London

Chinatown in London is always great fun, but during new year it ignites and takes the stage as the biggest Chinese New Year festival in Europe with hundreds of thousands of people attending every year. Extending to Trafalgar Square, you can enjoy stage performances all day, which include vibrant musical and theatre shows extending through the West End theatre district. There are hundreds of street food stalls to choose from and the festivities conclude with a huge dragon parade. It takes fifty teams manning the floats and controlling the huge dragon and lion figures that snake through the city to the sound of gongs, music, and cymbals. While you are in London, check out our guide of other great ways to enjoy London in the winter.

February 12th, 2021 Best for: Lovers of Street Food and Performances Chinatown in London is always great fun, but during new year it ignites and takes the stage as the biggest Chinese New Year festival in Europe with hundreds of thousands of people attending every year. Extending to Trafalgar Square, you can enjoy stage performances all day, which include vibrant musical and theatre shows extending through the West End theatre district. There are hundreds of street food stalls to choose from and the festivities conclude with a huge dragon parade. It takes fifty teams manning the floats and controlling the huge dragon and lion figures that snake through the city to the sound of gongs, music, and cymbals. While you are in London, check out our guide of other great ways to enjoy London in the winter.

If you are looking for a sophisticated yet utterly mad festival in the UK, Lord Mayor’s Carnival is the one. Lord Mayor’s Carnival signifies 804 years of tumultuous history in London. 
When: November 9th Look forward to: Parades with marching bands, carriages, military detachments, giant contraptions, dance troops, and ceremonial displays. Tips:  Plan your travel ahead of time! It can be difficult to get around via car during the carnival time as most of the city shuts down.

From Peckham Rye Park to the photography-famous backstreet of Kynance Mews, wisteria blooms erupt onto the city’s scene from the end of April through May, and it’s everything you could dream of in a London scene. And then some. Cobblestone streets lined by mews-style houses with colorful doors, all drenched in wisteria blooms, make it like a scene from your favorite romantic comedy. Explore to your heart’s content, but please, remember that people live in these homes before you set up an elaborate photoshoot plan. Avoid the awkwardness when someone comes down in their PJs to grab the mail. Like this list of plum purple places? Don’t worry, there’s plenty more where that came from. Scroll through our list of robust red places, sherbert orange places, mellow yellow places, verdant green places, cool blue places, and pretty in pink places around the world. When you see a spot you like, click “Save to List” to add it to your bucket list.

London Pride: TBA Pride in London is “about the people, for the people.” This year’s theme is  #PrideJubilee, remembering fifty years of activism, protests and victories that have made the movement what it is today. The parade kicks off at Portland Place at 12pm, moving down Oxford Circus, along Regent Street to Piccadilly Circus, Lower Regent Street, Pall Mall and then passing Trafalgar Square before finishing on Whitehall. London Pride recommends that spectators avoid busy locations, like Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus, and notes that the parade will fill the whole afternoon until around 5:30pm.
Looking for real-time London Pride updates? Download their app and have everything from updates to information right at your fingertips. Pride advocate with limitations or anxiety? Book a Grandstand seat and make sure you don’t miss out on any of the action (and a great place to take a breather if you need one).

From Peckham Rye Park to the photography-famous backstreet of Kynance Mews, wisteria blooms erupt onto the city’s scene from the end of April through May, and it’s everything you could dream of in a London scene. And then some. Cobblestone streets lined by mews-style houses with colorful doors, all drenched in wisteria blooms, make it like a scene from your favorite romantic comedy. Explore to your heart’s content, but please, remember that people live in these homes before you set up an elaborate photoshoot plan. Avoid the awkwardness when someone comes down in their PJs to grab the mail.

YAM Carnival 2022: August 27th, 2022 YAM Carnival is new to the festival scene, but they’re already making huge waves. The organizers from AfroNation are behind this one too, but aim to make the experience completely immersive. Beyond music, the celebration will bring together African cultures from around the world–think Curry and Jerk from the Caribbean, a Latin American pop up inspired by Brazil, New Orleans creole cuisine, and a continental African experience served from a makeshift Nigerian danfo bus.  For another twist on the traditional music festival, YAM promises masquerade performances honoring the centuries-old indigenous traditions of the Yoruba people of Western Nigeria and the Republic of Benin. On the music front, YAM’s lineup has included well-loved Afrobeat artists like Davido, WizKid, and Mr.Eazi.

YAM Carnival 2022: August 27th, 2022 Location: London, UK YAM Carnival is new to the festival scene, but they’re already making huge waves. The organizers from AfroNation are behind this one too, but aim to make the experience completely immersive. Beyond music, the celebration will bring together African cultures from around the world–think Curry and Jerk from the Caribbean, a Latin American pop up inspired by Brazil, New Orleans creole cuisine, and a continental African experience served from a makeshift Nigerian danfo bus.  For another twist on the traditional music festival, YAM promises masquerade performances honoring the centuries-old indigenous traditions of the Yoruba people of Western Nigeria and the Republic of Benin. On the music front, YAM’s lineup has included well-loved Afrobeat artists like Davido, WizKid, and Mr.Eazi.

