Things to do while you stay.
Falmouth to Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Festival 2014
London Design Festival 2014
See the latest in design trends during the 12th London Design Festival at venues across the capital. Leading the way in innovation, this festival celebrates the best creative talents with a range of exciting events and exhibitions.
Looking to place London as the design capital of the world, leading practitioners from all nations gather to show off their latest works. Over 300 events and exhibitions are staged by hundreds of different studios and individuals, covering a broad spectrum of design innovation.
London Design Festival: Design Festivals
Ranging from exhibitions and seminars to shows and pop-up events, the programme makes full use of the many unique spaces to be found in the capital. Events can be found everywhere from the Victoria and Albert Museum to small local studios, with a select few taking place at some iconic London landmarks.
Always highly original, design enthusiasts should brace themselves for some thought-provoking works in the most unexpected of places.
Among the highlights of the 2014 festival are individual "homes" erected in Trafalgar Square. In conjunction with accommodation provider Airbnb, designers Jasper Morrison, Patternity, Raw Edges and Studioilse are each given a room to showcase individuality in interior design.
The Victoria and Albert Museum continues to play a vital role in the festival, and for 2014, it includes the interactive The Drone Aviary. These various drones taking up residency in the on-site John Madejski Garden even have their own Twitter accounts, providing unique images from the flying objects. Inside, a stunning installation by designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, which is composed of two giant moving sculptures, is on show during the festival at the Raphael Gallery.
The Lord Mayor's Show
From vibrant samba dancing to military marching bands, the legendary Lord Mayor's Show offers a host of entertainment as it winds its way through the heart of London.
The Lord Mayor's Show dates back to 1215, when King John granted a charter allowing the citizens of London to elect their own mayor.
Every year since, the newly elected Lord Mayor of London has travelled from the City of London to Westminster to pledge allegiance to the Crown.
These days, the parade is more of a celebration than a show of loyalty. Join in the fun as around half a million people turn out to watch as the colourful procession travels across London.
After the procession, a fantastic fireworks display lights up the sky over the river Thames.
The iconic golden Lord Mayor's Coach can be seen at the Museum of London during the rest of the year.
A Streetcar Named Desire at Young Vic
Enjoy American classic A Streetcar Named Desire as Tennessee Williams' brilliant work is brought to life at the Young Vic Theatre.
Both profound and lyrical, Williams' hit play charts the downward spiral of a woman, Blanche DuBois, and her encounter with her violent brother-in-law, Stanley Kowalski.
Directed by Benedict Andrews and starring Gillian Anderson, this tale of sexual tension in New Orleans is a modern classic, with its atmospheric setting and slyly brilliant dialogue.
Set in a rather seedy apartment, the truth about Blanche's character is slowly but surely revealed as her southern belle facade is gradually chipped away. Despite desperately trying to project airs and graces to protect her true character, the brutish Kowalski manages to see straight through her. A subtle battle of characters and opposites, Williams' complex character study remains as fresh as ever.
- Director: Benedict Andrews
Sherlock Holmes London Itinerary
Grab your hat and magnifying glass and sleuth your way around Sherlock Holmes' London with our itinerary dedicated to the famous detective.
Arthur Conan Doyle's legendary novels featured many London locations.
The BBC series, Sherlock, stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as modern day interpretations of the classic Conan Doyle characters, Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson. The pair solve mysteries and encounter many crimes as their adventures take them past many of London's top attractions.
Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law have also recreated Holmes and Watson on movie screens in recent years. There's never been a more exciting time to investigate the world of Sherlock Holmes.
Created by Scottish author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1887, Sherlock Holmes has featured in more films than any other literary character.
Doyle's famous detective has been played by 75 actors in more than 200 films, as well as appearing in four novels and 46 short stories.
Any Sherlock Holmes pilgrimage should start with a visit to Baker Street. Take the Marylebone exit to come face-to-face with a nine-foot bronze statue of the great detective. Keep an eye open for Sherlock Holmes look-a-likes near the station too!
It might take a bit of detective work to find the famous 221b Baker Street address where Sherlock Holmes lived and worked – it's actually located between 237 and 241 Baker Street!
Here, you'll find The Sherlock Holmes Museum, which has recreated his famous study as described in the books. You can also take a peek into Dr Watson's bedroom and look at his belongings and handwritten notes from the great detective. Please note: You should buy tickets from the shop before joining the queue to get in, and at busy times, there can be a long wait.
Be sure to take a look at 2 Devonshire Place, where Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's medical practice was located.
While you're in the area, pay a visit to nearby Madame Tussauds, which is home to a realistic wax figure of Robert Downey Jr as Sherlock Holmes. As well as seeing the replica Robert Downey Jr in full Sherlock Holmes costume, you can play with the interactive exhibits in his study.
Hop back on the Tube to Charing Cross, and take a short walk to The Sherlock Holmes pub. This is the place where Holmes tracked down Francis Hay Moulton in The Noble Bachelors. Inside you'll find another replica of Holmes' study, as well as a huge amount of memorabilia, including Dr Watson's old service revolver and a collection of television and film stills.
Tuck into a delicious detective-themed lunch in the restaurant at The Sherlock Holmes. How about A Case of Identity (chicken liver pate) followed by Dr Watson's favourite, Cumberland sausages?
Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson travelled all over London as they pursued clues and criminals, and many of the capital's famous locations feature in the novels.
Wander up The Strand to see the The Lyceum Theatre, where meetings took place in The Sign of Four, and take a look at the beautiful Royal Opera House, a favourite haunt of Sherlock Holmes.
Not far from the Royal Opera House is the Freemasons Hall, a Grade II listed building which is used in the new Sherlock Holmes film. Freemasons Hall is the home of Freemasonry, one of the world's oldest secular fraternal societies.
You could also continue to Bloomsbury to see the spectacular British Museum, often visited by Holmes for his research – and an unmissable London icon.
From here, hop onto the Tube again and head to St Paul's Cathedral, where key scenes were shot for the 2009 Sherlock Holmes movie.
Stroll back to The Strand for dinner at Sherlock Holmes' favourite restaurant, Simpson's-in-the-Strand. The restaurant serves traditional English food, including beef carved at your table, and you can really get a feel for Holmes' London here.
If you're planning to visit London between and
More About Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes, assisted by Film London.
Read more about Sherlock Holmes in London from The Sherlock Holmes Society of London. Or get more inspiration with our London itineraries.