Top things to do in London that you cannot afford to miss near Kensington
September is a wonderful month for late summer sunshine in London to make the most of the parks and long walks.
To really get to know South Kensington, you can join the Royal Geographical Society's talk and walk on Thursday 15 September at 5.30pm. The Albertopolis introductory tour explains how Queen Victoria's husband developed the area.
Following the Great Exhibition in 1851, held in Hyde Park, Prince Albert's vision created one of the most successful cultural quarters in the world. Along with Henry Cole (who became the first Director of the V&A) they planned a collection of buildings dedicated to science, education and the arts.
YOU SAY YOU WANT A REVOLUTION
A new major exhibition opens at the V&A on 10 September. You Say You Want a Revolution: Records & Rebels 1966-70 examines the optimism, ideals and aspirations of the late 1960s, expressed through music, fashion, film, design and political activism, and their relevance to contemporary life.
The spine of the exhibition is a musical odyssey through some of the greatest music and performances of the 20th century from Sam Cooke's 'A Change is Gonna Come', to The Who's 'My Generation', to Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock. What you hear depends on your position in the exhibition as the headphones tune in to provide the soundtrack to what you are looking at.
Highlights include a moon rock on loan from NASA alongside the space suit worn by William Anders, who took the defining 'Earthrise' photograph on the Apollo 8 mission; a rare Apple 1 computer; an Ossie Clark costume for Mick Jagger; shards from Jimi Hendrix's guitar; the suits worn by John Lennon and George Harrison on the cover of 'Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band' and handwritten lyrics for 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' by the Beatles.
At the end of the month, on Friday 30 September, the Natural History Museum takes part in European Researchers' Night. Institutions in more than 360 cities across Europe reveal the exciting science research taking place behind their doors and celebrate the people who make it possible.
Science Uncovered is your chance to discover more about the latest research, meet scientists, and enjoy a drink in the grand setting of the Museum's Hintze Hall.
It's a free evening with hundreds of inspiring activities including behind-the-scenes tours and the chance to try using amazing scientific equipment. You can meet more than 200 world-class scientists at face-to-face science stations, debates or at the 'science bar'. Get ready to discuss your burning scientific questions in the after-hours ambience of the Museum.
SERPENTINE PAVILION & SUMMER HOUSES
Over at The Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens, this year's Serpentine Pavilion has been designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). It's an 'unzipped wall' that is transformed from a straight line to a three-dimensional space, creating a dramatic structure that by day houses a café and free family activities and by night becomes a space for the Serpentine's acclaimed Park Nights programme of performative works by artists, writers and musicians.
The Serpentine Architecture Programme expanded for 2016, with four Summer Houses joining the Serpentine Pavilion. The Summer Houses are inspired by Queen Caroline’s Temple, a classical style summer house built in 1734, close to the Serpentine Gallery. All can be visited for free and remain until 9 October 2016.
Kew Gardens also has connections to Queen Caroline as she lived at Kew Palace with George II. Kew Palace is open until 2 October so do try and visit this month.
Also worth seeing this month at Kew Gardens is a new exhibition of Flora Japonica in The Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art. Opening on 17 September, the display features intricate botanical paintings by thirty of Japan's best contemporary artists.
Showcasing the natural beauty of plants such as camellias, cherry trees and the Japanese maple, some of the artworks have never before seen outside Japan, including historic drawings and paintings by some of Japan's most revered botanists and artists, such as
Dr Tomitaro Makino (1863 – 1957), Sessai Hattori and Chikusai Kato (Edo period artists).
And 22-25 September is Write on Kew – a literary festival with over 70 events and talks from speakers such as Carol Ann Duffy and Monty Don.
A LOGO FOR LONDON
24 and 25 September 2016 is an Open Weekend at the London Transport Museum Depot in Acton, west London. The theme for the weekend is A Logo for London – featuring the world-famous London Underground roundel.
Visitors can enjoy workshops, arts and crafts, talks, tours and family fun exploring the design and history behind the iconic symbol of London. This year there is also special guided tours of the poster store which will focus on some of the many posters commissioned by Frank Pick.
Children go free making this a great family day out.
NO MAN'S LAND
From 8 September, Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart star in Harold Pinter’s darkly comic drama about an evening of drinking which turns sour. On at The Wyndham's Theatre, No Man's Land reunites these two legendary British actors, seven years on from their collaboration in the hit Broadway play Waiting For Godot.
The tense power games play out on a summer's evening when two ageing writers meet in a north London pub. The drinking continues through the night at one of their homes and, as the pair grow increasingly inebriated, their stories become increasingly unbelievable. Pinter has left a sinister plot line that will have you guessing right to the end.
By choosing to stay at Fraser Suites Queens Gate, you will be in the heart of Kensington, and a short ride away from some of these great events happening in September. Check out our Special Offers and we hope to welcome you soon!
You can also explore what is happening near Canary Wharf by clicking here
Laura Porter writes AboutLondonLaura.com and contributes to many other publications while sustaining an impressive afternoon tea addiction. You can find Laura on Twitter as @AboutLondon and on Facebook as @AboutLondonLaura.
Royal Albert Hall: © Marcus Ginns | The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics, 'Revolution' 1968 by Alan Aldridge: © Iconic Images, Alan Aldridge | Science Uncovered: © NHM London | Serpentine Pavilion 2016 designed by Bjarke Ingels Group; Photo © Iwan Baan