Blog Posts

Classic Routemaster being used for Afternoon Tea Tour. Photo Credit: © Ursula Petula Barzey.

The Classic Routemaster Double-Decker Bus: History & Fun Facts

For many visitors to London, one of the iconic sights of a trip to the capital is a traditional London red double-decker bus. Known as a Routemaster, these buses was designed in the late 1940s and manufactured until 1968 when production stopped, mainly because their open back doors – which were one of the attractions for many Londoners – made them unusable by those in a wheelchair. They were still used on many routes until the early twenty-first century and some can be seen occasionally on routes such as the Routemaster Heritage Route 15 which runs from Blackwell to Trafalgar Square.

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Pen and ink drawing of Sir Winston Churchill by Paul Trevillion.

Sir Winston Churchill: A Soldier, Statesman, and Symbol of Strength

Winston Churchill is undoubtedly Britain’s most revered politician. He was born in 1874 at Blenheim Palace as a member of a major aristocratic family and is buried in a modest grave nearby. His statue stands opposite the clock, which everybody refers to as Big Ben (actually the name of the bell behind the clock). Chartwell, his house in Kent, is is an important money earner for the National Trust, who welcome around a quarter of a million visitors there every year.

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Two mothers with their young children, pushing prams along the Long Walk towards Windsor Castle in the distance. The Long Walk was commenced by Charles II from 1680-1685 by planting a double avenue of elm trees. The central carriage road was added by Queen Anne in 1710. It is a little less than three miles long. To the south of Windsor is The Great Park extending over some 14,000 acres of which 8,000 acres are forest. The public areas are predominantly woodland or open grassland.

Day Trip To Windsor From London – Things To Do In Windsor

Which is the best place to visit outside London on a trip to the United Kingdom? Windsor is one of the most exciting towns to visit with its large royal park, attractive shops, cosy pubs, and tea rooms. It also has Windsor Castle, the oldest castle in the world still occupied by the family for whom it was built – the British royal family.

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Yoko Ono and John Lennon, Bed-In for Peace, Amsterdam, 1969. Courtesy YO. Photo by Central Press/Getty Images via Tate Modern.

Yoko Ono Music of the Mind Exhibition at Tate Modern in London

The artist Yoko Ono, who turned 91 in February, has enjoyed a successful—if notorious—career over seven decades. She spent the seventies as the wife of Beatle John Lennon until his assassination in New York in 1980, and appropriately for British audiences, that part of her life forms the core of her current exhibition, ‘Music of the Mind’ at Tate Modern.

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City of London Model. Photo Credit: © Don Brown.

See 3 City of London Models at The London Centre

On the Aldermanbury side of Guildhall, you will find the London Centre, the base for New London Architecture and home to its magnificent London models. These 3D scale models of the capital and its buildings are a great resource if people want to see the architecture of London or the historical development of the city—or simply want to trace routes across the metropolis. Their sheer size is jaw-dropping.

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Scipio-Turaminus Gregorian calendar 1582. Photo Credit: © Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Calendar Curiosities: Leap Years, Easter Moves, and the Curious Origins of Dates We Celebrate

Dates on the calendar we normally use have mainly Christian origin but some of them reflect pagan origins and everything changed in the eighteenth century with the adoption of a new calendar.

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William Shakespeare portrait known as the Cobbe painting. Photo Credit: © Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

William Shakespeare at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London

William Shakespeare (1552 to 1616) was undoubtedly our greatest playwright and poet. He lived until the age of fifty-two and although he was born and is buried in Stratford-upon-Avon, it was in London that he made his fame and fortune. Known as The Bard of Avon, his plays are regularly revived on the London stage, and the Globe Theatre, where he made his reputation as a playwright, was rebuilt in the late twentieth century largely as a result of the efforts of the American actor and theatre director Sam Wanamaker.

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A View of London Bridge in the Year 1616, from an Engraving by John Vischer. Photo Credit: © © The Trustees of the British Museum, released as CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

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.

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New Tower of London Ravenmaster Barney Chandler. Photo Credit: © Historic Royal Palaces.

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.

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The Copper Horse in Windsor Great Park. Photo Credit: © Ildi Pelikan.

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.

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View of River Thames and Lambeth Bridge in London. Photo Credit: © Justin Norris via Wikimedia Commons.

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.

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View of Tower Bridge from Horizon 22. Photo Credit: © Ursula Petula Barzey.

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.

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