24 SIGHTSEEING Enter some of London’s most famous sites, from 10 Downing Street to the BT Tower, as part of Open House London. Learn about Pop Art’s lesserknown names at Tate Modern. 42 ENTERTAINMENT Nicole Kidman returns to the West End stage after 17 years. 52 SHOPPING London’s oldest arcade, Burlington Arcade, gets a new look with a tiled floor and art installation. Our unique compact foreign-language editions are published twice a year (Spanish and Portuguese, targeted at the Latin American visitor, is annual). They are available on the concierge desk and in-room at all of our partner hotels. Where is the largest global publisher of visitor magazines, available in the finest hotels and operating in over 80 cities worldwide.
FROM 20 SEPTEMBER The Queen overtakes her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria as Britain’s longest-reigning monarch this month, and a new walking trail is opening at her Windsor home to mark the occasion. The official launch of the 6.37km-long Queen’s Walkway, symbolising 63 years and 210 days on the throne, takes place on 20 September, coinciding with the opening of the annual Windsor Festival. Enjoy the walk then head to one of the festival events. Highlights include a photographic tour of Windsor Castle (26-27 Sep); an organ recital at St Stephen’s Clewer (23 Sep); and a talk by historian Professor David Starkey about Magna Carta (28 Sep), which celebrates its 800th anniversary this year.
3Ai Weiwei’s father was Ai Qing, one of China’s greatest modern poets. In 1958, when Ai was one, the family was exiled from Beijing to a military re-education camp on the edge of the Gobi desert in north-west China. Qing was forced to clean the village’s communal toilets through his fifties and sixties. Ai commemorates his father and others who suffered under Mao’s Cultural Revolution in Remains, a new work on display at the Royal Academy; it replicates the bones of an unknown intellectual who died in a labour camp uncovered in a secret archaeological dig. Only when leader Mao Zedong died in 1976 did the family return to Beijing, where Ai went to film school in 1978. He then travelled to New York as an art student in 1981, earning money playing blackjack and returning when his father became ill in 1993.
Banksy’s works can usually be found on the streets of London, but now they have moved into galleries and auction houses. You can look back over the career of the celebrated street artist in Retrospective, an exhibition that features his most iconic, infamous and rare works. Known for their anti-war, anti-capitalist or anti-establishment messages, the works are spread over two storeys. Highlights include The BanksyCustardizedOilNo.3, a portrait of a man with a custard pie on his face, and LaughNow, an image of a monkey. 10Sep-17Oct.AndipaGallery, 162WaltonSt,SW32JL ’You call that art?’ is a question often asked about Damien Hirst’s work, from a bisected cow and calf to a diamondencrusted skull. Hirst has gone from being part of the 1990s Young British Artists movement to one of the nation’s wealthiest artists. Next month sees the opening of the Newport Street Gallery, showcasing his personal art collection. On display will be rarely seen and popular works by fellow rebels such as Gary Hume, Tracey Emin and Jeff Koons, plus an opening exhibition by John Hoyland. OpeninginOct.NewportStreetGallery, NewportSt,SE116AJ Best known for Self – a cast of a head filled with his own frozen blood – controversial artist Marc Quinn is behind TheToxicSublime, a solo exhibition exploring our complex relationship with the environment. Quinn applies sunrise photographs to canvas and transforms them into seascapes on aluminium sheets, which he pummels until they’re distorted into painting and sculpture hybrids. You can also see FrozenWaves, one of which is seven metres long, an elegant collection evoking the power of nature. To13Sep.WhiteCubeGallery, 144-152BermondseySt,SE13TO
This year marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo – visit the home of the Duke of Wellington with its glittering collections and grand interiors. Wed-Sun 11am-5pm. Adult £8.30; child £5. Joint tickets available for Wellington Arch. www.english-heritage.org.uk/apsleyhouse. 149 Piccadilly, Hyde Park Cnr, W1J 7NT. T: 020-7499 5676. F6. Station: Hyde Park Corner.
This 114.5-metre-tall observation tower, designed by Turner Prize-winning artist Sir Anish Kapoor, gives unrivalled views over the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and down into the Olympic Stadium. It was first opened during the London 2012 Olympic Games, and has now reopened to the public. Daily 11am5pm. Adult £15; child £7. www.arcelormittalorbit. com. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, E20 2SS. T: 0333-800 8099. Off map. Station: Stratford.
