London is the largest city in the United Kingdom and in the European Union. The city of London was founded by the Romans in 40 AD. Over thousands of years, it’s now packed with over 8 million residents. That accounts for 12.5% of the United Kingdom population. There are hundreds of annual events thrown in London, but there are three that you don’t want to miss out on. If you’re planning a trip to London, consider timing it with one of these three events.
New Year’s Eve at the London Eye
The most famous spot in Europe for New Year’s Eve celebrations is at the London Eye. It rivals the celebration in New York’s Times Square.
The London Eye was a recent construction. It was built just before the new millennium in 1999. The London Eye is the tallest ferris wheel in Europe reaching 135 meters at its highest point. It’s about 120 meters in diameter.
After the sun goes down and before the clock strikes 12, the London Eye will be lit up in a glowing blue. A huge crowd will gather around it, nestled between the Jubilee Gardens and Thames River. You won’t be able to go for a ride because of the crowd. If you want to take it for a spin, you should arrive a few days earlier or leave a few days later. A ride on the ferris wheel lasts about half and hour and offers gorgeous views of Central London.
When the clock hits midnight, you’ll see fireworks all over the South Bank. Along with the glowing ferris wheel and the view of the Thames River, it makes for a magical night.
Notting Hill Carnival
The Notting Hill Carnival began in 1966 as a response to the depressing state of race relations in London. London has always been one of the most diverse cities in the United States, but the diversity wasn’t always welcoming. Times have changed and this Notting Hill Carnival helped in many ways.
The carnival is present along the streets of Notting Hill in Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. It lasts three days in the summer heat of August. Since the festival takes place on the August Bank Holiday, London residents get to enjoy their three-day weekend celebrating.
The Notting Hill Carnival is one of the largest street festivals in the world, attracting over one million attendees every year. Residents get to celebrate the dynamic and diverse cultures of London, represented in the carnival. Expect to see plenty of food, costumes, and parades.
Mayor’s Thames Festival
The Mayor’s Thames Festival is an annual weekend event in London. The primary purpose is to celebrate the Thames River, an important part to the founding of London. It takes place along the Thames River from Westminster Bridge to Tower Bridge. The Mayor’s Thames Festival is London’s largest outdoor arts festival.
This festival is easily one of the best art festivals of the world. Expect to experience plenty of dancing in the streets, feasting on the bridges, and even racing on the Thames River. It’s also completely free to attend! Attendees will have a weekend full of arts and entertainment.
Some art that visitors will see includes live music, contemporary dance, and media installations. There will also be plenty of carnival activities, races, competitions, workshops, and more.
The Mayor’s Thames Festival is a popular celebration that fills up the city with many tourists. If you’re planning on attending, be sure to book your flight and hotel in advance to reserve a spot