Apex Hotels Blogs

Buckingham Palace Summer Opening

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Buckingham Palace Summer Opening (3 August to 29 September 2013)

With the arrival of new baby Prince George of Cambridge, we are all enjoying royal fever - so what better way to embrace the UK inheritance by visiting Buckingham Palace this summer.

This is a special year for the royal family as the summer also marks the 60th anniversary of one of the most significant occasions in the 20th century British history - the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. To honour this special anniversary, an extraordinary exhibition for the Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace will take place which is set to amaze families across the world.

Buckingham Palace Summer Opening

Buckingham Palace is the official London residence of Her Majesty The Queen. It is a must see for all London visitors as this iconic palace is one of the only few working royal venues remaining in the world today.

For the first time since Coronation Day, the Buckingham Palace Summer Opening will bring together a magnificent array of dresses, uniforms and robes worn by the principal royal party. Now, you and the family can explore lavishly furnished rooms which hold some of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection.

The ballroom in the palace will be transformed into the most prevalent exhibition of this royal, historic event and will include;

  •  The Queen's renowned white satin coronation dress which was designed by Norman Hartnell
  •  The Queen's 6.5 metre long Robe of Estate, made from English purple silk
  •  The Diamond Diadem, which is arguable The Queen's most recognisable jewels, as she is pictured wearing it on postage stamps and English banknotes.

Throughout the tour of the palace, visitors will marvel in a number of iconic items related to the coronation, some of which have not been displayed for more than 20 years. Works of art, paintings and objects used on the day will be on exhibit to recreate the atmosphere of that extraordinary occasion that took place 60 years ago. With this year's Buckingham Palace Summer Opening you can be a part of it too.

Location: Buckingham Palace, London SW1A 1AA

Date: 3rd August - 29th September 2013

Find out more at royalcollection.org.uk

London August 2013

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What's on in London in August 2013?

Event of the Month

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace Summer Opening (3 August to 29 September 2013)

Every summer inquisitive visitors get the chance to look around Buckingham Palace and admire the interiors of the principal royal residence. Visitors for the Summer Opening tour are permitted access to the nineteen State Rooms which are still used by the Royal Family to receive and entertain guests on state and ceremonial occasions. Decorated in lavish fashion, they include paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens and Canaletto, Sevres porcelain and some of the finest English and French furniture in the world. This is a fascinating opportunity to admire the taste - often wonderful, sometimes comically bad - of Britain's monarchy. Find out more in our Buckingham Palace Summer Opening post.

Location: Buckingham Palace, London SW1A 1AA

Website: royalcollection.org.uk

The Great British Beer Festival

Calling all beer lovers, Britain’s biggest pub opens its doors as over 66,000 flock to celebrate the nations favourite drink. The festival brings you over 700 real ales, ciders and beers from all over the globe. However, it is not just about beer, with lots of activities to keep you entertained from traditional pub games to live music.

Location: Olympia, London W14 8UX7

Website: gbbf.org.uk

Jolly Day Out (31 August - 1 September 2013)

Make the most of the last weekend before the kids go back to school and enjoy a 'Jolly Day out'. With kids shows, live music, fun fairs, circus acts, arts and crafts, pig racing and dancing sheep, this is the perfect summer outing. Just add a pint of real ale or a glass of Pimm's and you'll have all the components for a superb, summer family day out.

Location: Hampton Court Green, London KT8 9AT

Website: hamptoncourtpalacefestival.com

Film4 Summer Screen (8 - 21 August 2012)

Lucky for Apex guests, one of the most famous open air film events takes place on the doorstep of Apex Temple Court.This August, Somerset House has teamed up with Film4 to house film screenings in its beautiful courtyard, bringing cinema lovers a truly electric mix of movies. It's no wonder this annual festival has quickly become London’s most popular outdoor film event.

Location: Somerset House, London WC2R 1LA

Website: somersethouse.org.uk

Kids Week (1 - 31 August 2013)

A truly astounding pleasure for families, Kids Week brings London's Theatreland to excitable tots and teens ... for FREE! That's right, for the whole month of August children aged 5 to 16 can enjoy an array of stunning West End hits for FREE, including shows likes We Will Rock You, Wicked and Horrible Histories. During Kids Week (or technically kids month) kids can even peep backstage, experiment with makeup and even sign with a cast.

