WELCOME TO THE JUNE 2016 LIST
Welcome to my list of recommendations of things that you can do in London during the coming weeks and months.
I am going to refrain from making any comment about the weather this month since, when I did so last month, I seem to have jinxed it!
But, I remain optimistic that we haven't seen the end of summer just yet, and so there are a fair few outdoor activities on this months list.
A canal festival, a classic car pageant, a rent ceremony (it's more interesting than it sounds, honest) and a botanical evening are just some of the outdoor offerings to get you out and about in London over the next few weeks.
SOME NEW WALKS
THIS MONTH'S WALKS
I'll be doing my Hampstead Walk again on Sunday 26th June at 11.45am.This is a lovely walk and it explores a truly magical enclave Click here for full details..
The Inns of Court Walk is going strong and, I have to say, I'm really enjoying introducing people to this fascinating and picturesque quarter. Click here for full details.
REGULAR FACEBOOK UPDATES
So, all in all, there are some great locations to get out and about to in London and, as per usual, they're all free, so enjoy.
Just to remind you that I also post updates and additional venues on our Facebook page, so you might like to join us and like us (as in Facebook likes!) to ensure you're kept fully up to date on what's happening in London during the weeks ahead.
As ever, if something changes in the weeks ahead I will put the update on the Facebook Page, in order not to bombard you with emails.
So, without further ado, here is my June list of ten things to do in London.
10 THINGS TO DO IN LONDON JUNE 2016
STEP INSIDE 19 PRINCELET STREET
19 Princelet Street
London E1 6QH
The Nearest Underground Stations are Aldgate East and Liverpool Street
This secret interior only opens to the public a few times a year, and this month is one of the rare opportunities to see inside the Princelet Street Synagogue.
It is a truly special place that hasn't really been tampered with or altered that much since it was built in 1719.
If you like the feel of, quite literally, stepping back into a bygone age, then this is truly the place for you.
ATTEND THE ANNUAL RENT CEREMONY
13 New Row
Thursday June 23rd 2016 at 4.30pm
The Nearest Underground Stations are Leicester Square or Covent Garden
The annual Rent Ceremony is a "weird and wonderful occasion" when the Chairman and Trustees march around the Piazza, accompanied by the Town Crier and a jazz band, to pay the "peppercorn rents" of five red apples and five posies of flowers for the buildings, known as The Protected Lands, on which the Covent Garden Area Trust owns a 150-year headlease.
It is one of those eccentric ceremonies that London just does so very well, and it is worth attending if only to see the bemused look on the faces of those who are not in the know, to whom the whole thing must look genuinely surreal!
ENJOY A BOTANICAL EVENING
SOUTH LONDON BOTANICAL INSTITUTE
323 Norwood Road
Thursday 23rd June 2016, 6pm to 8pm
Nearest Underground Station ,Tulse Hill, approximately 5 minutes walk.
I can but quote from the website for this event. So, here goes:-
"Come and enjoy our beautiful garden with a glass of wine of a summer's evening with your friends. All welcome.
This evening we will be holding a plant ID Opportunity, so bring along any plant you would like to have identified, free of charge!
WRIGGLE OVER TO EEL PIE ISLAND
Eel Pie Island
Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th of June 11am to 6pm
The Nearest Station is Twickenham Main Line.
Eel Pie Island is a private island on the Thames at Twickenham.
In addition to mixed dwellings and a nature reserve, the island is home to 22 artists' studios all situated in and around a working boatyard.
Twice a year the island opens up to the public and the studios open their doors to interested visitors providing a unique opportunity to see inside a real working artist's studio, talk to the artists and purchase or commission new art works.
Of course, another great draw of these open weekends, is the fact that you get to experience a little bit of island life on the River Thames. What's not to like?
CELEBERATE THE JOY OF STUFF
Institute of Making, Malet Place, UCL, London, WC1E 7JE
Saturday 25th June 2016 1pm to 6pm
The Nearest Underground Stations are Russell Square and Tottenham Court Road
How fantastic that we have something so wonderful as an Institute of Making.
And, who better to host a delightfully sounding "Festival of Stuff"?
The one day open-house is a drop-in, street festival "with a whole host of curious things to get stuck in making and doing."
