Historic Cinema Buildings in London
Since its inception in the first part of the 20th century, the cinema has been a staple of British entertainment. The multiplexes of the 21st century have enjoyed a resurgence following the nadir of the 1980s and early 1990s, but the real golden age of cinema came with the development of the “talkies” in 1927 and the subsequent boom in the construction of new cinemas in the 1930s.
I Want a Picture-Perfect White Christmas in London
In December our thoughts turn to Christmas. We think about our family, friends, Christmas cards, food (lots of it!) and presents – will Santa pass by this year? Also, just as important, the reason for Christmas: the birth of Jesus. But what we also think about is the weather – will it snow? This question set me thinking – why do we feel Christmas isn’t really Christmas if it doesn’t snow?
The Black Sailors of Georgian London
Inspired by the new exhibition “Black Greenwich Pensioners” at the Old Royal Naval College (which at the time of writing I have yet to visit), my mind recently turned to Britain’s Black seafaring past, particularly to the time Britain was most actively involved in the Transatlantic Slave Trade and the enslavement of Africans, a time which loosely coincides with what we refer to as the Georgian age (1714-1837).
Guiding Teenagers Around London
Blue Badge Tourist Guides conduct many different types of tours, from individual families to large groups, and each type requires different skills to be successful. Here, Olga Romana shares her experiences of guiding student groups.
I have worked with students my whole life!
Public Walking & Virtual Tours By London’s Blue Badge Tourist Guides
In addition to offering customized private tours, many London Blue Badge Tourist Guides also conduct regular walking tours and virtual tours for groups. Joining a group tour can be a fun and affordable way to take in the sights. For locals, a walk with a knowledgeable and passionate Blue Badge Tourist Guide can reveal fun facts and hidden gems you may not have been aware of.
Because I’m a Londoner: From Postman to Blue Badge Tourist Guide
This is part of a series of articles written by London Blue Badge Guides who used to be key workers in our capital city. First up is Neil Parker, who worked for 30 years as a postman before becoming a tourist guide.
I qualified as a London Blue Badge Guide in 2013 and now, as my mates from the post would say, ‘I’m paid to be me!’ At least I was until March 2020 when Covid-19 arrived. This got me thinking, what was life like for my mates in the post? So, after it reopened, I went to the pub to find out.
Posts in: Major Events
It's got to be one of London's best-loved events: from the arrival of the eagerly awaited annual catalogue and the feverish planning of visits, to that autumn weekend when the city flings open its doors to citizens and visitors. Yup, it's Open House - time for Londoners to get up close and personal with buildings they normally can't access.Read more
Blue Badge Tourist Guides often have to take sporting parties around during the course of their work. Visiting cricket and rugby teams bring groups of supporters with them while golfing tours are a mainstay of the industry. American football has now arrived in the capital with the National Football League playing four matches in the NFL London games series. Every NFL team apart from the Green Bay Packers has now played at least one competitive game in London.Read more
The highlight of the summer horse racing calendar is undoubtedly the Royal Meeting at Ascot, attended every day by Her Majesty the Queen. At the time of writing (late May) there were still some tickets available from £37. This year’s Royal Ascot will be held on 18th to 22nd June 2019.Read more
"The Season" always fascinates visitors to England. An endless whirl of summer events where it's just as important who to be seen with as to actually have fun. We asked Sophie Campbell, Blue Badge Tourist Guide and author of The Season: A Summer Whirl Through the English Social Season to give us her unique perspective on this most English of traditions.Read more
March will see the feast days of two of the UK’s patron saints: St David of Wales on the 1st and St Patrick of Ireland on the 17th. St David’s day will see a banquet in the evening at the Guildhall and attended by Mayor of London. St Patrick’s Day, on the other hand, will see a huge procession from Green Park to Trafalgar Square on Sunday the 19th starting at noon and an event in the square that will go on all day.Read more
The 30 gardens at the 2016 RHS Chelsea Flower Show are the main attraction.They draw you in with their grand design, fantastic colours and most are magical and inspiring. In total, there are 17 show gardens, six artisan gardens, and seven fresh gardens which showcase the best of garden design and landscape.Read more
In the theatre we have already seen A Winter’s Tale starring Sir Kenneth Branagh and Dame Judi Dench and later this year Romeo and Juliet starring Sir Derek Jacobi and Lily James is on at the Garrick. Branagh is also involved with Film London creating new commissions for the anniversary which will include The Hungry, a UK-Indian co-production – a contemporary retelling of Titus Andronicus – as well as short films by all-female directors, animations and a BBC documentary.Read more
Lumiere London is a new lights festival produced by Artichoke and supported by the Mayor of London. Bringing together some of the world's most exciting artists working with light, Lumiere London transforms many of London's most iconic streets and building in the West End and King's Cross area. The festival is completely free to attend and was launched on Thursday, 14th January 2016 and will run through Sunday, 17th January 2016. Below are 12 of the illuminations viewed in the West End area for Lumiere London 2016.Read more
The 800th Lord Mayor’s Show in London will be held on Saturday 14 November 2015 and starts at 09.00 with a river pageant. The Lord Mayor will be travelling to the City in a flotilla of traditional Thames barges and small boats, including the famous QRB Gloriana. Tower Bridge opens in salute at 09.25 and the new Lord Mayor alights at HMS President ten minutes later.Read more
27 July held a nostalgic frisson for many Blue Badge Tourist Guides. Three years ago Danny Boyle’s diorama of all things British upped the ante for the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony. Rio, on the other side of the equator, now has one year to go.Read more
For London 2012 guides, there is now a definite sense of deja vu about Twickenham Stadium. Hospitality suites? Media centres? Opening ceremonies? Closing ceremonies? 18 September sees the opening game at Twickenham of the 8th Rugby World Cup when England takes on Fiji.Read more
London’s annual Chinese New Year celebrations, the biggest in the world outside China, starts with a small ceremonial event on Saturday 21 February, but the majority of the festivities will take place on Sunday 22 February.Read more
While there are many popular and well-established events in London, The Lord Mayor's show is one of the best of the annual events held in the English capital. The event can be traced back to the 16th century and the Lord Mayor is the Lord Mayor of the City of London, the historic centre of the wider metropolitan area.Read more
London Blue Badge Tourist Guides Karen Eastland, Pamela McHutchon and I had front row tickets for wheelchair rugby aka ‘the best fun you can have with your clothes’ on at the London 2014 Invictus Games. This international sporting event, held at the Olympic Park where London Blue Badge Tourist Guides now regularly giving walking tours, turned out to be a star-studded event.Read more