2019 is just around the corner, 365 new days to discover London. If you’re tempted to travel to the British capital, here are 11 tips for your bucket list. For exciting and thrilling experiences in the coolest city on earth.
Table of Contents
Wanderlust 2019 – the London Bucket List
The following 11 excursions, activities and exhibitions are all on my personal bucket list for London and I am already planning the optimal combinations to experience as many as possible.
Chinese New Year on the 10th of Februar 2019
The Chinese welcome the new year – the year of the pig – on the 5th of February. But the big parade and celebration at Trafalgar Square will not take place until the 10th of February. There will be music, food, drinks and performances. I am especially looking forward to the parade with the big dragons.
Orchid Festival at Kew Gardens from 9th of February 2019
Already for the 24th time the Orchid Festival takes place at the botanical garden of Kew Gardens. Between the 9th of February and the 10th of March 2019 plants from Colombia will be on display. The South American country has the largest variety of orchids in the world (with over 4000 species) and I am curious about the amazing colours and smells. Entry to the Orchids Festival is included in the standard ticket to the gardens which also allows you to visit the recently reopened Victorian greenhouse.
The Palm House at Kew Gardens is on my London Bucket List for 2019
The Orchid Festival at Kew Gardens will be one of my highlights in London in February
Dior Exhibiton at the V&A Museum from 2nd of February 2019
The V&A Museum opens the exhibition “Christan Dior: Designer of Dreams” on February 2nd which presents sketches, clothes and perfume bottles all designed by the French designer. A must-see for all fashionistas!
The V&A Museum in South Kensington should be on everybody’s bucket list for London
Mandela Exhibition from February 8th 2019
An exhibition about Nelson Mandela, his life and his career including unknown pictures and videos – this is the promise of the international travelling exhibition “Mandela – the official exhibition“, which will be shown from February in 26 Leake Street Gallery. A special highlight for me! Since my volunteering time in South Africa (including visiting his cell on Robben Island) I have been very impressed by him, by his ability to do good and not to indulge in hatred. A special personality!
Btw, the Leake Street Tunnel is always worth a visit. Not only because of its many graffitis, but also because of an original Banksy inside Rat Bar (in the same building as the gallery of the Mandela exhibition).
The Rat Bar at London’s Leake Street Tunnel has a big original rat by Banksy on its wall.
Fields covered in Bluebells
Sandra from A decent cup of tea inspired me! I finally have to see whole fields or forest areas covered in Bluebells. But bloom of these little blue flowers can’t be planned. So fingers crossed that I will be around between April and May when London will be covered with blue flowers!
Bluebells are THE spring flowers in the UK
Chelsea Flower Show in May 2019
The Chelsea Flower Show has been on my London Bucket List for years. Every May I am fascinated by the pictures of flower arrangements and model gardens that are created on the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea (a retirement home for old Army soldiers). The flowery experience will take place from 21-25 May, with only members of the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) being admitted on the first two days.
The Royal Hospital Chelsea is a retirement home for former army veterans
Chelsea Flower Show takes place at the Royal Hospital Chelsea
Abseiling from Acelor Mittal Orbit
I like the Acelor Mittal Orbit on the former site of the 2012 Olympic Games. Although I’m afraid of the huge slide that has been installed since June 2016, I won’t say “no” to abseiling from the highest sculpture in the UK. I have already found a friend who is crazy enough to do it with me. Now all we have to do is find a time slot.
Acelor Mittal Orbit is the tallest sculpture in the UK and you can abseil from top
Perfect for adrenaline-junkies: Abseiling from Acelor Mittal Orbit
On my bucket list for 2019: Abseiling from the Acelor Mittal Orbit
“Keeper for a day” and stay over at the London Zoo
Sometimes I like animals more than people and therefore zoos have always fascinated me. Yes, you can be critical about zoos. But I do see the benefits of breeding and care and firmly believe that children need to see wild animals to protect them. I would love to spend a day as a “Keeper for a day“. Preferably with an overnight stay in the zoo.
The logo of ZSL London Zoo
Spend the night at the ZSL London Zoo at specially designed lodges
Hidden London Tours
The “Hidden London” tours organised by the London Transport Museum are simply great if you want to delve deeper into the history of the city and visit places that are otherwise not accessible. I have already joined some tours and visited disused underground shafts, bunkers and forgotten underground stations. But some tours are still missing and I hope that there will be tickets in 2019.
The view from the roof of 55 Broadway (Hidden London Tours)
If you have lost tube stations on your buck list – Hidden London has the right tour for you!
London Transport Museum Depot in Acton
At the London Transport Museum only a small part of the whole collection is on display. Most of the exhibits are at the London Transport Museum Depot in Acton. There is access on selected days only and I will tell you more after my visit in February.
I haven’t been to Westminster Abbey for ages. But now there is a good reason to visit the coronation church of the British monarchy again. Since mid 2018, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries have been open. Especially cool as this galleries were hidden for over 700 years. And there are artefacts like old books and statues on display and a new view into the cathedral. I am very curious.
I guess, there will be many more things on my London Bucket List in the course of the year. The City just never sleeps! New museums will open, new archaeological discoveries will be made and new restaurants want to be tested. New buildings are planned, e.g. “The Tulip” is waiting for completion. I will keep you informed about the “processing” of my bucket list and will send you photo impressions. What else can you recommend to add to my list? What can I definitely not miss in London in 2019?
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