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Home News Lifestyle & Renting What’s on in London – July 2016

What’s on in London – July 2016

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As ruffled post referendum feathers are smoothed down, London carries on doing business, welcoming visitors, and celebrating diversity. As a Capital city, it’s as big and as cosmopolitan as many European countries in its own right and well used to the ups and downs of political opinion. The guards may change outside Buckingham Palace but the Royal occupant remains as serene as ever. Here are our hot picks for things to do in London during July.

State Rooms – Buckingham Palace


Contrary to what visitors to London may believe, Buckingham Palace is what The Queen would call her office rather than her home. It’s quite a work space with 19 rooms dedicated to receiving foreign dignitaries and conducting all manner of Royal occasions. These are not just ordinary function rooms either as they contain a large number of priceless treasures and heirlooms.Every stick of furniture has a history and the palace guides are only too happy to explain the intricate origins of most of them. Visitors will also be able to view the famous gown that Her Majesty wore at her coronation all those years ago. Buckingham Palace operates a phased booking system so punctuality will be greatly

Changing the guard – Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace guards

In typical British fashion, this simple exchange of military duties is cloaked with enough obscure ceremonial rituals to become a tourist attraction in its own right. Every morning outside the palace, one company of guards replaces another as they have done since the time of King Charles I. These are the Queen’s own personal bodyguard and are sworn to protect her at all times.There’s plenty of maneuvering and shouted commands as the soldiers, resplendent in their trademark bearskin headgear carry out their duties. When everything is set, the brass bands strike up a series of stirring marches and the troops move into their pre assigned formations. It’s all very colourful, precise and military which makes it a big hit with the watching

BBC Proms – Various Locations

The eclectic genius of the late David Bowie will be the focus of an extended musical tribute at the 2016 Proms. The rock legend might not be the purist’s choice, but he’ll surely be a popular one. The event will also be using a range of alternative venues, in addition to its traditional HQ in Kensington’s Royal Albert Hall.These will include the Camden Roundhouse and the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich in a long overdue initiative that intends to bring classical music to the city beyond Zone 1. Legendary composers from Bach to Wagner still form the backbone of the event as is the emphasis on getting people involved in creating music for themselves.

David Hockney RA: 79 Portraits and Two Still Lifes – Royal Academy 

Royal Academy of Arts

Hockney has always been prolific and his use of modern tools like the iPad shows that he has no intention of putting his feet up. Instead, he gets his celebrity friends to do that as he paints them all in the same setting – all 79 of them. The portraits immediately conjure up vintage Hockney with their vibrant blue backgrounds and vivid skin tones.In this exhibition, Hockney’s pop art credentials are in full effect and he has insisted on a limited time span for each subject intending to show the paintings as a group composition. Even from afar, the effect of the eighty or so blue and turquoise backdrops is galvanising. Hockney is not only a master of portraiture and composition but also unsurpassed in the art of showing of his work to its best

Prudential RideLondon – Olympic Park 

Prudential Ride London

Enjoy pedalling around London’s great outdoors as the capital clears eight miles of road on the last weekend of July. Cyclists of all ages and abilities are invited to this event which is the two wheeled version of the London Marathon. There’s a Grand Prix event for professional racers but the main draw will be for those who want to try out the 100 mile course for themselves.The 2012 Olympics saw Britain emerge as a cycling superpower and it is fitting that the event starts at the Queen Elizabeth Park before winding through South London and out into the Surrey countryside. Like the marathon, entrants will be encouraged to raise money for their favourite charity although health and safety rules will preclude any outlandish costumes!

Great British Summer: Wimbledon Outdoor Screenings 


If you spot a few retro caravans towing giant screens around the city centre this July, don’t be misled into thinking that they’re part of Top Gear’s latest stunt. These vehicles are a novel way of showing this year’s Wimbledon tennis to those of us too busy to get down to SW19. All the crucial matches will be shown by these funky pop up venues that also include traditional striped deckchairs.The 2016 Wimbledon tournament promises to be an intriguing contest as Andy Murray reunites with his former coach, Ivan Lendl in a bid to add to his two Grand Slam titles.The new woman’s British number one, Johanna Konta is in the form of her life and is tipped to go on to great things. Watch them both from the comfort of the rooftop of One New Change in the City.

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie – Cinemas Londonwide 

Anyone thinking that Jennifer Saunders is making this film too long after the much loved TV sitcom is perhaps missing the point. The very essence of AbFab has always been about growing old disgracefully and making an embarrassing entrance at a long finished party. Edina and Patsy stagger onto the big screen and into a crime caper involving Kate Moss and a catwalk-load of fashionistas, meaning that no pratfall or indignity is off limits.Vast quantities of Bolly and Stoli (champagne and vodka) are consumed as the two 60s casualties stumble from one ridiculous set piece to another. Moss plays herself with all the deadpan cool that you’d expect and the fun filled action together with the mad flashbacks keeps the whole hilarious construction rattling

American Independence Day – Stoke Newington/Shoreditch 


With all the talk about independence, it would be churlish not to celebrate the anniversary of the time when a group of plucky pioneers threw off the burden of a foreign power. The fact that the aforementioned power was Britain shouldn’t deter us from raising a toast to our American cousins; after all they do know how to throw a party.Come July 4th, there will be plenty of stateside action in the capital as various pop up activities and venues break out the beer, burgers and bbq. The Grand Ole Stokey at The Mascara Bar in Stoke Newington is a mini festival with smoked ribs and bluegrass music. The American Beer Fest at The Strongroom Bar in Shoreditch expands the same theme with added craft beers and rock bands. |

Summer Series at Somerset House – Somerset House 

Sommerset House

The fine 18th Century backdrop of Somerset House is the ideal venue for this seasonal programme of chilled beats and soulful voices. Birmingham soul queen, Laura Mvula, one of the most acclaimed female singers in the country, has quickly evolved into a great songwriter and will be showcasing a range of stylistic left turns and soul standards.Formerly of chart topping group The Beautiful South, Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott are set to collaborate once again after spending years as solo artistes. The combination of Heaton’s witty lyricism and Abbotts vintage vocals will encompass new material as well as old

Star Wars Celebration – ExCel Centre

Star Wars google image

Almost no cultural event on the planet attracts as many geeks, fanboys and loyalists as a major Star Wars event. It’s a chance for the members of this vast international subculture to meet, greet and compare memorabilia as well as searching out new treasures. The original Star Wars hit cinemas at the same time as Hollywood discovered merchandising leading to alternative economy consisting of rare memorabilia.This means that most fans have owned rare items from their childhood and have continued to fuel a booming enterprise that pays for such events as this. There will be guest appearances from past cast members, alternative script workshops, swap events and panel discussions galore. This is an event that crosses both age and interest barriers as almost every facet of Star Wars trivia is exhibited and


About the Author

Established in 1958, Benham and Reeves is one of London’s oldest, independently owned property lettings and sales agents.  With specialism in residential sales, corporate lettings and property management in prime areas of London, the company operates from 21 prominently located branches and 14 international offices.