Heading to London from Dublin this August? Check out our guide to the top events taking place in London so you can mix sightseeing with some carnivals, festivals and much more.
Here’s our guide to the top five events being held in London this August 2009:
(1) Buckingham Palace Summer Opening – 1st August to 27th September
The home of the British Royal Family opens its doors on 1st August for two months so that members of the public can experience the grandeur and opulence of this historic building for themselves. Admire the wonderful surroundings of The State Rooms, which are actually used by the Royal Family to host visiting dignitaries during state or ceremonial events. Paintings by famous artists such as Rembrandt adorn the walls while lavish furnishings can also be viewed. Visitors can also stroll through the Royal Mews, which is still an actual working stable.
Specially for 2009, there is an exhibition “Queen & Commonwealth: The Royal Tour” which will display some of the Queen’s dresses, gifts and photographs so this is a unique opportunity this August and September. For more information, visit Buckingham Palace website.
(2) Carnaval del Pueblo – 2nd August
The Latin American communities of London take to the streets on 2nd August to celebrate their unique cultures with Carnaval del Pueblo 2009. With an estimated 100,000 people due to join in the fun you can expect lots of colourful floats and singing and dancing as the parade makes its way from London City Hall to Burgess Park. Then at Burgess Park, you can enjoy a diverse range of live music with a variety of stages playing host to music from the Latin American culture, from traditional to modern dance. For more information, visit Carnaval del Pueblo website.
(3) Walking With Dinosaurs – 5th to 9th August
The kids (and big kids too!) will simply love this interactive exhibition which is based on the extremely popular BBC documentary of the same name. Highlights of the exhibition include a 39 foot Tyrannosaurus-rex while there are an amazing 15 life size creatures which promise to thrill and amaze all visitors. For more information, visit Walking With Dinosaurs website.
(4) Kids Week At The West End 2009 – 14th to 28th August
It’s 12 years since the concept of Kids Week at the West End theatres was born and it is fair to say that this free event is growing in popularity with families every year. Kids aged between 5 years and 16 years can enjoy a variety of West End shows absolutely free – the only catch is that an accompanying adult must pay the full admission price (another two kids can go half price). Understandably, tickets for the top shows don’t hang around for long so you need to book as early as possible to avoid disappointment.
Apart from free access to the musicals themselves, kids can also take part in a variety of activities such as workshops, hands-on make-up, learn a few dance moves, pen a few lines of script and even use their vocal skills alongside cast members! And if that wasn’t enough, your little ones can eat for free at specially designated “kid-friendly” restaurants.
For more information, visit Kids Week 2009 website.
(5) Notting Hill Carnival – 30th to 31st August
Having kicked off back in 1966, Notting Hill Carnival has come a long way since its humble beginnings as local celebration of London-based Caribbean ex-pats. Notting Hill Carnival is now regarded as one of the most colourful street parties in Europe and is best described as an annual explosion of Caribbean music, song and dance that has become an integral part of summertime in London. Traditionally, the Sunday of Notting Hill is Kids Day but either day promises a fun-filled day and night out.
For more information, visit the Notting Hill Carnival website.