• Tourism

    Hampton Court Palace

    A lovely day outside, this beautiful historic site on the fringes of London was once home to Henry VIII and his court. However old your children, they are sure to be entertained here. There are family trails packed with activities, costumed tours, a skill-testing maze and even the opportunity to try your luck at singing, dancing and Tudor games. The Tudor kitchens come complete with sights and smells from the past and the Haunted Gallery lets you explore the palace’s many ghost stories. Set within enchanting riverside gardens, there is plenty of room for kids to run around while you soak up some sun and admire the view.

    Website at www.hrp.org.uk

    Top Tip

    Book online to save time and money.

    East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU

    Hampton Court Opening Times

    10am – 6pm every day, except 24th to 26th December.


    Easiest way from Central London is to travel to Hampton Court train station.


    Restaurants and cafes are on site, or you can use the picnic tables and benches in the gardens and seats in the courtyard.

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  • Tower of London Exhibition Marking The battle of Agincourt

    25 October 2015 marks the 600th anniversary of the battle of Agincourt, dramatized by Shakespeare in his play Henry V, and one of the pivotal events in the tumultuous relationship between England and France during the Hundred Years War (1337 -1453). To commemorate this event Royal Armouries will present a special exhibition in the White Tower at the Tower of London this winter.

    The exhibition brings together, for the first time, rare and iconic objects from the collections of the Royal Armouries and elsewhere to retell the moving story of this deadly encounter; from the road to battle, to the events of 25 October 1415 and the aftermath, which in turn will explore the popular
    myths, reality and legacy of this extraordinary battle. Medieval arms and armour, art, music, sculpture and manuscripts will be on loan from leading institutions in Europe. Highlights include an austere Tudor portrait of Henry V, on loan from the National Portrait Gallery, exhibited alongside a bacinet and mail shirt associated with Charles VI of France as Dauphin, from the Musée des Beaux Art in Chartres.




    Archers were used to devastating effect on the day of the battle and significant examples of medieval archery equipment will be on show from the Museum of London, Newport Art Gallery and Museum, and the Museum of Somerset, along with longbows and arrows from the Mary Rose Trust. These items will be complemented by arms and armour from the Royal Armouries, including the stunning Lyle bacinet and the Warwick shaffron, showcasing the contemporary equipment of men-at-arms and their mounts.

    At the centre of the exhibition will be a detailed diorama of the battlefield. Featuring over 4,000 intricately painted scale-model figures this extraordinary and unique representation will give visitors the opportunity to witness the turmoil and chaos of the battle at a crucial stage. Above it will hang an installation and soundscape of a mass of arrows evoking the sights and sounds of the battle.


    King Henry V by Unknown artist oil on panel, late 16th or early 17th century Credit line: © National Portrait Gallery, London

    King Henry V
    by Unknown artist
    oil on panel, late 16th or early 17th century
    Credit line: © National Portrait Gallery, London


    The displays relating to the aftermath of battle include a delicate 15th-century manuscript of the Agincourt Carol from the Bodleian Library, thought to have been commissioned to celebrate Henry V’s homecoming. In addition, a poignant reminder of the impact of the defeat on the French will be presented in a moving poem of lamentation by women, written in 1416-8 by Alain Chartier, and on loan from Bibliothèque nationale de France.
    The battle inspired one of Shakespeare’s most famous speeches in his play Henry V, thought to have been first performed in 1599 at the Globe theatre in London. This aspect of the enduring legacy of the battle will be illustrated with the rare First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays, on loan from Cambridge University Library. From more recent times the exhibition will display a tabard worn by Richard Burton in the title role of Henry V at Stratford-Upon-Avon in 1951, on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum.


    The Lyle Bacinet North Italian, late fourteenth century © Royal Armouries IV.470

    The Lyle Bacinet
    North Italian, late fourteenth century
    © Royal Armouries IV.470


    The exhibition draws on the latest research and expertise from historical advisers, most notably Professor Anne Curry from the University of Southampton on the history of the battle and Royal Armouries weapon experts, Dr Thom Richardson and Bob Woosnam-Savage. The exhibition’s curator and medieval specialist , Dr Malcolm Mercer said, “This is an important retrospective which draws on recent research and expertise to shed new light on some of the popular myths about one of Europe’s most famous medieval battles. The battle and its legacy have had a significant impact on our identity as a nation. The latest thinking about the battle of Agincourt in certain respects tells a different, but equally fascinating and important story.”

