• History of the Old London Bridge, the Original Bridge Over the River Thames

    One of the most striking and admired structures throughout the history of the City of London is its medieval inhabited stone bridge. Bridges with houses were relatively common in medieval Europe; examples include Bath’s Pulteney Bridge, which is still open for business. However, the old London Bridge, aka the Bridge, as it was commonly known, was the most populous of them all. It is calculated that its 140 houses housed 800 people in the fourteenth century, and the Bridge’s population averaged 500.

  • Tower of London Ravenmaster: Guardian of Birds and Legend

    According to legend King Charles the Second, who ruled Great Britain for twenty five years after the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, was told, when the astronomer royal Sir John Flamsteed complained about the ravens, that the safety of the kingdom was threatened if the birds ever left the Tower of London. King Charles then decreed that there should always be at least six ravens there to prevent the Tower – and the kingdom – falling down. History does not record what Flamsteed thought of this decision but he had to accept it.

  • Exploring Windsor Great Park

    If you are in London and planning a trip to Windsor Castle, why not make it a full day and include a visit Windsor Great Park? In 2021, the park was crowned the UK’s most popular free attraction. This ancient Royal landscape of forests, lakes, and gardens really deserves a visit, boasting over 1000 years history, monuments and rare wildlife, a national collection of plants, champion trees, a farm, vineyard and forest.

  • Major Bridges Over The River Thames in London

    There are now many ways to cross the River Thames in Central London – although for many years, the only bridge across the river was London Bridge. Originally built by the Romans and moved from its original site, London Bridge was replaced in 1971 by a modern bridge that takes people from Southwark to the City and affords them fine views of Tower Bridge. This article looks at each of the main bridges over the River Thames in London, starting with the famous Tower Bridge.

  • London Bridge vs Tower Bridge

    London’s 35 bridges over the River Thames whisper tales of Roman conquests, Victorian ingenuity, and soaring modern visions. Among them stand London Bridge and its grand neighbour, Tower Bridge. Despite their stark differences in history and design, some visitors often confuse London Bridge and Tower Bridge, unaware of the rich narratives that set them apart.

  • Shrove Tuesday aka Pancake Day in London

    If you are looking for a quintessentially British event in February, then you must witness Pancake Day racing.  The old religious festival of Shrove Tuesday is when Christians ate a rich meal using butter and sugar before beginning the fast of Lent.  This day always falls 47 days before Easter Sunday, so the date varies yearly and falls between February 3 and March 9.  This year, Shrove Tuesday will take place on Tuesday, 13th February.

Blog Posts

Vauxhall Cross, Secret Intelligence Service aka MI6 Building in London. Photo Credit: © Richard Cooke via Wikimedia Commons.

Vauxhall London: Unveiling the Mysteries of a Historic Neighborhood

The main attraction in Vauxhall is a building you cannot enter. Vauxhall Cross is the headquarters of the Special Intelligence Services (formerly MI6) and the employer of Britain’s most famous fictional secret agent, James Bond, often referred to simply by the number 007. The double 00 prefix indicates that Bond has a ‘licence to kill’, an invention of his creator Ian Fleming who worked for Naval Intelligence during the Second World War when the double 0 symbol indicated that a document was classified as ‘top secret.’

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Notre-Dame, the Augmented Exhibition at the Arsenal art contemporain museum in Montreal. Photo Credit: (c) Paul Litherland via Westminster Abbey.

Notre Dame is Coming to Westminster Abbey in London from Paris

Westminster Abbey is the venue for an augmented reality exhibition that will transport visitors through the history of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Notre Dame de Paris, The Augmented Exhibition will be in the Chapter House between 7th February and 1st June 2024. It is the only time the exhibition, which began in Dubai and has been seen in America, China, Germany, Canada, and Mexico, will be seen in Britain, and entry is included in the admission price to the Westminster Abbey.

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Portrait of George Frideric Handel at The National Portrait Gallery in London. Photo Credit: © Ursula Petula Barzey.

Zadok The Priest: A Hymn Sung At Every Coronation in Westminster Abbey Since 1727

George Frideric Handel’s Zadok the Priest has been sung at every coronation since that of King George the Second in 1727. The coronation ceremony takes place at Westminster Abbey when the incoming monarch is crowned by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the head of the Church of England. Westminster Abbey is the royal church of the United Kingdom and stands near to the Houses of Parliament.

