Visit London Blog » wimbledon Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 18 Apr 2014 09:00:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Olympic Games: One Year On Thu, 25 Jul 2013 16:11:24 +0000

Last year the Olympic Games propelled London into the spotlight. It brought Britain and the rest of the world together, uniting us in a summer of hope and glory. The legacy was to “Inspire a Generation” and the spirit that went with the event did not end with the closing ceremony.

This summer has already seen a run of British sporting triumphs: Andy Murray’s historic Wimbledon win, Chris Froome’s Tour de France victory, the Ashes cricket success, the British Lions rugby triumph and golfer Justin Rose’s US Open win, which along with the birth of a royal baby and the longest heatwave in seven years, means spirits remain as high as they were last year.

This weekend is the anniversary of the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, so find out what is happening in the venues one year on:

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

The Olympic Park, built as a sporting complex for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, was temporarily closed to the public after the Games but has now been transformed into Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, providing London with a new space for major sporting events, music festivals and more.

Last weekend the park was used for the National Lottery Anniversary Run, the first sporting event since the conclusion of London 2012. This weekend it will host the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games, three days of world-class athletics on the anniversary of the Opening Ceremony. The games will see the return of many Olympic champions, with Sunday being dedicated to the Paralympic champions. Alongside this is the Open East Festival, a weekend celebrating the first anniversary of the Olympic Games and the reopening of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Here, along with entertainment, family activities, art and food, you can watch the Anniversary Games live on screen.

The park has already hosted huge music festivals this summer including Hard Rock Calling, Wireless and Electric Daisy Carnival. Other events still to come in the Olympic Park include:

  • Ride London – On the first weekend in August, professional and amateur cyclists will gather in London for a brand new, world-class festival of cycling
  • Lollibop – Three-day children’s festival with sports, activities, performances, workshops and celebrity entertainers from 16 to 18 Aug
  • National Paralympic Day featuring the Mayor of London’s Liberty Festival takes place on 7 Sep. This free event celebrates disability sport and arts a year on from the end of the Paralympic Games
  • The park will be used for a range of huge sporting events – including boxing, hockey and basketball

Other Olympic Venues

Wimbledon Following on from his gold win at the Olympic Games, there was national pride for Andy Murray again this year as he became the first British man to win Wimbledon for 77 years. Visit the site where history was made at the Lawn Tennis Museum and Tour of the grounds.

Horse Guards Parade Usually used for royal parades and ceremonies, during the Olympic Games Horse Guards Parade was transformed into a temporary arena for beach volleyball. At this historic site you can see Changing the Guard most mornings.

Wembley Stadium The stadium was used for football matches during the Olympic Games and continues to be used for high profile matches including, in August: the FA Community Shield, England v Scotland and the Challenge Cup Final. Take a tour of this famous stadium and walk in the footsteps of some of the world’s top footballers; go behind the scenes in the changing rooms, then walk through the players’ tunnel.

Wembley and The O2 Arena One of the sports taking place in the arenas last year was gymnastics and this year you can see breath-taking acrobatics of a different kind at Cirque du Soleil.

See more Olympic Venues

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What’s On This Weekend: 28-30 June 2013 Mon, 24 Jun 2013 09:00:28 +0000 Festival season in London is in full swing – enjoy a weekend of great music, arts and sport in England’s capital.

London Pride 2013

The London Pride festival returns for 2013 with a whole week of events, which both celebrate and highlight the strength and diversity of the LGBT+ community. Launched by nine-time Wimbledon Singles champion Martina Navratilova, the festival features a Pride in the Park music festival, special film screenings, panel discussions and much more. One of the highlights will be the Parade on Saturday 29 June, which sees more than 10,000 colourfully-dressed people walk, dance and skate from Baker Street to Trafalgar Square. Entertainment will take place in Trafalgar Square and Soho after the parade; see the London Pride website for full details. Until 30 Jun

The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships 2013

The world’s oldest and most famous tennis tournament returns to south-west London, where top seeded players such as Andy Murray, Roger Federer and Serena Williams will battle it out to be crowned champion. Not only is there first-rate sport, but you can also enjoy the tournament’s famous snack of strawberries and cream! If you don’t have tickets but want to watch the action, you can either queue for a day pass or head to one of the screenings around town: see our Wimbledon blog post for more details. 24 Jun – 7 Jul

