The Covent Garden May Fayre

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If you have been thinking of taking the family on a holiday to London, there is no better time than during the Covent Garden May Fayre. This year this delightful family event is to be held on the 10th May and as the name implies, in the historic Covent Garden district of London.

Photo by Sid Willims
Photo by Sid Willims

For anyone not familiar with this traditional festival of puppetry, it is a must see. Steeped in tradition, the Covent Garden May Fayre is something you will want to share with your children, as a page out of history as well as a fun-filled day they will never forget.

The History of the Covent Garden May Fayre

The festival itself is celebrating its 40th year in 2015, but the traditional puppetry goes back much, much further. The Covent Garden May Fayre is a celebration of when Samuel Pepys first saw Mr Punch (of Punch and Judy fame).

Those who are history buffs recognise the name of Samuel Pepys as the naval administrator who kept a vivid and accurate diary during the English Restoration period. Punch and Judy delighted him, thus winning their place of fame in British history. In fact, whilst in Covent Garden, history aficionados will be able to enjoy a visit to the British Museum where there are artefacts of human history – nearly 2 million years’ worth!

Events of the Day

Performances will be held all through the day with performances by puppeteers and a whole host of professors from around the entire country. There isn’t just one stage and one show, rather a collage of shows throughout the garden. The schedule of events is as follows:

  • 11am – the Grand Procession commencing at the gardens of St. Paul’s Church
  • Noon – A special service at St. Paul’s Church, fondly referred to as the ‘actor’s church’
  • 12:30pm – 5:30 pm – Punch & Judy – world famous puppet shows

Children of all ages will enjoy the shows but perhaps mum and dad will get the most out of it as they can immerse themselves in some of England’s richest history whilst in the area.

Places of Interest in and near Covent Garden

Those travelling from out of town will certainly want to see the sights whilst in London. Places of interest in and near Covent Garden include:

Benjamin Franklin House – American visitors to the Covent Garden May Fayre will really appreciate this bit of English history. Although he is perhaps the most famous statesman from that period of American history, many forget his British roots.

Trafalgar Square – Here you can see a statue of Lord Nelson, the greatest military hero in Britain’s history. The statue and surrounding lions are a masterpiece which you won’t want to miss.

Covent Garden Piazza – For a bit of other delightful entertainment such as juggling and street miming, this is another place to bring the entire family. Don’t forget to bring home an assortment of souvenirs from the Covent Garden Market held here.

Bateau London – A relaxing cruise on the River Thames where you can also enjoy a scrumptious a la carte meal whilst seeing the sights.

There is much to do and see in London’s famed Covent Garden so you will want to spend at least a week – more if you’ve the time. With so much history, fine dining, entertainment and culture, this is one destination that will bring memories to last a lifetime. And to think it all started with bringing the

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