Category Archives: SE London

Last chance to ice skate at Canary Wharf

Tired of the cold yet? No? Well head on down to the last weekend of ice skating at Canary Wharf.

The ice rink is closing on Sunday, February 20 – so get your skates on (quite literally) before it’s over for another year.

Learn to skate amongst the towers above on the 720-metre-square rink, or watch from the bar or viewing gallery.

The rink is open 9:45am-11pm on Saturday, and 9:45am-7:30pm on Sunday.  Last entry to the rink is an hour before closing.

Tickets are £12 or £9 conecssions, and that includes the hire of the skates.

The ice rink is located at Canada Square Park.

Nearest Tube: Canada Square DLR

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Filed under S London, SE London

Urban Barn Dance

Looking for an unusual way to spend your Saturday? Mosey on down to the Deptford Project for their Urban Barn Dance and dosey doe to your heart’s content.

Line dance your way through tracks by Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash and other country classics, and even the kids can get involved as animals from Kingston City Farm will be making their very own special appearance!

The fun begins at 11:30am and ends around 6pm, and is taking place at the Deptford Project on Deptford High Street.  Entry is a thigh-slapping bargain at £2. 

Yee-ha!

Nearest Tube: Deptford/New Cross

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Filed under Music, SE London

Spots V Stripes

I’m sure you’ve all seen the latest Cadbury advert. So are you Team Spots or Team Stripes?

Find out this weekend as Spots v Stripes hits London, in Leicester Square, Victoria and Brockwell Parks and Westfield Shopping Centre.

There’ll be games and challenges at each venue, and you can get involved by joining one of the teams.  If fashion’s your thing, turn up in an appropriately spotty/stripey outfit and you could find yourself up on the website.

All the games are free and suitable for all ages.

The Spots v Stripes challenge is on until Sunday, September 12.

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Filed under Central London, E London, Local interest, SE London, Sports

Tower of London

My roving reporter Jon Forman has been out and about exploring the city again.  Here’s his take on the Tower of London.

The parents have been down this weekend, staying in a hotel on Gloucester Road. They were promming over at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday night – I think it was a Hungarian Orchestra playing some Mahler and Beethoven – and then Sunday left us free to dive into some good old fashioned tourism. Father expressed an interest in visiting The Tower of London; something which initially struck me as a little strange. Does he have a passing interest in History? Yes. Does he often express an interest in exploring the nationalistic embodiment of the hegemony of the monarchy? No.

The Tower of London (Picture courtesy of FreeFoto.com (c) )

Anyhoo, explore we did and upon my arrival at the nominated location at the anointed hour, Father was already looking rather pleased with himself having successfully negotiated the ‘interweb’ to pre-book tickets. We decided a good plan of attack would be to take on the wall walk, and on heading up the first of perhaps a hundred narrow spiral staircases the day would bring, we were thrust into the full history and atmosphere that The Tower has to offer.

It’s easy to forget the impact that some of The Tower’s past residents and internees have had on the country, nee the world. Henry the VIII and Anne Boleyn, Sir Walter Raleigh and the Kray Twins don’t often appear in the same sentence but have all spent time within the walls of The Tower for varying reasons.

The general ambience and presentation of information really gives you  this sense, whilst also providing interesting facts that you might actually stand a chance of remembering. The exhibits are genuinely engaging and err just on the side of what I’d a call ‘glam historical macabre’. See the Block and Axe with which Lady Jane Grey met her grizzly end, sit on the chair which bore the weight of the final soul to be dispatched at the tower. (A WWII German spy – death by firing squad whilst sat down!)

I was genuinely surprised to find myself lapping up this same atmosphere which keeps those lovable Yanks coming back year on year. If there’s one thing we Brits do well it’s Pomp & Circumstance and the epitome of this was the excellent exhibition on the various Crown Jewels to which The Tower is a home.

