Weather’s warming, buds are blooming, and TWS19 is but a hop, skip and a jump away. We are looking forward to welcoming you to the show, and wanted to share with you some of our favourite locations in London, prized in our minds for being fun places for all ages.

ALBERTOPOLIS
This cultural hub is affectionately known as Albertopolis after Prince Albert, spouse of Queen Victoria. It is centred around Exhibition Road, near South Kensington tube station, and is packed with cultural and educational spaces. The Science Museum, Natural History Museum, and Victoria and Albert Museum are great for all ages and a stone’s throw away from the tube station. Exhibition Road, newly designed in 2012, has elements of a Parisian boulevard with its wide open space and pedestrian priority. A meander up Exhibition Road will get you to Hyde Park, a great place for little legs to stretch and tired souls to recharge.

 

The entrance hall of the National History Museum. Photo by Daniel Rauber

COVENT GARDEN
South of the Congress Centre is Covent Garden with its cobbled streets and piazza, arched market place and street performers. These residues of a rich heritage are spliced with world-class fashion, beauty and lifestyle stores. Next to the main piazza is the Transport Museum, an amazing place for interactive exploration of vintage vehicles, trains, buses, horse drawn carriages and much more.

LONDON’S ROYAL PARKS
‘5000 acres of quality green spaces across eight London parks. Free to visit and open every day of the year, the parks are for everyone.’ – The Royal Parks

The nearest parks to this year’s venue in Great Russell Street are St James’s Park, Green Park, Hyde Park, and Regent’s Park. Continue south from The Congress Centre and you’ll reach St James’s, which is surrounded by landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Whitehall. Watch the changing of the guards, see the Pelicans at feeding time, and enjoy the views of the lake and fountain.

 

Changing of the Guard outside Buckingham Palace. Photo by Roberto Catarinicchia

 

The Mall towards Buckingham Palace. Photo credit: www.royalparks.org.uk

Head West through the park and you’ll emerge into Green Park, ‘a peaceful triangle of mature trees and grasslands’, with memorials, fountains and statues. A peaceful space in the heart of the city.

 

Canada Gate and the Memorial Gardens. Photo credit: www.royalparks.org.uk

Continue westward and you’ll reach Hyde Park, home of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain, and a host of opportunities for outdoor activities, from open water swimming and toddler splashing at the Lido in the Serpentine to rowing and peddle boating. Art galleries are located either side of the Serpentine, along with cafes, and a recently refurbished playground.

 

Boating in the Serpentine. Photo credit: www.royalparks.org.uk

And while we’re at it, there are definite perks to slinging the streets of London – no buggy battles on the bus, no panic over broken lifts, and no rattling hands on cobbled streets, to name but a few. And as for those cosy cafes with tightly packed tables, you can enjoy them too.

Didymos Norwegian Wood at the Tate

 

Didymos Norwegian Wood at the Tate Modern Museum. Photo credit: Didymos, by Alex Cetera Photography.