London Culture in the Spotlight for Fall

Thames and the GREAT Britain Campaign have launched “London’s Autumn Season of Culture 2015.”

The change of seasons traditionally ushers in new art, performance and cultural attractions.

“Life starts up again in the fall. You don’t have the heat or the big summer crowds of family travelers. The arts come back to life. All the new exhibits open. It’s an exciting time to be in Europe,” Julia Browne, CEO and founder of Walking The Spirit Tours, tells Travel Agent.

Not that London has anything to worry about as far as visitor numbers. It continues to set records for international arrivals. And those visitors are increasingly opting for cultural immersion. Museum and gallery visits are up by 19 percent in the past four years.

According to London & Partners, Britain’s museums and theaters are the most googled in the world.

That’s no doubt especially true in the autumn, when attractions and openings are plentiful. Among the highlights: “The Fabric of India” at the Victoria and Albert Museum. It’s the first major exhibition of handmade textiles from India, spanning from the third to twenty-first centuries.

At The National Gallery, the work of one of Spain’s most famous artists is in the spotlight. “Goya: The Portraits” is the first-ever show to focus solely on the painter’s unique portraiture.

On the London stage, the hottest ticket in town is Hamlet, with Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role. The TV and film star performs in Shakespeare’s most famous drama through the end of October at the Barbican. Opening that same month is Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale at the Garrick Theatre. The cast includes Judi Dench and Kenneth Branagh.

Not all the cultural attractions take place indoors. September also happens to be river month in London. Totally Thames 2015 celebrates the city’s historic waterway with an array of activities. They include concerts, theatrical performances, fireworks, boat races, historic walks and more.

Paddle steamers and Tall Ships will be on parade. Local boat operators will offer discounted river travel. And there’s even an underwater sculpture set for display during low tide.

May Fair
The May Fair Hotel

The May Fair is the official hotel for London Fashion Week, taking place from September 18-22. The event takes place on two floors of the Art Deco Brewer Street Car Park building in Soho.Guests of The May Fair Hotel may find themselves in the midst of two high-profile events this fall.

The May Fair is also the official hotel for the 59th BFI London Film Festival. Taking place from October 7-18, it’s Britain’s top film event. Along with a new restaurant, acclaimed suites, and a casino, The May Fair is known for its screening room. It’s one of the largest in London, and the site of glitzy premiers during the festival.

“Our relationship with the British film industry is something we’re especially proud of,” Dearbhla Mac Fadden, director of marketing for (hotel owner) Edwardian Group London, tells Travel Agent.  

The Edwardian Group London launched a new restaurant concept in 2014: the Scoff & Banter Tea Rooms. Their new Oxford Street location offers traditional British afternoon tea. Not in and of itself a novelty, of course. But it’s the first establishment to serve traditional British afternoon tea all day. Tea, along with scones, sandwiches and cakes are available from noon until 10.30 p.m.