Impressive day out

I was impressed with the ‘overall attitude’ and packaging of the day out. Ice creams weren’t too expensive, the place is excellently maintained, and exhibits are modern and labelled in an informative manner. If you stay to take in everything on offer, you’ve got a full day out on your hands. The parents and I got through the majority of the exhibitions (including the Ravens) and this took us from 10am until 4pm once we’d included a short break for lunch!

Overall the day brought tired legs and full minds, and there was a real buzz about the place. I found a particular pleasure in the failed actors unleashing their inner jester to entertain the cue for the Crown Jewels.

On this showing, I’d say that The Tower has cemented itself as one of the Capital’s top-flight and most value for money attractions. To coin a phrase one might call it the Jewel in the Crown…….

Adult: £17 (£16 online). Concession: £14.50 (£13.50 online).

Nearest station: Tower Hill

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Filed under Central London, Historical, Local interest, SE London

Open House, Open City

Normally closed to the public, the Arsenal in NYC’s Central Park was one of the buildings I visited as part of Open City in New York

Ever been having a stroll around London (do people ‘stroll’ in London?) and seen a house you’ve thought ‘that looks lovely.  Wonder what it’s like inside…’?

Well, now’s your chance to have a nosy around some of London’s best loved buildings, as well as somearchitecturally interesting homes.

Open House London is happening on September 18 & 19, enabling you to have a look around all these places for FREE.  There are over 700 buildings, architectural walks, cycle tours and more to keep you busy over the weekend.

I went to Open House in New York City once, and it was a really great way to get to know the city and find out some interesting nuggets of info on the buildings.

You have to book for some of the viewings/talks – so order your guide here to get the full listing of events and buildings.  (The guide costs £6.50)

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Filed under Central London, E London, Festival, Local interest, N London, NE London, NW London, S London, SE London, SW London, W London

Silent Cinema

You’ve heard of silent disco right? Well now it’s time for Silent Cinema.

Brought to you by the same people who ran the Starlite Urban Drive-In, this time you’re invited to another outdoor cinema where you can watch 80s classics, horrors and cult films on the big screen.

Each person will be given a pair of wireless headphones to hear the film’s audio.  So you can move around, head to the bar, go for a smoke – all without missing any of the movie.

Silent Cinema will be showing films at the Deptford Project in September.  The line up is as follows:

80s Favourites
Thursday September 9th 8pm Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Friday September 10th 8pm Heathers
Saturday September 11th 8pm The Breakfast Club

Horror London
Thursday September 16th 8pm An American Werewolf in London
Friday September 17th 8pm 28 Days Later…
Saturday September 18th 8pm Shaun of the Dead

Cult Classics
Thursday September 23rd 8pm A Clockwork Orange
Friday September 24th 8pm The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Saturday September 25th 8pm Withnail & I

A bar will be available on site, along with a cafe.

Tickets are £10 and can be bought here.

Nearest Train: Deptford and New Cross.  The nearest Tube is New Cross on the East London Line.

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Filed under Arts, SE London

Canary Wharf Jazz Festival

Jazz.  Nice.  Free jazz. Even nicer.  Canary Wharf is hosting a free jazz festival this weekend – what’s not to like about that?

There’s a fairly full line up:

Friday 13th August
7 – 8pm Robert Mitchell Trio
8.30 – 10pm Alex Wilson

Saturday 14th August
1.30 – 2.15pm Jazzphonica: Roundhouse Jazz Ensemble
2.45 – 4pm TBC
4.30 – 5.45pm Matthew Halsall
6.15 – 7.30pm The Baker Brothers
8 – 9.15pm Ruby Turner

Sunday 15th August
1 – 2.15pm Ernesto Simpson
2.45 – 4pm The Haggis Horns
4.30 – 5.45pm Natalie Williams
6.15 – 7.30pm Pee Wee Ellis

Why not take a picnic and chill out in the park? (Word of warning – glass bottles and portable furniture are not permitted)

It’s all taking place in Canada Square Park and is totally free!

Nearest Tube: Canary Wharf

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Filed under Arts, Festival, Music, SE London