    The exhibition will be accompanied by a full-colour and sumptuously illustrated and peer reviewed volume published in partnership with Yale University Press.

    A listing of other events, activities and information about the battle of Agincourt can be found at www.agincourt600.com
    For more information: www.royalarmouries.org

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  • Entertainment

    Legendary Shaolin Monks Come To London Ahead of Theatre Show

    Following their globally acclaimed ‘Wheel of Life’ and ‘Kung Fu Masters’ tours, the phenomenal Shaolin Monks return to London with an outstanding new show simply titled SHAOLIN.

    Twenty Shaolin monks will take to the stage to demonstrate their martial arts expertise in an awe-inspiring performance.  

    Direct from the fabled Shaolin temple in the foothills of the Song Shang mountain range in China’s Henan province The Shaolin Monks will make an exciting return to London to demonstrate their authentic martial arts expertise.

    SHAOLIN is the ultimate display of theatre and physical prowess. The twenty-member cast perform incredible “superhuman” feats. The show combines traditional Shaolin Kung Fu, inch perfect choreography with dramatic lighting and sound that evokes the spirit of their traditions in one breathtaking performance.

    The Shaolin Temple is the birthplace of Kung Fu.  These are the very best Shaolin Kung Fu experts on the planet and they have come together to create a show that will eclipse any previous performances audiences have ever seen.  

    The show will take audiences on an intrepid journey through the mystical history of this ancient martial art and demonstrate the beautiful movements of Chi with spectacular weapons and combat demonstrations.

    Depicting the history, philosophy and story of the Shaolin Monks in an authentic and spectacular performance, SHAOLIN will vividly illustrate the rarely-seen Kung Fu masters’ feats of agility strength and skill, using Buddhist Meditation and rigorous martial arts training.

     The Shaolin Monks are the ultimate masters of Kung Fu: Buddhist soldier monks who have refined defensive martial arts over a period of fifteen centuries to a rare and spectacular point of perfection. SHAOLIN showcases the near-miraculous feats of physical endurance, which are the outward expressions of an inner peace, harmony and iron will.

    The Shaolin Monks are lifted aloft on sharpened spears, break marble slabs with their heads, perform handstands on two finger tips, splinter wooden staves with their bodies, break bricks on their heads and fly through the air in a series of incredible back flips.

    An extravaganza, with impressive backdrops, dramatic music, and stunning production, SHAOLIN will combine the rich vocabulary of the Chinese theatre, the traditional iconography of oriental Buddhism and the technical sophistication of the contemporary music arena. But at its heart are the awe-inspiring skills of the monks themselves.

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  • Events

    Walking Tour of the London Monopoly Board

    Take a tour of the UK Monopoly Board – marathon walk from £85 pp with Discover Adventure

    The first edition of the UK version of Monopoly was produced in 1936, made up of iconic landmarks in England’s capital. Celebrate the game’s 80th anniversary by exploring the heart of London, taking in world-famous sights including Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, the London Eye and the Tower of London.

    The 26-mile walk (from Old Kent Road to Mayfair) should last eight to nine hours. Departing on 24 September 2016, the new one-day event costs from £85 pp, including a packed lunch, marshalling stops with water and snacks, and Discover Adventure support team.

    Call Discover Adventure on 01722 718 444 (www.discoveradventure.com).

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  • London’s Model Engineering & Modelling Exhibition Returns


    Location:        AlexaNdra Palace, London

    When:             Friday 15th – Sunday 17th January 2016


    The South’s Largest Model Engineering & Modelling Exhibition returns in January from the 15th – 17th.  This exhibition is regarded as one of the leading model shows in the UK and attracts over 14,000 visitors annually.

    Come along and see the full spectrum of modelling from traditional model engineering, steam locomotives and traction engines through to the more modern gadget and boys toys including trucks, boats, aeroplanes, helicopters and robots as featured on “The One Show” last January.

    Visitors can travel between the show’s different zones, trying the activities and watching fascinating and technical demonstrations.

    Over 50 clubs and societies will be present displaying their members work and competing to win the prestigious Society Shield.  In total nearly 2,000 models will be on display.




    Organisers expect to welcome the return of the British Model Flying Association, Tamiya Trucking Group, Brickish, The UK Tank Club, The Imagineering Foundation and the Polly Owners Group who provide passenger rides behind the 5” gauge steam locomotives within the Great Hall.

    All of the leading suppliers will also be present showcasing new products and special promotions and giving hobbyists an excellent opportunity to see and compare products under one roof. You will be able to purchase virtually anything you need for your next model or project or to get you started in a hobby.

