Celebrate the Queen’s Birthday at the Trooping of the Colour Parade

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The Trooping of the Colour parade dates back to the reign of Charles II, who took to the throne during the 17th century. The colours of the regiment were used in battle to ensure every man could recognize their own soldiers; therefore, in London the foot guards would perform these “tagging” duties as part of their daily routine – thus creating the tradition. In 1760 a parade was ordered to mark the king’s birthday, and from the accession of George IV, they became an annual event.

This highly impressive display of patriotic pageantry is now held on The Queen’s birthday. Up until 1987 she would ride side-saddle while wearing the colours of those being trooped – each year the regiments of the commonwealth would take turns performing in the parade. Nowadays she rides in a horse and cart instead.

Although The Queen was born on 21st April, it’s been a long tradition throughout the British monarchy to celebrate the sovereign’s birthday on a public day during the summer. This is mainly due to the weather. The Trooping of the Colour will, therefore, be held this year on Saturday 13th June. Since her reign the Queen has attended every Trooping of the Colour parade – except in 1955 due to a national rail strike – and this year will be no exception.

queen parade

The Ceremony

During the ceremony The Queen is greeted with a Royal salute at the Tower of London and Green Park. When she arrives at the Mall she carries out an inspection of the troops. Afterwards the band will play music while the Regimental Colour is carried down the ranks. The Foot Guards and Household Cavalry then perform their march past The Queen before she takes a carriage back to Buckingham Palace.

How to Watch

The processions can be viewed from the Mall. The event will be kicking off at roughly 10am, and the fly-past will occur at around 1pm. To get the best possible view of the parade and The Queen, try to stand on the edge of St James’s Park. Seated tickets were available; however, they were allocated by ballot in March. To get tickets to next year’s (2016) event, send your applications to the Brigade Mayor, HQ Household Division by January – details can be found via Royal.gov.uk. Tickets for the seated section usually cost around £30.

After the Trooping of the Colour parade the Royal Family will make a balcony appearance while the Air Force performs a fly-past. This usually features the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight team and the Red Arrows. The fly-past marks the end of the event.

The Trooping of the Colour parade is one of the flagship Royal events of the year, and guaranteed to provide a great day out. Thousands of people will congregate in order to get a glimpse of The Queen, so best get there early to secure a decent spot if you’d like to attend. To beat the queues, book a trip on The London Helicopter and see the procession from the sky.

10 Reasons Why You Should Visit London This Summer

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London is a vibrant city all year round; however, there’s nothing like enjoying the sights and sounds while basking in the glorious sunshine. Whether you want to explore world class museums, watch live sporting events or simply relax with a nice refreshing pint, there are always plenty of things to do.


Wimbledon is without a doubt the biggest British sporting event of the year. If you’re ballot entry wasn’t successful there’s no need to worry. You can still soak up the atmosphere and watch the tennis on one of the many pop-up screens around the city.

Greenwich Park

At Greenwich Park you can relax in the sun while overlooking the Canary Wharf skyline. The area not only provides one of the most picturesque views in London, but also some of the most coveted attractions, such as the Maritime Museum and the Royal Observatory.

Urban Street Fest

London truly is the street food capital of the world. Wherever you go you’re bound to find stalls and vans selling cuisine from the furthest reaches of the globe. Throughout the summer the Urban Food Fest in Brick Lane is a constant food-focused party that’s one of the most vibrant spots in the city.

Pop-up Cinemas

During July and August a number of pop-up cinemas will be scattered in and around London. Camden, Richmond, Peckham and Shoreditch all have outdoor screenings during the night showing new theatrical releases.

Camden Beach

Just because you’re in the middle of the city it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a nice seaside break. The Camden Roundhouse Beach contains 900 square metres of makeshift coastline, including over 150 tonnes of sand – and a fully stocked bar of course!

Beer Gardens

If there’s one quintessentially British activity to partake in during the summer, it’s sitting in a pub beer garden with a cold pint. All over London the pubs will be opening terrace bars that overlook the stunning skyline.

london views

London Triathlon

After last year’s successful event, the London Triathlon is back on in 2015. Here top athletes will compete alongside novices on one of the sites of the 2012 Olympics performing various relay to relay activities.

Buckingham Palace Opening

Buckingham Palace opens up to the public during the summer when the Royal Family enjoy their annual holiday. The visitor route includes a 450 metre walk, with views of the palace garden, gallery and various ceremonial rooms.

Notting Hill Carnival

Notting Hill Carnival is Europe’s biggest and best street party. This two day celebration of afro-Caribbean culture is a must for both party goers and families alike and takes place on 30th and 31st August.


Whether you’re a cycling enthusiast or causal rider, RideLondon provides an excellent opportunity to see the city’s sights and burn a few calories in the process. It costs nothing to take part; however, you must register via the RideLondon website.

The summer truly is the best time to visit London. For a unique experience that you’ll never forget, take a trip on The London Helicopter and witness the breath-taking sights from above.

Following the Shaun in the City Trail

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Throughout the spring and summer, Shaun the Sheep will be grazing the streets of London in the “Shaun in the City” hunt. During this time 120 giant sculptures of the beloved Aardman character – created by a mix of artists, designers and celebrities – will be scattered throughout the city. The first flock of 50 sculptures has already arrived and will continue to make the capital their home until 25th May.

At the end of the run each design will be auctioned off in order to raise funds for the Wallace and Gromit Children’s Charity and The Grand Appeal – both organisations support children in the United Kingdom who are undergoing hospital treatment.

Where Can I Find a Map?

If you want to boost your chances of finding all of the sculptures, best download the official companion app – it’ available on Apple and Android devices. Use it to follow the trail, receive trophies, monitor your progress and complete your hunt. The app is available on Google Play and iTunes for £1.49 and all proceeds will go towards the Wallace and Gromit Children’s Charity. Alternatively, you can download a PDF copy of the map via the official Shaun the Sheep website.


Are the Sheep Within Walking Distance?

Most of the Shaun the Sheep sculptures are accessible on foot; however, not all of them are within walking distance of each other. Public transport services can be used to reach the furthest away sculptures. The benefit of using the mobile application is that it will tell you where each sculpture is located and how far away they are by foot – it even measures the distances you’ve walked. Visit the Transport for London website if you need help organising your route.

Are the Sculptures Easy to Find?

Each sculpture is not only colourful and bold, but measures just over five feet tall. In the Square Mile area alone – which includes London Bridge, Waterloo and Bank – there are 21 individual Sculptures. While on your travels you’ll no doubt run into a few by accident; however, some may require a little more searching than others.

How Much Money Will the Event Raise?

Last year the Gromit Unleashed trail managed to attract 1.8 million visitors and raise £4.5 million for Bristol Children’s Hospital. Each year the event has grown, and 2015 is expected to draw more participants than ever before. If you’d like to contribute more to the cause you can buy official merchandise via the online Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep charity shop.

The Shaun the Sheep charity trail was scheduled to tie in with both the Chinese New Year and the release of the new movie. So far the event has been a huge success by encouraging local residents and tourists alike to partake in the fun – all while raising money for a good cause. If prowling the streets of London searching for 50 giant sculptures seems a little daunting, cut out the walking with a trip on The London Helicopter. You may even be able to spot a few from up above.