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Trafalgar Square

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by Mike Whyte (subscribe)
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Published June 14th 2011
Sometimes the obvious can be neglected or just plain ignored, just because it's, well, too obvious. So if you're stuck for something to do this weekend, why not reclaim Trafalgar Square back from the tourist hoards?

Trafalgar Square is probably the best-known square in London, and because of this, probably much further too. It is one of the destinations of choice for tourists from around the world, thanks to the open space, views and of course, the iconic Nelson's Column, which stands proudly just off-centre. The statue is probably the draw for the tourists, but it actually turns out to be the lions around the base which attract the attention, with hundreds of people sitting, standing or draping themselves over the impressive monuments.

For those with more of an artistic leaning there is also the ever-changing Fourth Plinth, which was originally intended to hold an equestrian statue, but after spending many moons uninhabited, it was decided to create a programme of temporary artistic sculptures, with some world-famous artists, such as Antony Gormley, getting involved.

It is not just the plinth that evolves though, come to the Square any given day and you may find there is some kind of event going on there. The Square is used from everything from Chinese New Year to St. George's Day celebrations, the Olympics being won by London was celebrated here, and of course the annual Christmas celebrations , including the yearly arrival of the gigantic Xmas tree from Norway, a tradition since the late 1940's.

So if this has surprised or wetted your appetite, why not go and have a look for yourselves - Trafalgar Square isn't just for tourists you know!
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Why? Because it's not just for the tourists
When: Anytime - though check the website for events
Where: Trafalgar Square, Westminster, London WC2N 5
Cost: free
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