Hard Rock Calling, at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

The first show at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park since the London 2012 Olympic Games features Bruce Springsteen, Kasabian and Paul Weller – you could definitely say that the area is back with a bang! Hard Rock Calling is a two day music festival that features a fantastic line-up of bands over three stages. Tickets start from £51.75, and you can find out what to bring to a festival by reading our guide. 29-30 Jun

The Waterloo Festival

Celebrating the rich past and present of Waterloo, this festival is a feast of art, performance, music and activity. This year’s theme is ‘War and Communities’, and in keeping with this money raised from events will go towards charities War Child and The Poppy Factory. Highlights include world première performances of classical music, a community fête, a tea dance and guided walks around the area. Ticket prices and times vary, see the programme for full details.

East End Film Festival

Founded in 2000, the East End Film Festival is one of the UK’s largest film festivals. This year, in fact, you can see 16 world premieres, two European premieres, 28 UK premieres and 20 London premieres! Not only is there a rich programme of film, but you can also enjoy industry masterclasses, free pop-up screenings and immersive live events. Ticket prices and screening times vary, see the website for full details. 25 Jun – 10 Jul

Photo by trash world via flickr

More London events

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Alternative Places to Watch Wimbledon 2013 Tue, 18 Jun 2013 09:56:57 +0000 Strawberries and cream, Pimm’s and champagne, fast serves and tiny white shorts…. It has to be Wimbledon, the world’s most famous annual tennis tournament!

If you don’t have ticket to the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships, you can still gain entry to the courts and to the viewing area on Henman Hill by queueing for day tickets: you can find out how to do this on our event page. However, for the prime spots you should be prepared to queue overnight and if you’re looking for a more sedate way to enjoy London’s world-class tennis, read on to find the best viewing spots around town. All are open for the duration of the tournament, unless stated otherwise.

Attending an outdoor screening is a great way to recreate the tournament’s electric atmosphere,  and best of all they’re all free! Land Securities  are hosting screenings in three locations this year: Cardinal Place in Victoria, Bankside Mix in Southwark and New Street Square (weekdays only) in Holborn. Best of all, the venues all offer a range of food and drink that can be delivered straight to your deckchair! Over in Chelsea, the Wimbledon semi-finals and finals will be screened live in Duke of York Square, where you can lounge on pre-booked cushions and enjoy a glass of bubbly from the Pommery champagne tent.

The Pimm's Summer GardenFor something slightly more weather-proof, yet still very summery, check out the Pimm’s Summer Garden. Not only can you enjoy a glass of Pimm’s while you watch the screenings, but you can even order a special picnic in advance, or emulate your favourite  tennis stars by taking part in the venue’s Pimmbledon game.

Bluebird Chelsea will showing the matches on their giant outdoor screen in their courtyard. You can enjoy BBQ,  Pimm’s and champagne while you watch your favourite players during the tournament, or splash out on their acclaimed three-course set menu (£55) during the men’s final. For more tennis-themed foodie treats, head over to Gaucho Piccadilly, which will once again be turning its terrace into a tennis court, on which you’ll be served tibits from their Wimbledon menu by waiters in tennis whites.

If watching all that sport makes you peckish, why not indulge in one of London’s special Wimbledon afternoon teas? The Ampersand Hotel will be offering a special tea (£27.50) in their drawing room for the duration of the tournament, which includes delicacies such as tennis racket shortbread and strawberry tarts. Alternatively, you can enjoy Afternoon Tea by the water at the Wyndham Grand’s Harbour Bar, whose special tennis menu includes Pimm’s jelly and cucumber sandwiches. For the heights of luxury it’s hard to beat the Dorchester, and their Wimbledon Afternoon Tea (£55 with champagne) certainly doesn’t disappoint – check out this photo of their tennis-themed pastries.

Photo by Paula Funnell via flickr

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London Photo of the Week: Wimbledon 2012 Sat, 30 Jun 2012 08:00:25 +0000

This week we love this little gallery of Wimbledon pictures shared with the group by fabienne & co.

Tennis fever has gripped London and the 2012 Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships are in full swing.

If you’re out having fun in London this summer, take lots of great photos and share them with the Visit London Flickr group!

