27 December 2019 08:38
As dawn broke this Christmas morning, many of us will have been tending to excited, early-rising children or anxiously working out how long it would take to cook the turkey. One Londoner started his day very differently, though. Mohamed Mohamed, a British-Somali poet and football coach from south London, began shooting a short film depicting London's unusually empty streets from sunrise. The film 'Know London', commissioned by the Museum of London, depicts Mohamed's annual journey as he cycles through central London. Beginning in Clapham and set to Mohamed's own original poetry, the film peacefully meanders through typically crowded sites including Battersea Bridge, King's Road, Hyde Park Corner, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and Westminster.
The film puts an unseen city on display at the only time of the year which the Museum of London is closed. The film, which celebrates London's rich diversity, will be shared through the museum's social media accounts around Christmas Day. Mohamed only had the opportunity to learn to cycle in his twenties. That was when he embarked on his first annual Christmas morning ride across the capital in 2010, making a big impact from his bike immediately. Photographs he shot that morning captured the imagination of thousands of social media followers, who were keen to share images of London as they had never seen it before. The limbo period between Christmas Day and New Year's Eve is always a tricky one.
Mixture of free and costed events. It's technically still the Christmas break so it's only right to reserve your place for a stage adaptation of CS Lewis's magical snowy fantasy. Make your way to the Bridge Theatre to see Narnia brought to life before your very eyes. Bridge Theatre. Tube: London Bridge. Until Feb 2. This Christmas, the grandeur of Somerset House is filled with impressive dough masterpieces all around the theme of 'transport'. Take a wander through this imaginary city made of biscuit-y creations and if you want to take things up a level, there are gingerbread house making workshops available from £35. Somerset House. Tube: Temple. Being a botanical haven isn't all that Kew Gardens is – during the festive season, it undergoes an illuminating makeover with its most recognisable buildings aglow with lights. Take in the Tunnel of Light, spiral tree installations and singing holly bushes alongside festive shopping and mulled wine that will warm your bones. Kew Gardens. Tube: Kew Gardens. If you're bored of the standard festive lights, then wander down to Belgravia's Eccleston Yards for the 'Wave' installation by artist collective Squidsoup. Made up of 500 colourful suspended orbs, it's a great reason to finally get out of the house, plus it makes for top Instagram content. Eccleston Yards. Tube: Victoria. Until Jan 11. Free Find even more top things to do today in London, as selected by Time Out editors. Get more London events delivered direct to your inbox when you sign up to Time Out. Take part in Christmas crafts at National Army Museum Things to do CHRISTMAS CRAFTS: Use recycled materials to make your own 1940s-style Christmas decorations. The family-friendly event offers first-hand experience of how decorations were made in wartime, when craft materials were in short supply and people were encouraged to recycle instead National Army Museum (Chelsea), free, just turn up, 27-28 December SOHO PUB WALK: Tour guide Richard Watkins leads a pub-themed jaunt through Soho. Visit a famous London department store which had its own local, a pub with an infamous pump on the street outside and one with an arm-less bard. Oxford Circus, £12/£9, book ahead, 2.30pm-4.30pm JOHN WILLIAMS: Hear the work of film composer John Williams performed by the London Concert Orchestra. Music from Star Wars, Harry Potter, E.T., Jaws, Jurassic Park and several other very well known films is on the programme. Barbican, £17.50-£46, book ahead, 7.30pm CHRISTMAS IN LONDON: For more festive things to do in the capital, take a look at our guide to Christmas in London. It's packed full of festive events and things to do to see you right through until New Year, including ice skating, theatre shows, pantomimes and Christmas lights. Still not inspired? Take a look at our full guide to everything that's happening in London between Christmas and New Year. EXHIBITIONS: Why not use this downtime to catch up on a bit of culture? Several of London's large exhibitions are still running between Christmas and the New Year, although do check gallery and museum websites for changes in opening times this week. Here are our picks, in no particular order: Gingerbread City is open until January Tutankhamun at Saatchi Gallery | Top Secret at Science Museum | Cars at V&A | Culture Under Attack at Imperial War Museum | Wildlife Photographer of the Year at Natural History Museum | Moving To Mars at Design Museum | The Moon at National Maritime Museum | Hidden London at London Transport Museum | Driverless at Science Museum | 24/7 at Somerset House | Gingerbread City at Somerset House | William Blake at Tate Britain | Olafur Eliasson at Tate Modern | Troy at British Museum | Tim Walker at V&A | Designed in Cuba at House of Illustration | Kara Walker at V&A | Rembrandt at Dulwich Picture Gallery | Gauguin at The National Gallery | Steve McQueen at Tate Britain | Inspired by the East at British Museum | Nam June Paik at Tate Modern | Pre-Raphaelite Sisters at National Portrait Gallery | Buddhism at The British Library | Lucian Freud at The Royal Academy | Leonardo da Vinci at The National Gallery. Tube ponderings with Barry Heck Our resident tube fancier dishes out daily thoughts on the London Underground. Image Shutterstock Many of us still turn to the trusty Oyster card for tube travel, despite the rise of contactless debit cards and mobile phone apps. Not everyone knows how to wield the blue plastic properly, though, as we discovered when we compiled this guide on How not to use the Oyster Card in 12 bizarre stock images. Follow Barry on Twitter @HeckTube. Have a read Catch up with some of our favourite articles from the year: