Six Towers Inside the Tower of London
The Tower of London, the capital’s most popular tourist attraction has been a palace, fortress, prison, mint, armoury, jewel house and home to both Beefeaters and ravens. When it was built in the 11th century by Norman invaders from France, the Tower of London resembled little more than a wooden shed on a hill surrounded by a garden fence. But over the following centuries, the castle grew and grew, so that the complex that we call the Tower of London is in fact made up of 21 different towers. Here are some fascinating stories behind a few of them.
New NHS Nightingale Hospitals
At no time in recent history have we appreciated the NHS and medical staff more than in our current crisis. Doctors, nurses and public health specialists are working flat out to save our nation. Not alone in their endeavours; we are seeing the army and teams of construction workers build new hospital facilities out of conference centres in London, Manchester and Birmingham. These new hospitals are being called Nightingale Hospitals. So, what’s behind the name?
Statement on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
London’s Blue Badge Tourist Guides, members of Guide London/Association of Professional Tourist Guides are acting in the best interests of visitors and locals alike by restricting our work in line with the latest advice from Public Health England. Furthermore, most tourist attractions, including museums and galleries and many pubs and restaurants, are closed. This is because the UK government has advised against all inessential travel as they work to contain COVID-19 and minimise community spread.
Composed Upon Westminster Bridge – London’s Most Famous Poem
Blue Badge Tourist Guides in London need to have a working knowledge of some of the famous writers and poets associated with the city: William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, William Blake, and Ben Jonson, all of whom made London their homes for at least part of their lives.
Centenary of the Imperial War Museum in London
The year 2020 marks the centenary of London’s Imperial War Museum, a site exploring the history of conflict from the First World War through the present day. Located south of the River Thames at Lambeth, the museum’s compelling exhibits help us appreciate what life was like during wartime, both for the military and for civilians.
Where To Stay In London – An Insider’s Guide To London Neighbourhoods
Landing the accommodation just right for you is integral to your London experience, and there’s no shortage of choice. But just because London is a city that never sleeps doesn’t mean it doesn’t go to bed: rooms in sought-after hotels can be booked solid. There are some fantastic hotels around – whatever the price tag – but and always book plan ahead.
Touring London is a great way to top up your step count and burn off calories. So why not reward yourself for all that hard work? Blue Badge Tourist Guides know where to go for the tastiest treats, and nothing beats ice cream on a warm day. In no particular order, here are some of the best ice cream shops in the capital, tried and tested by this Blue Badge Tourist Guide (well someone had to do it).Read more
This year marks 500 years since the death of the Italian Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci in May 1519. Although he was born in the heart of Tuscany in Italy, Leonardo had a profound influence on art the world over. You can see evidence of this right here in London. Leonardo’s image features in mosaics decorating the National Gallery and the Victoria & Albert Museum. We are also lucky to have several works in London by the great master. These display not only his creative genius but also his intellect and huge appetite for knowledge.Read more
London’s Blue Badge Tourist Guides often take their groups around the city’s art galleries and are trained to be familiar with the works of major painters. One of these is Vincent van Gogh. Many of us know a few famous facts about the Dutch post-Impressionist — he only sold one painting during his life; he cut off his ear and later committed suicide. Brilliant artist, unstable person is the general view of Vincent van Gogh.Read more
“The Season” always fascinates visitors to England. An endless whirl of summer events where it’s just as important who to be seen with as to actually have fun. We asked Sophie Campbell, Blue Badge Tourist Guide and author of The Season: A Summer Whirl Through the English Social Season to give us her unique perspective on this most English of traditions.Read more
All around the world, fans of the award-winning HBO series Game of Thrones eagerly await the eighth and final season airing later this month. Season seven left everyone on the edge of their seats, with the fate of Westeros hanging in the balance and many questions left unanswered. Will Cersei get her comeuppance? Who will triumph in the ultimate showdown between the living and the Night King, his deathly hoard of wights in tow? And, err, what happens when loved-up Jon Snow and Daenerys the Dragon Queen find out that she’s actually his aunt?Read more
The London Marathon starts and finishes in two of London’s most beautiful areas. The starting point is a wide-open expanse of grassland lined by historic houses and cottages on the edge of the pretty village of Blackheath itself. The London marathon route then winds its way past some of our most recognised historic sites, and some of its newer attractions, before finishing near to Buckingham Palace on The Mall.Read more
When visitors come to London’s National Gallery it is an overload to the senses. There are so many styles, so many characters, so many stories. There is too much to take in! Well, let me tell you where you might start…. As the famous song says… ‘Start at the very beginning…!’ When entering via the modern Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery you are introduced to some of the earliest paintings.Read more
Blue Badge Tourist Guides in London are expected to know their history and knowledge of the major sites associated with popular singers is now also a part of our job. For example, sites connected with the iconic singer David Bowie in London have joined the famous pedestrian crossing used by the Beatles in Abbey Road as places to visit.Read more
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.Read more
This year in 2019, we are enthralled with two stunning films about three Queens who ruled England and Scotland between the 16th and 18th Centuries: the Scottish Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth I in ‘Mary Queen of Scots’ and Queen Anne in ’The Favourite.’Read more
You don’t have to wait for Valentine’s Day to plan a romantic day or vacation in London. You also don’t need to limit yourself to traditional romantic gestures such as cards, flowers, chocolates and candlelight dinners while in London. You can create a more memorial experience by exploring and experiencing the best that London has to offer with your significant other. With this in mind, below are 5 suggestions of romantic things to do in London.Read more
London Blue Badge Tourist Guides often talk about the construction of new buildings when they conduct their tours. However, this is often preceded by destruction, the most common cause being fire. They start as small acts of carelessness and end up altering the London skyline. Below are three famous fires in our history stand out.Read more