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What’s On in London This Weekend: 29 June–1 July 2012 Thu, 28 Jun 2012 12:00:47 +0000

There’s heaps going on in the capital this weekend, including the launch of a brand new venue , which will open with a bang in a literal sense, and the Wimbledon tennis championships, if you’re prepared to wait in line.

Canada Day

It’s time to celebrate Canada, and how better than with a ceremonial Drop of the Puck by the Canadian High Commissioner before eight teams compete in a street hockey tournament to kick off Canada Day in Trafalgar Square? You can also meet the Mounties and gorge on a pancake breakfast at the party, which is the largest celebration of Canada Day outside the country itself. 1 Jul

Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships

If you’re committed to your tennis, tickets to Wimbledon can be bought on the day at the ground at the All England Club. Each day around 500 tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis for courts 1, 2 and Centre Court (except on the final four days for Centre Court). Several thousand tickets for courts 3 to 19 are also on sale – they also allow access to Murray Mount (formerly Henman Hill) where you can watch the top players on Centre Court on a big screen. Be prepared to queue from 8am for ground passes or overnight to guarantee show court tickets. Until 8 July

London Festival of Architecture

‘The Playful City’ is the theme for this year’s festival of London architecture and the Fitzrovia Hub is the focus this weekend. Architecture practices in the area – including London’s architectural HQ at RIBA in Portland Place – are opening their doors for workshops, open studios, exhibitions and games. You can download a Fitzrovia Trail map to guide you over the weekend. 30 Jun-1 Jul

London Pleasure Gardens launch

Don’t miss the chance to explore East London’s brand new cultural hub. London Pleasure Gardens has been built on a derelict dock and will open its doors on Saturday for the first time. Its launch event is the free Paradise Gardens Festival, which promises a spectacular fire and pyrotechnic show from The World Famous firework company. It will fuse music, pyrotechnics, projection and theatre. 30 Jun-1 Jul

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London Photo of the Week: The Rose Garden in Cannizaro Park Sat, 19 Nov 2011 09:00:02 +0000

We love Laura Nolte‘s photos of autumn in London. This week, the rose garden in Cannizaro Park, near Wimbledon.

Share your photos of London looking lovely with the Visit London Flickr group and we could be featuring your work next week!

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Video of the Week: Archive Footage of Wimbledon Fri, 01 Jul 2011 14:00:51 +0000 It’s the most exciting weekend of the year for tennis fans in London as the Wimbledon finals take place.

We love this archive footage, from British Pathe, of Wimbledon finals since 1910. There’s lots to spot in this film including the outfits, the rackets, the change from black and white to technicolour and the Queen Mother!

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London 2012 Olympic Beach Volleyball to be held in Centre-Court Style Stadium Mon, 01 Nov 2010 17:30:20 +0000

The plans for a 15,000-seater stadium in Horse Guard Parade for the Olympic beach volleyball were put forward to Westminster City Council last week.

The temporary structure, which is similar in size to Wimbledon’s Centre Court, will be built by London 2012 stadium architect Populous in conjunction with Atkins, the UK’s largest engineering and design consultancy.

The stadium will have a lower bowl for getting up-close to the action, and a three sided upper bowl allowing spectators and TV cameras to use the London skyline behind as a stunning backdrop.

James Bulley, the London 2012 director of venues and infrastructure, says “While for many the emphasis of the Games will be at the Olympic Park in East London, our aim is for London to play a starring role in the Games.

“Populous and Atkins, through imaginative design and architectural construction, have enabled LOCOG to use an historic landmark for a major tournament.

“We hope this will contribute to making London 2012 the best possible Olympic and Paralympic Games experience for everyone involved, ensuring a real legacy and inspiring people to join in.”

Horse Guards Parade has a long tradition of hosting events, from Henry VIII’s tournaments in the 16th-century to the annual Trooping the Colour for the Queen’s birthday.

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Italy in London: Tried and Tested Top Local Italian Restaurants Fri, 15 Oct 2010 09:00:44 +0000

We’ve currently got more than 800 Italian restaurants listed on Visit London: there are probably more. London has long been enamoured with the delicious cuisine that comes from Italy: according to the History of Italian Restaurants in Britain, the first Italian Eating House appeared just off Leicester Square in 1803.

We’ve ventured a little further from Central London to gather a set of recommendations for local Italian restaurants in London. Here are our suggestions; we’d love you to add yours to the comments below.

