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Where to Celebrate The Chinese New Year In London

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The year of the monkey is approaching and London’s Chinese residents are planning to take to the streets and celebrate the New Year in all its colourful glory. Expect traditional eastern style decorations, lanterns illuminating the streets, huge paper dragons and, of course, plenty of dancing!

This year’s festivities will start on Monday 8th February; however, the main London parade won’t take place until Sunday 14th February. Everyone is welcome to join in, be it attending one of the many events held throughout the city or simply relaxing at home with a nice take away.

The “Official” Parade

Outside of China, London’s Chinese New Year parade is the biggest in the world. In fact, it’s so popular that many Chinese people travel from the homeland in order to attend the event. It starts at 10am, moving from Charing Cross road and Shaftesbury Avenue, to Trafalgar Square. The scene will be a spectacle of acrobatic performances, lion dances, high pole troupe dancers and a light projection over Nelson’s Column.

Chinatown Festivities

With over 100 restaurants, bars, cafes and shops, Chinatown will be at the heart of the action throughout the entire week. New Year themed decorations, craft stalls and street performers will colonise the area, giving the already vibrant district even more of a party vibe.

chinese new year

Chinese Lantern Festival

The United Kingdom’s first ever Chinese Lantern Festival will take place at Chiswick House and Garden. The five week programme will include everything from theatrical performances to light installations. However, the most impressive part of all will be the whopping 60-metre long dragon sculpture, which is just one of the 50-plus hand crafted lanterns that will adorn the area.

The Museum of Childhood

The V&A Museum of Childhood, in conjunction with The Mother’s Bridge charity – an organisation dedicated to teaching adopted Chinese children about their native culture – will host workshops in lantern making, costume making and calligraphy. The craft fair will be held on Saturday 13th February from 11.30am. Entrance is free.

The National Gallery

Two days before the “official” Chinese New Year, on Saturday 6th February, the National Gallery will host a day of family oriented, Chinese-themed activities. Mask making workshops, zodiac trails, traditional storytelling and singsongs in both Mandarin and English will have multiple sessions throughout the day.

Croyden Phoenix Parade

Sometimes it’s nicer to attend the smaller, less known events. Croyden’s town centre may not compete with the size of the Trafalgar Square parade, but it’s no less entertaining. Along with food stalls, arts workshops and lion dancing, a traditional parade will march through the streets on 7th February, showcasing a huge phoenix sculpture with an eight-metre tail.

Unfortunately, the Year of the Monkey is believed to be the most unlucky year in the Chinese zodiac. Superstition aside, London always lives up to its name as the best, most lively city to celebrate the Chinese New Year outside of the homeland. If you want to enjoy the festivities without the hustle and bustle of the city streets, consider watching alongside the sky lanterns by taking a trip on The London Helicopter.

The Best Museum Exhibitions in London This Summer

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London has one of the largest densities of world-class museums and art galleries in the world, and no visit to the capital would be complete without attending at least one of them. Besides a few special exhibitions, most are completely free-of-charge and open seven days per week. Whether you want to immerse yourself in history and creative genius of the curators, or simply have a quick peek, these seven exhibitions are definitely worth checking out.

Forensics: Anatomy of Crime

The Forensics: Anatomy of Crime exhibition will take you through the history of forensics and includes original evidence, archive material, photographs, and film footage from some of the most prolific cases of all time. The theme of this exhibition is “to explore the cross-over between law and medicine.” It will be the first of its kind and promises to reveal the truth behind some of the common forensics “myths” perpetuated in crime dramas. The exhibition will take place at Gallery 1 at the Welcome Collection.

Indigenous Australia: Enduring Civilization

Up until 2nd August the British Museum will be hosting the Indigenous Australia: Enduring Civilization exhibition. With a culture dating back over 55,000 years, you’ll get to learn about the country’s unique history and diverse environments. The exhibition will even feature original documentation describing the earliest known contact between the indigenous people and outsiders.


Scotland Yard the Black Museum

Scotland Yard is finally planning to open up the Black Museum to the public for a limited time this summer. Since it was started in the late-1800s it’s only been accessible to police personnel and academics. The venue itself is currently unknown, but is sure to bring visitors from all over the world due to its large collection of original Jack the Ripper evidence.

