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Discover South Kensington London’s home of science and arts
 
  Exhilarating exhibitions, fascinating walks and a pub-less quiz...  
 

Whether you're visiting South Kensington on foot or sitting comfortably in your armchair, we've pulled together a selection of fun things to see and do. Try out the new Footways' walking map, which will guide you through London's hidden gem of back streets or get involved in some online discussions. There's something for everyone!

 
   
 
 
 
 
Wildlife Photographer of the Year
 
Natural History Museum
16 Oct 2020 - 6 June 2021 Mon- Sun 10am-5:50pm
 
Wildlife Photographer of the Year is now open. Explore the world's best nature photography exhibited on 100 light panels. Go deeper and discover the surprising - and often challenging - stories behind the images during a time of environmental crisis. The exhibition is expected to sell out at weekends, so book in advance to guarantee entry.
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Formafantasma: Cambio
 
Serpentine Galleries
29 Sep — 15 Nov 2020 10am-6pm
 
Don't miss Formafantasma's major design exhibition Cambio, now in its final weeks. Explore wood production across the world, from the Amazon and an oak forest in Virginia, to the V&A's archives and Kew Gardens here in London. Mid-week is the perfect time to take a walk in nature and experience art. Visit the Serpentine in Kensington Gardens this week and do both - for free!
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Curator Talk by Hara Kenya: Architecture for Dogs
 
Japan House London
Online 1 Oct 2020 10:30-11:30am
 
Go behind the scenes of Architecture for Dogs with a special online curator talk by exhibition director and leading Japanese design personality Hara Kenya. This exhibition is so much more than a collection of kennels, it's a project born out of a sincere wish to create architectural works which can be joyful for both dogs and their human companions.
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Happy Walking!
 
Footways
 
Planning a visit to the museums in South Kensington? What better way than by walking - safe, easy and now even more enjoyable with Footways' fantastic new walking map. Not just any map but a profusion of interesting streets woven together across London.
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Pub-less Quiz Bodies & Brains
 
Imperial College London
Thursday 1 Oct 2020 7:30pm-9pm
 
No pub, no problem! Assemble your team of thinkers and drinkers to pit fact against fiction in Imperial’s Pub-less Quiz. In this quiz edition you’ll be exploring the wonder that is the human body, from anatomy and ailments to awesome medical advancements.
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A New Culture Corner in Kensington & Chelsea
 
Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea
 
Do you live, work, study or visit Kensington & Chelsea and want to explore a new cultural corner in the borough? Take a look at their new One Year Culture Plan! They have over 50 ambitions including digital programs, from investing £175,000 in the delivery of the digital Notting Hill Carnival to supporting Kensington + Chelsea Art Week, working with local artists and creative studios for its annual public art trail - and the launch of their first ever Culture Night on 2nd October.
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Brian May Tonight!
 
Science Museum
Online Wed 23 Sept 2020 8pm-9pm
 
Legendary Queen guitarist, astrophysicist & founder of London Stereo, Brian May, will be joining the Science Museum for a free virtual event celebrating the release of his new book Cosmic Clouds 3-D.
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Royal College of Music Class of 2020
 
Royal College of Art
Online Wed 23 Sept 2020
 
In celebration of the Royal College of Music's Class of 2020, revisit their event held today.
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Imperial Lates
 
Imperial College London
28 Sept - 4 Oct 2020 6pm-11pm
 
Tune in to Imperial's digital Lates to hear personal stories from those working on the pandemic frontline and explore how cutting-edge research is improving our NHS. Put your questions to their COVID vaccine developers as we celebrate those who care for our nation with talks, a drawing workshop, the Pub-less Quiz, and more!
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Bags! Inside Out
 
V&A
From Sat 21 Nov 2020 Wed-Sun 11am-7pm
 
From rucksacks to despatch boxes, Birkin bags to Louis Vuitton luggage, Bags! will explore the style, function, design and craftsmanship of the ultimate accessory.
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Teikūhikō – High Resolution Tour
 
Japan House London
Online
 
For a limited time only discover Japan in depth and detail through this Teikūhikō series. Created by Japan House London’s Creative Adviser, Hara Kenya, Teikūhikō is not about aeroplane travel. It is a combination of beautiful videos, articles and photographs introducing spots that Hara has specially selected, posing the question to visitors, “What do you think of this kind of Japan?”.
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Walking Routes from Your Living Room
 
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
Online Wed 23 Sept 7pm
 
Join the Royal Geographical Society this evening for an online talk with Dan Raven Ellison who'll be discussing Slow Ways, a project he kickstarted that led to 700 volunteers creating a web of 7,000 walking routes from their living rooms during lockdown.
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Albert Session: Nathaniel Rateliff
 
