London 2017: top 10 things to do

Royal Albert Hall, South Kensington, London, Open House London
Royal Albert Hall, South Kensington, London. Credit: VisitBritain/Jasmine Teer

Plan the perfect holiday to the capital with our recommendations for some of the highlights of London’s cultural life this year.

shakespeare's globe, theatre, shakespeare 400, complete walk
Shakespeare’s Globe Credit: John Wildgoose/Shakespeare’s Globe

London Cover_new final.inddIn our London 2017 Guide we explore 67 must-do things to see in do in the city this year. Here we bring you a a snapshot of 10 of the best – for the rest, get your hands the guide here. Enjoy 164 definitive pages featuring the best attractions, historic landmarks, royal palaces and theatres and galleries, from fascinating insights into the London’s history and its origins to the iconic Tube network to the Tower of London and where you can still find traces of the city Shakespeare would have known.

1 Discover BLITZ history

During the Second World War, Prime Minister Winston Churchill often worked from an underground bunker on King Charles Street in London. Today the Churchill War Rooms tell the story of his life and legacy.

2 Feel Shakespearean romance

Shakespeare’s Globe acknowledges the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love with a season of romantic productions, beginning with the star-crossed lovers of Romeo and Juliet (opens 22 April).

Royal Albert Hall, South Kensington, London, Open House London
Royal Albert Hall, South Kensington, London. Credit: VisitBritain/Jasmine Teer

3 Wave your Union Jacks

First held in 1895, the BBC Proms (14 July to 9 September) is an eight-week season of classical music concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, which culminates in the patriotic Last Night of the Proms.

4 Whisper at walls

St Paul’s Cathedral is one of London’s undoubted architectural highlights. Climb the 259 steps to the Whispering Gallery where an acoustic quirk means that a whisper against the walls can be heard on the opposite side.

5 Enter a secret realm

Open to the public for the first time in more than 650 years, the Charterhouse is a former monastery, almshouse and school. A new museum gives an insight into this historic Clerkenwell building.

8 Stafford Terrace
18 Stafford Terrace Credit: Kevin Moran Photography

6 Visit Victorian times

18 Stafford Terrace is the former home of Victorian illustrator Edward Linley Sambourne and his family. Unchanged in over a century, it acts as a time capsule for period tastes and fashions.

7 Bask under a pavilion

For the last 16 years, the Serpentine Galleries has invited a top architect to create a summer pavilion in Kensington Gardens. In 2017, an open competition will decide the winning design.

8 Sample London’s finest

If you can’t afford to dine at the capital’s best restaurants, head to Regent’s Park for Taste of London 2017 (14-18 June) as top chefs serve up signature dishes.

9 Swoon at romantic art

Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites at the National Gallery (4 October to 2 April 2018) looks at how the Dutch artist’s 1434 Arnolfini Portrait inspired the painters of the Victorian brotherhood.

10 Discover unique artefacts

From a mummified crocodile and taxidermy walrus to a bizarre Japanese ‘merman’ and live jellyfish in the aquarium, Forest Hill’s Horniman Museum and Gardens is packed with rare spectacles.

Buy your copy of the London 2017 Guide 

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