Visitors can explore the sound of materials by making a whistle from a humble carrot and joining in with the brass band DatBrass. You can also explore a selection of unusual tuning forks; have a go on a 3D printed violin; join sound artist Tim Yates to explore his lastest machine, Curio No. 1, which is made of everyday objects programmed with an Arduino; have a go at an industrial-scale, upcycled gong and explore the secret of sounds made by a coat hanger.
And, if all that doesn't have you champing at the bit to get over to Malet Place, then how about the chance to make a paintbrush out of a single hair, feathers, optical fibres and other materials with designer Rachel Colley.
SAIL EAST FOR THE CANAL FESTIVAL
Art Pavilion, Mile End Park
Sunday 26th June 2016, 11am to 5pm
The Nearest Station is Mile End
London's canals are truly amazing and out to the East of the City we have some wonderful urban waterways to explore, and this festival is a great excuse to do so.
The Festival will showcase the project's work uncovering the stories and images of the Regent's and Hertford Union Canals over the last almost 200 years.
A host of other activities will include boat trips, workshop, an art exhibition and stalls.
VROOM OVER TO ST JOHN'S WOOD
A CLASSIC AND SUPER CAR PAGEANT
St John's Wood High Street
Sunday 19th June 2016 10am to 5pm
The nearest Underground Station is St John's Wood
Come and enjoy a Fathers' Day/Family Day out with Classic Cars, a Fun Fair for the little ones and the High Street shops and restaurants.
The big attraction this year will be the opportunity to see Sir Stirling Moss who will be helping raise money for the Rays of Sunshine Charity by signing autographs.
If you like classic cars you'll love this.
GET LOST IN A BOOK
BOOK MAZE (DECONSTRUCTIVE)
Sunday 25th June 2016 from 9am to 9pm
The nearest Underground Stations are St James Park or Victoria
"A book maze but deconstructive version" is how the blurb puts it, and this event sounds like a real page turner.
Audiences will be encouraged to explore the maze which is designed based on a local area map, as well as be asked to "assist" in demolishing it by taking the books home absolutely free!
As the website puts it:-
"Maze is recreation and books are education. The juxtaposition seems to have arisen but in this case, they are both, form and function.
When a book is read, it is a function and maze is the form. When a maze is explored, it is a function and books are the form. The relationship is intertwined - just like the community and landscape that they live in.
The audience's interaction with the books, gradually changes the landscape of the maze and thus the maze is re-constructed from time to time and changes into different patterns - mirroring our current climate on how a landscape is transformed/evolved within a specific timeframe due to decisions, demands and desires of the communities who play an integral part to reflect the social behavior and attitude as the maze pattern evolves every day."
I know, I couldn't understand a word of that either, but it sounds fun!
EXPLORE THE SOMME 100
FIELDS OF BATTLE LANDS OF PEACE
Until the 3rd July 2016
The Nearest Underground Stations are Bank, Moorgate or St Paul's
Explore an outdoor exhibition of photography commemorating the centenary of one of the bloodiest battles in history.
Michael St Maur Sheil's evocative photographs conceal the horror and suffering played out on the battlefields of WWI.
Sites once host to the bloodiest military battle in history have been skillfully photographed to capture the scars of the Western Front and highlight nature's remedial power.
This stunning outdoor exhibition features images of the present-day battlefields alongside archive pictures of the trenches during the Great War.
A timely salute to the centenary anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, the exhibition illustrates nature as an agent of reconciliation, healing the wounds of war and turning places of horror and death into landscapes of great peace and beauty.
EVENSONG AT WESTMINSTER ABBEY
There's no doubt about it, Westminster Abbey is a special place, but it can get crowded and its spiritual side is often hidden by the hordes of visitors who flock to visit it.
However, Evensong is a different experience altogether. Sitting there, listening to the voices of the choir, drifting around you, you come to see the Abbey as a truly spiritual place and there is no better remedy for the stresses of our fast paced 21st century lives, as you come away feeling energised and re-charged.
It is free of charge to attend, and, if you wish, you can also attend other daily services as well.
Keep in mind it is popular so it's advisable to get here early.
I hope you find the June list useful and that you get to enjoy at least some of the things that I have suggested.
If you require further directions to any of the places suggested could you ask it via the Facebook page as that then enables me to answer quickly and, should it be something that everybody wants to know, it becomes useful to everyone.
All the best. Richard