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 London Sites
St. Paul’s Cathedral is one of London's most famous landmarks, its majestic dome visible from many parts of the capital. This architectural masterpiece - a symbol of London’s strength and resilience - and has been the site of many historic occasions, including royal weddings and state funerals. It is a working church and a place for quiet reflection, but there are also many wonderful things to see inside on a visit. Blue Badge Tourist guide Patricia Gentry shares just a few of her favourites below.Read more
The Tower of London, the capital’s most popular tourist attraction has been a palace, fortress, prison, mint, armoury, jewel house and home to both Beefeaters and ravens. When it was built in the 11th century by Norman invaders from France, the Tower of London resembled little more than a wooden shed on a hill surrounded by a garden fence. But over the following centuries, the castle grew and grew, so that the complex that we call the Tower of London is in fact made up of 21 different towers. Here are some fascinating stories behind a few of them.Read more
Westminster Abbey is definitely one of London’s must-see attractions. And you’re sure to discover new things every time you visit, especially if you go with a knowledgeable Blue Badge Tourist Guide. Among other things, the Abbey is the burial site of many of the most famous people in British history.Read more
Every Blue Badge Tourist Guide in London knows the difference between London Bridge and Tower Bridge – but not all their clients do. London Bridge is on the site of the original Roman crossing of the River Thames. Rebuilt several times, the current London Bridge was opened by the Queen in 1973 when the previous one proved not strong enough to carry the heavy traffic crossing it.Read more
Westminster Abbey has over 3,000 burials and memorials within its precincts, commemorating royalty, poets, scientists, politicians, musicians and more. Booking a Westminster Abbey Tour with a Blue Badge Tourist Guide is a great way to learn about some fascinating features in the church that may go unnoticed by most visitors.Read more
As Blue Badge Tourist Guides we often take our clients into the Tower of London as much as – or more than – any other building in London. With this in mind, it is important to develop a good relationship with those who live and work there. In the case of the Tower of London, these are the famous Yeoman Warders, commonly but unofficially known as ‘Beefeaters’.Read more
￼￼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.Read more
St Paul’s Cathedral is one of London’s most instantly recognisable landmarks. The unmistakable Dome and the beautiful west towers dominate the skyline of the City. Designed by one of our greatest architects, Sir Christopher Wren, and completed in 1711, St Paul’s is London’s cathedral and embodies the spiritual life of British people.Read more
The Tower of London located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London is a top 10 London tourist attraction. Visitors are mainly drawn to the Tower of London to see the spectacular display of The Crown Jewels, part of the Royal Collection and still regularly used by Her Majesty The Queen.Read more
The Palace of Westminster is synonymous with politics in the United Kingdom and has seen some of the most momentous events in the history of the country. From the ill-fated 1605 Gunpowder Plot to speaker William Lenthall's defiance of King Charles I in 1642 and from suffragette Emily Davidson hiding in a ventilation shaft in the building to the inspirational "We shall fight on the beaches" Winston Churchill speech delivered to the House of Commons on 4 June 1940.Read more
One of the more popular landmarks to tour in London is Westminster Abbey. In fact, each year, over 1million visitors explore this magnificent church with over 1000 years of heritage, taking in all the building's rich history on their own or with a qualified Blue Badge Tourist Guide. Below we highlight eleven facts about Westminster Abbey.Read more
London’s iconic Palace of Westminster and the Houses of Parliament is in need of repairs that could take as long as 40 years and cost taxpayers £7 billion if the MPs refuse to temporarily decamp elsewhere, according to a recent report conducted by Deloitte.Read more
The Houses of Parliament Visitor Services Department working in conjunction with Tour Guides Limited and their extended team of Blue Badge Tourist Guides recently won the Best Company or Venue Offering Guided Tours at the recently held 2015 UK Group Travel Awards.Read more
London welcomed more international visitors than ever before in 2014. The city’s cultural attractions and world-class sporting events proving irresistible draws for millions, according to new figures released by the Office for National Statistics International Passenger Survey (IPS).Read more
Although it is one of the more recent additions to the array of tourist attractions available in London, the London Eye has become one of the most prominent attractions in the city. The London Eye is a massive Ferris Wheel which is located on the South Bank, right on the River Thames. The London Eye is still something referred to as the Millennium Wheel and over the years it has had a number of different names due to the sponsor of the wheel at the time.Read more
When it comes to important locations around the world, you cannot go wrong with following guidance from UNESCO, THE United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation. The organisation has listed a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which are places that are deemed to be of particular cultural or physical importance.Read more
Given that London is one of the most vibrant cities in the world, there is always a reason or excuse to visit the city. No matter what you are interested in, there will be something for you, and this is why the capital of England is regarded as one of the most important cities in the world. In fact, you may find the hardest part of a London vacation is deciding what to see and what to miss out.Read more
Via VisitLondon.com, a fanastic new short film showcasing London's Top 10 Attractions. These include: 1. The British Museum 2. The National Gallery 3. Natural History Museum 4. Tate Modern 5. EDF Energy London Eye 6. Science Museum 7. Victoria and Albert Museum 8. Tower of London 9. Royal Museums Greenwich (Royal Observatory Greenwich, The Queen’s House, National Maritime Museum, Cutty Sark) 10. Madame Tussauds LondonRead more
St Paul's Cathedral is preparing to display a unique piece of embroidery titled Art From Art crafted by 133 men from the UK, Canada, Australia and South Africa, who worked to create an elaborate altar frontal whilst recovering in hospitals around the UK from injuries suffered during the conflicts of WWI.Read more
It’s official! London has welcomed over 16 million international visitors in one year for the first time in history, making it one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world.Read more