Location: Various Venues across The West End

Website: kidsweek.co.uk

Camden Fringe (1 - 25 August 2013)

Now in its 8th year, the Camden Fringe is back and boasts over 400 performances, taking place in venues across Camden. Witness the odd (and outright crazy) which brings together theatre, dance, poetry, comedy and much more. Whether you are looking for edgy stand-up or an inventive twist on Shakespeare the Camden Fringe has it all.

Location: Across Camden, London

Website: camdenfringe.com

South West Four (24 – 25 August 2013)

The world of electro and dance music embarks on South London this August Bank Holiday and is packed with some of the industry’s biggest names. Celebrating its 10th anniversary 'SW4'is set to fill Clapham Common, uniting dance revellers from around the globe. It’s not just music that will keep these festival goers happy, as SW4 is packed with stalls selling food, drinks and festival essentials as such as glow sticks!

Locations: Clapham Common, London SW4 9DE

Website: southwestfour.com

Lollibop Festival (16 - 18 August 2013)

Not sure how to entertain the little ones over the summer holidays? Not to worry as the 'Glastonbury for little people' is back and has become the biggest UK festival for kids! LolliBop is a magical place with live stages, arts, disco, science, workshops and crafts. It's the perfect place to build family memories day and will keep the pint-sized festival goers busy and entertained with an action packed programme for the whole family to enjoy.

Location: Regent’s Park

Website: lollibopfestival.co.uk

RideLondon (4 August 2013)

This two day festival of cycling is the first large scale event to use the new Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park following its summer 2013 re-opening. First up, Saturday's 'FreeCycle' welcomes 70,000 cyclists to ride along an eight mile, traffic-free loop in central London. Britain's biggest bike festival culminates with Sunday's 'RideLondon 100' - a 100 mile race for amateurs that organisers have described as the London Marathon on wheels. Other Sunday events include 'RideLondon Classic' - the biggest ever men's professional one day race in Britain. Both the Classic and 100 races will start at the Olympic Park and cover a similar route to that used in the London 2012 Olympics - taking in all eight London boroughs, Richmond Park and the Surrey countryside, before finishing on The Mall. Ride on

Location: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London E20 2ST

Website: prudentialridelondon.co.uk

Peter Pan: The Never Ending Story World Arena Tour (21 - 26 August 2013)

This imaginative and theatrical staging of JM Barrie's classic children's book, directed by Luc Petit, is sure to be one of the most extravagant you'll ever see. Peter Pan, The Never Ending Story comes to London's Wembley Arena as part of a worldwide arena tour under the artistic direction of Geert Allaert, who runs Belgian production company Music Hall. Songs by the likes of Duran Duran, Robbie Williams and Rod Stewart have been adapted by Matt Dunkley who has written music for films including Moulin Rouge, The Black Swan, Love Actually and The Pirates of the Caribbean.

Location: Wembley Arena, London HA9 0DH

Website: theticketfactory.com

Investec Aches Test: England v Australia (21 to 25 August 2013)

The fifth, final and potentially most crucial Ashes Test takes place at the Kia Oval more than a month after the opening Test at Trent Bridge. England have, of course, beaten fierce rivals Australia in the past two Ashes series and only time will tell if Alastair Cook's side can make it a triumphant treble.

Location: Kia Oval, London, SE11 5SS

Website: kiaoval.com

Dare ProtoPlay - Video Games Festival

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Dare ProtoPlay - Video Games Festival (8th - 11th August 2013)

Scotland’s biggest Indie Video Games Festival comes to Dundee this August. Dare ProtoPlay features the finale of the 'Dare to be Digital' video games design competition, where the competitors are either university students and recent graduates.

The Festival will be held in Caird Hall, City Centre and Hannah Maclure Centre, all of which are just a short walk from the Apex City Quay Hotel. At Dare ProtoPlay, among other things, you’ll be able to play 15 brand new games created by the Dare to be Digital competitors. During the event, judges will select 3 teams to be put forward as nominations for a BAFTA Ones To Watch Award. You’ll also have the opportunity to cast your vote for the Audience Award.

Dare ProtoPlay attracts a large crowd

Organisers will also be running a ‘Design your own game’ workshop. In these workshops you have the opportunity to create stories, games and animations with some help from the Dare ProtoPlay volunteers. This is the perfect opportunity for younger children who have an interest in video games to get up close and personal with video game creation. These workshops are free to enter.

