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London, Great Britain  City Info
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(Please note, when telephoning the UK:  the country code is 44;   telephone numbers listed below employ the London city code prefix of  020, unless otherwise noted).

Some of the events that occur throughout the year:

Changing of the Guard. The display by the Queen's Foot Guards occurs daily at 11:30 am April-July and on alternate days the rest of the year at Buckingham Palace. No ceremonies take place in extremely wet weather. The time sometimes varies on days when state events occur.

Changing of the Horse Guards Parade. The mounted Queen's Life Guard leaves Hyde Park Barracks and rides to the Horse Guard Parade grounds at Whitehall. Monday-Saturday at 11 am, Sunday at 10 am, daily during the summer and on alternating days the rest of the year. The time sometimes varies on days when state events occur.

Ceremony of the Keys. See the nightly lockup (seven minutes before 10 pm) at the main gate of the Tower of London by the chief warder and an escort of guards. Guests are escorted in promptly at 9:30 pm. Passes are required.

Early-Late January: Harrods Annual Sale. The shopping event of the year at the legendary Harrods. Brompton Road, Knightsbridge. For information, call 7730-1234..

1 January: New Year's Day Festival. London's New Year's Day Festival, composed of a parade and concerts, is an international event. More than 1 million people view approximately 10,000 performers from at least 16 countries as they pass along the 2.2-mi/3.5-km route from Parliament Square to Berkley Square. The Music for London concerts feature young artists, including marching bands, chamber-hall musicians, singers, pipers and baton twirlers. For information, call 8566-8586.

Throughout January: Opera. The Royal Opera mounts more than 20 productions each season at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. For information and tickets, call 7304-4000. Continues through mid July

Throughout January: Concert. The London Symphony Orchestra gives nearly 100 concerts each season at the Barbican Centre, Silk Street. For information, call 7588-1116. For tickets, call 7638-8891. Continues through late June

Throughout January: Concert. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performs frequently at Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore  and at the Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road. For information, call 7608-8800. For tickets, call 7589-8212 or 7960-4242. Through early June

Throughout January: Dance. The Royal Ballet performs regularly at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. For information and tickets, call 7304-4000. Continues through late June

Early-Mid February: Flamenco Festival London. This festival hosts performances by some of the best contemporary flamenco dancers and singers from Spain. Sadler's Wells, Rosebery Avenue. For information, call 7863-8198. For tickets, call 087-0737-7737.

Late February: Winter Bearfest. More than 150 national and international companies display thousands of teddy bears for sale, in addition to books and bear-making supplies. Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street, Kensington. For information, call 127-3697-974.

Mid-Late March: BADA Antique Fair. The British Antique Dealers Association (BADA) hosts this annual event showcasing Britain's leading art and antique dealers.  Duke of York's Headquarters, Kings Road, Chelsea. For information, call 7589-6108.

Early March: Olympia Spring Fine Art and Antiques Fair. Extensive collections span the ancient past and the present with an unusual mix of decorative artworks and period pieces. Olympia Exhibition Centre, Hammersmith Road. For information, call 7370-8212. For tickets, call 087-0126-1725 or 087-0900-6050.

Late March: Boat Race. More than 250,000 spectators crowd the banks of the Thames River to watch this historic rowing contest between crews from Oxford and Cambridge universities. Starting point for the rowers is University Stone, Putney. Continues through early April.

Late March: London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. Two weeks of screenings of world cinema, more than 60 features and 100 shorts at the National Film Theatre, Upper Ground, South Bank and Odeon West End, Leicester Square. For information and tickets, call 7928-3232. Continues through early April

Late March: Concert. Resident and visiting musicians give organ recitals in Westminster Abbey, Parliament Square. For information, call 7654-4900 or 7222-5152.

Late March: Theater. After a five-year renovation, Almeida Theatre has reopened to present a season of theatrical and operatic productions. Almeida Street, Islington. For information and tickets, call the box office at 7359-4404. Continues through late July

Early-Mid April: Hammersmith and Fulham Festival. This large annual festival celebrates the borough's multicultural heritage with concerts, art exhibits, theatrical productions, sports events, comedy shows and more at venues throughout the neighborhood. call 8753-6567.

Mid-Late April: Chelsea Art. This intimate fair features contemporary and 20th-century paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures and ceramics from more than 40 well-known British and international galleries. Chelsea Old Town Hall, King's Road. For information, call 18257-44074.

Late April: London Original Print Fair. More than 30 galleries, dealers and publishers display their original works at this annual event, established in 1985. Burlington Gardens, behind the Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly. Phone 7300-8000.

Late April: Annual Spring Plants and Gardens Fair. The world's first museum devoted solely to garden history is filled with plants, flower gardens and the latest gardening products for sale. Museum of Garden History, Lambeth Palace Road. For information, call 7401-8865.

Early-Mid May: The Prince's Trust Urban Music Festival. The U.K.'s largest urban music festival is headlined by top hip-hop, rap and R&B stars from the U.S. Music-industry workshops, street soccer games, computer gaming competitions and more. Earl's Court, Warwick Road. For information and tickets, call 087-0160-7030.

Early-Late May: Theater. The theater season at Shakespeare's Globe includes performances of works by England's famous bard and others. 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside (SE1). For information, call 7902-1400. For tickets, call 7401-9919. Continues through late September

Mid May: Floral London Marathon. Top international runners compete in one of the world's most prestigious marathons. Also seven other races, including a wheelchair race and mini-marathon. For information, call 016-1703-8161.

