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Exciting Movie Premieres in London this Spring

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Forget about Los Angeles, London is the true epicentre of the world’s film and television industry. With so many Hollywood movies being produced in our vast array of London-based film studios – Shepperton, Pinewood, Elstree, etc. — it’s hardly a surprise that our wonderful city seems like a fitting place to hold the premieres. Every week London hosts a number of the most talked about celebrity-clad red carpet events in the world. If you want to see, or possibly even meet your favourite movie star, there’s no better place.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron

The Avengers is currently one of the hottest film franchises in the industry. The latest instalment, which was directed by Joss Whedon, will premiere in London on 21st April. The event is expected to draw huge crowds, so best get there early! Actors Robert Downy Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Samuel L. Jackson, Paul Bettany and Mark Ruffalo will be making an appearance, along with actresses Scarlett Johansson and Elizabeth Olsen.

Anti-Social

Starring in movies seems to be a growing trend among the UK hip-hop community. Anti-social is an independent film directed by Reg Traviss. Rappers/grime artists Skepta and Devlin are expected to attend the premiere on 28th April, along with actors Gregg Sulkin, Josh Myers and Sophie Colquhoun. The event will take place at Cineworld in Haymarket and is expected to draw average crowds.

A Fuller Life

Not every film premiere is a star-studded affair with red carpets covering Leicester Square; there are more modest and charming events taking place in and around London if you know where to look. A Fuller Life is a feature length documentary about the late, great writer Sam Fuller. It will be premiering at the BFI Southbank on 15th May.

Getting Tickets

Getting tickets to a premiere is quite tricky. Unless you know somebody who has worked on the film itself, you’ll probably have to enter your name into a ballet. Mark Meets is the number one source for film premiere and event information in the UK and often hosts ticket giveaways via their website. Alternatively, you could try calling or visiting the hosting cinema itself and asking if they have anything available.

LH premiers

Planning and Preparation

So you’ve got your tickets all sorted, visited the tailors and arranged a fancy limo, but that’s not all; remember you’re in England. The weather could take a turn for the worse at any moment, so bring a pocket disposable poncho with you just in case – this way you won’t endanger your suave demeanour carrying a clunky jacket.

In addition, premieres can be a long, drawn out process – and they barely ever run on schedule! Whether you have tickets or not, grab a bite to eat before you attend. You won’t be able to eat inside the cinema, and you certainly won’t want to lose your space if you’ve secured a decent spot outside.

Meeting the Stars

Aside from the huge crowds pummelling towards the red carpet, there’ll no doubt be plenty of bystanders simply soaking in the vibe. If you want to meet the stars arrive a few hours before the event and try to secure a spot near the barriers. Celebrities usually arrive at around 6.30pm and stick around for an hour signing autographs and meeting fans.

It’s no secret that film premieres are crowded affairs. With journalists, film crews, photographers, interviewers and, of course, the hordes of screaming fans, getting a decent spot can be quite tricky. To guarantee the best view possible book a trip on the London Helicopter and watch the event from above.

Museums at Night: Exploring London’s Museums after Dark

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If you’re too busy to visit museums on the weekend or if you’d prefer to see them in a slightly different light, Museums at Night provides the perfect opportunity. The purpose of this UK-wide festival is to attract more visitors into museums, galleries and heritage sites by putting on special evenings – some of which run all night. The festival will begin on Wednesday 13th May and conclude on Saturday 16th May.

The Museum at Night festival is coordinated by the non-profit organization Cutlure24 and deliberately takes place on the weekend nearest to 18th May – International Museums Day. Since the festival was taken over by Culture24 in 2009 it has grown rapidly. Now over 500 venues throughout the country are taking part, attracting over 100,000 visitors annually.

museums at night

Dickens After Dark

For one night only on 15th May the Charles Dickens Museum – the former home of the late great author – will be hosting a night of traditional Victorian entertainment. Michael Slater will be providing readings from some of the classic stories penned in the house. In addition, film screenings will take place, and a supper will be served using Catherine Dickens’s original recipes.

Supreme Court

The UK Supreme Court will be holding a special late opening on Thursday 14th May. During the evening court ushers will divulge what happens behind closed doors and judicial assistants will describe their own personal experiences. This will be followed by a courtroom drama theatre performance by the Inner Temple Amateur Dramatics Society and live jazz at the court bar. Booking is essential.

