Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Things to do in London this April

Spring has finally sprung and London has plenty of great events on offer this April to help shake off any stubborn winter blues. If you’re trying to decide when the best time is to come and study with Twin in the capital, this vibrant city always has something exciting to offer for sure, but April is looking particularly interesting…

This year, London will be hosting its annual Oxford v Cambridge Goat Race on 6th April. Surprisingly, that isn’t a typo; taking place shortly before the more famous Oxford v Cambridge Boat Race, the Goat Race is sure to provide an unforgettably silly day to any visitors. Around Spitalfields City Farm where the race is taking place, there’ll be plenty of other entertainment on offer too, from bands to stalls selling food, drinks and crafts. The goats set off at about 4pm, so make sure you get to the official bookie before then before cheering on the goat you’ve bet on…

For those looking to enjoy a more serious, goat-free sporting event, kicking off at 6pm on 6th April is the main Oxford v Cambridge race of the day, the annual Boat Race. The rivalry of this event stretches back as far as 1829, and today more than 250,000 people attend each year. If you fancy something a bit different beforehand, earlier in the day the Royal National Lifeboat Institution are offering an Alternative Boat Race, where a collection of mini lifeboats will take to the river on a 1000m course.

Moving away from the theme of racing tension, this April marks Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, and there are plenty of events happening in the capital to celebrate this occasion. From 1st April until September, the Victoria & Albert Museum is hosting an exhibition exploring the way the famous plays have been performed and adapted over time. The collection’s main item is the First Folio of Shakespeare, containing first known versions of works such as “Macbeth” and “Twelfth Night”, as well as props and costumes used in performances, including boots worn in an 1877 production of “Richard III”, which have one heel higher than the other to help the actor feign the character’s limp.

Between 11th and 13th April, London’s Business Design Centre is the place to be for any chocolate fans. The Chocolate Festival in London promises chocolate lovers a luxury experience of the delicious treat in a variety of forms, from enjoying chocolate-related pampering at the Cocoa Spa to trying your hand at truffle making. At the festival you’ll also be able to learn about the health benefits of chocolate, and of course sample amazing chocolate created by some of the UK’s top chocolatiers.

On 21st April, the Queen’s actual birthday is celebrated, (her official birthday is celebrated in June), which is marked by gun salutes in Windsor Great Park, Hyde Park and at the Tower of London. Hyde Park is probably the best place to witness the spectacular show; the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery gallop through the park with the cannons, (this is the only time, legally, that horses can gallop through the park), which are fired at noon.

So this April in London basically has everything. If you’re looking to have a great time in the UK and take in everything the capital has to offer, this is a great time to come and experience some quintessentially English things; goats at a farm, tense competition between two top universities, and the birthdays of two world famous figures!