Royal Albert Hall
Mon 26 Oct 7:30pm
 
Nathaniel Rateliff returns to his early acoustic days with the And It’s Still Alright tour. The show will feature many facets of Rateliff’s musicianship—ranging from stripped back moments with just his voice and an acoustic guitar to the accompaniment of a full band.
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Waiting for Tomorrow by Natacha Appanah
 
Institut français
Thursday 8 October 2020 6pm
 
Come and discuss Waiting for Tomorrow (translated by Geoffrey Strachan, Graywolf), multi-awarded author Nathacha Appanah’s poignant novel about family, cultural differences, art, and friendship. New to Paris, Anita and Adam meet at a New Year’s Eve party in Paris. Twenty years later, their marriage is feeling dull and monotonous, until the arrival of a new nanny.
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Royal College of Art Virtual Open Day
 
Royal College of Art
Saturday 17 Oct 2020 9am-4pm
 
Join the Royal College of Art's online Open Day to find out more about the Graduate Diploma, MA, MRes and MPhil/PhD programmes on offer. Chat to their staff and students and discover what it's like to be part of their community of artists, designers, thinkers, writers and makers.
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The Ismaili Trivia Online
 
The Ismaili Centre
Online
 
From questions about the Imamat and AKDN to history, science, and popular culture, quiz yourself, test your knowledge, and play with family and friends! A new set of questions will be released each week.
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Do you really, really want to learn French!?
 
Institut français
Online of Offline
 
The Institut français has made it so easy to sign up and learn French. They've even extended the starting date to October. You can learn with your own tutor or with a friend or in a group. The possibilities are endless. And if you book now they're offering an early bird 10% discount. There's no excuse!
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Image credit: Filmperlen  
Lucia Chiarla: The Chairs Game
 
Goethe-Institut
Tuesday 29 Sept 2020 7:30pm-9:30pm
 
Another great movie as part of Goethe-Kino's monthly series of contemporary German cinema, outstanding TV productions and film classics. Alice is a freelance copywriter and editor living in Berlin. She is without a job – temporarily - as she likes to emphasise when talking to friends and parents. The film follows her endeavours with close attention to detail, poignantly conveying the absurdity and precarity of her existence.
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The Royal Parks Self-Guided Walks
 
The Royal Parks
 
The Royal Parks popular guided tours may be temporarily on hold but there is a lot you can discover by yourself! Covering over 253 hectares, explore the park and learn all about the environments, wildlife and heritage that surrounds you.
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World's first dinosaur park: what the Victorians got right and wrong
 
Natural History Museum
 
The Crystal Palace dinosaurs might look comically incorrect, but they hold an important place in the history of palaeontology and at the time of construction in 1854 were as accurate as was possible based on the scientific data available. But just how much did Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins and his scientific advisors get right and wrong about these prehistoric reptiles?
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Gyokusendō: Workshop Visit & Conversation
 
Japan House London
Online 6 Oct 2020 9:30am-10:30am
 
Take an online live guided tour of the Gyokusendō workshop and showroom in Tsubame.The highly distinguished workshop in Japan’s Niigata Prefecture has produced hand-hammered tsuiki copperware - formed by the hammering and beating of a single sheet of copper - for over 200 years.
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#LetsMakeWednesdays – Playful Prints!
 
V&A
Online
 
Back by popular demand, Playful Prints! Discover how prints were made before photocopiers and printers were invented, then have a look at the V&A's fantastic collection of prints (which go back over 600 years) to fire your imagination. And if you want to try something really different, have a look at woodcut prints
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Tell Me About Europe
 
Goethe-Institut
Online
 
Europe is more than a continent or an idea. Europe consists of many different stories – personal stories of people from different generations. The project “Tell me about Europe” brings the memories of well-known Europeans alive and invites you to listen and join in the discussion
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In Session: Tackling Challenges Through Design
 
Royal College of Art
 
As part of the Royal College of Art's In Session events with leading designers, Nadia Danhash, Director of InnovationRCA discusses with Judah Armani, Founder & Director of InHouse Records, about how to tackle some of the toughest challenges of our age, through design.
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I am a COVID vaccine developer: Ask Me Anything
 
Imperial College London
Tue 29 Sept 4pm-6pm
 
This promises to be a fascinating insight into the revolutionary work of a team at St Mary's Hospital that is developing a vaccine based on RNA, the genetic material underpinning the surface proteins of the virus. After successful trials with mice the Imperial team has been trialling the vaccine with humans.
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A Beautiful Planet 3D (U)
 
Science Museum
Dates & Times vary
 
Experience Earth like never before in a breath-taking portrait of the planet captured from the International Space Station on the biggest screen in Europe. See fantastic images of the Earth from the Space Station and gain a new understanding of how wonderful and unique our planet is.
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Come & Visit Kensington Palace
 
Kensington Palace
Daily
 
Now is the perfect time to visit Kensington Palace. Wander through the King’s State Apartments, the Queen’s State Apartments and Queen Victoria’s childhood at your leisure, and really get to see and appreciate the history of this unique place.
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Which Dinosaur are You?
 
