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What's On in London? Spring Guide

As the days become longer and the temperatures rise, London is flooded with attractions for all the family. With such a variety of exhibitions, events, and cultural celebrations to suit all tastes, it's no wonder London has become one of the greatest tourist destinations in the world. Here's a list of the top 20 London events for this spring.

The Ideal Home Show (March 11-27)

Probably Britain’s best loved home show returns to London’s Earls Court for its 103rd year. It’s an exclusive shopping experience covering all aspects of home improvement. Whether you're interested in gardening, cookery, interior design, beauty, or gadgets, there's more than 600 quality exhibitors to choose from. With live demonstrations and celebrity appearances, it's definitely worth a visit.

The Chelsea Antiques Fair (March 23-27)

This has been a popular annual attraction on Kings Road since 1950. This year features around 38 specialists dealing in antique porcelain, pottery, jewellery, furniture, silverware, glassware and much more. From art deco furniture to Chinese curiosities, there's sure to be something to suit all tastes.

The Country Living Spring Fair (March 23-27)

Visit the Business Design Centre in London this March for the best of British design and craftsmanship. With 400 independent retailers, designers, and small producers from all over the UK, you'll get inspiration from some of the most talented independent traders in the country. As well as ideas for the home and garden, you'll find first-class British food, clothing, and jewellery.

The Vitality Show 2011 (March 24-27)

Rejuvenate yourself this spring at the largest health, beauty, fitness and well-being event for women in the UK. Held at the Earls Court Exhibition Centre, you can enjoy four days of shopping, pampering, healthy eating, socializing, and inspirational workshops. The show features celebrity chefs, athletes, lifestyle gurus, and health and beauty experts.

The Oxford/Cambridge Boat Race (March 26)

The annual university boat race on the Thames between Oxford University and Cambridge University starts at Putney Bridge and ends just north of Chiswick Bridge. The first ever contest took place in 1829, and today it enjoys a global television audience of around 400 million people. Why not join the thousands of people along the river to watch the drama unfold live?

The London Marathon (April 17)

With runners raising over £500 million for good causes since the race began in 1981, the London Marathon has become one of the largest annual fund-raising events in the world. A free spectator’s guide is available from London Underground stations. Remember to wear comfortable shoes and take along a waterproof coat in case there are any April showers!

Open Day at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre (Around 17 April - Date to be Confirmed)

Every year the Globe celebrates England’s most celebrated wordsmith in the lead up to their theatre season. For an entertaining and cultural day out, why not take the whole family? For one day only, they open their doors for a feast of free family activities, games, and performances.

The Royal Wedding (April 29)

Join in with the royal wedding celebrations as Prince William marries Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey. The day has been declared a UK bank holiday, so if the pomp and splendour of a royal wedding is for you, join in the celebrations throughout London as locals and tourists line the streets. You might even catch a glimpse of the royal couple during their procession that heads for The Mall, or witness them kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

The Sikh New Year Festival (May 2)

Head down to Trafalgar Square to experience the colourful displays, mouthwatering food, and exotic sounds of the Sikh New Year Festival. With traditional music alongside modern Asian music and dance, the festival caters for all tastes. You can even sample an assortment of vegetarian food prepared by the Asian community.

The Real Food Festival (May 5-8)

Showcasing the very best UK produce, the gathering at Earls Court (Brompton Hall) celebrates quality food that has been sustainably and ethically produced. It’s a great day out for foodies, with around 500 food stalls to explore. Adults and children can even learn from the experts, with special talks, demonstrations, and tastings.

The London Pet Show (May 7-8)

Staged in Olympia National Hall, the London Pet Show is a must for people passionate about animals. It’s full of hundreds of different animal breeds, live displays, and informative talks and demonstrations. Meet other pet-lovers, experts, and browse the stalls for the latest products for both you and your pet.

Bangla New Year Festival (May 8)

Beginning with local children leading a street procession, this event is now the largest Bangla New Year festival outside of Bangladesh. Taking place in Weavers Fields and Brick Lane, why not join in the celebrations? With the very best Bangladeshi art, music, and cultural displays by internationally acclaimed performers, it’s a great day out for adults and children.

Covent Garden May Fayre and Puppet Festival (May 8)

For a free event that caters for all the family, you might want to take a trip to Covent Garden and St. Paul’s Church Gardens this May. Celebrating the art of puppetry and the origins of the Punch and Judy hand puppets, the event features music, dancing, workshops, and live performances.

The Chelsea Flower Show (May 24-28)

Founded in 1913, the Chelsea Flower Show is now one of the most famous flower shows in the world. There are around eight hundred displays from around the world, all producing stunning horticultural displays over an 11-acre site. Reserve your ticket early to avoid disappointment.

London Green Fair (June 5)

Building on the success of the Camden Green Fair, the London Green Fair makes ecological and social issues accessible to all. Tens of thousands of people are expected to attend the show, which features food and campaign stalls. It takes place in Regents Park, central London, and is a must for anyone interested in environmental issues.

Trouping The Colour (June 11)

Celebrating the Queen’s ÒofficialÓ birthday, this annual ceremony always attracts large crowds, so make sure you arrive early for the best views of the ceremony. Stand on the north or south side of The Mall to see the soldiers march from Buckingham Palace to Horse Guards Parade in the morning. You might catch a glimpse of members of the royal family.

Taste of London (June 16-19)

This brilliant restaurant festival gives foodies another chance to sample world cuisine from 40 of London’s best restaurants. Visit the event staged at Regent’s Park to see some of the best chefs and produce London has to offer. Featuring Michelin starred restaurants and an array of the very best food and drink brands, it’s a mouthwatering prospect for food lovers everywhere.

Tottenham Carnival (June 18)

Up to 80,000 people are expected to crowd the streets for one of London’s liveliest and most popular street parades. Most of the action takes place in the afternoon at Bruce Castle Park, with music, dance, comedy, sporting activities, and a funfair. A perfect event for all the family.

West End Live (June 18-19)

This free event in Trafalgar Square is gaining popularity every year. Last year’s event attracted almost a quarter of a million visitors. Including short performances from some of the West End’s most popular shows, it’s an entertaining and informative occasion for anyone interested in what’s going on in London’s West End.

Whether you’re a tourist in London or a resident of the city, there are plenty of events to visit this spring. From food shows to pet displays, antique collections to modern cultural celebrations, there is more to London than just shops, museums, and theatres. So if you’re in London this spring, why not make room for one of these events in your itinerary?

Copyright © 2011, Ian White , Housecarers.com

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