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Battersea Power Station: © Photo Credit: Berit Watkin via Flickr.

Top 10 Facts About London’s Modern & Contemporary Architecture

Of all the European capitals, London is arguably the one with the greatest architectural variety, be it residential, commercial or public buildings. What adds to the impression of an incessantly ‘creative kaleidoscope’ is the juxtaposition of old and new, of a mediaeval church next to a 21st century glass building or a Roman ruin in the middle of a 1970s Brutalist development.

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Science Museum: Ford T Model 1916. Photo Credit: © Ursula Petula Barzey.

Places in London For Petrolheads To Explore

Which hobby is loved by 1 in 6 British adults and generated revenues of £5.5 million in 2016? No, not fishing or horse riding, but old cars, buses, vans and lorries. Yes, petrolheads, according to the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs, are doing their bit for the economy, and London is right at the forefront of the movement.

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The Manchester Tiara was made by Cartier, Paris, in 1903 to the order of Consuelo, Dowager Duchess of Manchester. Photo Credit: © Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

History of Mother’s Day & 3 Things To Do In London on Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is fast approaching – let our knowledgeable and entertaining Blue Badge Tourist Guide reveal the origins of the festival and introduce some beautiful ideas for treating her on Mother’s Day. Mothers’ Day is often confused with Mothering Sunday; an old Christian tradition when believers visited their “mother” church on the fourth Sunday in Lent. Domestic servants were given a day off to do this, usually with their mothers – often the only time a family could reunite all year.

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St Patrick's Day Festival - Trafalgar Square

St Patrick’s Day in London

March will see the feast days of two of the UK’s patron saints: St David of Wales on the 1st and St Patrick of Ireland on the 17th.  St David’s day will see a banquet in the evening at the Guildhall and attended by Mayor of London. St Patrick’s Day, on the other hand, will see a huge procession from Green Park to Trafalgar Square on Sunday the 19th starting at noon and an event in the square that will go on all day.

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National Portrait Gallery: Portrait of Diana, Princess of Wales by Bryan Organ, 1981. Photo Credit: © National Portrait Gallery, London.

10 Reasons to Visit The National Portrait Gallery, London

One of the most overlooked and yet fascinating galleries in London is the National Portrait Gallery. If you’re interested in British history or would like to check up on 20th century faces, the National Portrait Gallery is a great destination. Often overlooked, it sits behind the National Gallery but has a completely separate identity. The National Portrait Gallery holds around 200,000 portraits of people from diverse backgrounds who have all been chosen for their great achievements or aristocratic connections. See some of the most famous people of the last 500 years of British history.

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London Royal Parks: View of St James’s Park. Photo Credit: ©Ursula Petula Barzey.

Top 10 Things To See In London’s Royal Parks

London is blessed with numerous green parks and gardens, most importantly the eight main Royal Parks, from the central London Parks of Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, St James’s Park and Green Park to those further out such as Richmond Park, Bushy Park and Greenwich Park. These are often called “London’s Lungs” and are a green haven for Londoners and visitors alike.

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The National Gallery: Paul Delaroche, The Execution of Lady Jane Grey. Photo Credit: National Gallery, London.

10 Things That May Surprise You About Works of Art at The National Gallery, London

In 1824 the House of Commons agreed to pay £57,000 for the art collection of the wealthy banker John Julius Angerstein. His 38 pictures became the core of a new national collection. Great encouragement came from another collector, Sir George Beaumont, who donated 16 paintings to the new gallery and in 1838 the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square finally opened its doors.

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Palace of Westminster - Part view of ornate Victorian gothic architecture of the iconic Big Ben clock tower at the Houses of Parliament, designed by Sir Charles Barry and Augustus Pugin.

Top 10 Facts About The Houses Of Parliament

The official title of the Houses of Parliament is the New Palace of Westminster. The name reminds us that the earliest Parliaments were consultations between the King and his closest followers, together with representatives of the Church, held at his London residence. The Houses of Parliament combine spectacular architecture with a fascinating history. Located next door to Westminster Abbey and inextricably linked to it by history the Houses of Parliament are an intriguing place to visit.

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Victoria & Albert Museum: 'Tipu's Tiger', 1780s or 1790s, Mysore, India. Museum no 2545 (IS). Photo Credit: © Victoria & Albert Museum.

Top 10 Things To See At London’s Victoria & Albert Museum

With a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects, London’s Victoria & Albert Museum is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design. You would need many years – maybe a lifetime – to look through this unequalled treasure trove so what better solution than hiring a Blue Badge Tourist Guide to select and explain some of the exceptional artefacts on display.

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James Bond Car. Photo Credit: ©Nigel Rundstrom.

Top 10 Facts About James Bond

Ian Fleming created the character of 007 whilst living in London and his novels are filled with references to London. Subsequent filmmakers took Fleming’s character and have developed him into the super spy we know today, and along the way set many of their iconic filming locations in London.

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South Bank - A view of the iconic London Eye at night. Photo Credit: ©Ursula Petula Barzey.

10 Interesting Places To See When Visiting London’s South Bank And Bankside In Southwark

Southwark is a borough in South London that has much to offer visitors. The areas of the South Bank and Bankside are situated by the River Thames and have been a particular draw for many visitors. You can stroll along the banks of the Thames any time night or day to enjoy the scenic views, go to the theatres, art galleries, enjoy the street entertainment, seasonal fairs or dine al-fresco.

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Tate Modern: View from the banks of the Thames River with Millennium Bridge in forefront.

Top 10 Facts About Tate Modern

Tate Modern is the jewel in the crown of modern art galleries in London. It holds the nation’s collection of modern art from 1900 to the present day. With 5.7 million visitors it is in the top ten most visited museums and galleries in the world. The collection holds masterpieces of international and British modern art. From Picasso’s “The Three Dancers”, to Dali’s “Autumnal Canibbalism”, to Rothko’s “The Seagram Murals”, to Duschamp’s “Fountain”, to Parreno’s “Anywhen”, Tate Modern is a one stop shop for modern art lovers.

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