    If you are an active model engineer this is a key event in the calendar to meet other hobbyists and see the leading suppliers. This is a great day out for all the family, one the children will love with all the working models. If you are interested in modelling yourself or want to rekindle you childhood memories, you will find something amongst the many diverse types of modelling on display to admire. If you are not already a modeller hopefully the exhibition will fire your imagination to build something yourself and enjoy one of these satisfying hobbies.

    The South’s Major Showcase of Modelling …… Not To Be Missed!

    Date & Times:

    Friday 15th – Sunday 17th January 2016

    Open 10 – 5 Friday and Saturday and 10 – 4.30 Sunday.

                Last entry is 4.00pm Friday and Saturday and 3.00pm Sunday.

    Model Active Zone closes at 3.30pm on the Sunday

    Cash Box opens at 9.00am each morning before the event opens at 10.00am



    Ticket On Line Tickets

    before 8th January 2016

    Full Price Tickets

    on the Door

    Adult £9.50 £11.00
    Senior Citizen/Student £8.50 £10.00
    Child (5-14) £3.00 £4.00
    If you call to book a ticket over the phone there will be a £1.00 administration fee on top of the on line ticket price to a maximum value of £3.00 per order.
    For groups of ten or more discounts are also available. Please quote GRP10.



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  • Tourism

    London’s Regents Park Zoo

    Zoos are always a hit with the kids, and this one really tops the bill. Over 750 species of animals are on display at London Zoo, including the popular Blackfooted penguins and Moon jellyfish, amongst the more classic lions and giraffes. Kids can get up really close to creepy crawlies with the Megabugs presentation, or watch the penguins gulp down whole fish during feeding time, with many more daily events taking place. The brilliant ‘Meet the Monkeys’ enclosure allows visitors to walk through a recreation of a Bolivian rainforest, with no barriers between them and the animals! A specially designed play area encourages visitors to imitate the movement of monkeys and teaches them about some of the tools they use to get around. These are just some of the highlights of a truly magical day for all the family at London Zoo.

    Website: www.zsl.org

    Top Tip

    Last admission is one hour before the advertised closing time of 17.30, so don’t get caught out.



    ZSL London Zoo, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RY

    Opening times vary between summer and winter.


    Take the tube to Camden Town (15 mins walk) or Regents Park (20 mins walk) station or take the number 274 bus to Ormonde Terrace. Alternatively take the C2 bus from Oxford Circus to Gloucester Gate.


    A restaurant, picnic shop and fish and chip shop are available on site.

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  • St Martin’s Courtyard silent cinema showcasing variety of British films

    St Martin’s Courtyard is proud to bring back London’s hottest ticket; Silent Cinema. The courtyard will be transformed into an open-­‐air movie theatre to showcase a series of British films, set in and directed by the UK. A full sized cinema screen will pop-­‐up for three nights under the stars during September showing a variety of iconic films representing the many facets of British cinema.

    Best of British will run on Tuesday 29th September, Wednesday 30th and Thursday 1st October. Choose between the hilarious horror ‘Cornetto’ comedy Shaun of the Dead starring comical genius’ Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (Tuesday 29th September), romantic drama Atonement with the beautiful Kiera Knightly and James McAvoy (Wednesday 30th September), or the life changing dance drama classic Billy Elliot (Thursday 01st October). Registration opens at 6pm and film starts at 7:30pm with a variety of themed live entertainment before the main feature. Look out for Zombies roaming the courtyard, 1940s soldiers and usherettes and a special performance from the cast of Billy Elliot.



    Tickets are free and will be allocated through an online prize draw at www.stmartinscourtyard.co.uk. Winners will be contacted one week prior to the screening and the ticket entities you and a plus one to the screening. If you’re not one of the lucky ones to win a pair of tickets, don’t panic -­‐ a small allocation will be available on a first come first served basis each night in the courtyard. Additionally, to guarantee one of the best seats in the house, you can also book in advance for dinner and a movie al-­‐fresco style at one of the many international restaurants in the courtyard. Choose from contemporary Thai restaurant Suda, British casual dining restaurant Bill’s, Italian favourite’s Jamie’s Italian and Dalla Terra that will all have headsets provided for diners who wish to dine under the stars with a specially curated pre-­‐theatre menu and optional take-­‐away boxed to enjoy infront of the big screen.

