Blog

Blog Posts

London Skyline With Big Ben & London Eye

London’s Tourism Boom Continues

London’s tourism boom has continued during the second quarter of 2015, with the city welcoming a record 5.1 million international visitors between April and June this year, 6% more than the same period last year, according to the Office for National Statistics International Passenger Survey (IPS).

Read more
James Bond - Film Actors: Sean Connery to Daniel Craig

James Bond: Facts, Figures & Fun

Promotions for the new James Bond film Spectre is near fever pitch, so thought we’d provide some fun facts and figures about the British Secret Serice agent created by writer Ian Fleming while living in sunny Jamaica!  

Read more
Ian Fleming - James Bond First Edition Books

James Bond 007 Quiz – 20 Questions on the Books & Films

With the new James Bond 007 movie Spectre starring Daniel Craig set for release on 26 October, we thought we’d put together a quiz.  Specifically, below are ten questions each about the James Bond 007 books and films.  How many will you answer correctly?  

Read more
Tate Modern - Frank Auerbach - Hampstead Road

Frank Auerbach Exhibition at Tate Britain

Tate Britain has launched an exhibition featuring Frank Auerbach (b 1931, Berlin), a British artist who has made some of the most vibrant, alive and inventive paintings of recent times. Often compared to Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud in terms of the revolutionary and powerful nature of his work, his depictions of people and the urban landscapes near his London studio show him to be one of the greatest painters alive today.

Read more
Sandro Botticelli, Portrait of a Lady known as Smeralda Bandinelli

6 Exhibitions To Look Forward To At Victoria & Albert Museum In 2016

The Victoria & Albert Museum established in 1857 by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design and houses a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects. This vast collection is stored and displayed in a number of buildings over 12 acres of land in the South Kensington area of London, with over a third of a mile in circumference. These objects along with a wide range of exhibitions make the Victoria & Albert Museum one of the more popular tourist attractions in London.  Below we highlight six upcoming exhibitions at the Victoria & Albert Museum.  

Read more
Brian Harlock - Clipper Round The World

Blue Badge Tourist Guide Brian Harlock Is Sailing Around The World

On Sunday, 30 August we gathered with tears in our eyes and hankies at the ready to wave off our friend, colleague and now officially super-hero, Brian Harlock, on the greatest adventure of his life – the 10th Clipper Round the World Race. Over the next 11 months he will sail as part of the crew (The Warriors as they are known) on board Mission Performance, one of twelve 23-metre yachts, on a route that covers 9 countries, stops at 14 ports, covers 6 continents, and involves 6 ocean crossings and 40,000 nautical miles. During this time they are likely to get through 561,600 tea bags and 10,200 loaves of bread (baked on board by the crew) and they will use over 1,000 wet wipes per week! Those of you who visited him on board before he sailed will understand the importance of the wet wipes!

Read more
Downton Abbey: Series 6

11 Downton Abbey Facts, Figures & Fun

The sixth and final series of the popular costume drama starts airing in the United Kingdom, at 9pm on 20 September.  It will be made up of eight episodes and a Christmas special to be broadcast on Christmas Day. The series will span the years 1925 to 1927, with the Crawley family and their servants facing an uncertain future.

Read more
Queen Elizabeth II: Long To Reign Over Us

28 Facts, Figures & Fun About Queen Elizabeth II, the UK’s Longest Reigning Monarch

Queen Elizabeth II is now the longest reigning monarch in British history, having broken Queen Victoria’s record on 9 September. To commemorate this, a special photographic Long To Reign Over Us exhibition is currently on show at Buckingham Palace (until 27 September 2015) and Windsor Castle (until 27 January 2016).  Each of the displays celebrates The Queen through a selection of photographs from 1952 to the present day. The images include official portraits and photographs of Her Majesty undertaking visits in the United Kingdom and across the Commonwealth, as well as those capturing informal family moments.

Read more
London Olympic Park

London 2012 Legacy & Developments For Rio 2016

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
Wall hanging (detail), cotton appliqué, Gujarat, 20th century

The Fabric of India Exhibition at Victoria & Albert Museum

The Fabric of India exhibition will be the highlight of the Victoria & Albert Museum India Festival and will explore the dynamic and multifaceted world of handmade textiles from India from the 3rd to the 21st century.

Read more
Ushio Shinohara, Doll Festival 1966, Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art (Yamamura Collection)

The World Goes Pop Exhibition at Tate Modern

Whaaam! Pop! Kapow! This is pop art, but not as you know it. Tate Modern is ready to tell a global story of pop art, breaking new ground along the way, and revealing a different side to the artistic and cultural  phenomenon.

Read more
Rugby World Cup 2015 - Jonny Wilkinson & Prince Harry

Rugby World Cup 2015 – The Return Of Home Crowd Advantage

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