February 08, 2016

7 Must-Sees in London for 2016

Plans for my trip to England this summer are coming along really well. My research keeps turning up more things to see and do – I wish I could stay a week longer to fit it all in! From art and anniversaries to fashion and theatre, here are just a few of the special events taking place in London in 2016.

1.  The Rolling Stones’ Exhibitionism, Saatchi Gallery
‘The world’s greatest rock and roll band’ is taking over the Saatchi Gallery from April to September with their first major exhibition of artifacts from their personal archives, including artwork, guitars and memorabilia collected during their 50-year history. Who knows, if I’m lucky, I might even run into Sir Mick.


2.  Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Palace Theatre
The play about a grown-up Harry Potter now working for the Ministry of Magic officially opens in July in London’s West End. The play will be presented in two parts and I’m thrilled to have tickets. The first block of performances is sold out but some lucky fans will be able to purchase tickets through daily and weekly lotteries.

3.  Opening of the New Tate Modern
On June 17, the Tate Modern will open a 10-storey addition to the former Bankside Power Station currently housing its impressive collection of modern art. The structure will provide additional exhibition space (meaning more large installations) and a new rooftop terrace with views across the City of London.

WebsiteTate Modern

4.  Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style from The Queen’s Wardrobe
In celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday, this new exhibit will be staged during the Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace. Similar exhibits will take place at two other royal residences, the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh in the spring, and Windsor Castle in the fall.

5.  Fire! Fire!, Museum of London
On July 23, the Museum of London will open a new interactive exhibit to mark the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of 1666. The inferno began in a bakery on Pudding Lane and raged through the medieval streets for four days, forever changing the face of London. The street plan today remains much the same but the devastation left a blank slate for the architectural genius of Christopher Wren.

WebsiteMuseum of London

6.  Re-Opening of the Queen’s House, Greenwich
This 17th century royal villa designed by Inigo Jones is currently closed for renovations but will re-open in July for its 400th Anniversary. A new art installation inspired by the spiral Tulip Stairs will also be unveiled.

7.  New Highclere Castle App
A pleasant day trip from London, Highclere Castle is the real-life setting for the TV drama, Downton Abbey. British fans have already said farewell to the popular series but we in North America can enjoy two more episodes before the March 6 finale on PBS. Now a new app (narrated by Carson, the butler) lets you tour the opulent rooms that have been home to the fictional Crawley family for six award-winning seasons.

Also at Highclere, special garden tours in May will mark the 300th anniversary of the birth of Capability Brown, the renowned British landscape architect who designed the gardens and parkland of the estate.

WebsiteHighclere Castle

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