Olympia London

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West Kensington

More than 120 years of shows, fairs, exhibitions and concerts would take a toll on any space. But after a £30 million refurb completed in early 2013, this Kensington event space is back looking bigger and spiffier than ever, with a range of contemporary facilities added to its original Victorian building stock. Annual staples include The Art and Antiques Fair, Olympia Horse Show and Spirit of Christmas, while later additions such as Art13 and Salon du Chocolat draw a younger, hipper crowd.

Venue name: Olympia London
Address: Hammersmith Rd
W14 8UX
Transport: Tube: Kensington (Olympia)
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  • Consumer shows and conventions Until Sunday November 29 2015
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  • Tuesday December 15 2015 - Monday December 21 2015
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  • Saturday January 23 2016 - Sunday January 24 2016
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Tom Bruce

West Kensington's complex of grand Victorian exhibition halls has played host to a few pretty major events in its 130 year lifespan. Formerly the National Agricultural Hall and now known as London Olympia (whether named because of certain Olympic competitions which took place here or due to its founders and owners believing it to be comparable with the mountain of the Greek gods - a little arrogant, isn't it? - it is not quite clear), the buildings operate as wide open venues for such famous yearly events as the Chess Classic, the BBC Good Food show, and a video gaming exhibition I once went to in order to play a twenty minute demo of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Most recently, I went there for the London Veg Fest, which took place in the smallest of the four buildings. 

Transport links are fantastic, with a dedicated joint overground-tube station at the main Olympia Grand venue, but depending on which bit you have to go to a little extra walking - or getting out at West Kensington station  on the opposite side of the Olympia stop - might be necessary. It's pretty big, resembling a palace more than a place of temporary pop up conventions and shows, so it isn't hard to find. Can't miss it. That said, it can take an age to walk around to find the appointed entry place for your particular event.