There’s always something happening in London — and in the sunny months, the schedule is fuller than ever. To help you navigate the capital’s cultural calendar, we’ve rounded up this summer’s must-sees in art, theater and beyond:
Tate Britain is London’s home of British art, and its major summer exhibition showcases the urban landscapes of L. S. Lowry. Lowry was an English painter who followed many of the methods of French Impressionism, and is most famous for his depictions of life in the industrial north. It opens on June 26; book tickets online here. The National Gallery’s summer show, meanwhile, features Vermeer’s music-themed paintings. The show opens on June 26 and will also feature live period music three days a week.
The summer isn’t all about marquee names and headline artists. Until September 17, “Propaganda: Power and Persuasion” at the British Library gathers more than 200 items of state propaganda from the 20th and 21st centuries, including exhibits from the Nazis and political Twitter. Tickets cost £9 (about $14) from the British Library box office. At Kew Gardens, visitors can take a boat and row out on the Palm House pond as part of “IncrEdibles: A Voyage Through Surprising Edible Plants” (through September 1). The culinary theme continues at Somerset House, where the art and craft of the world’s most famous restaurant is showcased at “elBulli: Fernan Adrià and The Art of Food” (from July 5). Tickets cost £10 (around $15).
The major news in the West End is the premiere of the musical adaptation of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. You’ll need to book tickets way ahead of arrival in London. The new adaptation of Roald Dahl’s macabre children’s novel is directed by Oscar winner Sam Mendes and follows a successful run of another adaptation, “Matilda,” at the nearby Cambridge Theatre. “Matilda” is currently booking through May 2014.
A Royal Good Time
In July, London unfurls the bunting again to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation in 1953. Tickets for the four-day Coronation Festival on the grounds of Buckingham Palace are sold out — try your luck with a good hotel concierge, or settle for a tour inside the Palace (from July 27), where a Coronation Exhibition is being shown this summer. The monarch lends her name to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which has been closed for remodeling since the end of the 2012 Paralympic Games. It reopens in July, and hosts a string of concerts, events and even international athletics competitions over the summer.
Photos Courtesy of Tate Britain and L.S. Lowry