    Wireless headphones will be given to the 140 lucky winners for each screening and a cinema experience wouldn’t be the same without a selection of tasty treats to nibble on. The ticket includes free sweets, popcorn and a selection of soft drinks. Remember to bring blankets for snuggling and an umbrella just in case of a sudden September downpour! There is also an opportunity to win a pair of tickets to see Billy Elliot the musical with a raffle with London’s leading homelessness charity The Connection.

    VIP tickets are available online at www.stmartinscourtyard.co.uk now and general tickets will be live from the beginning of September.

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  • Regeneration City Blues exhibition at Seven Dials London

    Regeneration City Blues pop-up that launches in Seven Dials on the 13th August until 31st August.

    Jane Palm-Gold juxtaposes a celebration of the musical and creative cacophony of late 20th century London with the threat of its imminent silencing under the pile-driver of urban regeneration and corporate redevelopment.

    Admission: Free

    Where: 55 Neal Street, Seven Dials, London, WC2H 9PJ

    The Show: The exhibition explores the musical and subcultural milieu of London after the explosive coming-of-age of popular music in the early 1960’s and the contrast with today’s trend towards urban regeneration driven by multinational development corporations. Today, the older eating and drinking places, independent fashion markets, music related shops and businesses – locals that once incubated the likes of Rolling Stones, David Bowie and the Sex Pistols – are being squeezed out. Soaring land values producing a homogenised wasteland of brands and luxury apartments are threatening originality and vibrant, unpredictable ‘scenes’. ‘Sense of place’ is teetering on the edge of obliteration.

    RCB London Press Release-1

    Microsoft Word - London Press Release.doc

    Microsoft Word - London Press Release.doc

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  • The Architecture Gallery, RIBA SHowcasing Architect Andrea Palladio

    The Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio is the only architect who has given his name to a style; one that is still in use around the world after nearly 500 years. From the US Capitol to a 21st century Somerset cowshed Palladian Design: The Good, the Bad and the Unexpected introduces Palladio’s design principles and explores how they have been interpreted, copied and re-imagined across time and continents from his death in 1580 right up to the present day.

    Focusing on his legacy, RIBA’s exhibition explores how architects such as Inigo Jones and Lord Burlington turned Palladianism into a national style. The style was adopted in the design of houses, churches and public buildings around the world from New Delhi to Leningrad. Palladianism became so widespread that it seeped into peoples’ unconscious references and desires – elements were found popping-up in American Negro Churches and terraced housing and homes in the UK. The 20th century saw a revival of traditional Palladian mansions while the 21st century has seen his design principles being utilised in a more abstract way. The exhibition asks many questions about what makes a building ‘Palladian’ –does a building have to look classical to be Palladian? Is it the design principles or the social and political connotations of tradition, power and establishment that have led to the enduring popularity of the style?



    The exhibition is structured chronologically around three themes: revolution, evolution and the contemporary. It includes 50 original works, including drawings, models and busts.

    The first part of the exhibition introduces Palladio and outlines his unique system of architecture. It charts the development of Anglo-Palladianism from 17th Century England,  through to the transformation of Palladianism into a national style by the mid-18th century. It also explores the role of books in spreading Palladio’s ideas – both his own Four Books of Architecture and later publications that spread Palladian style beyond Britain. Highlights include Palladio’s A Design for a Palace (1540s) and projects for low-cost housing in Venice (1550s); original drawings by Inigo Jones include a preliminary design for the Queen’s House, Greenwich (1616); Colen Campbell’s original pen and wash design for Mereworth Castle, Kent (1723) and an original drawing of Lord Burlington’s Chiswick House (1729).

    The second part of the exhibition follows Palladio’s legacy worldwide in a series of themes that explore how others have either followed his guidelines to the letter or employed them more creatively. It looks at how Palladian design has been adopted for commercial viability and in the service of politics and religion – both in western countries and in colonial and post-colonial contexts. Away from the centres of power, people turned their hand to Palladian self-builds with anonymous builders using pattern books to fuse Palladian elements with local vernacular traditions. Highlights include the original 1721 model of St Martin-in-the-Fields church by James Gibbs, a perspective of Catherine the Great’s Pella Palace near St Petersburg by Ivan Starov (c.1786), a watercolour perspective of Stormont in Belfast by Sir Arnold Thornely (1927) and Palladio’s original designs for the Villa Valmarana (c. 1560) and the Palazzo Antonini (c.1560).

