Your guide to London 2020

With a new year brings a whole new line-up of huge, highly anticipated events to look forward to in the capital city. In 2020, there’s a vast catalogue of events happening in London, so we’ve put together our top picks from the entire year, from Fashion Week to the UEFA European Football Championships at Wembley Stadium – it’s going to be a BIG year.

Chinese New Year is celebrated in a big way in China Town

January

4-6 Jan: London Fashion Week – Men’s

Fix up, look sharp – the best of British menswear design comes back to London, with catwalk shows, events, presentations, and plenty of celebrity appearances.

25 Jan: Chinese New Year

Because celebrating one New Year isn’t enough… Every year, London hosts the biggest Chinese New Year celebrations outside of Asia. Expect hundreds of thousands of people taking part in the festivities. It’s free to attend and takes place in Trafalgar Square, Chinatown and across the West End. Our Apex Temple Court Hotel is a great place to stay if you’re visiting this area. Situated just 15 minutes from Trafalgar Square, you’ll be just a short tube ride or walk away, and perfectly placed to take in all the city has to offer.

February

1 Feb – 14 March: Six Nations

Big-time rugby is back with the Six Nations Championship. The tournament will see England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Italy and France battle it out at Twickenham Stadium in London, the Principality Stadium in Cardiff and Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh.

14-18 Feb: London Fashion Week

Time to get that outfit on-fleek as the world’s top designers showcase their latest collections on the catwalks, plus curated talks, designer shopping and trend presentations. If you miss this one, don’t worry – it will be back in London in September.

Oxford vs Cambridge on The Thames

March

6-8 March: WOW – Women of the World Festival

Who runs the world? Southbank Centre’s WOW Festival is back for its 10th year in 2020 and returns to celebrate the amazing achievements of women. This inspirational event will explore the most important topics for women today, so expect a range of talks and debates, concerts, performances, film, comedy, workshops, mentoring and networking opportunities.

29 March: The Oxford & Cambridge Boat Race

One of the most talked about events to come out of ‘Oxbridge’. The famous Boat Race between the Oxford and Cambridge universities is one of the oldest sporting events in the world, which first raced in 1829. Located between Putney and Mortlake in south London, this one-of-a-kind sporting event sees two elite teams of athletes competing against each other for the prize (and bragging rights).

April

2-5 April: London Coffee Festival

Wake up and smell the coffee. What’s your favourite roast? Whatever bean tickles your fancy, fans of java can celebrate London coffee culture at this dedicated festival. It brings together a range of coffee-related activities under one roof, as well as art and food spin-off events.

23 April: St George’s Day

‘This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England,’ William Shakespeare once said. And on this day, English people come together to celebrate St George, the patron saint of England. St George was admired for his bravery in the face of terrible suffering, and he was popular among European Knights and military men. He was chosen as England’s patron Saint in 1350, by King Edward III. Today, St George’s Day involves activities ranging from festivals, ‘dragon’ hunts and medieval banquets that occur across the country.

26 April: London Marathon

If you’re not taking part, it’s well worth being a spectator of this one – it’s also less strenuous. The Virgin Money London Marathon is a phenomenal event with the world’s greatest athletes competing against each other. It’s not just a colossal physical challenge, but also the world’s largest fundraising event. Our Apex London Wall Hotel is just a short tube journey away from the action, so you can sink into one of our comfortable beds after the race.

Wembley, the home of English football, is going to have a busy year

May

19-23 May: Chelsea Flower Show

One for the green-fingered among us. The world-famous Chelsea Flower Show returns with even more unforgettable floral and horticultural displays.

23 May: FA Cup Final

Football fans: assemble. It’s time for the long walk up Wembley Way to see the two best teams in the world’s oldest domestic trophy. The FA Cup Final held at the home of English football (Wembley Stadium) is one of the biggest trophies in English football and usually marks the end of the season.

May (and October): Museums at Night

Fancy spending a night at a museum? Britain’s major museums, historic sites and cultural venues open their doors after dark with a variety of torch-lit tours, live music and new exhibitions. Our Apex City of London Hotel is just a short tube ride away from most of London’s museums, so you can enjoy the comforts of one of our dreamy beds after seeing all the sights.

Trooping the Colour at Buckingham Palace

June

13 June: Queen’s Birthday/Trooping the Colour

Send her victorious – it’s time to say “happy birthday” to Queen Elizabeth. Trooping the Colour is the annual celebration of the Queen’s official birthday. Otherwise known as The Queen’s Birthday Parade, this is a military ceremony featuring 1,400 officers on parade in traditional uniform, 200 horses and 400 musicians. The Queen always attends (it would be rude not to) the event that takes place on Horse Guards Parade behind Whitehall.