This 17th-century building was for King James I, with an exquisite painted ceiling by baroque artist Peter Paul Rubens. It is the only remaining part of the Palace of Westminster, which was destroyed by fire. Daily 10am-5pm. Adult £6.60; child free. www.hrp.org.uk. Whitehall, SW1A 2ER. T: 020-3166 6000. D9. Station: Westminster.
Battersea Park Children’s Zoo
Charming children’s zoo featuring small animals including monkeys and meerkats, plus a petting farm. Daily 10am-5.30pm. Adult £8.95; child £6.95. www.batterseaparkzoo.co.uk. Chelsea Gate, Battersea Park, SW11 4NJ. T: 020-7924 5826. Off map. Station: Battersea Park.
Adult £20.50; child £11.80; plus garden highlights tour £29.50; child £17.70. www.royalcollection. org.uk. Buckingham Palace, SW1A 1AA. T: 0207766 7300. F6. Station: Green Park.
Changing the Guard
The Mounted Guard Changing Ceremony takes place Mon-Sat 11am; Sun 10am. The mounted sentries change every hour. At 11.30am on alternate days, watch the changing of the Queen’s Guard on the Palace’s forecourt. There is no ceremony in very wet weather. The Mounted Guard Changing Ceremony takes place Mon-Sat 11am; Sun 10am. www.royal.gov.uk. Buckingham Palace, SW1A 1AA. T: 020-7766 7300. E8. Station: Green Park/Hyde Park Corner.
Chelsea Physic Garden
London’s oldest botanic garden, founded in 1673 as the Apothecaries’ Garden. Admire 5,000 species of plants, especially medicinal plants, including tropical plants in the glasshouses. Tue-Wed 11am10pm; Fri, Sun & Bank Hols 11am- 6pm. Adult £9; child £6. www.chelseaphysicgarden.co.uk. 66 Royal Hospital Rd, SW3 4HS. T: 020-7352 5646. Off map. Station: Sloane Square.
This 19th-century ship is the world’s last surviving tea clipper. Explore above and below decks, with interactive displays. 5-6 Sep: Family Fun Weekend: Sailor Games. Play out a sailor’s life in your very own board game. Daily 10am-5pm. Adult £12.15; child £6.30. Joint tickets with Royal Observatory available. www.rmg.co.uk/cuttysark. Cutty Sark, King William Walk, SE10 9HT. T: 020-8312 6608. Off map. Station: Cutty Sark.
Dennis Severs’ House
Opened by artist Dennis Severs in 1979 as a kind of living painting. Ten rooms, from the cellar to the attic, illustrate the lives of the people living here between the 17th and 19th centuries. Silent Night tours every Mon and Wed 5pm-9pm; tickets £15. Daytime visits Mon, noon-2pm; adult £10, child £5; Sun noon-4pm, adult £10, child £5. www.dennis severshouse.co.uk. 18 Folgate St, E1 6BX. T: 0207247 4013. D11. Station: Liverpool Street.
Eltham Palace & Gardens
Experience the decade of decadence at Eltham Palace as you are transported back to the 1930s. Make yourself at home as a guest of the Courtaulds at this part showpiece of Art Deco design and part medieval royal palace. 6 Sep: Courtaulds at Home: Preparation for a Party. Period music, dance and costumed characters. 19-20 Sep: Art Deco Fair. Vintage stalls with goods for sale. Palace Sun-Thur 10am- 6pm. Adult £13; child £7.80. www.englishheritage.org.uk. Court Yard, Eltham, SE9 5QE. T: 020-8294 2548. Off map. Station: Charing Cross to Eltham.
Elvis at The O2
To 10 Jan 2016: Exhibition exploring the rise of the King of rock ‘n’ roll and his impact on music today. The items on display from Gracelands include iconic costumes and cars, some of which were famous from his films. Daily 10am-7pm. Tickets £10-£20. www.elvis attheo2.com. Building Five, The O2, Peninsula Sq, SE10 0DX. Off map. Station: North Greenwich.
Emirates Air Line
Take to the air on London’s only cable car and enjoy a unique experience in east London. Emirates Air Line crosses up to 90 metres above the River Thames between Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks giving spectacular views of the city. Mon-Fri 7am-9pm; Sat 8am-9pm; Sun 9am-9pm. Adult from £3.40; child £1.70 one way. www.emiratesairline.co.uk. Emirates Greenwich Peninsula, Unit 1, Emirates Cable Car Terminal, Edmund Halley Way, SE10 0FR. T: 0343-222 1234. Off map. Station: North Greenwich. Emirates Royal Docks, Emirates Air Line, 27 Western Gateway, E16 4FA. T: 0343- 222 1234. Off map. Station: Royal Victoria.
