London is one of the most cosmopolitan and action-packed cities when it comes to the array of events taking place each year. It is therefore understandable that visitors could find themselves a little overwhelmed with the wealth of options open to them when planning a visit.
Individuals planning a stay at properties on Westbourne Terrace in the heart of London’s exclusive Bayswater district in the City of Westminster might therefore like to take heed of some of the popular annual events that attract thousands of visitors year after year.
Vitality World Triathlon London
Set to be held on the 30th and 31st of May this year, the Vitality World Triathlon will be coming to London and Hyde Park in particular, where many of the world’s leading triathletes will battle it out to be crowned victor in 2015.
A legacy of the London 2012 Olympic Games that were held in the capital, the event invites entrants from around the world to take on the gruelling triathlon challenge, with a range of distances open to individuals of all ages and ability.
Disciplines begin at a 400 metres swim, followed by a 10 km bike ride and 2.5 km run, rising to the full Olympic distance of a 1.5 km swim, 40 km ride and 10 km run – meaning the event really is a test of even the finest athletes in the world.
Open to all comers (although participants must register in advance), the triathlon is open to both teams and individuals that are looking to test their fitness against the best in the world.
Visitors to the capital who simply want to head along and show their support are also more than welcome to do so, with the course spanning the whole of Hyde Park and the start-finish taking place in front of a packed grandstand near the Serpentine recreational lake.
Barclaycard presents British Summer Time
Also taking place in Hyde Park this summer is the Barclaycard presents British Summer Time festival – a celebration of great music in the capital, featuring some of the biggest bands and musicians from across the musical spectrum.
Taking place on selected dates in June, headline acts for this year’s festival include New York rockers The Strokes, pop sensation Taylor Swift, classic rock legends The Who, Britpop icons Blur and Australian songstress Kylie Minogue.
Meanwhile, an array of other top names have already confirmed their place on the line-up, including Beck, Paul Weller, the Kaiser Chiefs, Grace Jones, Ellie Goulding, Johnny Marr, Future Islands, John Newman and many more.
It promises to be a festival to remember and quite possibly the event of the summer for music lovers up and down the nation.
Open to individuals over the age of 18 and kids under 16 only if accompanied by an adult, the festival area will open daily at around 3pm and will offer a number of additional amenities. Facilities will include a funfair, on-site ATMs, free drinking water, nappy changing areas, toilets and plenty of seating and shade.
Tickets are still available to book in advance, while last-minute festivalgoers will also have the chance to pay on the day; although places are likely to be limited and costs will be more expensive.
Notting Hill Carnival
Situated in close proximity to Bayswater, the district of Notting Hill is perhaps synonymous with rather dodgy romantic comedies and floppy-haired Englishman, but in reality this is one of the most vibrant and cosmopolitan areas of London.
Every year, Notting Hill Carnival attracts thousands of revellers from around the world and 2015 is expected to be no exception.
A melting pot of cultures have thrived in Notting Hill for decades and the carnival has been an annual feature of the local social calendar since 1966.
With a distinct Caribbean flavour, the carnival has become synonymous with the multicultural nature of London and the inclusive and welcoming atmosphere that typifies many communities across the country, not just in the area.
Street food, live music, drinking and dancing are just some of the many delights on offer at this annual street party, with a wide array of West Indian dishes available to sample and a fantastic street parade that is sure to get pulses racing for all those in attendance.
This year’s carnival has been scheduled for August 24th and 25th.
Lord Mayor’s Show
Dating back to the 16th century, the Lord Mayor’s Show has a special place in the hearts of all Londoners, with a traditional pomp and pageantry that harks back to the city’s regal and rich past.
A new Lord Mayor of the City of London is appointed every year – a role distinct from the mayor of London that was founded in 2000 – and becomes the elected head of the Greater London Authority.
At its heart, the event is a lighthearted combination of British traditional pageantry and carnival, with the show featuring the spectacle of the Lord Mayor’s procession following his inauguration, beginning at Guildhall and ending at the Royal Courts of Justice on the edge of the City of Westminster, where the new Lord Mayor swears their allegiance to the crown.
Along the way, the parade takes in such iconic London monuments as St Paul’s Cathedral, the Lord Mayor’s official residence Mansion House, Cheapside, Ludgate Hill, Fleet Street and the Strand, plus more besides.
The Lord Mayor’s coach is truly a sight to behold, with ornate golden trim and red accented woods, the carriage is a vehicle truly fit for those of high office, or even royalty.
Typically televised by the BBC each year, the event draws crowds of thousands of spectators who line the streets to see the new Lord Mayor pass them by. The parade normally begins around 11am and runs through to the mid to late-afternoon.
The Peter Pan Cup in Hyde Park
Finally, visitors to Westbourne Terrace this coming festive season might like to take some time out of their busy schedules on Christmas Day to head to Hyde Park to show their support for a historic London tradition.
The Peter Pan Cup has been held every year in the park since 1904 and sees members of the Serpentine Swimming Club take part in an annual race on Christmas morning.
One of the oldest swimming clubs in the country, the Serpentine Swimming Club was founded in 1864 and it was novelist J M Barrie – himself a member of the club – who donated the first Peter Pan Cup in the same year that his play Peter Pan made its debut on the London stage.
The race has been known to take place in temperatures as low as minus four degrees C, but the hardy souls of the swimming club have always plucked up the courage and dove into the frosty waters.
Now with something of a legendary reputation within swimming circles, entrants cannot simply turn up on the day, they must qualify at heats held throughout the year to prove they have the necessary mettle.
Starting at the south bank of the Serpentine lake, close to the Serpentine Cafe, the event is a 100-yard (91-metre) freestyle sprint, with spectators encouraged to head along and show their support.