If you’re looking for a bit of nostalgia, the ‘Games Made in Scotland Showcase’ will take you through a journey of the games that Scotland has gifted to the gaming world over the years. You’ll get the opportunity to play some classic games and you’ll even get to feast your eyes on some of the very earliest gaming consoles.

The biggest event during the festival will be the Dare Indie Fest Conference, which will take place over two days. Various speakers will spend time talking about ‘independence and convergence culture’. Among the speakers are Colin Macdonald (Games Commissioning Editor at Channel 4) and Gina Fegan (founder of D-Media Network).

Look forward to Dare ProtoPlay and prepare for a festival that’s both fun and educational.

Location: Caird Hall, Crichton St, Dundee, DD1 4.

Date: 8th - 11th August 2013

Website: daretobedigital.com

Dundee August 2013

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What's on in Dundee in August 2013?

Event of the Month

Dare ProtoPlay

Dare ProtoPlay - Video Games Festival (8th -11th August 2013)

Dare ProtoPlay bills itself as the UK’s biggest indie games festival, and if the previous festivals are anything to go by, it certainly lives up to this. The festival takes place over four days in the Caird Hall, just a short walk away from the Apex City Quay Hotel. During the festival, you’ll have the opportunity to play more than 40 indie games and it’s free to do so. - Find out more in our Dare ProtoPlay blog post.

 Location: Caird Hall, Crichton St, Dundee, DD1 4

Website: daretobedigital.com

Arbroath Sea Festival (3rd – 4th August 2013)

Celebrate Arbroath’s fabulous maritime heritage this August with the return of the Annual Arbroath Sea Festival. During the two-day festival, more than 30,000 visitors are attracted to Arbroath’s harbor. Once there, they walk down the smokie trail; a trail with over 70 stalls selling everything from venison to ostrich meat to the famous Arbroath Smokie (haddock which has been smoked over hardwood).

Location: Arbroath Harbour, Arbroath (near Dundee)

Website: arbroathseafest.co.uk

Celebration in the Park (3rd August 2013)

The annual Celebration in the Park takes place on Saturday 3rd August at Baxter Park. Previous events have shown it to be a fun day out for all the family. There’s always something for everyone! Included at this year’s celebration will be Community Stalls, Vintage Vehicles, Face Painting, Youth Sports Team and Carnival Rides.

Location: Baxter Park, Arbroath Road, Dundee, DD4.

Website: dundeecity.gov.uk

Sunday Sessions – Live acoustic performances from Dundee Musicians (4th August 2013)

If you’d like to listen in on some acoustic performances from some of Dundee’s up and coming artists, drop into the McManus on Sunday 4th August. The McManus itself is worthy of a visit. It’s a magnificent Gothic –style building which now acts as Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum.

Location: McManus: Dundee's Art Gallery and Museum, Albert Square, Meadowside, Dundee, DD1 1DA

Website: dundeecity.gov.uk

Mills Observatory, Planetarium Show (21st August 2013)

Join staff at Britain’s only full-time public Observatory for a wonderful tour of the night sky in the planetarium. Learn all about asteroids, galaxies and the universe we live in. The fully computerised telescope is able to detect 30,000 objects in the sky. Who knows what it will detect when you visit!

Location: Mills Observatory, Balgay Park, Glamis Road, Dundee, DD2 2UB

Website: leisureandculturedundee.com

Organ Concert with Nigel Ogden (21st August 2013)

Join Nigel Ogden as he entertains with an evening of popular and light classical music at the Caird Hall. Nigel is well known for hosting his radio show on BBC Radio 2 since 1972. The concert will consist of two halves and will last approximately 50 minutes. After the concert, you will have the opportunity to meet Nigel in the adjoining café-bar.

Location: Caird Hall, Crichton St, Dundee, DD1 4

Website: dundeebox.co.uk

Alba Real Ale Festival (23rd – 25th August 2013)

The Royal Tay Yacht Club will be hosting the second Alba Real Ale festival. With over 40 different beers available for tasting, it’s a real ale lover’s dream come true! A selection of local performers will bring music to your ears throughout the day. Tickets for Saturday are already sold out, so you’ll need to be quick if you want to secure your place.