This attractive 15th-century building was the summer retreat of the Bishops of London. Now a museum with gardens, a café and an art gallery. 10, 11, 18 Sep: Outdoor Cinema. Showing popular movies on the lawn, including The Graduate. 7.45pm. Adult from £13.50; child £8.90. Palace Mon-Thur 12.30pm-4.30pm. Sun & Bank Hols 12pm-5pm. Admission free. www.fulhampalace.org. Bishop’s Ave, SW6 6EA. T: 020-7736 3233. Off map. Station: Putney Bridge.
Golden Hinde II
A full-size, seaworthy reconstruction of the 16th-century vessel, in which Sir Francis Drake circumnavigated the globe. Daily 10am-5.30pm, check for occasional closures. Adult £6; child £4.50 (check prices for special tours). www.goldenhinde. com. Pickfords Wharf, Clink St, SE1 9DG. T: 0207403 0123. C8. Station: London Bridge.
atmospheric planetarium, begins 7pm. Adult £8.
From 18 Sep: Astronomy Photographer of the Year. Exhibition of extraordinary images of the planets. Daily 10am-5pm; planetarium shows throughout the day. Adult £9.50; child £5. Astronomy Centre is free; planetarium shows £ 7.50, child £5.50. www.rmg.co.uk. Blackheath Ave, SE10 8XJ. T: 020- 8858 4422. Off map. Station: Greenwich/Maze Hill. DLR: Cutty Sark.
Sea Life London Aquarium
One of Europe’s largest aquariums, with 500 species of global marine life and walkthrough tank tunnels, plus the glass walkway above 16 sharks. Learn about one of the world’s largest species of sea turtle in the VIP Turtle Feeding Experience (tickets £55 including admission), or Snorkel with Sharks (£125 including admission). Daily 10am-7pm. Adult £23.50; child £16.95. Joint tickets with London Eye, London Dungeon and Madame Tussauds available. www.sealife.co.uk/london. County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, SE1 7PB. T: 0871-663 1678. F8. Station: Westminster/Waterloo.
Shakespeare’s Globe (Tours)
Visit this accurate reconstruction of Shakespeare’s original Elizabethan-era Globe Theatre and explore its exhibition to learn more about performances of the era. Check for tours of the new Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, adjacent to the Globe, which stages plays by candlelight in an atmospheric setting. Multilingual audio guides available. Exhibition daily 9am-5.30pm. Tours daily 9.30am-5.30pm. Adult £13.50, child £8. Sam Wanamaker Playhouse tours on selected dates. Adult £10, child £ 7. www.shakespearesglobe.com. 21 New Globe Walk, SE1 9DT. T: 020-7902 1400. E10. Station: Blackfriars.
Ride the magical 4D ‘DreamWorks Tours’ bus to step into live actor fairytale-themed shows where you can meet the characters from the much loved films. Daily 10am- 6pm. Adult £26; child £20.80. www.shreksadventure.com. Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, SE1 7PB. T: 0871-221 2837. F8. Station: Waterloo.
Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
Also known as Neasden Temple, this is the largest Hindu temple in the northern hemisphere, with soaring white marble pinnacles and intricate carvings inside. Modest clothing required for entry. Free tours of the temple. Open daily 9am6pm; exhibition open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat-Sun 9am- 6pm. Admission free. www.londonmandir. baps.org. 105-119 Brentfield Rd, NW10 8LD. T: 020- 8965 2651. Off map. Station: Neasden.
This splendid neo-classical 18th-century building beside the Thames houses the famous Courtauld Gallery, Embankment Galleries, cafés and restaurants. Galleries daily 10am- 6pm; river terrace and Seamen’s Hall daily 8am-11pm; courtyard daily 7.30am-11pm. www.somerset house.org.uk. Strand, WC2R 1LA. T: 020-7845 4600. E8. Station: Charing Cross.