    The last section of the exhibition follows the story of 20th and 21st century Palladianism. Despite the rise of modernism, Palladianism survived in Britain and America as a domestic style both for landed families and the newly rich who commissioned grand classical homes to evoke a sense of history and confer status. Highlights include a linocut perspective of Kings Walden Bury, Essex by Raymond Erith and Quinlan Terry (1971) and photographs and models of houses built since the 1960s.



    The exhibition goes on to explore post-modern Palladianism, where the style has been referenced historically, playfully or ironically.  Key exhibits include works by Swedish architect Erik Asplund and Belgian architect Charles Vandenhove alongside other new buildings on the continent and in Canada. The exhibition ends by examining contemporary abstract Palladianism – buildings that contain no visual references to classical architecture but follow Palladian design principles in terms of proportion or planning. It asks whether a building has to look like a Palladian building in order to be one? It will include a newly commissioned film comparing Palladio’s Villa Caldogno with Brick House (2005) by Caruso St John and looks at a selection of contemporary buildings, ranging from a model of an underground house in Mongolia by OFFICE Architects to offices in Switzerland by Peter Märkli.

    The exhibition coincides with the 300th anniversary of the publication of two books key to the spread of Palladianism worldwide – Giacomo Leoni’s first full translation into English of Palladio’s I Quattro Libri dell’ Architettura and Colen Campbell’s survey of English architecture Vitruvius Britannicus, both published in 1715. These books paved the way for a flood of cheaper pattern books that enabled anyone, from Russian royalty to a American carpenters, to create Palladian designs.

    The RIBA Collections contain over 350 drawings and sketches by Andrea Palladio; the world’s largest assemblage of his drawings – 85% of all those in existence.

    The exhibition is designed by architects Caruso St John. The design takes its inspiration from the interior of Palladio’s villas and the way that his Four Books of Architecture have been used by generations of architects. The palette will reference Villa Caldogno’s frescos.

    Palladian Design is generously supported by the Blavatnik Family Foundation, The Headley Trust and the American Friends of the British Architectural Library

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  • ‘Rock Star Sheep’ Take Over London Flocking to Big Feastival

    A vibrant flock of multi-coloured ‘rock star sheep’ is taking over the capital, after a dynamic collaboration between a shearling retailer and a bespoke wood carver in London.

    The exciting collaborative arts project between Wildash London and Liz Mangles, is seeing sheep in all colours of the rainbow popping up across London, as they generate interest and exposure for the Big Feastival – which takes place during the last bank holiday weekend in August and is presented by none other than Jamie Oliver and Alex James.


    Rock Star Sheep


    Wildash London, which brings the finest shearling from the fashion industry into the home, using ethically-sourced materials, is providing the ‘clothing’ for these stylish sheep, while Liz Mangles creates the animal sculptures that will be modelling the shearling. The flock, which consists of a single full-sized ram, fourteen ewes and twenty-eight lambs, will be on display at the festival, each kitted out in vibrant, luxury shearling, with a sterling silver ‘tag’ engraved with their name and a number.

    Once the Big Feastival ends, the entire flock will then be up for sale – so lovers of quirky interior design and show-stopping focal points can get their hands on one of these bespoke rainbow sheep for own home or business.


    Rock Star Sheep2


    Nisa Berzeg, Creative Director of Wildash London, says, “Our technicolour flock is already attracting attention from all over the capital – after all, what’s more eye-catching than a pink sheep in a shop window? This collaboration with Liz Mangles is a really exciting one, and we’re thrilled to be showcasing the entire flock at Big Feastival.”

    She adds, “We’re developing ewes, rams and lambs in every colour of the rainbow, and they’ll all be up for sale once the festival is over – so if anyone has any requests or would like to reserve a sheep in a specific colour, feel free to get in touch with us at Wildash London!”


    Rock Star Sheep3


    When it’s not creating show-stopping sheep to be showcased all over the city, Wildash London is a premier purveyor of shearling, bringing it from the fashion world into the realm of interior design. Passionate about provenance, Wildash use only ethically-sourced, sustainable materials to create its luxury shearling home accessories.

    At Wildash, all products are handcrafted by specialist artisans and cooperatives from across the globe. The company offers social and economic empowerment to all of its suppliers, whether they’re creating hand-loomed silk or merino wool. This dedication to quality and ethics also imbues each and every item with its own sense of character, its own journey and its own story.

    For more information about Wildash London, Liz Mangles or the flock of ‘rock star sheep’ visit the website: http://www.ewedreamintechnicolour.co.uk/

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