ONE THIRTY BLOG

News & events from Kensington & London

The Best Summer Festivals in London

01Jul

The summer season in London always bring along an eclectic mix of festival based fun. Each year is accompanied with an unforgettable array of events which take place in the capital and can be attended freely. The summer festivals are one of the most exciting ways to experience this vibrant city and below are some events which you won’t want to miss out on:

Spitalfields Summer Music Festival

London serves as host to a number of music festivals during the summer, but none of them can be compared with Spitafields Summer Music Festival. If you are not comfortable with the crowds of Hyde Park’s mega-festivals, then this is the perfect alternative. There is various classical, folk as well as contemporary music performances across a variety of small east London venues as well as outdoor spaces. This biannual likewise offers a series of debates and talks, visits, walks as well as interactive workshops.

Greenwich and Docklands International Festival

This nine day free festival is a must for those that want to spend the summer on a budget. The Co-Artist Director of the London 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony, Bradley Hemmings, is the one organizing this occasion and also ensure music, dance as well as theatre performance are brought to the street of Greenwich. This packed programmed of creative installations and events from around the world which got you amazed.

Clapham Common Foodies Festival

Deck chairs adorn south London’s Clapham for this food-based festival, with celebrity chefs in attendance and cooking demonstrations galore. Sample signature dishes from some of London’s top restaurants and be filled with culinary inspiration during this three-day event would definitely encourage the modest chef to become more creative in the kitchen.

City of London Festival

This annual festival comprises of more than 100 free outdoor events and concerts in some of the capital’s most iconic buildings, including St. Paul’s Cathedral. This festival is aimed at entertaining and inspiring those that work and live in the City and the capital’s many summer visitors, the City of London Festival program is packed full of music, films, visual arts, walks as well as debates so that everyone would definitely have a take.

The Scoop at More London Free Festival

Another free festival, The Scoop amphitheatre at the South Bank’s More London offers a range of film screening, theatre performance as well as musical events throughout the course of the summer season. This festival is suitable for all ages and offer a stunning views over London’s Tower Bridge, and the perfect al fresco way to enjoy the art.

The best time for holding events is during summer, the days are longer and lovelier. Hyde Park and Regent Park’s open-air theatres are also a perfect place to hold a musical concert. London can give your event a universal exposure, because of its level of importance in the world.

The musical festivals take place all year round in London. The inhabitants of London as well as tourist live a very active life. They likewise love to be entertained and have diversified taste in arts. They welcome cultural festivals of other regions and countries, and enjoy them whole-heartedly. The street performances are famous for their vibrancy. These festivals would ensure tourists are well entertained in London.

Trips with Kids when the Weather isn’t so Great

20Jun

Whilst we’re enjoying the summer months at the moment, with the unpredictability of the British weather it is important to be prepared for the worst. That’s why we decided to put together this list of great activities to do with kids when it’s raining and miserable outside in London.

The RAF Museum

Whilst it’s located on the fringes of London in Colindale (it’s an easy 30-minute direct ride on the Northern line from King’s Cross), the RAF Museum is sometimes one of the more forgotten museums. But it has its reasons for being far away.

Its’ large hangars play host to over 100 years of aviation history, and the kids love looking at the giant spitfires and Lancaster planes. What’s more – you’re in a hangar – giving plenty of space to run around and climb the ladders into the cockpits for kids to enjoy. The museum also has some great information for kids to learn, such as ejector sheets and the use of planes in the great wars.

RAF Museum

The British Museum

Being one of the largest museums in London, it’s definitely well worth the visit on a rainy day. Stroll through Greek Olympians, treasures from the Ming dynasty, and travel through time. It’s a wonderful way to explore history with plenty of places to rest and re-energise on the way.

Mail Rail in Clerkenwell

One of the newer museums in London, the Mail Rail is a museum and ride that explores the postal railway which ran for 22 hours a day and carried four million letters daily. The tunnels had more than just the pleasure of delivering mail, but also were where many of London’s biggest treasures were stashed during the bombing raids for safety.

This track was one of the fastest ways to cross London and was used by the Royal Mail from 1927. A section has since opened to the public and can be explored underground!

