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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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Windsor Castle fire

25 Years Since Windsor Castle Fire

One question Blue Badge Tourist Guides always seem to be asked when they take groups to Windsor Castle is “where did the fire take place?” It took place twenty-five years ago this month on 20 November 1992 on the Queen and Prince Philip’s forty fifth wedding anniversary during what the Queen later referred to as her “annus horriblis”, when the marriages of three of her children came to an end and the oldest royal home was engulfed in flames.

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NFL International Series: Wembley Stadium in London. Photo Credit: © Paul Metcalfe.

National Football League (NFL) International Series In London

Here in London we feel very privileged to have hosted the National Football League (NFL) games now since 2007, known as the International Series. At first it was just one game each year. The Miami Dolphins hosted the New York Giants at Wembley Stadium on October 28, 2007. The Giants defeated the Dolphins 13–10 in the first regular season NFL game held outside North America. The first 40,000 tickets sold out for the game in the first 90 minutes of sales, and mainly to British and other Europeans.

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London St James's Street: Berry Brothers & Rudd. Photo Credit: © Edwin Lerner.

5 Posh Shops on St. James’s Street in London

Since 1661, St. James’s Street in London has been a go to destination for luxury retailing. Many of the posh shops on the street originally catered to the clientele from some of London’s best-known gentlemen’s clubs on the same street, including Brooks’s, the Carlton Club and White’s.  Now St. James’s Street in London is world famous and a go to place for top of the range products and services offered with traditional English flare. With that in mind, below are 5 of the posh shops on St. James’s Street in London.

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Tower of London: Chief Raven Master, Chris Skaife

Meeting The Raven Master at Tower of London

A group of Guide London Blue Badge Tourist Guides recently had the privilege of going “behind the scenes” at the Tower of London, on a warm, witty and informative tour hosted by Chief Raven Master, Chris Skaife. Below is an account of the tour.

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Bank of England: Polymer Notes

Britain’s Changing Money

The new £10 is the second plastic or polymer note issued by the Bank of England and features a portrait of Jane Austen. It follows the introduction of the first polymer note in September 2016, a fiver with a picture of Winston Churchill and an extract from his famous speech: ‘I have nothing to offer but blood, sweat, tears and toil.’ The new twenty-pound note, with a portrait of a young J. M. W. Turner and a version of his painting of the Fighting Temeraire in the background will be released in March 2020. As yet no decision on a polymer fifty-pound note has been made and who would feature on it.

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Tower of London: Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red Poppies. Photo Credit: © Ursula Petula Barzey.

Tracing The Tower Of London Poppies

Who can forget the wonderful site of the 888,246 handmade ceramic poppies by the artist Paul Cummins filling the moat of the Tower of London and cascading down the walls and over the drawbridge area three years ago? Created to represent every British fatality during WWI and to remember the 100 years since the outbreak of war ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’, grew daily, aided in a small way by many Blue Badge Tourist Guides who helped to plant some of them.

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