Top 10 Festivals
Top 10 Festivals in London
London has become a treasure trove of exciting festivals that are worth attending. These festivals give you new and innovative ways to spend your leisure time in this city. Tourists and residents alike can enjoy a variety of festivals, which are staggered throughout the year.
These are the top ten festivals in London that are worth attending:-
Notting Hill Carnival
An annual event held since 1966, this festival is held on the Notting Hill streets in the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London. The event happens in August over two days. It is usually on the August Bank Holiday on Monday and its preceding Sunday. The festival is led by British West Indian community members and it has attracted over a million people annually. It is considered as one of the largest street festivals in the world and is regarded as an important event in English culture. The public in London voted for this festival to be included in the list of English icons.
This festival is held at the Southbank Centre. People who attend this festival enjoy a variety of live acts. These acts are held within a giant purple cow that is built upside down. This is how the festival got its name. This enormous cow graces the skyline of London and brings in an animated season of circus, family entertainment, comedy and music. The circus performers display their extraordinary skills and perform breathtaking acrobatics and aerial stunts. This happens over the early part of summer. The performances are followed by a lineup of comedy and cabaret acts and these events take place in the Wonderground’s Spiegeltent between the first week of May and last week of September. People can expect delicious snacks and grab drinks at the largest outdoor bars in London. These bars are set up in the Udderbelly Pasture on the banks of River Thames. There is no charge for people to enter.
London Wine Week
Gives people a chance to indulge in a week-long delicious celebration of the flourishing wine scene in London. This festival is held during the last week in May. It takes the city by storm as the event’s partners wait expectantly for the announcements of partnering events and bars. It has had a successful two-year period and people can expect to sample great vintage wines yet again while they celebrate the London Wine Week this year. The price is relatively nominal and visitors can take self-guided tours and participate in tasting sessions at various venues across the city. Wine stewards, also known as sommeliers, are trained and knowledgeable wine professionals, who specialise in all aspects of wine service. These sommeliers have devised a trail which leads wine enthusiasts on a trip to explore new varieties of grapes and vintages.
Lord Mayor’s Show
A show for the Lord Mayor of London that also incorporates a pageant in the city. This pageant allows crowds to accompany the city’s mayor to Westminster on horseback. It is called `Presentation of the Lord Mayor at the Royal Courts of Justice’. History recalls that when King John allowed London to select its Mayor; he did it on condition that he be informed after the people chose a candidate. The office holder was then presented to the King and Lord Chief Justice and senior judges who included the Barons of the Exchequer. Today, it is the Queen’s Remembrancer who plays an active part in the proceedings. This festival has been held every year since 1751 on the second Saturday in November.
Foodies Festival at Syon Park
This festival offers sumptuous meals and tempting treats for foodies and it has also become famous for its Chilly-Eating Challenge. Visitors can explore delicious treats in the food stalls and attend master classes held by renowned chefs at Syon Park. Visitors experience some of the best cuisine as well as cakes and pastries in the Bake & Tasting Theatre. They can also try out the classic tea sampling in Vintage Tea Rooms. Then there is the Artisan Producers Market where visitors are also able to shop for some of the best food products during this festival. On the Street Food Avenue, they will also be able to try out a variety of worldwide flavours besides the cocktails and ciders from numerous pop-up bars.
London Design Festival
This festival is the brainchild of Ben Evans and Sir John Sorrell. They brought the designing activity together with this festival. Their main objective was to generate an annual event to promote creativity in London. This drew the greatest thinkers in England together. Many educators, retailers and practitioners came together to showcase their designs and celebrate through this festival. It is a significant annual gathering for the entire design industry. It attracts hundreds of designers and their studios. They come from all parts of the world. Events are held during this festival at varied locations throughout London. Programs include shows, talks, seminars and exhibitions. This festival has played its role as an important platform for all designers to exhibit their work and designs. It has become a major forum for people from around the world to discuss the concepts and philosophies of design.
Covent Garden May Fayre & Puppet Festival
People flock together to enjoy an exciting day of pure British entertainment in a traditional way. This takes place at Covent Garden in the Actor’s Church. The portico of this church became famous as it was highlighted in The Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn classic film, `My Fair Lady’, based on Shaw’s Pygmalion. This festival actually celebrates the anniversary of Samuel Pepys’ recorded documents after witnessing a show in the style of Punch and Judy. It has become an annual treat that to which many families looked forward. Puppeteers come from all over the country to perform in London. The festival begins with a procession, just before the church service at midday. Puppet shows are presented in the afternoon. There are food stalls, puppet workshops and plenty of entertainment that include maypole dancing, folk music bands and acts of clowns.
Taste of London Festival
An annual festival held in the summer, one of the main reasons people love this festival is because they eat and drink and join in the fun culinary activities. Hottest restaurants and major chefs from all over London participate in this festival and they converge at Regent’s Park. Visitors get to experience delicious selections from world class chefs. The festival is held for a period of five days. Regent Park in Central London is changed into a food wonderland as more than forty top restaurants in the city bring their best dishes here to showcase their quality meals from their extraordinary menus. People can sample delicacies from Michelin-starred diners, Cinnamon Club and Koffman’s. Besides tasting the tasty delights, people can also attend the cooking demonstrations and meet the leading chefs in the city. There are interactive master classes held by these chefs. People also get to explore themed sections which are exclusively dedicated to various kinds of food and dishes.
Hampton Court Palace Festival
This festival brings in celebrities from the world of pop, rock and classical music. They take to the stage here in the historic courtyard of Tudor Palace. Summer evenings are made memorable when people experience memorable music making with performers such as Tom Jones, Katherine Jenkins and Van Morrison. The festival is held on 15th and 16th June. Visitors get to relax away from the central stage and they can also have a small picnic in those scenic gardens in this Palace. After the music concerts, they can also go over to a marquee and taste the delightful buffet arrangements while enjoying the fabulous display of fireworks.
Festival of Love
This is an offering by Southbank Centre during summer and it includes activities, installations and performances to celebrate the most powerful human emotion of love. People will have a chance to explore specific themes on a few weekends. They will have to look out for the weekend that involves the Big Wedding. This includes several mass ceremonies involving couples getting married and renewing their vows and converting their civil partnerships into marriage. Romance will blossom in the air along the banks of River Thames as Festival of Love makes its return to the Southbank Centre. It brings in a whole array of love-themed performances and installations. Visitors will be thrilled with vibrant pop-ups and interactive art shows during this summer of love at this South Bank culture hub. Music fans can look forward to some soulful performances by their favourite performers.
The top ten festivals in this city have been presented here to give our readers a glimpse of what they can expect. Residents, visitors and tourists alike enjoy exploring the great outdoors in London during its festivals, which are spread across the year, keeping many entertained and thrilled. Do note that the famous City of London festival has had its final year as it was announced that it has now closed down.