A Dickens Of A Christmas in London
More than anyone else, Charles Dickens invented the British Christmas with A Christmas Carol, his story about Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. It was first published in 1843 and has been adapted for stage and screen many times. No surprise then that there are four museums in the United Kingdom dedicated to Charles Dickens (including one in London), more than any other British writer.
Guide to Enjoying Christmas & New Year In London
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 Christmas and New Year!
London Millennium Footbridge, also known as The Wibbly Wobbly Bridge
Officially known as the London Millennium Footbridge, this iconic pedestrian bridge gracefully spans the River Thames, connecting the Tate Modern Art Gallery to St. Paul’s Cathedral, two of London’s most recognizable landmarks. But to many Londoners, this bridge has another, more affectionate name – “The Wibbly Wobbly Bridge.” This moniker hints at the bridge’s unique history, a tale of design, engineering, and the resilience of a city that embraces its quirks.
5 Reasons To Visit London During The Christmas Holidays
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.
Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
For many Londoners, the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree lighting ceremony along with carol singing marks the start of the countdown to Christmas. The ceremony typically takes place on the first Thursday in December and is led by the Lord Mayor of Westminster, accompanied by a band and choir followed by the switching on of the Christmas lights.
History of Kensington Palace: from Jacobean Mansion to Royal Residence
Kensington Palace, nestled at the western edge of leafy Kensington Gardens, has been a royal home since 1689. Today, it is the London base of the Prince and Princess of Wales and the nerve centre of their operations. It is also home to the Dukes of Kent and Gloucester and Princess Michael of Kent.
Posts in: Major Events
"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
The celebration of St Patrick's Day in London and the contribution of the Irish community to London may seem a fairly recent phenomenon this year marking the twentieth anniversary of the Mayor of London's celebrations. However, we have a report of celebrations on St Patrick's day in the capital going back to 1713 when Jonathan Swift recalled seeing "the Mall so full of crosses that I thought the whole world was Irish." The Shamrock has replaced the cross, but on March 17, the whole world will be Irish.Read more
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is the unofficial start to the summer season in London. The five-day event held in May each year is attended by approximately 157,000 people and is a must-visit to see cutting-edge garden designs and horticultural exhibits. Below you will find out some interesting facts related to the history of the Chelsea Flower Show which is popular with royals, celebrities, as well as professional and amateur gardeners.Read more
One of London’s best-known events is the annual Boat Race, a contest between crews from Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Clubs held every spring on the River Thames. The two teams go head to head over a 4.2 mile (6.8 kilometre) course that stretches between Putney and Mortlake.Read more
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
Granted Freedom of the City of London in 1993, I have often been asked whether I had ever exercised my right to herd sheep or cattle across London Bridge. This ancient privilege to bring animals into the City without payment of tolls had long since been abandoned when the livestock markets closed and in any case was of no special importance once the gates and a single river crossing were replaced by the modern landscape we all know today.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
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
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