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General: What to do while you stay?

Posted by Arran on 2014-06-22 11:16:42 BST

Brockwell Lido

London may not have a beach, but what it lacks in a coastline, it more than makes up for in outdoor pools, or 'lidos'.

Take a look at our selection of lidos below, from the purpose-built swimming pools of London Fields and Brockwell Park to the natural ponds at Hampstead Heath.

Please note that many, but not all, of London's outdoor pools are closed during the cooler months so make sure you call ahead before visiting. See our swimming section for a full list of indoor and outdoor pools across London.

Notting Hill Carnival 2014

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The streets of West London come alive every August Bank Holiday weekend as London celebrates Europe's biggest street festival – the Notting Hill Carnival.

With a Caribbean theme that sees West London packed with steel bands, Calypso music and tempting food stalls, the Notting Hill Carnival is a huge party. And everyone is invited!

Expect a sea of colour as amazing floats and costumed performers wind their way through the streets of London. Whether you want to join in the fun or simply watch the crowds go by, don't miss the chance to be part of one of London's biggest and best annual events. 

Sunday at The Notting Hill Carnival is Children's Day, with a shorter parade route. It's also the day that the costume prizes are awarded. Bank Holiday Monday sees the main parade. In the evening, the floats leave the streets in procession and people continue the festivities at the many Notting Hill Carnival after-parties.

The History of Notting Hill Carnival in London

First held in 1964 as an offshoot of the Trinidad Carnival, the Notting Hill Carnival has remained true to its Caribbean roots, bringing a spirit of diversity to London.

When the Notting Hill Carnival first started, around 500 people attended. Today it attracts hundreds of thousands to London, and continues to grow in popularity. You can expect to see some 50,000 performers and 40 sound systems. Around 2.5 million people attend over the Carnival weekend.

Travel to Notting Hill Carnival

London public transport is the best way to travel to the Notting Hill Carnival. Allow extra time for your journey as a number of local Tube stations are closed. See the Transport for London website for full details.

Round The World Yacht Race

See stunning racing yachts and welcome home the victorious racers at the end of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. The 2013-14 edition of the race left London on 1 September 2013 and after an epic 40,000 miles of ocean racing returns to St Katharine Docks - central London's only marina – to a hero's welcome this summer.

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is the world's largest fleet of matched ocean racing yachts with 250 crew members. Set up by legendary yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the Clipper Race is designed to provide everyone - regardless of sailing experience - the chance to race across oceans and taste the exhilaration of completing a circumnavigation. The race is split into eight legs and 16 races, with crew opting to do one leg, several or the full circumnavigation.

In July, fans will line the banks of the River Thames to welcome home the race crew. A formal procession will take place between 10am and 5pm, with the twelve 70-ft (21m) state-of-the-art racing yachts parading along the River Thames to Tower Bridge, locking into St Katharine Docks.

Entry is free to the Race Village at St Katharine Docks, with a big screen, live music, DJs, drummers, dancers and international cuisine, all of which is sure to get the capital into the spirit of sailing.

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