William Morris Gallery Iceland Exhibition

The William Morris Gallery will be hosting a “Sleepover Exhibition to Iceland” on 16th May. Here you will take an imaginary journey through the wonders of this mythical country – triple rainbows, lava fields and mountainous terrain. Tickets are only £15 per person and include breakfast, hands-on activities and a puppet show.

Natural History Museum Late

No trip to London would be complete without visiting the world famous Natural History Museum. Throughout the spring and summer it will be opening late every evening – entrance to the central hall will be completely free of charge; however, other exhibitions may require a fee. Throughout this time open-mic performances by up-and-coming musicians will take place during the evenings and there will be a pop-up restaurant serving traditional British cuisine.

Science Museum Late

The Science Museum will be hosting their “Late” event through the whole of May. No booking is necessary and entrance is completely free. Here you will have the chance to explore the museum with a beer in hand after stopping by one of the many pop-up bars that’ll be scattered throughout the premises. Other highlights include a silent disco, comedy show and pub quiz.

Museums at Night really is a fantastic festival that’s not to be missed. If you’re tired of seeing museums and galleries in their usual bland setting, it certainly makes a pleasant change. If you want to view London’s museums with an even more unique perspective, why not take a ride on The London Helicopter?

Oxford vs Cambridge: Racing Goats and Boats

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In 1839 we saw the inception of the Grand National; in 1829 Oxford and Cambridge held their first ever boat race; but neither of these two events compares to the more modern – and outright bizarre – goat race. Goat racing isn’t a pastime you’d expect from students of the country’s most prestigious universities, but even the academics of the world need to let their hair down every once in a while.

The 2015 Goat Race

The 2015 goat race took place in East London’s Spitalfields City Farm, just down the road from the boat race. This year veteran athlete Hamish the pygmy goat – representing Oxford – managed to beat newcomer Hugo in a neck to neck, jaw dropping 200 metre sprint. It was his sixth year of competing and he was given a home grown edible trophy to honour his victory, which he scoffed down seconds after casually strolling past the finish line.

Farm manager, Mhairi Weir, told press that the goats were dedicated athletes who practice every day in preparation for the event. Apparently the goats race during the day, sometimes choosing to take a slow pace if they’re feeling a little lazy or bloated on veg. The fundraiser made enough money to cover Spitalfields City Farm’s food expenses for the entire year.

boat race

The 2015 Boat Racing

On a more serious note, the 2015 Oxford vs Cambridge boat race also took place on 11th April. As always, the Bishop’s Park and Furnivall Gardens river bank was completely packed with students and rowing enthusiasts – and that’s not to mention the thousands of people watching the broadcast live on television. Once again, this year proved that the race truly is one of the most coveted rowing events in the UK.

Oxford won the men’s race, making it their sixth victory in eight years. President of the team, Constantine Louloudis, is now the 15th man to have four wins to his name. The women’s team, however, upstaged the men’s by earning their seventh win in eight years. Each victory took place on a 2,000 metre Henley course. Wind was against the tide, which increased the difficulty and led to some high waves at the half way mark. Trophies were presented by the five time Olympic gold medallist Steve Redgrave, who praised both teams for their performance.

Watching Goats and Boats in 2016

Whether you want to watch goats or boats in 2016, both events provide a unique experience bringing together a mixture of London’s zaniest, athletic and academic. With food stalls, beer tents, souvenir shops and live music, the atmosphere at both events is simply electric. If you really want to get involved in the festivities next year, best start preparing for the Goateoke or Goatest Dancer contest.

The Oxford vs Cambridge Boat Race holds a pivotal role in the history of these highly prestigious universities. The competition started 86 years ago, and for many of the athletes, it serves as a platform to the Olympics. If you’re in London next year and want to witness the making of some of the country’s future rowing champions, be sure to save the date.

2016 will mark the eighth Oxford vs Cambridge Goat Race and the 87th boat race. Expect hoards people in and around Spitalfields and on the shores of the Thames. If you feel like beating the crowds and getting the best view possible, book a trip on the London Helicopter.

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