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Association of Professional Tourist Guides: 2014 Christmas Party

APTG Silver Jubilee Christmas Party

Guide London is the public/brand name for the Association of Professional Tourist Guides (APTG) and last December, about 125 of its 500 Blue Badge Tourist Guide members came to the University Women’s Club for the annual Christmas Party. We started with a cocktail reception, quaffing Cranberry Gin Fizzes and White Chocolate Martinis, chatting and catching up with everyone’s news. Then we enjoyed a turkey and salmon buffet meal, followed by Eton Mess and Fruit Salad.

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Zeppelin: Observation Car

London’s Year Of The Zeppelin

In commemorating of the centenary of the First World War, much of our attention has been focused on the soldiers that fought and died in foreign lands in what was described as a war to end all wars. Simon Rodway’s walking tour from Holborn to Liverpool Street on 11 November  2014 made us look at the events closer to home – the deadly menace that was the Zeppelin air ships that flew almost silently over the London sky in 1915 wreaking havoc on the unsuspecting Londoners below by launching the first of many incendiary bombs here in London and other parts of England. It was to be known as the Year of the Zeppelin. The catastrophe that befell London lasted 20 minutes but our walk would take a little longer.

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London Eye

The London Eye Is A Top 10 Tourist Attraction

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.

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British Museum

Top 7 London Museums

There is no shortage of excitement and interesting places to visit while in London, but there is also a great deal of culture. If you are looking to expand your horizons or you are keen to find out more about the world that we live in, you will find that the top London museums will provide you with fascinating insight into the world around us.

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British Gas: Lamp Lighter

11 Interesting Facts About London Gas Lamps

What a treat it was to inspect gas lamps around Westminster last November with Ian and Garry from British Gas, who love their lamps. They clean and polish them, feel pain when one gets smashed by a passing truck and complained to the Royal Parks who repainted lamps in St. James’s Park without gold paint. Lamps are listed by English Heritage so if one gets knocked down, it must be replaced with an exact copy.  Below are some more interesting facts as shared by Ian & Garry while on this education and training tour for Blue Badge Tourist Guides.  

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Crocker's Folly

Crocker’s Folly Restored

The fabulous Grade II-listed gin palace Crocker’s Folly in St John’s Wood has been beautifully restored as a restaurant and bar.  The establishment has 50 kinds of marble, Romanesque columns, cut glass chandeliers and carved mahogany. 

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Natural History Museum: Stegosaurus Skeleton

New Stegosaurus Skeleton at Natural History Museum

A spectacular Stegosaurus skeleton was unveiled on 4 December at the Natural History Museum in London. It is the first complete dinosaur specimen to go on display at the Natural History Museum in nearly 100 years. The 150 million year old Stegosaurus stenops is the only Stegosaurus in a public collection outside the USA.

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Peter Paul Reubens, Tiger, Lion and Leopard Hunt, 1616

Rubens and his Legacy: Van Dyck to Cezanne Exhibition

This exhibition will bring together masterpieces produced during Rubens’ lifetime, as well as major works by great artists who were influenced by him in the generations that followed.

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Windsor Castle

Waterloo at Windsor: 1815-2015 Exhibition

2015 marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo and the defeat of Napoleon. In celebration of the allied victory, George IV created the Waterloo Chamber at Windsor Castle, a grand space filled with portraits of those instrumental in the victory, among them the Duke of Wellington. 

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2014 Beautiful South Award finalist Amanda Bryett

Blue Badge Tourist Guide Finalist In Beautiful South Awards 2014

The Association of Professional Tourist Guides (APTG) member and Blue Badge Tourist Guide Amanda Bryett who runs Windsor Tourist Guides Ltd was a finalist at the Beautiful South Awards 2014 held at the Grand Hotel, Brighton in December and won a Bronze award for Outstanding Customer Service. As a finalist Amanda now goes forward to the national VisitEngland awards 2015.

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London Olympic Cauldron

The 2012 Olympic Cauldron at the Museum of London

For all of the Blue Badge Tourist Guides who led tours around and in the London Olympic Park, one of the most frequently asked questions was ‘Who will be chosen to light the Olympic Flame? How will it work on the night?’ But of course, it was as much of a mystery to us, as to everyone else!

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Buckingham Palace: Changing of the Guards

January in London

January is the best month to visit London if you are a bargain hunter.  To start, the shops have sales which usually start a couple of days after Christmas. Plus most ice skating rinks and funfairs are still open during the first week so if you missed out pre Christmas, now is the perfect time to visit as they are less crowded. Most shops and many museums open on New Years Day.

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