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Tower of London - Yeoman Warders unveil a new working draw bridge.

Up Close With Yeoman Warders aka Beefeaters At Tower Of London

As Blue Badge Tourist Guides we often take our clients into the Tower of London as much as – or more than – any other building in London. With this in mind, it is important to develop a good relationship with those who live and work there. In the case of the Tower of London, these are the famous Yeoman Warders, commonly but unofficially known as ‘Beefeaters’.

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The logo for the Quaker Oats line of products. Photo Credit: © Fair use / Wikimedia Commons.

300th Anniversary of William Penn’s Death

This year sees the three hundredth anniversary of the death of William Penn and London’s Blue Badge Tourist Guides are conducting tours themed on the great Quaker and one of the few individuals to have an American state named after him – Pennsylvania. The name comes from that of the Penn family combined with the word ‘sylvania’, which means ‘woodland’. There is also an English village of that name which tour groups pass through when returning from one of the most popular day trips from London to Bath and Stonehenge.

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The Royal Family: Prince Louis Arthur Charles. Photo Credit: © British Monarchy.

Royal Babies – Joy, Hope & Stability

On 23rd April 2018, Prince Louis Arthur Charles was born in the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital located in the Paddington are in London. This is a most auspicious date, as it is the Feast of St George, patron saint of England. It is also traditionally the birthday of our most famous writer William Shakespeare.

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Agatha Christie's The MouseTrap 65th anniversary sign. Photo Credit: © Mousetrap London.

London’s Longest Running West End Theatre Shows

London’s Blue Badge Tourist Guides often have to take groups to West End theatre shows and, even if they do not do this regularly, it is a good idea to know what is running in Theatreland in order to advise people. With this in mind, I thought it would be fun to see which were the longest running shows on the London stage. I wonder if we are now reaching the stage of the permanent play – as much a part of the London tourist scene as the Changing of the Guard.

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Four Inns of Court: Middle Temple Hall as viewed from the south. Photo Credit: © David Iliff via Wikimedia Commons.

Exploring London’s Four Inns of Court & The Royal Court of Justice

Rising elegantly above the River Thames halfway between the Tower of London and Big Ben is the Temple. Inner and Middle Temples, and beyond them Lincoln’s and Gray’s Inns make up the four Inns of Court. Here are time-forgotten havens of shady courtyards, scented gardens, and spooky gas-lit passageways. For hundreds of years, lawyers in their chambers and courtrooms have beavered away, crafting and refining the Common Law.

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Saint Pancras International Station: Tracey Emin Neon Sign, I want my time with you. Photo Credit: © Edwin Lerner.

Tracey Emin LED Sculpture At Saint Pancras International Station in London

People entering the interior of Saint Pancras can now see a new LED sculpture by Tracey Emin, a twenty-metre message in bright pink saying “I want my time with you.”  Emin is a notorious and controversial modern British artist, whose most famous work is probably her bed, which she put on display at the Tate Gallery surrounded by empty vodka bottles and used condoms.

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Runners at London Marathon - View of Big Ben. Photo Credit: © London & Partners.

Best Places To Stop And Catch Your Breath Along The London Marathon Route

The London Marathon starts and finishes in two of London’s most beautiful areas. The starting point is a wide-open expanse of grassland lined by historic houses and cottages on the edge of the pretty village of Blackheath itself. The London marathon route then winds its way past some of our most recognised historic sites, and some of its newer attractions, before finishing near to Buckingham Palace on The Mall.

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Trooping The Colour

Trooping the Colour – A Royal Birthday Parade

Many of us would love to have a birthday parade with marching bands and soldiers perfectly turned out displaying their marching skills.

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The Natural History Museum. Photo Credit: © London & Partners.

The birth of London’s Museum Quarter in South Kensington

South Kensington in London is synonymous with museums. Three of our best known national museums can be found here: the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum, known affectionately to many as The V&A.

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Trafalgar Square Fourth Plinth: The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist by Michael Rakowitz.

Filling The Most Famous Empty Space In London – Trafalgar Square Fourth Plinth

Blue Badge Tourist Guides who take their groups through the British Museum will often stop to point out some massive Assyrian sculptures before moving on to the nearby Parthenon Marbles. These represent the half-lion half-man figures guarding the entrance to the royal palace of King Ashurnasirpal the Second and were built in the ninth century BC. Now they can point out a modern version of the same creatures made from date syrup cans standing right in the centre of London – on the fourth plinth of Trafalgar Square.

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London Football: View from the West Stand of Stamford Bridge during a Champions League game. Photo Credit: © Brian Minkoff via WikiMedia Commons.

A Starter’s Guide to London Football

London is a city in the love, yes truly, madly, deeply in love with football!  We are of course talking here of the game us Brits know of as football. Not futbol, not association rules, and absolutely, definitely, 100%, not soccer. In our game the ball is round, the officials are referees, the offence is the attack, periods are called halves and the fans eat pies with brown sauce, ketchup and scolding-hot meat of mysterious content. And yes, London loves it!

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Windsor Castle: St George's Castle. Photo Credit: © Aurelien Guichard via Wikimedia Commons.

A Chapel Fit For A Royal Wedding – St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle

The world will be watching next spring when Prince Henry of Wales KCVO, familiarly known as Prince Harry, marries the American actress Meghan Markle. With interest on both sides of the Atlantic, the royal wedding will be held on Saturday, 19th May 2018 not at Westminster Abbey in Central London where Prince Harry’s brother Prince William, Duke of Cambridge was married, but at St. George’s Chapel.

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