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British Library in London: Exterior View. Photo Credit: © Steve Fallon.

The British Library in London: The World’s Collective Memory

London is the link that unites all of us who were rocked in the soft cradle of the English language or first slept on its comfortable cushions at a later age. Our shared language is the tie that binds everyone reading this, and the capital is our tongue’s birthplace. At its heart is the British Library, which automatically receives a copy of everything published in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

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New American Embassy in London between Vauxhall at Battersea. Photo Credit: © Ursula Petula Barzey.

The New American Embassy in London is Now Open

Blue Badge Tourist Guides, when they conduct a tour of London, often take the time to show their groups buildings and places which remind them of their own countries. This is a way of connecting with the group and makes them feel at home -even though they may be thousands of miles from where they actually live.

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Portrait of King Henry VIII by Hans Holbein the Younger circa 1540. Photo Credit: © Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

King Henry VIII And His Six Wives: What Happened To Them And Why?

Despite his long reign, King Henry VIII is remembered mainly for two things: for marrying six wives and for setting in motion a chain of events that would lead to England’s break with the Catholic Church and the start of the English Reformation.

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The Cotswolds: View of the Cotswold Wildlife Park in May 2010 with Rhino's in foreground. Photo Credit: © Andrew Lawson via Visit England / Cotswold Wildlife Park.

Top 10 Facts About The Cotswolds, An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the West of England

The Cotswolds is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the west of England and is a popular place for tourists to visit. It is full of charming English towns and quaint villages built using honey coloured stone. Driving through the traditional rolling English countryside is a treat in itself and is more enjoyable when accompanied by a Blue Badge Tourist Guide.

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London Chinatown Gateway. Photo Credit: © Ursula Petula Barzey.

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.

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Agatha Christie Memorial. Photo Credit: © Diagram Lajard via Wikimedia Commons.

The Queen Of Crime, Agatha Christie in London

Who is the best-selling writer in history after Shakespeare and the Bible? The answer is Agatha Christie who was born in Devon in 1890 but whose stories often feature London and who wrote what is the capital’s (and the world’s) longest-running play The Mousetrap, which is still playing at Saint Martin’s theatre sixty-five years after it opened. One of the original cast was the late Sir Richard Attenborough, who was paid partly with a share of rights from the play. These were never expected to be worth much but later in his career he was able to sell them to help finance his film about the life of Mahatma Gandhi starring Sir Ben Kingsley.

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The Christmas Pantomime colour lithograph bookcover, 1890, showing the harlequinade characters. Photo Credit: © Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Pantomime – A Traditional British Christmas Treat For All The Family

Would you like to go to a theatre where you were allowed to shout back at the actors on the stage? The opportunity to do so comes between November running all the way through Christmas until the start of the New Year when Pantomimes take place in many village halls and theatres across the United Kingdom.

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London New Year's Eve Fireworks. Photo Credit: © Visit London.

5 Fun Ideas for New Year in London

The end of December through January is a fun time to be in London.  Christmas may have passed but the atmosphere is still quite festive and there are loads of events to ring in the New Year and get you excited about the start of the year.   Below are some of the major events and activities to entice you to plan a visit to our fair capital London –  recently ranked #1 on the list of the world’s best city for 2018.

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8 London Christmas Markets

Looking to get into the festive spirit while also shopping for some unique Christmas gifts? Then consider visiting one of London’s Christmas markets. From large German Christmas markets such as Winter Wonderland and the South Bank to smaller Christmas fairs, these 8 markets are perfect for your Christmas shopping needs.

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Bronze statue of Paddington Bear, by sculptor Marcus Cornish. Photo Credit: © Lonpicman via Wikipedia Commons.

Winnie The Pooh & Paddington – Britain’s Best Loved Bears

Blue Badge Tourist Guides need to keep up with the latest cinema releases in order to make their tours relevant and up-to-date. One of the most interesting and popular films to come out this year was Goodbye Christopher Robin, the story of the creation of our best-loved bear Winnie the Pooh.  His position though may be threatened by Paddington, created by the late Michael Bond and also the subject of a recent film Paddington 2 which is currently doing good business at the box office.

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Carnaby Christmas Carnival 2017. Photo Credit: © Reed Exhibitions Limited via Carnaby.

5 Reasons To Visit London During The Christmas Holidays

Christmas is a magical time of year to be visiting London. There are spectacular decorations everywhere and people are generally in a festive mood. Here are some of our favourite seasonal experiences which are all great reasons to visit London during the Christmas holidays.

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Dickens's Dream by Robert William Buss, portraying Dickens at his desk at Gads Hill Place surrounded by many of his characters. Photo Credit: © Wikipedia Commons.

A Dickens Of A Christmas in London

More than anyone else, Charles Dickens invented the British Christmas with A Christmas Carol, his story about Ebeneezer Scrooge and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. This book was first published in 1843 and has been adapted for stage and screen many times. Now a new film and exhibition at the Charles Dickens Museum London celebrate this famous story.

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