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19 August 2016 City in the spotlight, On a shoestring

London is a monster of a city. With so much to see and do it can easily feel overwhelming. As a visitor to the city it goes without saying that the main tourist attractions are well worth seeing, but beyond that there is always some unusual event taking place, tucked away just out of sight.

With that in mind below are compiled the five most unusual things to see and do this September. 

 

Open House London

Ever wondered what the bottom of the Cutty Sark looks like or wanted to get inside the inner workings of the Gherkin? Well this is your chance. Taking place on the weekend of the 17 and 18 September, London will open its doors to the public. At time of writing the exact locations have not been revealed but to be kept up to date you can sign up to the newsletter on their website. Some buildings are extremely popular and require booking in advance but the majority you can just turn up to on the day and be let in.

 

Hackney One

You may have read our post about Notting Hill Carnival and Europe’s best street parties and realised we like a free shindig. This one is no different. Taking place on 11 September the route circles around from Dalston Junction station to Hackney Central station and back again. The main act of the procession is to be found on Ridley Road, where the climactic finale takes place, sound tracked by some of London’s best booming sound systems.

 

Hackney One Festival Weekend

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Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Festival

Greenwich should be high on the list of things to do for any visitor to the capital, but let’s be honest, it’s actually a bit off the beaten track. Give yourself an excuse to head down to this quaint corner of London and visit the Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Festival any time between 15 and 18 September. Historic ships will be taking to the Thames and taking people up and down the river in a show of how busy it used to be as an artery for trade. You can get tickets, but our best recommendation is to watch it from the banks of Greenwich. The University of Greenwich grounds would be the ideal place to go for this.

 

FutureFest

You know those whacky drawings you see where someone in the 50s or 20s has imagined how the world will look in the year 2000, or the year 2020? Well FutureFest is in the business of doing exactly that in our age. Predicting the future is of course a fool’s errand but someone’s got to do it. The event takes place on the 17 and 18 September at Tobacco Dock. Perhaps in one hundred years your children will be laughing at what the panel of experts put their neck on the line to predict. This ticketed event may be a touch on the steep side but if you’re a student you’ll get 50% off the price of a ticket.

 

Pearly Kings and Queens Harvest Festival

Form the future we jump right back into the past, to one of the UK and more specifically London’s weirder traditions. The Pearly Kings and Queens is a 125-year-old tradition of dressing up in outlandish suits covered in hundreds of shiny buttons for a good cause. It has been and will always be about charitable causes and this particular event is no different. It starts off at Guildhall Yard with classic English entertainment then will move on to St Mary-le-Bow Church. It is a free event but is held in the name of charity and harvest festival offerings are recommended, namely tinned and non-perishable goods to be distributed amongst those in need.

 Things to do in London

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Whatever weird and whacky goings on you fancy getting involved in this September be sure to make your stay in London with easyHotel, where we have eight different hotels from which to choose.

The best festivals in Manchester this autumn

August 2017 | City in the spotlight, Insider’s Guide

With so many incredible festivals having taken place in Manchester over the summer (see here for examples), you might think things would start slowing down with the cooling of the temperature and the arrival of Autumn…Well, think again as September and October are packed with loads of fun events and festivals to welcome in the new season and reassure people that winter ain’t that bad.

A history of the Notting Hill Carnival

August 2017 | City in the spotlight

Notting Hill Carnival will take place on the 27th and 28th of August this year, with the more chilled Family Day on Sunday, and the grand finale happening on Monday. Seeing as the carnival is such an iconic event, we thought we’d take a look at a bit of its history and the story of Caribbean music in the UK.

Amazing Festivals this August: Manchester

July 2017 | City in the spotlight, Insider’s Guide

We recently took a look at some of the best music and dance festivals on offer this August in London, and now it’s Manchester’s turn. This Northern town is famous for its eclectic and fresh music scene, as well as for its crazy, all-night long parties – and what better recipe could you have for the perfect festival? The month will see all a hugely diverse and exciting range of genres, artists and venues in its different festivals, from the smooth croons of the Manchester Soul festival through to the electric beats of Creamfields.