As we head into May we’re all looking forward to the summer and hopefully some good weather. Should this be the case then it’s the perfect time for The City to shine, with lots going on in the heart of the capital. If you’ve already booked yourself into one of the serviced apartments in Central London, you’ll be looking to see how you can make the most of your time in The City. Read on for a few ideas:
As part of the nationwide UK Green Film Festival, the Barbican in The City will be showing a selection of movies from around the world exploring the themes of climate change, energy, pollution and community. Among the films to be screened are The Messenger, The Shore Break and The Great Invisible. The opening night gala will feature undercover documentary Racing Extinction, which will be accompanied by a talk. Dominic Price from the Species Recovery Trust and Adeela Warley from Friends of the Earth, will weigh in on the issues, while Oscar-winning director Louie Psihoyos will participate by Skype.
Standard tickets for each screening are priced at £11.50, but concessions are also available.
The famous Cheapside Hoard can be found at the Museum of London and this wonderful guided tour takes you to the street where it was discovered. You’ll learn about the history of the area and the jewels that were uncovered, as well as tales of royal love interests and the feisty residents of Cheapside over the years. The walk takes place whatever the weather, so come wearing appropriate clothing and shoes.
Booking in advance is required with tickets costing £12.50 for adults.
Heroes of Postman’s Park: The Secret History of the Watts Memorial – May 13th
While The City is one of the only parts of London that does not have huge stretches of parkland, there are a number of smaller places that are very charming. Postman’s Park is one of them and a special guided tour in May allows visitors access after-hours. It is home to the Memorial to Self Sacrifice, otherwise known as the Watts Memorial, which allows the actions of ordinary people who lost their lives saving others to be remembered. Dr John Price, author of the book Heroes of Postman’s Park: Heroic Self-Sacrifice in Victorian London, will lead the talk. Tickets, which include a drink and a light refreshment, cost £12 and the event will begin at 7.30pm.
London at Night – Guildhall Library – April 18th – August 26th
This photographic exhibition by Simon Gregor explores the theme of the capital seen after dark. Gregor is a particularly good choice for such a display, as he has hosted guided tours of London at night for years, helping to showcase its sights and explain the best ways to photograph them. Many of the images chosen for the exhibition are personal favourites of the artist and offer a glimpse of some of the atmosphere and charm that only those who venture out at night see. The library is open between 9.30am and 5pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, with extended hours to 7.30pm on a Wednesday. It is also open on selected Saturdays, but closed on bank holidays. Entry to the exhibition is free.
The Life of St Stephen by Joe Machine – St Stephen Walbrook church – May 16th – 27th
Take advantage of a really good excuse to visit this fascinating church in The City. It was designed by Christopher Wren and rebuilt in 1666 after the Great Fire of London destroyed the original that stood in its place. The story of the artist, whose work on the life of St Stephen is being displayed, has a similar theme. He rose from the ashes of a life of crime with the help of art and became a founding member of the Stuckist group, which promotes figurative painting. Visiting the church is possible between 10am and 4pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, but closes early on Fridays at 3.30pm and has shorter hours on Wednesdays when it is open between 11am and 3pm.