It’s time to refresh and recharge as we look ahead to the New Year, and to a new and improved you. We’ve got your  little luxuries covered in your home-from-home stay, leaving you to discover, learn, and immerse yourself in London's most enriching experiences, as we guide you through our culture-packed masterclass, for a 2016 worth talking about.

Come face-to-face with celebrities and humankind as The National Portrait Gallery presents its esteemed annual exhibition, the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize. The competition receives close to 5,000 entries, each exposing a personal perspective of the world, and each raising debate and discussion of socio-economic issues faced in the world today. Showcasing the very best in portraiture, works stretch from the politically charged, such a finalist Ivor Prickett’s Amira and Her Children, to the socially sceptical, in David Stewart’s winning work of art, Five Girls.

Ever wondered the impact data is having on our lives? Science and art combine at Somerset House’s acclaimed exhibition, Big Bang Data. Putting our data-centrism into the spotlight, it offers a rich and balanced debate, from challenging the dark side of our selfie stick culture and social media copyright concerns, to beautifully demonstrating global stock market activity as constellations in the sky, and uncovering the radical way that data is set to revolutionise our future. Certainly something to think about next time you’re searching the web.

For a more immersive London experience, jump in and go behind the scenes with a tour of the BBC Broadcasting House. See life through the lens at this iconic institution, while you learn about its impressive history and architecture. The tour is as dynamic as the working building itself, with plenty of opportunity to put theory into practice, as you try your hand at reading the news, and producing your very own radio play.  

It’s time to go off-script in celebration of our freedom of speech and right to vote, at Hyde Park’s Speakers’ Corner. Be a part of history at this 250 year old spot, where the likes of Karl Marx, George Orwell and William Morris have taken centre stage. Today the site provides a public platform for those wanting to preach, heckle or debate. Anyone can take to the soapbox, so long as your chosen topic is considered lawful, so why not wander along to make a speech, join the discussion, or simply drink in the atmosphere, at this thought-provoking, heritage find.

Not ready to head indoors just yet? Then relax and explore London’s exemplary culture, architecture and design from the city’s peaceful cycle paths, conveniently tucked well away from the frenzy of populous tourist traps. Unwind while soaking in the sights, as you pedal your traditional Brompton bicycle past Wren’s Naval College, Trinity Buoy - London’s one and only lighthouse - and Container City. You’ll also see the sights from the skyline, as you voyage over the Thames by cable car, giving you an unrivalled view of the city below. 


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