Location: Royal Tay Yacht Club, Fort William House, 34 Dundee Road, Dundee, DD5 1LX

Website: albarealalefestival.org

Bell Rock Blues Festival 2013 (23rd- 25th August 2013)

This August sees the Bell Rock Blues Festival return to Arbroath for the 7th time. More than 30 bands will be taking part in this year’s festival. Included in the band list are 2 Wheels Good, Jamie Harper Band and Urban Poets. The great bands, great pubs and great music all make for a great atmosphere.

Location: Various venues in Arbroath, near Dundee

Website: bellrockblues.com

Moscow State Circus (7th – 11th August 2013)

Moscow State Circus lands in Dundee on August 7th during their UK tour. The production is set in the mystical centre of Moscow’s cultural and artistic quarter, Gorky Park. Spend a memorable evening at the circus and see a huge cast of circus performers, acrobats and entertainers. There’s a reason why it’s often called the ‘world’s most famous circus’.

Location: Caird Park, DD4 8ER

Website: moscowstatecircus.com

Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

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The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, part of the world-famous Edinburgh Festival, returns to Edinburgh Castle’s Esplanade this August. Look forward to lively performances from the Massed Pipes and Drums and the Massed Military Bands. Highlights this year include performances from the Brazilian Marine Corps Martial Band and Bavaria’s German Mountain Army Band.

Watch various bands perform at the Royal Edinburgh Tattoo

The word ‘Tattoo’ comes from the last order and closing time shouts in Dutch – ‘Doe den tap toe’ which literally translates to mean ‘close or turn off the tap’.  A signal was sounded on a drum which told soldiers to return to the Barracks. The English Army first encountered the phrase while fighting in Belgium and the Netherlands in the 17th century.

Grab your ticket and join the 217,000 others who, over three weeks, will see 1,000 musicians and performers from over 40 countries taking part in this year’s military Tattoo.

The Edinburgh Tattoo has been an annual event since 1950, when there were just 8 items on the programme. Every year since then, it has taken place without fail at the same location - Edinburgh Castle’s Esplanade. Since 1950, over 100 million people have experienced the Tattoo in person, with another 100 million people watching it through International Television channels each year.

When all is said and done, it’s time some for the extravagant finale. After the National Anthem has been played, the audience will break into a chorus of ‘Auld Lang Syne’. A lone Piper will then play a tune while fireworks light the sky and jets roar by in a brilliant military fly past. A spectacular end to a spectacular night!

Location: Edinburgh Castle

Date: 2nd - 24th August 2013

Find out more at edintattoo.co.uk

Edinburgh August 2013

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Edinburgh Tattoo Finale

Edinburgh Tattoo Finale

Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo (2nd – 24th August 2013)

The Edinburgh Military Tattoo is part of the world-famous Edinburgh Festival. Nearly a thousand musicians, drummers, pipers, dancers and singers will perform on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle, close to the Apex International Hotel. Over the 3 weeks, more than 200,000 people will experience the Tattoo. The Tattoo has always sold out in advance in recent years, so make sure to get your tickets sooner rather than later. - Find out more in our Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo blog post.

Location: Edinburgh Castle

Website: edintattoo.co.uk

Edinburgh Art Festival (1st August –1st September)

Scotland’s largest annual visual arts festival returns to Edinburgh this August. The festival, which showcased in 1947, showcases some of the Scotland’s most impressive contemporary art as well as exhibitions from some the most influential artists in the scene. Over 40 exhibitions will be taking place across the city, many of which will be free!

Location: Various Venues

Website: edinburghartfestival.com

Just Festival (2nd – 26th August)

Pust Festival is the new name for Edinburgh’s Festival of Spirituality & Peace. There will be over 129 events in 450 performances taking place across 29 venues. During the festival, a whole host of cultural events and performances will take place in various venues across the city. At the heart of each performance will be a message of peace and justice.

Location: Various Venues

Website: justjust.org

Edinburgh Fringe Festival (2nd – 26th August)

By now, everyone knows about the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, it is after all the world’s largest Arts Festival. With over 40,000 performances taking place in 250 venues across the city, you’ll need to put some time and thought into choosing the performances you want to see. Highlights this year include shows from Brendon Burns, Al Murray and George Galloway.

Location: Various Venues

Website: edfringe.com

Sean Lock: Purple Van Man (4th – 5th August)

Sean Lock returns to the Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre this August with his brand new stand up show, Purple Van Man. The theatre is only a five minute walk from the Apex Waterloo Place hotel. Sean Lock is one of the country’s most highly acclaimed comedians, having appeared on shows such as ‘Live at the Apollo’ and ‘8 Out of 10 Cats’. The man knows how to make you laugh.