Strange Creatures: The Art of Unknown Animals

When many of the world’s animals were being discovered for the first time there were no cameras. The only way adventurers and zoologists could document them is through art and description. The Strange Creatures: The Art of Unknown Animals exhibition will be held at the Grant Museum of Zoology in Fitzrovia, and will feature reconstructions based on original historical documentation.

Coral Reefs: Secret Cities of the Sea

The Natural History Museum will be hosting the Coral Reefs: Secrets of the Sea exhibition until September 13th. Here you’ll get to view a collection of images and specimens that have been compiled over a three year period. In addition, it features original coral collected by Charles Darwin from the HMS Beagle, and a cutting-edge virtual dive so you can experience life in the coral reefs firsthand.

Barbara Hepworth: Sculpture for a Modern World

The Tate Modern will be hosting the first Barbara Hepworth exhibition in London for almost 50 years. This retrospective will feature some of her most prized and best loved works, including original wood, stone and bronze carvings from her humble beginnings up until the height of her success in the 1960s. The exhibition will begin on 24th June and will end on 25th October. Tickets are priced at £18 per person.

Museums After Dark

The Museums after Dark promotion officially takes place during the spring; however, many of London’s larger museums will continue holding evening events throughout the summer. The V&A museum, Science Museum and Natural History Museum will all keep their doors open late until October.

London’s museums are truly breathtaking – both inside and out – but there’s nothing like viewing the city from above. If you’re looking for an activity that’ll give you a bit more of an adrenaline kick, book a trip on The London Helicopter.

Tickets and Tours for the Wimbledon Tennis Championship

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Wimbledon is the world’s most prestigious tennis event and attracts millions of viewers across the globe. While it can host tens of thousands of attendees, getting tickets is no easy matter. However, there are a number of ways to boost your chances.

Ballot Tickets

Due to the massive public demand for tickets, Wimbledon uses a ballot system in order to fairly distribute Show Court Tickets. This system has been used since 1924 and is open to everyone. Every year applications are substantially oversubscribed; therefore, only a small percentage of applicants are successful.

Buying Tickets

A limited number of tickets for Centre, No.1 and No.2 Courts, as well as the Grounds Admission can be purchased on the day of the event via specific turnsites. These tickets cannot be booked in advance and only several hundred are available – all tickets must be ordered via Ticketmaster. Efforts are made to ensure seat tickets that aren’t needed are available for resale to people who are already in the grounds.


Buying Debenture Tickets

Debenture ticket holders are financial supporters of Wimbledon. They receive a pair of tickets for the Centre Court or No. 1 Court for the entire duration of the tournament. They are the only tickets that are viable for third party resale and are available online at All tickets come in pairs and include access to the exclusive debenture lounges allowing you to enjoy the full experience. The only downside is the price. Expect to pay at least £1,000 for a pair of No.1 Court tickets or £2,000 or more for a pair of Centre Court tickets.

Allocated Tickets

A select number of tickets are allocated to tennis schools, federations, associations and organisations with special claims. In addition, Newmarket Holidays offer several packages including coach-inclusive breaks and Make-Your-Own-Way breaks which offer No.1 Court tickets, transport and accommodation facilities.

Lawn Tennis Association Tickets

You can join the Lawn Tennis Association for just £25 per year. This will qualify you for their independent ballot. While it certainly won’t guarantee tickets, the odds are much higher than in the public ballot.

The Queue

The Queue certainly isn’t the easiest way to get tickets, but it’s one of the most popular methods. Unlike most other tennis events, Wimbledon offers tickets on the date of play, but as you probably guessed from the title, only for those who are willing to queue up. Waiting in The Queue is an experience in itself. To secure your spot you’ll undoubtedly have to spend the night. Only 500 Centre Court tickets are available to the public for the first nine days, so make sure you bring a comfortable sleeping bag, plenty of food and drink, and a change of clothes.

Of all the major sporting events throughout the world, getting into Wimbledon is without a doubt the most challenging – but it’s certainly not impossible! Follow these tips and you’ll significantly boost your chances. If you’d rather not spend thousands on a seat, The London Helicopter will provide an equally satisfying experience for a mere fraction of the price.

Support London’s Air Ambulance

We are delighted to support London’s Air Ambulance, helping to extend the reach of their lifesaving missions across London. The London Helicopter will match your donation to double its impact.