YAM Carnival 2022: August 27th, 2022 Location: London, UK YAM Carnival is new to the festival scene, but they’re already making huge waves. The organizers from AfroNation are behind this one too, but aim to make the experience completely immersive. Beyond music, the celebration will bring together African cultures from around the world–think Curry and Jerk from the Caribbean, a Latin American pop up inspired by Brazil, New Orleans creole cuisine, and a continental African experience served from a makeshift Nigerian danfo bus.  For another twist on the traditional music festival, YAM promises masquerade performances honoring the centuries-old indigenous traditions of the Yoruba people of Western Nigeria and the Republic of Benin. On the music front, YAM’s lineup has included well-loved Afrobeat artists like Davido, WizKid, and Mr.Eazi.  Dak’Art 2021: TBD Location: Dakar, Senegal Since 1990, Dak’Art has been a platform for contemporary art rooted in African culture. The biennale festival brings together the best of local artists and those across the continent. Created to act as a window into African literature and culture, the festival has since grown into a full exhibition of Black artistic excellence. 
From photojournalism to sound and exploring everything from decolonization to pan-Africanism, no medium is left untouched. Not only is the festival supported by the Senegalese government, but it has also drawn audiences from far and wide in recent years and is now considered the World Festival of Black Arts.

When: April 20th, 2022 Where: Hyde Park, London, England The UK’s biggest smoke-out, 420 Hyde Park, reached new heights in 2019 with thousands of attendees and well-organized stages for speakers, panels, live music, and peaceful protests. While there is often a strong police presence, last year, the cops’ primary focus wasn’t even weed. “We are not like the French police going in hard,” one sergeant told the Daily Mail, “I am more concerned for their health because there are a lot of pasty white people out here today.” Word.

When: April 20th, 2021 Where: Hyde Park, London, England The UK’s biggest smoke-out, 420 Hyde Park, reached new heights in 2019 with thousands of attendees and well-organized stages for speakers, panels, live music, and peaceful protests. While there is often a strong police presence, last year, the cops’ primary focus wasn’t even weed. “We are not like the French police going in hard,” one sergeant told the Daily Mail, “I am more concerned for their health because there are a lot of pasty white people out here today.” Word.

Ghost tours, famous haunts, and plenty of kid-friendly activities; London has something for everyone. This lively town comes alive in October to welcome the spookiest time of year. Enjoy authentic London sweets, cozy cafes, and endless Halloween-themed activities. Visit a pumpkin farm in the greater London area, or make a list of some of the scariest destinations with truly blood-chilling histories to explore.

The UK is implementing an NHS covid passport and is looking to require proof of vaccination for most unessential destinations. Potentially amazing news that we can head back over the pond for a safe adventure. The UK already allows most travelers into the country who have been fully vaccinated sans quarantine. (Although it’s important to note that this is constantly changing so please check before booking that flight.)

London overcame any perceived obstacles and held a spectacular summer Olympics in 2012. The metropolis of London is steeped in culture along every winding road and on top of every double decker bus. Spectators traveled from across the world to enjoy the exciting games and embrace the colorful fabric of the city.

With a cup of tea in hand and munching some crumbling scones slathered in clotted cream and jam beneath the cool British sun, experience the eclectic vibrance of London in the summertime. We know London is never a bad idea, and if you're looking to break the usual 'beach resort island' summer plans, try out this edgy, metropolitan, cultural center for your next big getaway. You will fall in love with London as it unfolds in all of its unique glory in the summertime, complete with big ben, double-decker buses, and those *iconic* telephone booths.

- Take me back to London by Ed Sheeran ft Stormzy

London is a must for all art enthusiasts. From the Tate museums to the dozens of contemporary galleries around every corner of this famous town. London serves as a true rival to New York in the art scene and provides a unique and creative backdrop for your travel, full of vibrant colors and friendly people. In London, there is no shortage of breathtaking exhibits to uncover.

From Peckham Rye Park to the photography-famous backstreet of Kynance Mews, wisteria blooms erupt onto the city’s scene from the end of April through May, and it’s everything you could dream of in a London scene. And then some. Cobblestone streets lined by mews-style houses with colorful doors, all drenched in wisteria blooms, make it like a scene from your favorite romantic comedy. Explore to your heart’s content, but please, remember that people live in these homes before you set up an elaborate photoshoot plan. Avoid the awkwardness when someone comes down in their PJs to grab the mail.

A beautiful city any time of year, the New Years celebrations in London are full of spectacular lights and fireworks from the Thames and the London Eye! To keep the celebrations going into the new year you can watch the New Years Day Parade!

When: April 20th, 2021 Where: Hyde Park, London, England The UK’s biggest smoke-out, 420 Hyde Park, reached new heights in 2019 with thousands of attendees and well-organized stages for speakers, panels, live music, and peaceful protests. While there is often a strong police presence, last year, the cops’ primary focus wasn’t even weed. “We are not like the French police going in hard,” one sergeant told the Daily Mail, “I am more concerned for their health because there are a lot of pasty white people out here today.” Word.

If you are looking for a sophisticated yet utterly mad festival in the UK, Lord Mayor’s Carnival is the one. Lord Mayor’s Carnival signifies 804 years of tumultuous history in London. 
When: November 9th Look forward to: Parades with marching bands, carriages, military detachments, giant contraptions, dance troops, and ceremonial displays. Tips:  Plan your travel ahead of time! It can be difficult to get around via car during the carnival time as most of the city shuts down.

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  • 11 Totally Unique UK Festivals for 2022

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