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The National Gallery: Paul Delaroche, The Execution of Lady Jane Grey. Photo Credit: National Gallery, London.

10 Things That May Surprise You About Works of Art at The National Gallery, London

In 1824 the House of Commons agreed to pay £57,000 for the art collection of the wealthy banker John Julius Angerstein. His 38 pictures became the core of a new national collection. Great encouragement came from another collector, Sir George Beaumont, who donated 16 paintings to the new gallery and in 1838 the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square finally opened its doors.

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Palace of Westminster - Part view of ornate Victorian gothic architecture of the iconic Big Ben clock tower at the Houses of Parliament, designed by Sir Charles Barry and Augustus Pugin.

Top 10 Facts About The Houses Of Parliament

The official title of the Houses of Parliament is the New Palace of Westminster. The name reminds us that the earliest Parliaments were consultations between the King and his closest followers, together with representatives of the Church, held at his London residence. The Houses of Parliament combine spectacular architecture with a fascinating history. Located next door to Westminster Abbey and inextricably linked to it by history the Houses of Parliament are an intriguing place to visit.

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Victoria & Albert Museum: 'Tipu's Tiger', 1780s or 1790s, Mysore, India. Museum no 2545 (IS). Photo Credit: © Victoria & Albert Museum.

Top 10 Things To See At London’s Victoria & Albert Museum

With a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects, London’s Victoria & Albert Museum is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design. You would need many years – maybe a lifetime – to look through this unequalled treasure trove so what better solution than hiring a Blue Badge Tourist Guide to select and explain some of the exceptional artefacts on display.

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James Bond Car. Photo Credit: ©Nigel Rundstrom.

Top 10 Facts About James Bond

Ian Fleming created the character of 007 whilst living in London and his novels are filled with references to London. Subsequent filmmakers took Fleming’s character and have developed him into the super spy we know today, and along the way set many of their iconic filming locations in London.

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South Bank - A view of the iconic London Eye at night. Photo Credit: ©Ursula Petula Barzey.

10 Interesting Places To See When Visiting London’s South Bank And Bankside In Southwark

Southwark is a borough in South London that has much to offer visitors. The areas of the South Bank and Bankside are situated by the River Thames and have been a particular draw for many visitors. You can stroll along the banks of the Thames any time night or day to enjoy the scenic views, go to the theatres, art galleries, enjoy the street entertainment, seasonal fairs or dine al-fresco.

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Tate Modern: View from the banks of the Thames River with Millennium Bridge in forefront.

Top 10 Facts About Tate Modern

Tate Modern is the jewel in the crown of modern art galleries in London. It holds the nation’s collection of modern art from 1900 to the present day. With 5.7 million visitors it is in the top ten most visited museums and galleries in the world. The collection holds masterpieces of international and British modern art. From Picasso’s “The Three Dancers”, to Dali’s “Autumnal Canibbalism”, to Rothko’s “The Seagram Murals”, to Duschamp’s “Fountain”, to Parreno’s “Anywhen”, Tate Modern is a one stop shop for modern art lovers.

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Buckingham Palace: Coaches at the Royal Mews. Photo Credit: © Pawel Libera / Royal Trust Collection.

Top 10 Facts About Royal London

English and British Monarchs have lived in and around London for over a thousand years in a variety of palaces; some still standing, others long-gone. But the area now known as ‘Royal London’ has consistently been at the heart of royal life, with regal residences at Westminster, Whitehall, Buckingham and St James’s Place and at Clarence and Carlton Houses.

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The British Museum is a museum dedicated to human history, art, and culture with over 8million artefacts in its permanent collection.

Top 10 Objects To Surprise You At The British Museum

The British Museum is the most visited museum in London. Visitors from all over the world are drawn to the museum to see with their own eyes world-famous artefacts, such as the Rosetta Stone or the Parthenon frieze, artefacts that might have only be seen in school or art books. They also come to experience other cultures, because after all the British Museum is the museum of the world for the world. But for the discerning visitor a scratch beneath the surface of all the “celebrity” objects can reveal some real surprises. Here is my list of such surprises.

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Stonehenge is a pre-historic henge and national landmark on the Wiltshire plain. It is a stone circle of standing stones, with some stones placed horizontally across the top of vertical stones. It is a UNESCO world heritage site. Gathering clouds over the site.

Top 10 Things to See at UNESCO World Heritage Site Stonehenge

There are thousands of World Heritage Sites recognised and listed by UNESCO, but there are very few as intriguing, enigmatic and awe-inspiring as Stonehenge. Stonehenge is one of the wonders of the world, the best-known prehistoric monument in Britain if not in Europe. A stone circle, built almost 5,000 years ago, it still inspires with its size and construction methods. Visitors have to travel to Wiltshire to experience it but it is a journey well worth doing.

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London: The Sherlock Holmes Pub at221B Baker Street. Photo Credit: ©Glyn Jones.

10 Things That May Surprise You About Sherlock Holmes

No fictional character has been portrayed more often on stage and screen than Sherlock Holmes. Fans flock from all over the world to see the locations where he lived, worked and brought justice to Victorian London. The BBC’s Sherlock series starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman has only increased his popularity.

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London Chinatown Gateway. Photo Credit: © Ursula Petula Barzey.

Celebrating the Chinese New Year in London

The wonderful Christmas lights in Central London are coming down, and red lanterns are beginning to appear around Soho and in particular Chinatown. This is part of the celebration for Chinese New Year which is also known as the Spring Festival. This year it falls on the 28th January, the first day of spring in the lunisolar calendar.

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Royal Academy of Arts: Grant Wood, American Gothic, 1930. Photo Credit: © The Art Institute of Chicago/Friends of American Art Collection.

America After the Fall: Painting in the 1930s Exhibition at Royal Academy of Arts

The art of 1930s America tells the story of a nation in flux. Artists responded to rapid social change and economic anxiety with some of the 20th century’s most powerful art – brought Grant Wood, American Gothic, 1930 together now in this once-in-a-generation show. 45 truly iconic works paint an electrifying portrait of this transformative period.

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