20-21 June: West End LIVE at Trafalgar Square

The show goes on! West End LIVE returns to Trafalgar Square in summer 2020, offering the chance to see the best of the London stage performed over one weekend, all for free. Our Apex Temple Court Hotel is a great place to stay if you’re visiting any of the sights in the West End.

29-June – 12 July: Wimbledon Tennis Championships

Quiet please! Arguably the most famous tennis tournament in the world, tickets for the Wimbledon Championships are always in high demand. The tennis starts at the end of June, and lasts nearly two weeks, or until all games are decided. The club holds a public ballot for advanced sales of Centre, No. 1 and No. 2 court tickets.

12 June – 12 July: UEFA Euro 2020

It’s held once every four years, but in 2020 the tournament is shaking things up. UEFA Euro 2020 will showcase international talent from Europe’s elite footballers. It’s the first tournament of its kind to host group stage matches across 12 cities in Europe. The tournament begins on 12 June at Stadio Olimpico in Rome and finishes on 12 July at Wembley Stadium in London.

As well as the final (12 July) and both semi-finals (7 and 8 July), London hosts three group matches on 14, 19 and 23 June, plus one last-16 (knockout) game on 27 June. The UEFA EURO 2020 host cities are: Amsterdam, Baku, Bilbao, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Dublin, Glasgow, London, Munich, Rome and St Petersburg.

Can Lewis Hamilton delight his home fans at Silverstone?

July

June/July: Taste of London Festival

Grub’s up! Every year Regent’s Park transforms into a foodie paradise for four days of summer eating, drinking and entertainment. Approximately 40 of the city’s best restaurants serve up their finest dishes for an al fresco feast, while 200 producers provide an abundance of the best food and drinks from around the world.

3-12 July: Barclaycard Presents British Summertime

Pump up the volume – summer means music festivals! Returning to London’s Hyde Park, Barclaycard presents British Summer Time will once again see some of the world’s greatest bands and musicians take to the stage for six days (over two weekends) of amazing performances.

17-19 July: Formula 1 British Grand Prix

Silverstone – the jewel in the crown of British Motorsports – is a fast circuit with a series of complex high-speed turns, and a short straight to add to the excitement. Will six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton give his loyal British fans a race to remember? He rarely fails to deliver.

SW4
Summer is festival season

August

30-31 August: Notting Hill Carnival

London’s favourite Caribbean festival is the largest street party in Europe, with great music, fancy floats and creative costumes – it’s also free to attend and join in the fun. Hear everything from traditional steel bands, Soca and Calypso to the latest dub, drum ‘n’ bass, R&B and reggae blasting out from sound systems and floats. You can also expect hundreds of Caribbean food stalls serving up a range of delights.

6-9 August: Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House

Every summer, Fountain Court at Somerset House hosts London’s most impressive open-air cinema: Film4 Summer Screen. The series features a range of films, all showing on a state-of-the-art screen with full surround sound.

Party time on the streets of Notting Hill

September

12-20 September: London Design Festival

This colourful annual festival has promoted London as the design capital of the world since 2003. The festival showcases the work of contemporary designers, architects and artists, with striking large-scale installations and events popping up around the city.

30 September – 1 January: Turner Prize 2020

The famous Turner Prize will return to Tate Britain in 2020. Both venue and event are named after the innovative landscape artist JMW Turner. Four shortlisted entries will be judged, with only one artist progressing to win the world-renowned accolade, which will be announced in December 2020.

October

7-18 October: BFI London Film Festival

Roll out the red carpet, because in 2020, London will host its 64th annual film festival with the British Film Institute. The event screens more than 300 films, documentaries and shorts in the capital from around 50 countries. The world’s best new films are shown at this event and previous A-lister guests have included Nicole Kidman, Amy Adams, Casey Affleck, Sigourney Weaver and Liam Neeson.

Jazz Festival takes over

November

Through November: London Jazz Festival

London Jazz Festival hosts world-class artists and emerging stars, packed into back-to-back concerts, workshops, talks, masterclasses and free events across London. A number of key events will take place at Southbank Centre.

14 November: The Lord Mayor’s Show

This historic event has been a fixture of London life for centuries – 2020 will mark the 805th Lord Mayor’s Show. From its origins as a way to make the city behave (we’re not sure that worked), the imperial spectacle has become the world’s greatest unrehearsed civic procession and the longest-running TV show. These days, the show is a joyful and diverse civic parade of more than 6,000 people, with marching bands, military detachments, carriages, dance troupes, giant contraptions and ceremonial displays.

December

December/January: Christmas at Kew

Channel your inner Torvill and Dean and learn to ice-skate against the scenic background of Kew Gardens, which delivers a sparkling after-dark experience and a truly festive atmosphere every year.

November/December: Winter Wonderland

One of the most popular activities during this time of the year is visiting Christmas markets and in London, Winter Wonderland is the biggest and most popular. It has several food stalls, roller coaster rides and shows, so don’t miss it if you are in London during the festive season.

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