If you are coming to London next month, there are lots of fun and interesting events taking place. Here are a few of our suggestions of what’s on in London in June and the surrounding areas;
Hampton Court Palace Festival – takes place between 13th – 24th June at Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace Festival is returning for its 21st year with 10 nights of concerts, the Hampton Court Palace Festival is one for the older generation. Playing for two nights of the festival, British icon Sir Cliff Richard headlines the event which takes place in the open-air court of King Henry VIII’s Palace. The line-up also boasts the likes of Russell Watson, the UK’s bestselling classical artist; blues rock duo Joe Bonamassa and Beth Hart, who will make their festival debut this year; and the internationally acclaimed Bjorn Again, bringing a night of ABBA to the event. Jools Holland, now a veteran of this annual festival, will also return to perform with his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra. Guests can bring their own hampers with champers or take advantage of the pre-ordered picnic options on offer. Drinks and more basic meal options are also available from stalls, while those who want to go the whole hog can opt for the hospitality package in the Hampton Court State Apartments which includes VIP seating, a champagne reception with canapés and a dinner including fine wines.
Royal Ascot – takes place between the 18th -22nd June at Royal Ascot racecourse, Berkshire
Royal Ascot returns to the Berkshire racecourse where it has pretty much been an annual fixture since 1711. With nearly £4 million in prize money at stake, this meeting attracts all the biggest names in the racing fraternity, and, of course, more than 300,000 visitors, all dressed in their finest attire. Ascot is as famous for its hats as it is for the racing, especially on Ladies’ Day. Every year the ladies try to outdo each other with tremendous towering creations and outlandish designs. The gents usually go for a more understated look – with morning suits and top hats the norm. It’s as much a giant outdoor party as a race meet: punters at the track will drink over 150,000 bottles of champagne, 14,000 bottles of Pimm’s and, of course, will place untold millions in bets. If you can get a room during this time, a great country hotel is Coworth Park Hotel part of The Dorchester Collection. It is not cheap but an excellent five star hotel with an a wonderful spa and restaurant. For more casual dining, book The Barn restaurant which has an excellent lunch and dinner menu. You can horse ride on the beautiful ground of the estate too.
Open Gardens Squares Weekend – takes place on the 8th and 9th June
From the iron fenced residential parks of west London to the landscaped churchyards of the City, hundreds of garden squares play a vital part in maintaining London’s status as one of Europe’s greenest cities. This wonderful weekend is the one time of the year when these gardens open their gates to members of the public. A lovely idea as many of these private spaces are not accessible to the public for the rest of the year. Over 200 gardens typically take part and many of the gardens put on activities for the children too. The Downing Street Garden will also be open.
Polo in the Park – takes place 7th – 10th June at Hurlingham Park
Now in its fifth year, ‘Polo in the Park’ is quickly becoming one of London’s great summer outdoors events. Aimed at bringing polo to the people, the three day World Series event showcases a more accessible version of the sport, mirroring the effect Twenty20 has had on cricket. Teams of three from cities around the world take part; this year sees London, Delhi, Buenos Aires and Sydney all competing. There’s usually also a steady flow of celebrities (Jodie Kidd) and royalty (Princess Beatrice), medieval jousting and an array of bars, shops and food stalls.
English National Ballet’s Swan Lake takes place 12th – 23rd June at The Royal Albert Hall
Derek Deane’s critically acclaimed in the round production of ‘Swan Lake’ is revived at London’s most magical venue after a successful run at the Coliseum last summer. The English National Ballet will join with international guest artists to share the lead roles of Odette/Odile and Prince Siegfried, and the stage will be flooded with 120 performers and 60 swans to create a large-scale “ravishing and sumptuous spectacle” (The Sunday Times).