2012 promises to be an exciting year for London. The New Year began with the familiar sounds of the chimes of Big Ben, followed by a spectacular firework display over the River Thames. But there is even more to look forward to!
We have the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, including a magnificent river pageant of 1000 boats, on Sunday 3rd June. The Jubilee marks the Queen’s 60th year as the head of the British monarchy. For this reason, my tours of Westminster Abbey will focus on the Queen’s coronation back in 1952.
We shall be celebrating the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Dickens whose novels capture the essence of the bustling Victorian city. There is an imaginative and interesting new exhibition at the excellent Museum of London to mark the 200th birthday of this legendary British author. It cleverly links the life of Dickens with an evocation of what London was like then through paintings, objects and Dickens’ own words. It is the close connections with London that make me love doing my Dickens walking tour, where we follow in the footsteps of the great author and see places that were connected with his life and novels. You can even visit his only remaining London home, now an atmospheric museum.
Art lovers will have a feast for the eyes to choose from. Exhibitions coming this year to London museums include David Hockney, Picasso and Modern British Art, Munch, Turner, Pre-Raphaelites and Mondrian & Nicholson. Right now there is a wonderful free exhibition of the remarkable glass installations of Dale Chihuly at a new private gallery in Bond Street.
Theatre goers can enjoy the worlds’ biggest celebration of Shakespeare with thousands of actors from around the world taking place and performing all the plays. As well as famous actors, there will intriguing performances starring up-and-coming actors, such as an Iraqi version of Romeo and Juliet!
London Fashion Week returns in February, a reminder of the dynamic contemporary life of the city. And in August, London will be the host to the 2012 Olympic Games (What? Had you not heard?)
See you this year in London!