|Red telephone box and the London Eye|
For 2,000 years, London has been a bustling, active city—always facing the future and reinventing itself regularly. New hotels are opening, new exhibits are making their debut in the city’s iconic museums, and numerous anniversaries are being celebrated.
In summer 2010, The Mayor of London and Transport for London will set up and operate a London Cycle Hire plan. Six thousand bicycles will be available to hire in the nine London boroughs and several Royal Parks that make up London’s Zone One travel area. The bikes will be available 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.
London Treasure Hunts take their participants to the home of time itself. Your clients can sleuth their way between two hemispheres as they snoop around the hidden corners of London’s riverside village. They can track down Roman ruins, a virgin queen’s birthplace and the site of an archbishop’s murder. The Greenwich hunt will be launched early in 2010 to join the four existing treasure hunts.
Brit Movie Tours, a unique sightseeing bus tour company that visits film and TV locations in London and throughout Britain, will start the 2010 season with its exciting luxury mini coach tours. Visitors can take a London Movie Tour, Notting Hill Movie Tour, Harry Potter London Locations Film Tour or a James Bond London Locations Spy Tour.
Opening in February 2010, the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel will reportedly be London’s largest hotel opening in a generation. The 15-story, 1,021-room hotel has views of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.
The Four Seasons Hotel London has undergone a major transformation and will welcome its guests to a completely reinvented hotel in 2010. All guestrooms, suites, restaurants and bars have been reconfigured and redesigned, and an entirely new floor will feature a rooftop spa with treetop views of Hyde Park.
|Cyclists in front of Tate Britain|
The Dorchester Collection is set to open a new 46-room hotel, to be called 45 Park Lane, in Mayfair. The hotel, which will open in 2010, will be the eighth hotel in the Collection.
The Corinthia Hotel in London is due for completion in late 2010. Its 300 bedrooms will reportedly be the largest bedrooms in London, including 45 suites, some of which are located on duplex floors and serviced by private elevators.
After 100 years, London’s Marconi House will return to service as a hotel, following decades as a restaurant, a theater and a broadcast station (in fact, the original home of the BBC).
The new 254-room, six-story InterContinental London Westminster is set to open in late 2011 in the center of London. The hotel will occupy the former Queen Anne’s Chambers, originally built in the 19th century.
The Radisson Edwardian Mountbatten will begin a complete refurbishment in the last quarter of 2010 that will last approximately one year. The bars, restaurants, bedrooms and meeting facilities will all be renovated. Twenty-five junior suites will also be created at The May Fair in 2010.
Ham House, a unique 17th-century house with restored interiors, original collections and elegant formal gardens, will be celebrating its 400th anniversary this year. Visitors can see how the nobility lived before the English Civil War, and learn about the Restoration. Ghost hunters should also take note: Ham House is reportedly one of the most haunted buildings in England.
Europe’s largest and oldest toy store, Hamleys, will celebrate its 250th anniversary this year. 2010 also marks the 55th anniversary of the store’s second Royal Warrant as a “Toys and Sports Merchant.”
From the heartbeat of swinging London in the 1960s, Carnaby celebrates five decades of being at the cutting edge of style. Throughout 2010, events will take place in Carnaby featuring elements of fashion, design and music.
2010 will be a bumper year for Covent Garden. Known and loved by all who cross its famous cobbled Piazza, 2010 will see the area’s shops, restaurants, community and others come together to celebrate its 30th anniversary as a specialist shopping district. Expect a year of wonderful creations, exciting installations and grand reveals.
To start its 40th anniversary year, the Serpentine Gallery presents a solo exhibition by Richard Hamilton, one of the world’s most respected living artists. This will be the first major exhibition of Hamilton’s work in London since 1992. It runs from March 2 to April 25.
For more information on what’s happening in London, go to visitlondon.com.