As London starts its road to recovery, Major Sadiq Khan sends out a positive message, highlighting the wonders of our capital and why it’s time to celebrate what’s on our doorstep

The past year has been incredibly challenging for us all. The pandemic has affected every area of our lives and has had a devastating impact on our city and country. We have suffered socially and economically, and been deprived of many of the experiences that bring us joy.

However, as we start to rebuild and look towards recovery, there is a great appetite for all that London has to offer. Whether it is getting dinner with a friend, heading to the theatre, or a shopping trip at the weekend, I know that people can’t wait to rediscover the delights of the capital.

Over the coming months, we have to be positive and confident to bring people back to central London in large numbers – particularly visitors from other parts of the UK as restrictions on international travel continue.

 That’s why I have launched Let’s Do London, the biggest domestic tourism campaign London has ever seen, to champion our businesses, cultural institutions and attractions that have suffered so dearly during the pandemic. This is about getting the message out to Londoners and people across the country that our capital stands ready to entertain, inspire and enthral once again.        

Some of London’s best-known cultural institutions and tourism attractions are getting behind the initiative, including – the Royal Albert Hall, London Zoo, the Science Museum, Tate, Southbank Centre, the Royal Opera House, the National Theatre, and the V&A.

 This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the capital without the usual queues and crowds, so get out and be a tourist in your own city. Let’s Do London.

And we have lined up a host of exciting events to showcase the city’s attractions, and remind Londoners and visitors alike that this is the greatest city in the world. From art and sporting events, to food and drink, there is something for everyone.

Our world-leading museums will also have a range of great new exhibitions with Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland at the V&A’s immersive exhibition Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser, the works of Vincent Van Gogh being brought to life at Kensington Gardens’ Van Gogh Alive experience, and acclaimed Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms at the Tate Modern.

Our famous chefs and hospitality venues have also joined forces to celebrate London’s world-class food offer as part of London Eats, a programme of events that highlights the very best culinary delights London has to offer. Some of the city’s most famous chefs, personalities and hospitality venues have come together to share their hidden gems, favourite foodie routes across London, and the must-try bars and restaurants they’re excited to get back to as the city comes alive again.  

Among the insider tips on the Visit London website are chef and Masterchef: The Professionals judge Monica Galetti, maître d’hôtel and star of Channel 4’s First Dates Fred Sirieix, chef and restauranteur Asma Khan, and Michelin-starred chef Angela Hartnett.

The summer season will see a programme of family fun, designed to make London a great choice for a staycation. The West End’s Kids Week in August will see tickets free for under-16s, there is Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature at the Natural History Museum, and opportunities to explore the Royal Parks.

‘London Lates’ over the summer months will see extended opening hours across museums, galleries and cultural and grassroots music venues. Shakespeare’s Globe will stage ‘Midnight Matinees’ with performances starting at 11.59pm, and an invitation to get back to the big screen will see outdoor film screenings curated by BAFTA and the British Film Institute.

This summer will also see a celebration of sport in the capital. I am extremely excited about welcoming UEFA EURO 2020 to London. There’s nothing like the thrill of a good football match to bring people together, and we are hosting both the final and semi-final at Wembley. Tennis fans can look forward to the return of Wimbledon, cricket fans will be treated to a brand-new competition, The Hundred, and later in the year, rugby fans can cheer on England at the Rugby League World Cup.

 This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the capital without the usual queues and crowds, so get out and be a tourist in your own city. Let’s Do London.

Details of all these events and more can be found at visitlondon.com/things-to-do/lets-do-london