Annual Events in London
(February): The BRIT Awards is an annual music awards ceremony, the biggest event in the British music calendar and one of the major London attractions for lovers of British pop
. Since its origination in 1977 the BRIT Awards has been hosted in London every single year.
FA Cup Final
(May): Officially known as the Football Association Challenge Cup Final, the FA Cup Final is one of the most famous football fixtures in the world, with a glorious history, dating back to Victorian times. This great annual event is played out to a global television audience of millions. Tickets are difficult to obtain, but any lovers of football and its glorious history will find the effort to gain tickets worth it when witnessing the ceremony and sense of occasion, tradition and majesty that only this fixture can create. From the traditional rousing pre-match rendition of 'Abide With Me' to the winning captain raising the trophy, having walked the famous Wembley Stadium steps, there is nothing quite like it!
Buckingham Palace Tours
(July-October): Buckingham Palace Summer Opening is the official name for the Buckingham Palace tours which take place each summer. The palace is the principal residence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, the Earl of Wessex and the Countess of Wessex
. The Buckingham Palace tours normally take place between July and late September/early October, and take around two and a half hours. It allows visitors to enjoy nineteen fascinating state rooms as well as the palace’s mesmeric garden, which stretches to an impressive forty-two acres, complete with a beautiful 19th Century lake. The tour has become one of the most popular summertime London attractions. No dress code required.
Challenge Cup Final
(August): The Challenge Cup is Rugby League's oldest knock-out tournament
, with the competition dating back to 1896. It has been held at Wembley Stadium, the world's most iconic stadium, in north-west London since 1929. This wonderful event provides one of the most popular London attractions with sports lovers.
Great British Beer Festival
(August): The Great British Beer Festival takes place at the iconic Olympia venue in Kensington. Organised by CAMRA (the Campaign For Real Ale), the festival's history dates back to the 1970s. The festival is one of the most popular London attractions with beer enthusiasts. Over five hundred beers, ciders and perries are available at the festival
. The festival has fourteen bars, with the majority featuring ales from a particular region of the United Kingdom. There is also a bar dedicated to new breweries. Major real-ale breweries – such as Fuller's, Marston's and Theakston's – also have their own bars, where they serve new ales, as well as their established favourites. There are also bars dedicated to beers from across the rest of the world. There's also live music!
London Restaurant Festival
(October): This London Restaurant Festival takes place over a week. Over 500 restaurants participate in this festival of culinary diversity and excellence
, providing an essential London attraction for foodies as well as London tourists.
for complete list of London's annual events.
Lonely Planet Article: Day Trips from London
Need a break from the hustle and bustle of London after a week of sightseeing? England's compactness means there are don't-miss day trips on the doorstep of the capital. From the dreaming spires of Oxford to sophisticated, sexy Brighton, and upper crust Windsor and Eton to classy Bath, you can easily hop on a train or catch a bus to a range of real gems.
The Victorian poet Matthew Arnold called Oxford 'that sweet city with her dreaming spires'. For visitors, the superb architecture and the unique atmosphere
of the more than three dozen colleges – synonymous with academic excellence – and their courtyards and gardens remain major attractions.
The town's character essentially dates from the 1780s when the dissolute, music loving Prince Regent (the future King George IV) built his outrageous summer palace, the Royal Pavilion, here as a venue for lavish parties by the sea. And that charmingly seedy 'great-place-for-a-dirty-weekend' vibe lasted throughout the gang-ridden 1930s of Graham Greene's novel Brighton Rock and the mods versus-rockers rivalry of the 1950s and '60s.
Windsor & Eton
With its romantic architecture and superb state rooms, Windsor Castle is one of Britain's premier tourist attractions
and, since it is so close to central London and easily accessible by rail and road, it crawls with tourists in all seasons.
This delightful city of honey-coloured stone has always been renowned for its architecture, especially its fine Georgian terraces
. Nowadays, though, it is celebrated in equal measure for its association with the novelist Jane Austen – not so much for her actual works but for the films based on them.
You can't fail to be excited by London's amazing attractions. See London from above on the London Eye; meet a celebrity at Madame Tussauds; examine some of the world's most precious treasures at the British Museum; or, come face-to-face with the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum.
Premiere Shopping Destination
You're spoilt for choice when shopping in London; from the flagship stores on Oxford Street, to gifts and bric-a-brac at London's markets. Shop in Europe's largest urban shopping centre at Westfield Stratford, or visit an iconic department store such as Harrods or Selfridges.
Beautiful Green Spaces
You don't need to travel far to find green space in London. The capital is home to eight beautiful Royal Parks, including Hyde Park, St James's Park and Richmond Park. There's also Hampstead Heath in North London, with amazing views over the city. Alternatively, visit one of London's peaceful gardens such as Kew or Chelsea Physic Garden.
River and Waterways
The Thames flows through Central London and provides a stunning backdrop to many of the city's top tourist attractions. River bus services and river tours are great ways to beat the traffic and enjoy wonderful views. Don't forget London's canals either, including Regent's Canal and Little Venice.
London attracts the biggest sporting events in the world, not least the Olympic and Paralympic Games. See a match in London or take a tour of the capital's spectacular sporting venues from the home of the English national football team Wembley Stadium, to Lord's Cricket Ground or Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum.
London is home to some of the best museums and galleries in the world – many of which are free. Spend a few hours in the British Museum, Tate Modern, Natural History Museum or the Science Museum, where you can browse the permanent collections at no cost.