Royal Babies – Joy, Hope & Stability
On 23rd April 2018, Prince Louis Arthur Charles was born in the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital located in the Paddington are in London. This is a most auspicious date, as it is the Feast of St George, patron saint of England. It is also traditionally the birthday of our most famous writer William Shakespeare.
London’s Longest Running West End Theatre Shows
London’s Blue Badge Tourist Guides often have to take groups to West End theatre shows and, even if they do not do this regularly, it is a good idea to know what is running in Theatreland in order to advise people. With this in mind, I thought it would be fun to see which were the longest running shows on the London stage. I wonder if we are now reaching the stage of the permanent play – as much a part of the London tourist scene as the Changing of the Guard.
Exploring London’s Four Inns of Court & The Royal Court of Justice
Rising elegantly above the River Thames halfway between the Tower of London and Big Ben is the Temple. Inner and Middle Temples, and beyond them Lincoln’s and Gray’s Inns make up the four Inns of Court. Here are time-forgotten havens of shady courtyards, scented gardens, and spooky gas-lit passageways. For hundreds of years, lawyers in their chambers and courtrooms have beavered away, crafting and refining the Common Law.
Tracey Emin LED Sculpture At Saint Pancras International Station in London
People entering the interior of Saint Pancras can now see a new LED sculpture by Tracey Emin, a twenty-metre message in bright pink saying “I want my time with you.” Emin is a notorious and controversial modern British artist, whose most famous work is probably her bed, which she put on display at the Tate Gallery surrounded by empty vodka bottles and used condoms.
Best Places To Stop And Catch Your Breath Along The London Marathon Route
The London Marathon starts and finishes in two of London’s most beautiful areas. The starting point is a wide-open expanse of grassland lined by historic houses and cottages on the edge of the pretty village of Blackheath itself. The London marathon route then winds its way past some of our most recognised historic sites, and some of its newer attractions, before finishing near to Buckingham Palace on The Mall.
Trooping the Colour – A Royal Birthday Parade
Many of us would love to have a birthday parade with marching bands and soldiers perfectly turned out displaying their marching skills.
The Imperial War Museum presents London’s greatest collection of military arms and hardware. Famed for its tanks, aircraft, and weapons, the museum also reveals and reflects on the rich personal tales and first-hand accounts of British and Commonwealth involvement in 20th and 21st Century conflicts all around the world. Visit the Imperial War Museum with a Blue Badge Tourist Guide to discover their stories and touch the hand of military history.Read more
The art-loving and generous founder of the Tate, sugar magnate Henry Tate, collected contemporary British art. He knew what he liked; pictures (some say sentimental) that told a story, animal subjects, and landscapes. He bought works by Millais, Stanhope Forbes, and Luke Fildes, displayed in his own gallery at Park Hill. However, intellectuals sneered at his taste. Resolved to found a public gallery of British art with his own pictures, the gallery finally opened in 1897.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
Most English people are familiar with the song Jerusalem which is a kind of unofficial national anthem for England – as opposed to God Save the Queen which is the official anthem for the United Kingdom as a whole. The words were written by the poet and painter William Blake, one of the great English eccentrics, a born and bred Londoner.Read more
The neighbourhood of Notting Hill in London today is a vibrant, exuberant and colourful reflection of its heady, diverse, rich and multi-cultural past. An eclectic mix of people, places and attitudes give this affluent and fashionable area a unique vibe, combining both the bohemian and the traditional. International financial traders rub shoulders with artists, musicians and writers in the many coffee shops, bars, and restaurants or behind handsome stucco-fronted pillar-porched houses, pretty mews dwellings and of course, regular flats.Read more
Chinese New Year has arrived and as London celebrates the Year of the Dog with the biggest Chinese New Year celebrations outside of Asia, my thoughts turned to this city’s longstanding love affair with man’s best friend, the dog. There’s a lot of puppy love in the Great British capital – a phenomenal 200,000 dogs and counting call London home. That’s almost twice the size of the population of Reykjavik!Read more
Charles Dickens was born in 1812 at Portsmouth and was one of the first world superstars both in his own lifetime and ever since. He was recognised not only in Great Britain as a great writer but abroad, particularly France and the United States where he travelled extensively. He emerged as a writer in a stratospheric way in 1836, with Pickwick Papers and Oliver Twist.Read more
The recent release of the Winston Churchill movie, Darkest Hour has brought one of London’s most popular tourist attractions into even sharper focus. The movie, in which Gary Oldman brilliantly captures the look, mannerisms and voice of Britain’s great wartime leader, is largely set in the Churchill War Rooms.Read more
Elite soldiers from 5 infantry and 2 cavalry regiments have been guarding the Monarch since 1660. These 7 regiments are called the Household Division. The Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace and St James Palace is a time honoured symbol of the British monarchy and a great example of British pomp and ceremony.Read more
London is a “world class” city on many levels, and attracts visitors for a wide variety of reasons, and none more so than for its theatrical reputation, credentials and concentration of West End theatres, known as “Theatreland.” Today there are well over sixty theatres both large and small located in a fairly tight geographical area.Read more
You don’t have to wait for Valentine’s Day to plan a romantic day or vacation in London. You also don’t need to limit yourself to traditional romantic gestures such as cards, flowers, chocolates and candlelight dinners while in London. You can create a more memorial experience by exploring and experiencing the best that London has to offer with your significant other. With this in mind, below are 5 suggestions of romantic things to do in London.Read more
For some it came as a surprise that Prince Harry of Wales should choose Meghan Markle, an American ‘commoner’, as his bride, for others who know Prince Harry well, then maybe less so.Read more