Location: Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre, 18-22 Greenside Ln, Edinburgh, EH1 3AA

Website: atgtickets.com

The Extreme Stunt Show (9th – 11th August)

Here’s one for all the adrenaline junkies out there. The Extreme Stunt Show stops off at Edinburgh’s Ocean Terminal for three days during its UK tour. Look forward to a whole host of performances, from Monster Truck Mayhem to Motocross to even The Human Cannonball. Watch in awe as the stuntmen perform feats that are out-of-this-world.

Location: Ocean Drive, Leith, Edinburgh, EH6 6JJ

Website: extremestuntshow.com

International Festival (9th August – 1st September)

The International Festival was founded in 1947, just after the Second World War. Unlike the Fringe Festival, artists and companies take part on an invitation-only basis. During the festival you’ll get to experience theatre, classical music, opera and dance by performers from across the world. At the end of the festival, you’ll not want to miss the stunning fireworks concert which takes place at Edinburgh Castle.

Location: Various Venues

Website: eif.co.uk

International Book Festival (10th – 26th August)

If you want to attend a somewhat quieter and more relaxing festival in Edinburgh this August, the International Book Festival might be just what you’re looking for. Book lovers will congregate in the surrounds of Charlotte Square, and together they will celebrate the books they love and discuss the big issues of our time. It’s the perfect spot to spend an hour or two reading your favourite book.

Location: 5A Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, EH2 4DR

Website: edbookfest.co.uk

Guardian International Television Festival (22nd – 24th August)

If you dream of getting into the television industry, attending the International Television Festival might just give you the push you need to turn that aspiration into reality. Over 2000 delegates attend the festival, with hundreds of the world’s top TV executives speaking. If you want to build your network of TV professionals, make sure to get your pass.

Location: EICC, 150 Morrison Street, The Exchange, Edinburgh, EH3 8EE.

Website: geitf.co.uk

SKC Dog Show (24th – 25th August)

If you’re a dog lover, why not attend The Scottish Kennel Club Championship Show this August? The event will take place across 2 days at the Royal Highland Showground. On Saturday you’ll be treated to Working, Pastoral, Utility, Toy and Agility competitions. On Sunday there will be Gundog, Hound, Terrier, Obedience and Agility competitions to enjoy. Bring the whole family and make it an event to remember.

Location: Royal Highland Showground, Ingliston, Edinburgh, EH28 8NF

Website: scottishkennelclub.org

Mela Festival (31st August –1st September)

The talent of Edinburgh’s ethnic minorities will be showcased during the Mela Festival. Prepare yourself for some Bhangra beats, family fun and delicious food. The festival manages to attract more than 20,000 visitors, and this year looks set to be no different. Don’t expect to be allowed to stand back and spectate however… you’ll be expected to join in on the fun!

Location: Leith Links, Edinburgh, EH6 8BW

Website: edinburgh-mela.co.uk

City of London Festival

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City of London Festival 2013 (23rd June – 26th July 2013)


The City of London Festival has grown to become the UK's leading arts and culture event which celebrates the city and enthuses the city's residents, workers and visitors.

The festival proves London is not just about the West End, giving you the chance to explore hidden gems within the city. It brings to life the Square Mile's beautiful outdoors surroundings, ancient architecture and key attractions, providing a rich and amazing programme of entertainment.

Luckily for guests, all three Apex London Hotels are perfectly located with the festival taking place all around us, right on our doorstep. Featuring venues which range from historic churches to livery halls, the festival gives you exclusive access that is usually limited to the public.

City of London Festival 2013

The City of London Festival is widely regarded as one of the city’s best, bringing together a stunning array of performances from the worlds of dance, music, street performance and visual art.

The three week performance schedule is jam packed with exciting events including tumble circus performances, a city beer fest, exhibitions, London Symphony Orchestra, exclusive history walks and talks, Guildhall singers, and much more.

City of London Festival Reviews

"One of the joys of the City of London Festival is its ability to uncover such more or less hidden gems, and the fill them with music." Evening Standard, 2011

"No festival in the country has a greater wealth of outstanding venues at its disposal than the City of London, with all the churches, guild halls and open spaces of the Square Mile available for concerts, lectures and outdoor events." The Guardian, 2011

Date: 23rd June – 26th July 2013

Website: issuu.com

Website: colf.org