Things to look forward to in London, 2015
As one of the richest and most eclectic cities in the world it doesn't take much effort to decide what you'd like to see and do in London. But for those who've already experienced the most iconic attractions it's understandable that they might want to spice up their future visit a little. If you're one of these people then hopefully this list of key events can provide a bit of inspiration. London certainly has no shortage of sightseeing treasures, yet a vibrant city atmosphere can make it all the better.
London Short Film Festival (Jan 9-18) This celebration of little cinematic gems is a fairly mature London event. 2015 will see it enter its 12th year with a diverse programme that's sure to be as good as, if not better, than those prior. As is typical for such festivals it'll be showcasing works by both UK and international emerging talent as well as a few more established names. The venue roster for this year's LSFF has been kept short and simple, consisting of the Hackney Picturehouse, ICA and Oval Space.
London Boat Show (Jan 10-18) Enjoy over a week's worth of bustling maritime exhibitions and watersports action at London's ExCeL convention centre. The event will draw in around 500 international brands and their delegates for one of the year's biggest industry showcases.
London Art Fair 2015 (Jan 21-25) Located within the Business Design Centre this event is the UK's mecca for art trading. Even if you're not a dealer or prospective buyer it'll be an unmissable four days for any eager appreciator. See paintings, sculpture, photography and more from as far back as the early 20th century.
Maslenitsa Russian Festival (Feb 8-15) A great one to indulge in if you're looking for something free and exciting mid-February. Russian Orthodox custom and an old pagan festival come together to celebrate the dawn of Spring. Dig in to a delectable Russian dish served up at one of the many stalls in Trafalgar Square. For entertainment there will be live music, traditional dancing, children's shows and a bazaar.
Chinese New Year in London (Feb 19-22) Did you know that the London incarnation of this ancient festival is the largest in the world outside Asia? This February will see vibrant parades and hundreds of activities pop up all across the West End in celebration of the Year of the Goat. Be sure stick around for Sunday's highlight procession which takes place from 12:00-18:00.
Vodafone London Fashion Weekend (Feb 26-Mar 1) The capital's largest biannual showcase of the newest style trends takes place across 4-days at the end February. You'll find it by heading over to the classy surrounds of Somerset House next to the northern bank of the River Thames. In addition to the catwalk shows there'll also be hair and beauty stalls, pop-up shops and educational discussions by industry experts.
St Patrick's Day in London (Mar 15-17) Celebrate Ireland's biggest festive export to the world in London. The iconic cultural event takes place in countless venues throughout the city and is completely free to enjoy. At Trafalgar Square you'll encounter artisan food stalls, live music and dance, ceilidhs and much more.
Virgin Money London Marathon 2015 (April 26) Not the best one if you plan on taking the Original London bus tour (or if you're a cabbie), but still a great event to be around for. The 26.2-mile route covers some of the capital's most iconic districts and virtually all of its best known landmarks. Tens of thousands of people line the streets to cheer on runners both amateur and professional. Join them shoulder-to-shoulder or just kickback with a drink outside the nearest pub- of you can find a space.
Chelsea Flower Show (May 19-23) Witness one of world's greatest horticultural exhibitions take place within the pleasant grounds surrounding Royal Hospital Chelsea. The event consists of new plant showcases, themed displays and educational talks. Tickets always sell fast so it's recommended you book as quickly as possible.
Covent Garden May Fayre and Puppet Festival (May 10) It's an art form as old as the hills, and still entertaining crowds to this day. Head along to the Actor's Church in Covent Garden to see a huge selection of hilarious Punch and Judy style shows right in the heart of London. If you're travelling with youngsters it'll make for a particularly fun outing.
Taste of London (Jun 17-21) The Taste of London Festival is a food lovers paradise that takes place over 5 days in Regent’s Park. Sample delights from the four corners of the planet as well as countless small scale artisans, restaurants and brands native to the UK. There's themed sections, areas where cooking demonstrations take place, and even appearances by some of the capital's best chefs.
Olympia International Art and Antiques Fair (Jun 18-28) There's something addictive about browsing through old treasures. Maybe it's the prospect of finding a bargain that'd fit brilliantly in the modern home, or just the thrill of searching for something valuable. Whatever it is you enjoy about this engaging hobby head along to the Olympia conference centre near the end of June and get your appreciator's hat on. Hundreds of dealers will be presenting tens of thousands of wares from ancient Chinese ceramics to Art Deco furniture.
London Pride Parade 2015 (Jun 27) Would it be clichéd to say that it's the most fabulous parade in London's event calender? Probably. What's for certain, however, is that this spectacular event provides a fitting close to one of the capital's most exciting week-long festivals. Thousands of spectators will gather at 1pm to view the procession as it travels from Baker Street to Whitehall. For the exact route and other information follow the link provided to the event's own site.
Notting Hill Carnival 2015 (Aug 30-31) During the August bank holiday weekend the streets of West London fill with revellers who've arrived to enjoy Europe's biggest street festival. Get yourself up to Kensington and Chelsea and enjoy a booming Caribbean atmosphere complete with colourful costumed dancers and floats, copious food stalls and Calypso music.