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Portrait of Jane Austen by her sister Cassandra, in watercolour and pencil. Photo Credit: © Ingrid M Wallenborg.

Jane Austen Goes To London

Although born in the Hampshire village of Steventon, the author of novels such as Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility had many reasons to visit London during her life. In fact, many of the sites Jane Austen visited served as direct inspiration for descriptions of fashionable neighbourhoods where characters such as Mrs Jennings from Sense and Sensibility live.

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Parker Drawing Office & International Garden Cities Exhibition, Letchworth © Alex Hetherington.

Letchworth Garden City & Hampstead Garden Suburb

Half an hour’s journey out of London’s King’s Cross train station on the line towards Cambridge gets you to the world’s first garden city, Letchworth. A new town designed on visionary principles 100 years ago, it is now a delightful time bubble and a showcase of the Arts and Crafts architectural style. There haven’t been many garden cities since, but Letchworth’s influence on urban planning around the world has been immense.

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Peter Pan Monument in Kensington Gardens in London. Photo Credit: © Peter Clarke via Wikimedia Commons.

The Dark Side of Chelsea in London

It is often stated that fact is stranger than fiction, and to prove the point, many literary figures have complicated and interesting stories themselves. Let’s explore some of them on a tour of London’s Chelsea neighbourhood.

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Guide London live stream broadcast_London on Film and in Print screen shot

Guide London Successfully launches Live Broadcast Series During COVID-19 Lockdown

Guide London has successfully launched a live broadcast series during the COVID-19 lockdown.  Streaming live via Facebook, YouTube and Twitter on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays at 4 pm London / 11 am New York time, the series features many of the 600+ Blue Badge Tourist Guides who are members of the Association of Professional Tourist Guides.  Topics covered include British culture, history, Monarchy, and then the lighter side of London.

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Prince Augustus Frederick, first Duke of Sussex. Photo Credit © Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Prince Harry And The Other Duke Of Sussex

Prince Harry was given the title Duke of Sussex by Her Majesty the Queen on the morning of his wedding to Meghan Markle in 2018, so she automatically became the Duchess of Sussex. They use the Sussex brand on their website sussexroyal.com but have few other connections with the county.

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Steve Fallon outside Fallon’s pub, Dysart, County Roscommon, Ireland. Photo Credit: © Steve Fallon.

The View from My Window: Still in the Still of the Night

I believe in ghosts. Not the chain-rattling, shroud-clad nebulae that float in and out of Shakespeare’s plays and Dickens’ stories. I’m referring to people who have `moved on’ but still come back for a visit, who can talk and walk with you. Souls… Spirits… Whatever we want to call them, it’s impossible to have lived in a place like Hong Kong like we did for a dozen years and not believe in them. Just impossible.

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1937 George VI Coronation Clock in Northolt,London. Photo Credit: © Steven Szymanski.

Surprising Suburbia – Northolt In Northwest London

Like all of us, I’ve found lockdown hard. As usual at the start of the year, I was preparing for the new season with info-gathering and reorientation walks, but this all came to a shuddering end in mid-March. I live in suburbia, so that’s not really much use to me as a London guide.

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The Horses Of Helios. Photo Credit: © Andy Bird via Wikimedia Commons.

Lets Go on Safari – Animal Sculptures in London

Perhaps the most obvious place to see animals in London is at London Zoo, the world’s oldest scientific zoo. But did you know you can see more creatures great and small by travelling across the capital? Next time you’re able to visit, see just how many animal sculptures and objects you can spot in this great city.

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Tamzine ship at Imperial War Museum in London. Photo Credit: © LRDG truck at Imperial War Museum in London. Photo Credit: © Caroline Piper.

Six Objects From World War II With A powerful Story To Tell

On 8th May 2020, we will be commemorating the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day (VE Day), when World War II came to a conclusion. The war had been long, exhausting and involved a rollercoaster of highs and lows, militarily, politically, economically, socially and emotionally. I have chosen six objects that can be seen in London to tell the tale of some of these events. Each is on display at either the Imperial War Museum (in Lambeth, south London and free to visit) or the Churchill War Rooms (in central London, £23 for a standard adult ticket).

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Windowbox on Chisenhale Road, Bow, East London. Photo Credit: © Steve Fallon.

The View from My Window: A Flight of Fancy

I’m helping my husband, Michael Rothschild, re-arrange the window boxes in our bedroom upstairs. I do the lifting, not the nurturing; my thumbs are black. Two doors to the east scaffolders are erecting staging across our neighbour’s roof. Yet another loft conversion is in progress. The workmen are Polish.

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Antony Robbins aka Mr Londoner on HMS Belfast with his father in 1971. Photo Credit: ©  Anthony Robbins.

Three Ships In London To Visit

London is a port city, and Britain became great because of its navy and ability to trade across the globe. The capital’s wealth is built upon that sea trade. There are reminders of London’s maritime history everywhere. In Trafalgar Square, we commemorate the 1805 victory (and the death) of Admiral Lord Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar. At Tower Hill, we remember the 36,000 merchant mariners lost at sea with no known grave. And the Museum of London Docklands examines the triangular trade in goods, sugar and slaves, upon which so much of the city’s wealth was built.

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Steve Fallon monitoring in Victoria Park, Bow, East London. Photo Credit: © Steve Fallon.

The View from My Window: The Return of Poetry

I’ve taken my cue from an erstwhile neighbour – Alfred Hitchcock was born just up the road in Leytonstone – and I’ve moved to the rear window. I’m in search of the colour purple. But instead of the lilac that coyly shows its first blush this time of year through the satin-white of the magnolia tree and the billowing chartreuse of the willow, I’m getting a Phoenician purple that would have turned Queen Elizabeth I, who banned the royal colour from her court, apoplectic.

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