Destinations

7 reasons to visit London this year

Just in case a new royal baby wasn't enough.

By BTYB Etihad Airways
With a rich cultural history, an endless list of year-round events, and let's not forget home to the royal family, it's no wonder London was named best travel destination in TripAdvisor's 2019 Travellers Choice Awards.
Now with more than 20 Etihad Airways flights between Australia and Britain each week and the highly anticipated arrival of Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex's first child, it's no better time to travel to the English capital.
Need more? We've rounded up seven additional reasons why you should travel to London in 2019.

1. Wave to the royal family at Trooping the Colour

Better known as the Queen's Birthday Parade — despite it not taking place on Her Majesty's actual birthday — Trooping the Colour is an annual celebration that dates all the way back to King George II. A military tradition at heart, the parade now sees 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians come together to display great military precision.
While Queen Elizabeth used to join the troops on horseback, she now attends the parade in a carriage, along with the rest of the royal family. The parade concludes with key members of the royal family assembling on the Buckingham Palace balcony, so you'll get the chance to spot (and wave) to your favourite members.
This year's Trooping of Colour is set to take place on Saturday, June 4 and you can watch the happenings for free from the edge of St James' Park.
The royal family take to the balcony to view the military planes fly past Buckingham Palace.

2. Have a sleepover at the Natural History Museum

If you're pondering a family trip to London Town, you've probably already got a long list of kid-friendly activities lined up. With so much action on offer, it can be tricky to pick out the best of the best, but Dino Snores for Kids should certainly be top of the list.
Hosted at the Natural History Museum — considered one of the best museums in the UK — Dino Snores gives visitors the opportunity to sleep overnight in the museum and take a guided tour of the exhibitions at night.
The unique experience is one the entire family can sink their teeth into and shows are taking place from April through to August.

3. Head to a summer festival by the River Thames

London is home to some of the biggest and best festivals in the world, but its Southbank's pop-up Underbelly Festival that proves a standout. Back for its 11th year, the festival runs from April through to September and the program is packed with an array of entertaining shows, from comedy performances to puppet shows for the kids.
Our top pick: A Simple Space, an acrobatics show by performance group Gravity and Other Myths. With star reviews all-round, the 60-minute show will have you on the edge of your seat as the performers push their bodies to create gravity-defying acrobatic magic.
If you're feeling peckish during your visit be sure to grab some food from of the festival's international street vendors.

4. Eat at Victoria Beckham’s favourite restaurant

From traditional British-style pub feeds to award-winning restaurants, London is filled to the brim with amazing dining options. But it's a Victoria Beckham approved lunch at one of the city's best bistros that takes the cake.
Located in the heart of Marylebone, Clarette is a modern French bistro with the head chef, Aaron Ashmore, a former finalist on MasterChef The Professionals.
Cited by Victoria Beckham as one of her favourite London secrets in a recent interview, the bistro offers a seriously impressive wine list and some great lunch specials, too. For just £20, you can enjoy a weekday lunch, with wine included. And if you're lucky, you might even spot Posh Spice there herself!

5. Watch the tennis (and spot celebrities) at Wimbledon

One of the sporting highlights of London's calendar, Wimbledon's tennis grand slam is a must attend.
The beauty of the tennis tournament is that there is no need to pre-purchase tickets months in advance. You can either jump online to buy seats the day before a match or if you're an early riser, you can queue for premium tickets on the match day of your choice.
Wimbledon is also a great event to spot some of the world's biggest celebrities. With last year's prestigious tournament welcoming the likings of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Benedict Cumberbatch, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, 2019 is set draw in another impressive crowd of A-listers.
Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake spotted in the crowd at Wimbledon 2018.

6. Enjoy a new-release musical in London's West End

Famous for premieres like Cats and The Phantom of the Opera, London's West End alone is reason enough to travel to the English capital. Home to almost 40 theatres, there is bound to be a play or musical on offer that tickles your fancy.
If you're tempted to head to London later in the year, be sure to seek out tickets to the premiere of & Juliet, a must-watch musical that will open on the 20th November at the Shaftesbury Theatre. An adaption of the original Shakespeare play, Romeo and Juliet, the new musical production focuses on the 'what if' surrounding the death of Juliet.
Set to feature a collection of loved pop songs from the likings of Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys, the musical will certainly be one the whole family will love singing along to.

7. Celebrate Christmas at one of London's most beautiful buildings

When it comes to Christmas, London certainly has the festive season events down pat. From the twinkling Christmas lights on Regent and Oxford Streets, to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, Christmas spirit is all around England's shining capital.
However, one of the best places to visit during Christmas is Somerset House.
The famous London landmark is transformed into an exhibition centre and market, with the elegant rooms of the West Wing transformed into a Fortnum's themed arcade. The rooms are filled with Christmas gifts for the festive season that are just begging to be bought and wrapped.
Not to forget, the main courtyard of Somerset House turns into an ice-rink, it doesn't get more Christmassy than that!

Brought to you by Etihad Airways. Choose Etihad to create your one-of-a-kind holiday to London or Manchester from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane and Find Your Great Britain.