Chelsea History Festival returns to West London today

The Chelsea History Festival returns to west London today with an exciting line-up of events, including a special tribute to the Queen.

Over the next week, the festival will bring the past to life through an immersive programme of family activities, open days, musical concerts, interactive history walks and a series of talks.

It will now run from 20 to 25 September after being delayed due to the Queen’s funeral

Head of programming for the Chelsea History Festival Nicola Ayrton, said: “Our aim is to bring the past to life and entertain, educate and inspire through showcasing global and local history.

“We will be highlighting the variety of what the institutions do, and also what Chelsea has to offer.

“All of the experiences that really bring history to life are going to be bursting out of Chelsea.” 

Ayrton said this is their most ambitious programme to date with over 80 events over six days. 

INSIGHTFUL TALKS: General Sir Adrian Bradshaw talking in the historic State Apartments at the Royal Hospital Chelsea CREDIT: Chelsea History Festival

The festival will include talks from General Sir Adrian Bradshaw, former Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, and historian Anna Reid on the complex history of Ukraine to name a few.

Robert Hardman, one of Britain’s leading royal authorities, will reflect on the Queen’s life on Saturday 24th. 

The interactive events include History Street in Burton Court, Royal Hospital Road, where historians will bring London’s past to life through an immersive experience.

GUIDED WALKS: Rav Singh from the Little History of the Sikhs leading a group on a walking tour outside the National Army Museum CREDIT: Chelsea History Festival

Children can also take part in blunt archery, which is making its debut for the first time, and attend sword school.

Chelsea Pensioners will lead a tour through the Royal Hospital Chelsea, home to veterans of the British Army, on 21 and 23 September. 

To end the festival, on the 23 and 25 September, Chelsea Physic Garden, the oldest botanic garden in London, will open its doors for free.

Visitors can take part in pond dipping, planting and storytelling. 

POND DIPPING: Families pond dipping at the Chelsea Psychic Open Day CREDIT: James McCauley

The Chelsea History Festival was founded in 2019 and is a partnership between the National Army Museum, the Royal Hospital Chelsea and Chelsea Physic Garden, and supported by the Cadogan Estate. 

It is the first year the festival has returned to the Royal Hospital Chelsea since the pandemic.

It will run from 20 to 25 September 2022. 

Visit the Chelsea History Festival website to view the full programme of events and purchase tickets.

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