if you dare…

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Halloween events in London 2014

A spooky gothic table decorated with glowing jack o'lanterns, silver candlesticks and coloured tealightsIt’s that time of year again, when ghosts and ghouls take to the streets and costumed frights abound. London is a splendidly atmospheric city in which to celebrate Halloween, with its long and sometimes gruesome history of grim and mysterious happenings. This year the British capital offers a wealth of exciting Halloween activities suitable for all ages and interests. From ghostly voyages through history to light-hearted family fun, here is our pick of spooktacular Halloween events taking place in London this year: Continue reading

London theatre highlights: What’s on in autumn 2014

Stage door sign outside an old-fashioned London theatre doorThe air is crisp and the days are growing shorter, which makes this the perfect time of year to head indoors and enjoy some of London’s outstanding theatre. Autumn 2014 brings a number of theatrical treats for audiences, from serious drama to comedic larks and everything in between. Here is our round-up of the shows to catch this autumn in London: Continue reading

High Street Heroes: T&F Slack Shoemakers

The Vlad 320, a traditional men's brogue shoe in tan leather made by T and F Slack Shoemakers of LondonAs any fashion lover will tell you, shoes can definitely make or break an outfit – and depending on how much time you spend walking, they can make or break your feet as well. A stylish pair of shoes that fit your feet perfectly may seem like an elusive ideal – but creating such coveted footwear is all in a day’s work for our latest High Street Hero, T&F Slack Shoemakers London.

Read more about this unique boutique that stays a step ahead by combining contemporary style with traditional craftsmanship… Continue reading

Get your popcorn for the BFI London Film Festival 2014

BFI London Film Festival - Bex.Walton on Flickr CCOctober is a big month for cinema fans in London, as the annual BFI London Film Festival brings yet another fascinating programme of films to screens across the capital. From the latest in drama, comedy and horror, to thought-provoking short films and documentaries, there’s something for everyone at this year’s event, which runs from 8th to 19th October 2014.

Read on to learn more about one of London’s favourite festivals, including highlights of the 2014 programme and practical information on attending screenings. Continue reading

London’s best classical music venues

A view of the interior of the auditorium at the Royal Albert Hall in London, with orchestra, choir and audienceLondon boasts a vibrant classical music scene, regularly hosting world-class performances by leading soloists and orchestras from both Britain and around the globe. Whether you prefer intimate chamber music, grand orchestral compositions or perhaps an evening at the opera, there’s bound to be a performance in London you’ll enjoy.

For those visiting the capital, it’s worth doing a bit of research as classical performances are staged in a number of diverse concert halls and other venues. To help you narrow down your choices, we’ve listed some of the top venues for classical music in London: Continue reading

Explore London's architectural gems with Open House London

View of modern architecture along London skyline from the river.London is known for its fabulous architectural heritage, and this weekend (Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st September 2014), visitors and locals alike have an rare opportunity to glimpse inside some of the capital’s best-known structures during Open House London 2014.

From cosy Victorian pubs and grand neoclassical structures, to impressive church buildings and modern eco-friendly houses, there’s something to satisfy every architectural taste and interest. Read on to learn more about this exciting celebration of architecture and design, as well as some of the fascinating locations you can visit… Continue reading

Totally Thames – celebrating London's river

Racing boats approach Tower Bridge on the River Thames in London during the Great River RaceThe River Thames has always played a central role in the life of the capital, from London’s founding right through to the present day. From trading and shipbuilding through to transport, defence and leisure, there are few aspects of London’s development that have not centred in some way on this winding body of water.

Totally Thames (the rebrand of the former Thames Festival) celebrates London’s river, its ecology and history in a month-long festival of river-themed events. Held from 1st to 30th September, the 2014 festival includes everything from races and regattas to live gigs, fireworks, art exhibitions, educational talks, archaeology and more – plus the appearance of a giant floating hippo sculpture by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, previously best-known for creating a massive inflatable rubber duck. Continue reading

Reasons we love London in the summer

Fountain in the centre of Trafalgar Square, London, with crowds sitting around the edge on a summer's dayWhile many visitors envision London as a city of perpetual drizzle and fog, in summer the capital often experiences spells of glorious weather that rival warmer climes. Locals and tourists alike are lured outside to bask in the sun and enjoy the many summertime delights London has to offer, from outdoor cinema, concerts and cultural events, to bustling vintage and food markets.

As temperatures rise, London’s outdoor bars, cafés and restaurants come into their own, especially those located on rooftops or along the banks of the Thames, such as The Lawn, the brand-new pop-up bar at The Tower Hotel. Street food vans do a booming business on every corner, and many residents take to the city’s stunning parks and gardens to enjoy a picnic, game of tennis or simply to relax in the sun.

It’s these simple joys that make locals love London in the summer, despite the heat and crowds that can sometimes make city life a challenge during hotter months. To inspire you in planning your next visit, we asked some top London bloggers to tell us what they love about London in the summer. Here is what they said: Continue reading

World War I centenary events in London

Almost 900,000 bright red ceramic poppies pouring out of a window at the Tower of London and filling part of the Moat in honour of the World War One centenaryAs the world marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I this month, London is commemorating the event with a variety of special activities taking place over the summer months. It’s a perfect opportunity to take some time out and reflect on the legacy of this world-changing event, as well as to learn something new about the Great War and the people who fought in it.

Whether you’re interested in artistic depictions of war, period artefacts or first-hand accounts of ordinary life, there’s something to pique your interest amongst the First World War centenary events being held in London. Here is a selection of those taking place during summer 2014: Continue reading