Laura Haggett, Camberwell
Caravaggio in Camberwell Church Street is a real find. The waiters are welcoming and always happy to recommend the specials of the day. The plates of pasta on offer are for those with hearty appetites and there is always a good range of quality meat and fish options. They don’t do pizza, but you won’t miss it. Most dinners are under a tenner, with pasta around the £5 mark, so you’re still smiling when you pay the bill and leave, even if your stomach is so full that they have to roll you out the door!

Foamy, Dartmouth Park
Nuraghe in Dartmouth Park serves up genuine (I think!) Sardininan dishes with a smile. Try the venison tortellini – amazing.

Chris Wareham, Hampstead
My favourite Italian restaurant is L’Artista in Golders Green. The portions are enormous, the prices very reasonable and the food genuinely Italian, including thin-based pizzas cooked in a wood-fired oven. The staff are friendly, boisterous and loud, so it may not suit those looking for a quiet, romantic meal, but for a less intimate evening of Italian food, it’s unbeatable.

Lisa Williams, Fulham
For someone with an allergy to wheat, mention of Italian usually fills me with dread as pizza and pasta are massive no goes. However my local Italian, Pappa & Ciccia in Munster Road always puts a massive smile on my face as they serve the most amazing wheat-free pasta dishes.  I always know I can head in there with my wheat-eating friends, and not feel left out and have the most amazing food.

Charlotte Thomas, Brixton
J’s in Primrose Hill is a perennial favourite with my work colleagues and me. Cheap and cheerful and great for lunch after a big night the evening before!

John Craig, Peckham Rye
I’ve been enjoying the wood-fired pizzas and lovingly made pasta at San Marco Pizzeria on Clapham High Street with my girlfriend for years. The staff are always so friendly. When our favourite waitress told us she was moving back to Italy we were gutted. But she gave us her address and phone number, and told us to visit her anytime. We haven’t yet, but that’s probably because we can get a proper, authentic taste of Italy with a short trip to Clapham!

Jose Adams, Mortlake
Il Portico on Kensington High Street.  Family run (in fact London’s oldest family run restaurant), terrific service, very friendly, delicious food, perfect for special occasions.  Reassuringly traditional menu (like escalopes of veal layered with Parma ham and sage with a white wine sauce) and very comfortable seating – so my boyfriend is happy. I’m a veggie and they will always do something delicious for me. 

Abby Penlington, Tulse Hill
Il Porcini, West Dulwich is a great little place has an inventive menu with a great black squid ink spaghetti, prawn and chilli pasta.

Coralie Grassin, Farnborough
My favourite haunt would be Ecco. This pizza place does not look like much from the outside but wow! Those are gorgeous – very fresh ingredients, as if the tomatoes and basil have just been picked from the plant. The staff are always doing that little bit extra too and cheer me up on bad days. From £3.50 for pizza, this is the best deal in town!

Kat O’Donnel, Seven Sisters
Il Bacio in Stoke Newington has quickly become a regular haunt. Traditional Italian with changing specials as well as all the usual favourites – pizza, pasta, carne, pesce. Plus tasty Italian wines and very genuine staff. And it’s on the Taste Card, bonus!

Peter Spring, Morden
Al Forno in Wimbledon is superb. The portions are huge and the food is excellent but it’s the staff that make this cosy, wood-paneled restaurant special. For a friend’s surprise birthday bash the staff dished out free shots of Italian liqueur and shoveled spoonfuls of cake into the guy’s mouth! Al Forno’s staff always seem to be in a good mood and they are expert at ensuring this vibe permeates to each and every guest. My top tip (and theirs!) is to order a small pizza because the medium is massive.

Please add your favourite local Italian restaurants to the comments below

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Wimbledon: Crowds Gather on Henman Hill Wed, 30 Jun 2010 10:06:15 +0000

Wimbledon’s in full swing, and Britain’s Andy Murray will take on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the men’s quarterfinals today.

If you’re not lucky enough to have Wimbledon tickets, you can still queue for one of the 6000 Ground Admission tickets available each morning.

These let you into the Wimbledon grounds, so you can soak up the atmosphere and watch all the tennis action on a big screen from Henman Hill (otherwise known as Murray Mount).

Wimbledon tickets are popular so you’ll need to get there early! More information on the Wimbledon website.

Alternatively, check out London’s big screens and Wimbledon themed events.

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