London hotels gear up to mark King George's tercentenary
You don't have to be a royalist to be looking forwards to 2014, when London hotels will see an influx of guests keen to join in the festivities marking the tercentenary of King George I's accession to the English throne. August 1st 1714 was the first day of King George's reign, and is likely to be the centrepiece of the year's festivities. However, that does not mean that the whole of 2014 isn't the ideal time for a visit to the UK, and to London in particular.
If you're planning to mark the occasion as an excuse for a mini break, here are some of the activities you might want to schedule, allowing you to live the Georgian lifestyle in a 21st century way.
Shopping Georgian style
It was London that served as the centre of Georgian shopping habits, and Regent Street in particular continues to serve customers of all tastes to this day. Luxury hotels in London can add elegance and extravagance to your shopping spree if you're celebrating an anniversary of your own, or are simply treating yourself to a lavish break in the capital.
Times may have changed, and fashions come and gone, but the city is still a haven for designers from all over the world - as well as for shoppers seeking out a high-culture outfit to show off around town.
Appetite for theatre
Once you're dressed in your best, you might want to add a theatre visit to your itinerary - another activity that was popular among the Georgians. The term 'West End' was around in the 1800s, but the theatres that give the district its stature on the world stage were there long before. Step outside the Georgian era for a visit to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in Southwark - the Bard himself died a century or so before King George's accession, but the authentic performances still provide an insight into what theatre was like around that time.
Parks and gardens
England owes much of its heritage to its parks and gardens, of course, and stately homes continue to draw the crowds in terms of both domestic and international tourism.
Kensington Palace was frequently among the main venues for Georgian festivities, with a bonfire held there every August 1st, beginning on the date of King George's coronation itself.
From April 2014, a new exhibition is due to open at the palace, detailing some of the excesses that were enjoyed by George I's successor, George II, who ruled alongside Queen Caroline. Further down the line of royal descendency, King George III resided at Kew Palace, in what is now better known as the botanical gardens. With an acre for every year of the tercentenary, Kew Gardens offers the space needed to escape the bustle of London city, the spectacular canopy walkway, and the chance to tour George III's bedroom and those of the princesses of the royal court at the time.
This broad choice of activities allows visitors to celebrate the full span of the Georgian era, while celebrating its earliest days on the 300th anniversary in summer 2014.