Dinosaurs And Destruction at the Crystal Palace
Most Blue Badge Guides, when conducting a tour of London, will give priority to what people can see. Occasionally, however, they will mention a building that has been lost to fire, bombing or development. One such is the Crystal Palace, originally found in Hyde Park.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Walks & Tours
There is no better time to visit the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park than spring or summer. The Park opened fully in April 2014 and has since welcomed millions of visitors. It covers 560 acres and people visiting can enjoy the beautiful parklands, idyllic riverside lawns, giant climbing walks and intricate fountains.
A View From Above: 10 London Rooftop Bars And Restaurants
Who doesn’t love a great view? And even better if there’s good food and/or classic cocktails to go with it. As you take a break from sightseeing for refreshment and relaxation, let your Blue Badge Tourist Guide help you seek out the most stunning vistas across London. With an ever-increasing number of steel and glass skyscrapers heading for the heavens in the financial district, the area known as the City of London is a great place to start.
Celebrating the Chinese New Year in London
The wonderful Christmas lights in Central London are coming down, and red lanterns are beginning to appear around Soho and in particular Chinatown. This is part of the celebration for Chinese New Year which is also known as the Spring Festival. This year it falls on the 28th January, the first day of spring in the lunisolar calendar.
Why London Has The Best Literature Tours In The World
If you’re a fan of literature, there’s no better place to visit than London. Book a tour with a Blue Badge Tourist Guide and walk in the footsteps of authors like William Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf, and Charles Dickens. The city has preserved its history so well in places that you can still feel the source of the writers’ inspiration.
Pearly Kings And Queens On The Streets of London
As well as the important buildings and monuments, Blue Badge Tourist Guides have to be aware of distinctive characters on the streets of London. None are more distinct than the Pearly Kings and Queens who dress up in the ‘colourful’ costumes and raise money for charity. In fact, a Pearly costume is usually made from black and white materials, with occasionally a brightly coloured scarf (as on this photograph) or feathers adorning a pearly hat or cap.
The Notting Hill Carnival is the largest street festival in Europe and originated in 1964 as a way for Afro-Caribbean communities to celebrate their own cultures and traditions. Taking place every August Bank Holiday weekend in the streets of London W11, the Notting Hill Carnival is an amazing array of sounds, colourful sights, and social solidarity.Read more
It was around 11:30 in the morning of the 8th August 1969 when Iain MacMillan took a photograph of John, Paul, George and Ringo crossing the most famous pedestrian crossing in London – and probably the world. This was in Abbey Road just outside the studio where the Beatles made their records. It remains one of the most iconic album covers of all time and is imitated by around half a million people every year.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
Since time immemorial, the Vintners’ and Dyers’ companies, livery companies of the City of London, have shared the ownership of mute swans on the River Thames, along with the Sovereign. During July, the Queen’s Swan Marker, accompanied by the Vintners’ Swan Marker and Dyers’ Bargemaster, spend five days travelling 79 miles along the Thames.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
There’s no doubt that going to brunch can be the highlight of a great weekend. Like with many culinary traditions, the origins of the meal called brunch aren’t entirely clear. Some food historians suggest it may have sprung from huge feasts held in England after a hunt. (We do know that the word first appeared in print in an 1895 Hunter’s Weekly article.) Others think it may relate to the big meal Catholics would have after mass.Read more
London Blue Badge Tourist Guides usually have a working knowledge of film releases and locations, particularly anything to do with those highly successful franchises Harry Potter and James Bond. However, the director Stanley Kubrick, who began life in the Bronx and ended up living in Britain, could never be pigeon-holed or defined by a franchise.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
Think of classic British food, and you probably think of fish and chips, one of the most popular and famous national dishes. What you may not know is that the origins of the dish stretch beyond our shores. The story of the humble chip goes back to the 17th-century in either Belgium or France – there are differing opinions – and fried fish was introduced into Britain by Jewish refugees from Portugal and Spain.Read more
Kensington Palace has been a royal residence for over 300 years and is now the London home to Prince Harry, Prince William, Catherine Middleton and the young Prince George and Princess Charlotte. Although their residence is private, a large part of Kensington Palace is open to the public to explore the lives of past royal residents, and visit the historic rooms that have shaped a nation. Below you’ll find 10 top facts about Kensington Palace.Read more
Summer is always a spectacular time of year to visit London and the rest of the United Kingdom. This year is no exception and here are five great reasons to visit over the next few months.Read more
Touring London is a great way to top up your step count and burn off calories. So why not reward yourself for all that hard work? Blue Badge Tourist Guides know where to go for the tastiest treats, and nothing beats ice cream on a warm day. In no particular order, here are some of the best ice cream shops in the capital, tried and tested by this Blue Badge Tourist Guide (well someone had to do it).Read more