The Mail Rail in London

The National Maritime Museum

Located in Greenwich, the National Maritime Museum has a kid-specific gallery with plenty of interactive treats. They can try being a fishmonger, or climb onto a ship deck. What else? They can even fire a cannon! This is definitely a great stop and well worth a visit for anyone.

The Bear and Wolf Cafe

This cafe is located in Tufnell Park and can be a great way to allow the kids to play whilst it’s miserable. You can sit down for a latte whilst the kids play in the kiddie room with toys and soft play. If you want, you can also dash across the road to a great kids clothing store.

Mindfulness in London: A Break from the Bustle

11Jun

As London becomes busier and busier everyday, it’s important to find time to take a break from it all, and get a little headspace. Nowadays life can be so demanding, and it’s important that we take some time to ourselves to reflect and re-align, and that’s where the importance of mindfulness lies. Many centres nowadays offer mindfulness or meditation workshops, and and here are some of our favourite places within the city.

The Best Flea Markets in London

06Mar

Markets have always been a key part of trade in London. Whether you’re looking for food, clothes, gadgets or whatever, there’s always a place to haggle and enjoy the bustle of a marketplace. However, if you’re looking for a real steal, then the flea market is the place to go. Here’s a list of our favourites around London, for whatever you are looking for.

Deptford Market

This is one of the lesser considered markets in London. It’s a mash-mash of sprawling market stalls and bustling people. However, this is really all part of the fun. Hunting through the half eaten chocolate bars to find treasure makes it more worthwhile, but the stall owners here aren’t fans of the haggle.

Deptford Market is on every Wednesday and Friday, 7.30-5.30, and Saturday, 9-5.30.

Hackney Flea Market

In the true spirit of the flea market, this market in Hackney takes place on Stoke Newington’s Church Street. Here you can find jewellery, vintage fabrics, furniture, maps and kitchen accessories. Alongside that, you’ll find some homemade treats to enjoy, and a few DJs keeping the energy levels up.

This market isn’t on such a standard timetable but you can find more information here.

Old Spitalfields Market

A very common market in London, though not everyone is a big fan, is the redeveloped Spitalfields market. This market in East London is a renovated 1887 marketplace with a modern shopping precint next to it. However, this whole area of London has some very interesting independent stores as well. Within this market you can find lots of interesting clothes, up-and-coming designers, crafts and more. If you get peckish, they have plenty amazing food as well. If you’re a vinyl fan as well, this is definitely a place to visit.

Open everyday, 10-5, and until 6pm on Saturdays.

Sunbury Antiques

Whilst this market is a little out of the city, it is well worth the day trip. If you’re looking to buy props for a film, or just spruce up your house with some vintage furniture, taking a trip to the Sandown Park Racecourse will put you in the centre of a furniture bazaar.

Whilst not a regular fixture, to see when the next market is click here.

Brick Lane Market

Whilst there are plenty of markets in Brick Lane, the biggest one and the must-attend is the Sunday UpMarket in the Old Truman Brewery. You’ll find a crowd of art students looking for quirky steals, bona fide locals and crazy stalls filled with all sorts of eclectic things.

The market takes place every Sunday.

Winter is magical in London

14Dec

London is beautiful; it looks more beautiful in some seasons than the others. One of the best times to be in London is the winter season. During winter, London looks beautiful, not minding the cold weather, the festive period still lights up the place.

The city is decorated for Christmas

London is beautiful during winter because of the festive periods coming up There is no doubt about it. During winter, places like were Carnaby, Regent Street and Oxford Street are decorated in celebration of Christmas

Seeing a city like London decorated for Christmas is awesome.

Ice skating

Ice skating is one of the best pastime in London be it outdoor or indoor.During the winter, skating rinks pops up all over the place. Whether or not you are good at skating, you will have a fun filled winter. London has more skating rinks than other places inEurope.You can visit some of the iconic locations such as Hampton Court Palace, Westfield London or the Natural History Museum etc.

Holiday shopping

The festive decorations around the city would always give you the urge to go for Christmas shopping. During winter, places like the Oxford Street, Regent Street, Knightsbridge and Notting Hill offers discount for goods bought. You won’t want to miss out on discounts like this!