Mid May: Royal Windsor Horse Show. One of the U.K.'s largest outdoor horse shows features competitions in show jumping, dressage and carriage driving, as well as military demonstrations and other performances. Home Park, Windsor Castle, Windsor, Berkshire. For information, call 175-386-0633. For tickets, call 087-0121-5370 or 115-912-9160.

Late May: Theater. Regent's Park Open Air Theatre offers a summer season of classic and comedic theatrical performances. The Ironworks, Inner Circle, Regent's Park. For information, call 7935-5756. For tickets, call 087-0060-1811.  Continues through early September

Late May: Chelsea Flower Show. The self-billed "world's greatest flower show" features more than 600 exhibitors from at least four continents. Displays include courtyard, city and street gardens. Sponsored by the Royal Horticulture Society. Royal Hospital, Chelsea.  For information, call 7834-4333. For tickets, call 087-0906-3781.

Early-Mid June: Hampton Court Palace Music Festival. Internationally renowned artists and companies perform in this premier classical-music festival in a beautiful, historic setting. East Molesey, Surrey. For information, call 8233-6400. For tickets, call 8781-9545.

Mid June: Horse Races. At once one of the world's most prestigious horse races and London's social event of the year, the five-day Royal Ascot is attended by London society and members of the royal family. Races start daily at 2:30 pm. at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire. For information, call 013-4462-2211. For tickets, call 013-4487-6876.

Mid June: Trooping the Colour. Massed bands and troops create a colorful parade in honor of the Queen's official birthday. It leaves Buckingham Palace at 11 am and continues to the Horse Guards Parade. For information, call 7414-2479.

Late June: Tennis. The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships is a grand-slam event at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. Church Road, Wimbledon (SW19 5AE). Tickets are very hard to come by. Many people line up the night before for the limited number of day-of tickets available at Gate 3 on Church Road. For information, call 8944-1066.

Late June: International Henley Royal Regatta. Ladies in dresses and fancy hats and gentlemen in straw boaters and school ties gather to watch one of the world's most prestigious rowing events on the Thames, first held in 1839. For information, call 014-9157-2153.

Late June: City of London Festival. The city celebrates the best in classical and world music, theater, dance, the visual arts and poetry. Various venues, including St. Paul's Cathedral, the Barbican Centre and other historic sites. Ticket prices vary for different events. For information, call 7377-0540.

Early-Late June: Olympia Summer Fine Art and Antiques Fair. More than 400 British and international dealers exhibit thousands of collectibles. Olympia Exhibition Centre, Hammersmith Road. For information, call 7370-8212. For tickets, call 087-0126-1725 or 087-0900-6050.

Mid-Late July: BCC Henry Wood Promenade Concerts. Called "the Proms", this internationally renowned music festival draws top artists and orchestras. Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, and other venues. For information, call 7589-8212. Individual tickets are sold on concert days at Door 7 of the Royal Albert Hall box office. Continues through mid September

Late July: Opening of Buckingham Palace. The State rooms at Buckingham Palace are open to visitors each summer and the beginning of fall. For information and tickets, call 7766-7300. Continues through late September

Early-Late August: Portobello Film Festival. The world's largest free film festival screens more than 700 new independent shorts, features, documentaries, animations, digital works and more, annually. Various cinemas. For information, call 8960-0996.

3-7 Aug: The Great British Beer Festival. . London Olympia, Hammersmith Road. For information and tickets, call 017-2786-7201. It features more than 450 British ales, cider, perry, lagers and imported beers, in addition to food, there are pub quizzes, traditional pub games, roving entertainers, live music and a family room.

Late August: Notting Hill Carnival. Europe's largest street festival includes music, dance, theater, food and parades. Daily events from 10 am. Streets around Ladbrooke Grove. For information, call 8964-0544 or 7937-5464.

Throughout September: Summer Opening of Parliament. During the summer recess, the House of Lords and the House of Commons are open for guided tours. Tickets can be purchased from mid July at the Abingdon Green ticket office, opposite Parliament and the Victoria Tower Gardens, or by calling 087-0906-3773. For information, call 7219-3000 or 7219-4272.

Early-Mid October: London Festival of Chamber Music. London's finest classical musicians, including the English String Quartet, give 16 concerts in various churches and concert halls throughout the city. For information and tickets, call 7435-6232 or 018-6530-5305. 

Mid October: London International Tango Festival and Ball. Events include tango demonstrations by world-class performers, workshops, classes and a formal-dress dance party. Royal Albert Hall and other venues. For information, call 7221-9535 or 221-9538.

Late October: Times London Film Festival. Europe's largest public film festival,  presents two weeks of features, shorts, animations, experimental films, and world cinema, including many London premieres, in approximately 350 screenings to an audience of more than 100,000. For information and tickets, call 7928-3232. Continues through early November

Mid-Late November: State Opening of Parliament. In the fall of each year, the Queen opens Parliament in the House of Lords. The ceremony dates from the Middle Ages and includes an inspection of both houses of parliament by the royal official bodyguards, the Yeomen of the Guard. The Queen, as well as peers and bishops, in traditional garb, travel from Buckingham Palace in a royal procession. For information, call 7219-3000 or 7219-4272.

Mid November: Olympia Winter Fine Art and Antiques Fair. Approximately 250 dealers exhibit antique furniture and fine artworks at this holiday fair held in conjunction with the British Antique Dealers Association. Olympia Exhibition Centre, Hammersmith Road. For information, call 7370-8212. For tickets, call 0870-126-1725 or 0870-900-6050.