Meeting The Raven Master at Tower of London
￼￼A group of Guide London Blue Badge Tourist Guides recently had the privilege of going “behind the scenes” at the Tower of London, on a warm, witty and informative tour hosted by Chief Raven Master, Chris Skaife. Below is an account of the tour.
Britain’s Changing Money
The new £10 is the second plastic or polymer note issued by the Bank of England and features a portrait of Jane Austen. It follows the introduction of the first polymer note in September 2016, a fiver with a picture of Winston Churchill and an extract from his famous speech: ‘I have nothing to offer but blood, sweat, tears and toil.’ The new twenty-pound note, with a portrait of a young J. M. W. Turner and a version of his painting of the Fighting Temeraire in the background will be released in March 2020. As yet no decision on a polymer fifty-pound note has been made and who would feature on it.
Tracing The Tower Of London Poppies
Who can forget the wonderful site of the 888,246 handmade ceramic poppies by the artist Paul Cummins filling the moat of the Tower of London and cascading down the walls and over the drawbridge area three years ago? Created to represent every British fatality during WWI and to remember the 100 years since the outbreak of war ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’, grew daily, aided in a small way by many Blue Badge Tourist Guides who helped to plant some of them.
Sandycombe Lodge – J.M.W. Turner’s Thames House Re-Opens
Sandycombe Lodge, the Thames-side villa designed by J. M. W. Turner, has now been re-opened to the
public, following a £2.4 million conservation programme. Built in Twickenham in 1813, it was a peaceful retreat for him and he lived there with his father until 1826. Using Turner’s sketches, a William Havell drawing of 1814, architectural evidence and paint analysis, the Turner’s House Trust has returned the house to its original form and decoration as closely as possible.
Remembering Diana, Princess Of Wales
Twenty years after her death, the newspapers are full of memories and memoirs of people who came into contact with Diana, Princess of Wales. One of the most iconic figures of our time, Princess Diana was a much-loved woman who struggled to fit into the British Royal Family and ended up doing more to divide the royals from the British people than anyone since Oliver Cromwell.
Two Hundred Years Of The Parthenon Marbles At The British Museum
The year 2017 marks the bicentenary of the exhibition of the Parthenon Marbles at the British Museum. The artefacts were removed from the Athenian Acropolis in 1801 and 1802 by Thomas Bruce, seventh Lord Elgin British Ambassador (1799–1803) to the Ottoman Empire. The sculptures were commissioned in the fifth century BC as part of the rebuilding of the City of Athens ordered by the statesman Pericles following the successful war against the Persians.
Posts in: Christmas
Now in its fourth year, the new 2016 winter trail is inspired by the gardens themselves, as the trees, temples and glasshouses of Kew are playfully lit and all aglow. Enter between two giant Christmas trees festooned with ribbon and wander beneath unique tree canopies drenched in seasonal colour. Follow the path between a carpet of light gently swaying like blossom and stop for a moment of reflection at the scented Fire Garden inspired by Five Gold Rings from The Twelve Days of Christmas.Read more
Christmas is a magical time of year to be visiting London. There are spectacular decorations everywhere and people are generally in a festive mood. Here are some of our favourite seasonal experiences which are all great reasons to visit London during the Christmas holidays.Read more
Major department stores in London give their shop windows a makeover in December to celebrate the festive Christmas season and become retail theatre. The unveilings are highly anticipated and people often queue for hours waiting for the moment that stores like Harrods, Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason unveil their Christmas masterpieces.Read more
Christmas trees, Christmas lights and festive decorations are seen all across London during December. It makes the city extremely inviting in the late afternoon and evening for shopping and exploring. Featured below are 8 Christmas trees across London during this festive season.Read more
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 the next few weeks.Read more
With the festivities leading up to Christmas in full swing, there are now plenty of opportunities to try ice skating in London. These are some of the popular venues where you can hire skates and have some fun!Read more
Did you know that Kew Gardens was home to one of the very first decorated Christmas trees in England? It was Queen Charlotte in the 1790s who dressed branches in one of the largest rooms at Kew Palace, and when the tree was lit and all aglitter, the whole court gathered round.Read more
For many Londoners the Christmas tree and the carol singing in Trafalgar Square marks the start of the countdown to Christmas. This year the tree was officially lit on 3 December by the Mayor of Westminster, the Norwegian Ambassador and the governing Mayor of Oslo. There will be carol singing by different groups raising money for voluntary or charitable organisations most days until 23 December from 4-8pm weekdays, and 2-6pm weekends. The tree remains until just before Twelfth Night when it is taken down for recycling.Read more
London is a buzz of excitement during the entire month of December. As by the end of November, most of the major shopping areas have their Christmas lights and shop windows decorated. The remainder turn on their lights early December when there is typically a party in the street as the lights are ceremonially turned on by a celebrity or two!Read more
London is a great destination to visit all year round, but there is something magical about the city at Christmas time. The Great British weather doesn’t have too many fans but the crisp nature of a clear Winter’s Day is a thrilling sight (as long as you are properly wrapped up) and there is no shortage of great Christmas London attractions.Read more