The U.K is filled with many festivals and cultural events in London, celebrated every year. This gives you a chance to go out and have this once in a lifetime experience with friends and family. Here is the list of the top lively festivals in London one must attend.
The Top London Festivals & Cultural Events
London Jazz Festival
Location: Different clubs in the city
It is the biggest jazz festival and one of London’s best multi-cultural events. Started around twenty years back, this week-long festival is a way to provide patronage to jazz. Today, it is not just limited to London, it has emerged as one of the biggest international events for jazz. Presented by Serious, this live music festival stays true to everything London stands for.
London Yoruba Arts Festival
Location: Hackney, London
This arts festival is an annual celebration of the culture of the Yoruba and also one of the coolest cultural events in London. Comprising everything from workshops to music performances to African food fairs, the Yoruba arts festival is a colourful and rich annual tribute to Yoruba culture. The African food market is a great place to explore exotic food imported from Africa or made right here in the UK. For music lovers, there are also plenty of cultural events in London showcasing the intensely funky music coming out of the continent, including Juju, Afrobeats and jazz.
Notting Hill Carnival
Location: Notting Hill, London
Notting Hill Carnival is probably the biggest festival of West Indian music and dance in the UK. The festival has been held in London for the last fifty years and attracts over one million visitors a year. You will spot people dancing on traditional music genres like reggae, rumba, meringue and zouk surrounded by various stalls of food. Notting Hill carnival is a celebration of dance, music and culture from all walks of life.
Taste of London
Location: Tobacco Dock
The Taste of London is a festival hosted by a company that organises a series of food fests around the world, the chief of them being the London edition. If you are a foodie, this will be a dream come true for you as the festival showcases the best restaurants, chefs as well as food recipes that have been cooked up in London’s crucibles. The first edition of the festival took place at Regent’s Park in June 2018, where about 50,000 people from all around the world turned out.
New Year’s Day Parade
Location: West End, London
Every year the city of London comes together to be a part of the Day Parade at the start of the new year. The parade started around thirty years back and has come to be one of the biggest cultural events in London of its kind. Covering places like Parliament Square, going up to Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly and ending at Green Park, the parade gets millions to come out. It also raises funds for different London charities with marching bands from different cities around the world performing in the parade.
Must See London Annual Events
Not a day passes in London without a major event, so narrowing the annual list to 10 is a difficult task at best. These are our favourites, with a couple of outliers found amongst the world-famous cultural events in London.
Trooping the Colour
Trooping the Colour’ is the name given to the Queen’s birthday parade, and the June celebration is decidedly British. The Queen inspects her troops and the flags of the battalion are passed down the troops, as the royal orchestra soundtracks the whole thing. Rule Britannia, and all that jazz.
If running 26.2 miles in wacky fancy dress is your thing, then get yourself signed up for the London Marathon. It takes place every April.
Chelsea Flower Show
Established in 1862, the Chelsea Flower Show is one of the world’s most famous flower extravaganzas. It is a true explosion of colour, with many of the finest products available for purchase at quite extraordinary prices.
University Boat Race
Oxford and Cambridge collide on the Thames, although the hope is that the collision is only analogous. The boat race takes place in the first week of April.
The most famous tennis tournament on the planet takes place across two weeks in August and is a picture of British culture. Strawberries, cream, all white everything and a British player losing in the semi-finals are mandatory.
FA Cup Final
The centre of this piece will focus on sporting cultural events in London, and few carry as much tradition as the FA Cup final in May. The tournament itself has lost importance over the years, but there is still something special about this day out at Wembley.
World Darts Championship Final
There is more to darts than booze and maths, and the PDC World Championship final is now one of the most sought-after tickets on the London sporting calendar. It takes place every New Year’s Day, so plan ahead and bring your fancy dress.
Notting Hill Carnival
Originally intended to shine a light on the poor social conditions faced by London’s West Indian community, the Notting Hill Carnival is now a major event on the calendar. It is a celebration of the diversity that makes London so special.
London’s most famous cultural event is The Proms, an August celebration of classical and orchestral music. The Royal Albert Hall is the venue.
December is given over to all things festive, with traditional European markets and all manner of warm alcohol flooding the streets of London. Winter Wonderland is the epicentre of it all, a somewhat expensive explosion of Santa (not literally) in Hyde Park.
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