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2023 Christmas Tree at Somerset House in London. Photo Credit: © Ursula Petula Barzey.

8 Christmas Trees in London for the 2023 Festive Season

Like every major city in the Western world, London celebrates Christmas. For the visitor the most obvious sign of this are elaborate Christmas trees around the capital. Here are a few of them:

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Sky Garden Restaurant in London. Photo Credit: © rhubarb, Sky Garden.

Best Places To See London From Above

A viewing gallery has opened on top of the new skyscraper at 22 Bishopsgate.  Visitors to London can get views of the City without paying if they find the London Eye or The Shard too expensive. It joins the Sky Garden on top of the Walkie-Talkie building as a viewing platform which is accessible to the general public and free of charge. Café/bars serving hot and cold drinks can be found in both locations, but visitors are under no obligation to buy anything. Both viewing platforms have free toilet facilities.

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Entrance to Borough Market in London. Photo Credit: © Ursula Petula Barzey.

Borough Market in London: A Culinary Oasis in the Heart of Southwark near London Bridge

London has many street markets that visitors can visit. Smithfield Meat Market and Billingsgate Fish Market are probably the most famous wholesale markets in the capital, but both are facing great challenges. Despite operating for centuries, they face an uncertain future, with supermarkets preferring to deal directly with their suppliers these days.

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Margaret Ann Bulkley aka James Barry. Photo Credit: © Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

The Extraordinary Life of Margaret Ann Bulkley aka Dr James Barry

I recently visited The National Portrait Gallery, which re-opened in June 2023 to much fanfare – and it is duly deserved. It was apparent whilst viewing the rooms that more women across the centuries were featured. Before the gallery’s closing in 2020 for refurbishment, exhibits and images of women were approximately 20% of the collection; now, it is 48%!

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Crowd lining parade route London New Year's Day Parade. Photo Credit: © Ursula Petula Barzey.

5 Fun Ideas for New Year in London

The end of December through January is a fun time to be in London.  Christmas may have passed, but the atmosphere is still quite festive, and there are loads of events to ring in the New Year and get you excited about the start of the year.   Below are some of the major events and activities to entice you to plan a visit to our fair capital London which continues to bounce back with an increasing number of tourists!

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Ice Skating at Battersea Power Station. Photo Credit: © Battersea Power Station.

Ice Skating in London – 4 Open Air Ice Rinks To Enjoy Over The Christmas And New Year

Christmas festivities in Central London usually start with the putting up of Christmas lights in the major shopping areas. But nowadays, the laying out of ice rinks in popular tourist attractions makes the visitor experience much more fun. Here are five places where you can enjoy skating in London with amazing scenic views.

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Dickens's Dream by Robert William Buss, portraying Dickens at his desk at Gads Hill Place surrounded by many of his characters. Photo Credit: © Wikipedia Commons.

A Dickens Of A Christmas in London

More than anyone else, Charles Dickens invented the British Christmas with A Christmas Carol, his story about Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. It was first published in 1843 and has been adapted for stage and screen many times. No surprise then that there are four museums in the United Kingdom dedicated to Charles Dickens (including one in London), more than any other British writer.

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Zippos Circus at Winter Wonderland in London. Photo Credit: © PWR Events, an International Management Group (UK) Limited company.

Guide to Enjoying Christmas & New Year In London

London offers a variety of ways to keep you entertained over the festive season. Here are some of the best tips from Guide London to help you make the most of the capital over Christmas and New Year!

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View of London Millennium Bridge from Tate Modern. Photo Credit: © Ursula Petula Barzey.

London Millennium Footbridge, also known as The Wibbly Wobbly Bridge

Officially known as the London Millennium Footbridge, this iconic pedestrian bridge gracefully spans the River Thames, connecting the Tate Modern Art Gallery to St. Paul’s Cathedral, two of London’s most recognizable landmarks. But to many Londoners, this bridge has another, more affectionate name – “The Wibbly Wobbly Bridge.” This moniker hints at the bridge’s unique history, a tale of design, engineering, and the resilience of a city that embraces its quirks.

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