Natural History Museum
Online
 
Gentle giant or fierce meat-eater: which dinosaur shared your habits? Do you think you're more like a Tyrannosaurus Rex? Or a Sauropad? Or maybe even a Raptor? Take the Natural History Museum's quiz and find out who you really share your habits with!
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Dan Pearson and the Tokachi Millennium Forest
 
V&A
Online Mon 28 Sept 2020 7pm-8pm
 
Join the award-winning designer for an online talk about the remarkable design and evolution of this Hokkaido-based garden over two decades.
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Cálmate
 
Ismaili Centre
Online
 
The Ismaili Sounds is pleased to present Calmate, performed by Hip-Hop artist Fidah, who in this song explores the balance between faith and world, and encourages open conversation on the existential questions of life.
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Image credit: “Earth Speakr” by Olafur Eliasson  
Kids are the future! The digital artwork “Earth Speakr” by Olafur Eliasson
 
Goethe-Institut
Sept-Dec 2020 Online
 
The digital artwork “Earth Speakr” by Olafur Eliasson on the occasion of the German EU Council Presidency invites children to speak for the planet – and adults to listen to what they have to say.
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V&A Innovate
 
V&A
Submission deadline: 26 March 2021.
 
In an everchanging world, designers of tomorrow need to be inspired. The V&A's Innovate is a fantastic opportunity for students in years 7, 8 and 9 to work in teams to design a solution to a real-world problem. The two themes this year are Home and Community. Become an Innovator.
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Kelp forests: breathing new life into our coastal waters
 
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
Zoom 7 October 2020 7pm-8:15pm
 
As our essential ecosystem is threatened by climate change, our kelp forests are predicted to disappear by the end of this century - resulting in more than a 90% loss of marine wildlife. But a joint collaboration between the Blue Marine Foundation, Sussex Wildlife Trust and the SIFCA is working toward restoring kelp forests within a 300km sq area of Sussex coastline.
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Lunch & Learn Workshop with Sanne Visser
 
Design Museum Kensington
Online
 
Sanne Visser is a Dutch designer who works and lives in London. Learn how to harness the potential of natural materials and circular design in a behind-the-scenes look into her home studio.
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  Discover more  
 
 
 
Doctors’ notes from the COVID wards
 
Imperial College London
Online Tues 29 Sept 6:30pm-7:30pm
 
A moving account of three Imperial Medicine students who were given the opportunity to graduate early and help out the overstretched wards in some of London’s worst hit hospitals during the height of the COVID-19 outbreak. A unique opportunity to hear what they saw and learned, and how the experience affected them.
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How cells perceive their envirionment
 
Imperial College London
Thursday 1 October 12:30-1:30pm
 
Robert Endres is Professor of Systems Biology in the Department of Life Science. Join him online as he explains how bacteria are able to sense nutrients in their environment and bias their movement towards these in a process called ‘chemotaxis’. A process perceived as simple but in fact highly sophisticated.
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Weddell Sea Resources
 
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
 
Bringing together world-leading experts in polar and marine exploration, the expedition aimed to solve unanswered questions about one of the most remote and least-studied wilderness areas on our planet. From Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 5. ,
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  And from our friends  
 
 
 
Kensington&Chelsea Libraries Book of the Week
 
RBKC libraries
Online Friday 25 Sept 2020 2:30pm-3:30pm
 
Since their Book of the Week group began in June, K&C libraries have welcomed participants from as far as America, Saudi Arabia, and the Philippines. Every Monday on their social media channels, a new book will be chosen for a discussion on the Friday. This week it's Murder on The Orient Express by Agatha Christie. Get reading!
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Discover South Kensington is an initiative of the Exhibition Road Cultural Group, a partnership of the cultural and educational organisations in and around Exhibition Road, South Kensington.

Our partners include:
 
The Design Museum
Goethe-Institut
Imperial College London
Institut franҫais
The Ismaili Centre
Kensington Palace
Natural History Museum
Royal Albert Hall
South Kensington Estates
Royal College of Art
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Royal College of Music
Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
The Royal Parks
Serpentine Galleries
The Science Museum
Victoria and Albert Museum
The Royal Society of Sculptors
Japan House
 
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