Landmark Palladian church with live classical music and a brass-rubbing centre, plus tours. Holy Communion given daily and classical music performed weekly by candlelight. Check for opening times and listings; some recitals free. Admission free; brass rubbing from £4.50. www.st martin-in-the-fields.org. Trafalgar Sq, WC2N 4JJ. T: 020-7766 1100. E8. Station: Charing Cross.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
Sir Christopher Wren’s 300-year-old cathedral is filled with stunning mosaics and craftsmanship. Climb the dome to the Whispering Gallery, and a further 271 steps to the Golden Gallery for views. The crypt has monuments to famous Britons such as Lord Nelson. Don’t miss Oculus: an Eye into St. Paul’s, a 270-degree film experience. Free tours. Mon-Sat 8.30am- 4.30pm. Adult £18; child £8. www.stpauls.co.uk. St. Paul’s Churchyard, EC4M 8AD. T: 020-7246 8357. D9/10. Station: St. Paul’s.
Tower Bridge Exhibition
This breathtaking bridge, designed in 1884, is one of London’s most famous landmarks, with wonderful views of the city (not to be confused with its less grand neighbour, London Bridge). Enjoy views through the new glass flooring on the high walkways, and visit the Victorian engine rooms. Daily 10am-5.30pm. Adult £9; child £3.90. Joint tickets with The Monument available. www.towerbridge.org.uk. Tower Bridge Rd, SE1 2UP. T: 020-7403 3761. E11. Station: Tower Hill.
Tower of London
Enjoy a tour with a costumed Yeoman guard (‘Beefeater’) around this world-famous historic landmark, including the Bloody Tower, Traitors’
Gate and the Jewel House, home of the stunning Crown Jewels (expect to queue). Admission includes the exhibition Coins and Kings: The Royal Mint at the Tower, revealing the story of the Mint and its 500-year history at the Tower. Visitors can also attend the nightly tradition of The Ceremony of the Keys for free – advance booking essential. Check website for details. Open Tue-Sat 9am5.30pm; Sun-Mon 10am-5.30pm. Adult £22; child £10. www.hrp.org.uk. Tower Hill, EC3N 4AB. T: 0844- 482 7777. E11. Station: Tower Hill.
Up at The O2
This exciting attraction at The O2 gives visitors with a head for heights the opportunity to walk right over the top of the iconic arena. Fantastic views of the surrounding area, including Canary Wharf, Greenwich and across London. Wheelchair accessible on request. Daily from 10am, closing times vary; please check website. Tickets £28-£35. www.upattheo2.co.uk. The O2, Peninsula Sq, SE10 0DX. T: 020- 8463 2680. Off map. Station: North Greenwich. Boat: The O2.
View from The Shard, The
Ascend the tallest building in Western Europe, at 310m high, in a high-speed ‘kaleidoscopic’ lift to enjoy panoramic views of London. Before you ascend, check out the original caricatures of famous Brits on the ground floor. Use the telescopes to give you info on the landmarks you see below. On a clear day you may be able to see as far as Windsor. Daily 10am-10pm. Advance booking recommended. Adult £29.95; child £23.95. www.theviewfromtheshard.com. Joiner St, SE1 9SP. T: 0844- 499 7111. E10. Station: London Bridge.
Explore and sample wines from around the world with self-guided tours and tastings, or enjoy a guided tour with an expert. New facilities including a Winery and Geography Zone stocked with wines from across the globe. Open Wed 6pm-9.30pm; Thur-Fri 2pm-10pm; Sat noon9.30pm; Sun noon- 6pm. Tours and tasting from £27. www.vinopolis.co.uk. 1 Bank End, SE1 9BU. T: 020-7940 8300. E10. Station: London Bridge.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
Explore behind the scenes of the legendary Harry Potter films in The Making of Harry Potter tour. Visitors can witness some of the series’ most iconic sets, including the Great Hall, Hagrid’s Hut, Diagon Alley and a new recreation of Platform 9¾. A fascinating insight into filmmaking. Open daily, times vary, please check website for details. Advance booking essential. Adult £33; child £25.50. www.wbstudiotour.co.uk. Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, Hertfordshire, WD25 7LS. T: 0845- 084 0900. Off map. Station: Euston to Watford Junction, then shuttle bus.
Consecrated in 1065, this magnificent abbey is the crowning and burial site of most English monarchs. Take the walking tour of the interior and see the Coronation Chair, which was made for King Edward I to enclose the famous Stone of Scone, which he brought from Scotland to the Abbey in 1296. It also houses Poets’ Corner, the burial place of Charles Dickens and other famous writers. There’s a free 30-minute organ recital most Suns at 5.45pm. Mon, Tue & Thur-Sat 9.30am-3.30pm; Wed 9.30am-6pm. Adult £20; child £9, under 11s free; tour £5. www.west minster-abbey.org. Broad Sanctuary, SW1P 3PA. T: 020-7222 5152. F7/8. Station: Westminster.