London Christmas market

This is also one of the many that makes London what it is during the winter. Places are opened to celebration of the festive period. You have to check out some of London Christmas markets where you can get soaked in the festive period such as the Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland in London which you don’t have to pay a dime to get in, Leicester Square, The London Bridge Wintertime Festival, or the Greenwich etc. On like other places, London is more enjoyable during winter.

There is no place worth spending your winter break than London

Fun Alternative Attractions in London (Part 2)

25Jul

Carrying on our series of interesting and under considered activities in London, we’re bringing you another set of 10 amazing attractions to see in London away from the standard stops.

Lee Valley VeloPark

The London 2012 Olympics was an amazing feat for the city, and its managed to leave a lasting memory. The Aquatics Centre is open to the public to swim, or you can go cycle in the Lee Valley VeloPark! There’s options for both Track and BMX, depending on what you’re after. You can even get inside the real velodrome, but it is required to take an accreditation course for safety reasons. If you don’t have your own bike, too, it’s not a problem – you can hire one for the day.

Brixton Windmill

Not an architectural feat you would probably consider to see in London, but there’s a windmill in Brixton. This adorable black-painted Windmill can be found in Blenheim Gardens, which also offers tours inside during the warmer seasons as well as storytelling days and food festivals. Whether you just want a postcard picture, or want a walk in the countryside, it’s worth a visit.

Dennis Severs’ House

This one terrace on Folgate Street can offer a glimpse into the colourful history of migrant populations and communities in London over the past 200 years. From room to room you are lead, in silence, to see a glimpse of scenes which look as if inhabitants have just left. Reflecting different times in history, the rooms take you literally through the past of London.

B Afternoon Tea Bus Tour

Whilst there are plenty of London Bus Tours available out there, not all of them come with Afternoon Tea. The B Afternoon Tea Bus Tour takes you through London’s most famous sites, as well as Brigit and her team offering you a wonderful selection of brewed tea (or champagne, if you fancy) alongside sandwiches, scones, cakes and tarts. If you have dietary concerns, it’s not a problem either, as they offer both gluten free and vegetarian options as well.

Helicopter tours

We’ve seen Buses and Boats, and now we take to the air. See London’s landmarks away from the hustle and bustle, and take it all in with a bird’s eye view. Jump in a fancy helicopter and see London from above – London Eye, the Shard, the O2 Arena. It’ll never look the same again.

Sky Garden

Not quite as high up, the Sky Garden on Fenchurch Street is a beautiful high paradise in the centre of London. Fly up 35 floors in the Walkie Talkie building (London’s Ugliest Building?), and see these spectacular views. Entry is free, but you have to book a time slot at least 3 days in advance to see it. They have landscapes gardens with plants from all over the world, an open-air terrace, a bar, and two restaurants. What more could you want?

 

Image sourced from SkyGarden London

Fun Alternative Attractions in London (Part 1)

16Jul

If you’ve been to London several times and are bored of seeing the same old things, you’ve not seen enough of the city! Whilst London has some amazing tourist sites, it also has plenty of bizarre and unconsidered attractions that are entertaining and great to experience. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favourites to show you.

Underground Tours from London Transport Museum

12Jul

If you’re visiting London and looking for something a little out of the ordinary, we’ve already mentioned the new opening of the London Transport Museum. However, alongside their main exhibitions they’re offering some more exciting tours.

Winston Churchill’s Secret Station

A tour of the ‘Secret Station’ on Down Street, which was used by Winston Churchill to host meetings and hide during the blitz. This mile-long World War II shelter in Clapham is definitely well worth a visit.

Photography Tour of Euston

Alongside this, there is also a photography tour of Euston Station which takes you through some of the disused rail lines, and it is a very slow tour to allow you to get some amazing photographs by the end of it.

Tickets for these amazing tours are available from today and can be booked from here. However, be warned – they’re selling out fast!

If you would like more information on the London Transport Museum, which is opening its doors this year, you can find out more on their website.

Fail-Safe Father’s Day Ideas In London

10Jun

With Father’s Day fast approaching, it’s time to start planning a great day out to celebrate! As always with London, there’s a wide array of things to do and see, and Father’s Day is no different. These are some of our favourite ideas of ways to celebrate that special relationship in the capital.

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