His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (1921 – 2021)
The death of Prince Philip at the age of ninety-nine was announced by Buckingham Palace at midday on 9th April 2021. Prince Philip and the Queen had been married for seventy-three years since their wedding at Westminster Abbey in 1947. He was the longest-serving consort to a monarch in the history of the United Kingdom.
The Oxford Cambridge Boat Race – Normally Held In London
One of London’s best-known events is the annual Boat Race, a contest between crews from Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Clubs held every spring on the River Thames. The two teams go head to head over a 4.2 mile (6.8 kilometre) course that stretches between Putney and Mortlake.
7 British Monarchs Who May Have Been Gay
For centuries men lived in one sphere and women in another and they would come together for marriage and having children. It seemed that the sexes co-existed mainly to continue the human race. Love and sex can be very different factors but, when put together, they can produce the most electric sensation. This was no different for kings and queens who were close to their favourites. Many kings – and one queen – may have been gay, members of what we now call the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi- and transexual) community.
Because I’m A Londoner: From Doctor To Blue Badge Tourist Guide
This is part of a series of articles written by London Blue Badge Tourist Guides who used to be key workers in our capital city. Barry Walsh qualified as a London Blue Badge Tourist Guide in 2000 while working for Public Health England. He writes about his life as a guide and doctor.
A Year Of Live Broadcasts From Guide London’s Blue Badge Tourist Guides
Guide London’s Blue Badge Tourist Guides are used to talking to groups, families and individuals in the open air and at sites like Westminster Abbey and the Tower of London where they are qualified to conduct tours. However, they have had to adjust to the new reality of life during COVID-19 and many have demonstrated their knowledge and skills on the Internet.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Walks & Tours
Want some exercise but want to be entertained too? There is no better way to explore Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and discover its history than a walking tour with a London Blue Badge Tourist Guide. Hear about the history of the area, the regeneration and legacy work being carried out on the Park. Relive the memories of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and discover little-known stories and fascinating facts and figures.
The most emotionally powerful story I tell as a Blue Badge Tourist Guide is that of the Unknown Warrior – a single British soldier who through his anonymity came to represent hundreds of thousands of British soldiers killed during the First World War.Read more
At 11 a.m. on 11th November 1920, Britain marked the exact moment two years previously when the Armistice ended the fighting of the First World War. Standing on Whitehall, King George V stepped forward to unveil a new permanent Cenotaph and join the nation in two minutes of silent reflection. This moment started the tradition of the monarch leading the nation in remembrance from the Cenotaph, which is still with us 100 years later.Read more
Sometimes described as “a green and pleasant land”, it is not surprising that England boasts a host of world-class gardens that attract domestic and international visitors alike. Among the most influential of these, and under two hours from central London, is Sissinghurst Castle Garden in the ancient county of Kent. Sissinghurst gained notoriety due to the garden itself and its creators.Read more
On Tuesday the 4th August, I was watching the news when suddenly the announcement “breaking news” from Beirut appeared on the screen. A huge explosion had destroyed most of the harbour and districts around it. I was shocked and horrified. Nowadays we are constantly bombarded by terrible images. But this one stayed in my mind and it was rekindled by a Zoom meeting with a Beirut family. I was petrified by their description. No hospitals, no homes, no schools in a country already torn apart by previous wars, the current pandemic and a gigantic financial crisis. At that moment I thought I had to do something.Read more
St. Paul’s Cathedral is one of London’s most famous landmarks, its majestic dome visible from many parts of the capital. This architectural masterpiece – a symbol of London’s strength and resilience – and has been the site of many historic occasions, including royal weddings and state funerals. It is a working church and a place for quiet reflection, but there are also many wonderful things to see inside on a visit. Blue Badge Tourist guide Patricia Gentry shares just a few of her favourites below.Read more
October is Black History Month in Britain. It is a great opportunity for everyone to learn more about people, places and objects that help tell the story of the Black presence in Britain – those whose names are not well known, and events that included people from Africa and the Caribbean who can help to inform the narratives of British history.Read more
To put it mildly, attitudes towards witches and sorcerers in the Elizabethan period were confusing and often contradictory. While Bloody Mary (reigned 1553 – 1558) was vicious in her treatment of witches, Elizabeth I (1558 – 1603) had a more ambivalent relationship to this subject. After all her mother, Anne Boleyn had been accused of being a witch because of a malformation of her left hand, which appeared in the form of an extra finger. Elizabeth, as a strong female ruler, may not have been happy about hunting down the fair sex, therefore, and accusing those who might be innocent of any crime.Read more
One of Windsor’s best-kept secrets is Windsor & Eton Brewery. Tucked away behind the railway arches – just minutes from the coach park and cark park in a simple, modest building – is the warmest and friendliest of breweries, with welcoming staff and a young manager who really love what they do. Ildi Pelikan describes below how she witnessed a special event on a visit to the brewery earlier this month with fellow Blue Badge Tourist Guide Leila Sukiur.Read more
It is often said that if you can remember the ’60s, then you were not really there. Well, I can remember them and, in particular, the outlandish clothes we wore, like bell-bottoms and floral shirts – and this was just the men. Male fashion led the way then and was celebrated with songs like Dedicated Follower of Fashion, a big hit for the Kinks. Blue Badge Tourist Guides need to know their modern history as well as what happened centuries ago.Read more
Fifty years ago this month, we lost one of the greatest musicians of all time. Jimi Hendrix died in Notting Hill, on 18 September 1970.
Johnny Allen Hendrix was born on 27 November 1942 in Seattle. He became “Jimi” only later. He had a diverse lineage with African-American and Native American roots. His grandmother Nora was said to be one-quarter Cherokee. Early 20th-century photos reveal her fine features, which bear a striking resemblance to those of her grandson.Read more
A virtual tour is so much more than an on-screen stroll…
Professional tourist guides are using their imaginations to show so much more detail than when guiding on the street. What at first seemed an uphill mountain to climb…. creating tours for a small screen …. has developed into a quiet revolution – and a creative one.Read more
On the afternoon of 7th September 1940, 350 German bomber planes attacked London, devastating the docks area and killing over 400 people. The day became known as Black Saturday and marked the beginning of a bombing campaign – the Blitz – that terrorised the city for eight months. Around 20,000 Londoners were killed. Eighty years on from Black Saturday, Blue Badge Tourist Guide Ruth Polling explores how remnants of that period can still be seen in London today.Read more