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

Princess Diana In London

Lady Diana Spencer, who would have turned 59 this summer, made a huge impact on British life. She helped modernise the monarchy, and her death in 1997 shocked the institution to its core. Diana also made history in other ways: She was the first woman of English birth to marry the heir to the throne in 300 years, and the first royal bride to have had a job. Here we take a look around some of the sites in London with connections to the late princess.

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Sculpture representing Africa on exterior of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Whitehall, London. Photo Credit: © Angela Morgan.

London Blue Badge Tourist Guides Offering Virtual Tours During Open House London Weekend 2020

It’s got to be one of London’s best-loved events: from the arrival of the eagerly awaited annual catalogue and the feverish planning of visits, to that autumn weekend when the city flings open its doors to citizens and visitors. Yup, it’s Open House – time for Londoners to get up close and personal with buildings they normally can’t access.

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A digital collage created by portrait artist Nathan Wyburn of 200 NHS workers, created as a 'thank you' to the key workers during the 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic. Photo Credit: © Nathan Wyburn via Wikimedia Commons.

London Blue Badge Tourist Guides Plan Campaign To Thank NHS Staff

Over these past few months, many of us in the United Kingdom have been feeling particularly grateful for our National Health Service (NHS). The phrase national treasure has perhaps never seemed more appropriate. Founded in 1948, the NHS is a publicly funded and largely free system providing health-care to Britons from cradle to grave. It has touched all of our lives at some point – a cherished part of British life. Many will remember the celebratory tribute paid to the NHS and its incredible staff as a highlight of the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony.

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Pop up event in London for Hendrick's Gin. Photo Credit: © Ursula Petula Barzey.

The Gin Craze, and London’s Long History With “Madam Geneva”

London has been enjoying a Gin Renaissance in recent years, with over 20 new distillers appearing in the capital, and pubs and bars throughout the city declaring themselves Gin Palaces. You many even have enjoyed a tipple of the juniper-infused drink yourself in recent months. If so, you were probably imbibing a form of London Dry. 

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Covid-19 Guidance for Tour Guiding

In these uncertain times, people considering taking a guided tour in London and beyond may understandably have concerns about their health and safety. But with the UK’s professionally qualified and highly trained Blue Badge Tourist Guides, you will be in extremely capable hands.

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The Palm House and Parterre at the Royal Botanic Gardens of Kew in London. Photo Credit: © Daniel Case via Wikimedia Commons.

Visiting The Royal Botanic Gardens of Kew in London

The Royal Botanic Gardens of Kew make a wonderful day out away from the hustle and bustle of central London.
Learn 5 new things from Blue Badge Guide Patricia Gentry on:
* How the gardens evolved from hunting grounds to a private royal pleasure garden, and then into a public garden for all to appreciate
* Kew Gardens’ largest champion tree
* The ‘Loneliest Bachelor in the World’
* The smallest of all royal palaces in England
* How Kew Gardens became a clearinghouse for rubber seeds and saved the Amazon Rainforest

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Vivienne Westwood at King's College London in 2008. Photo Credit: © FormerBBC via Wikimedia Commons.

London: The Geography of Fashion & The Couturiers of the King’s Road in Chelsea

For many visitors to London, the King’s Road in Chelsea is synonymous with the delights of shopping. These days, it’s not unlike most other shopping streets, if a bit more upscale. However, from the 1960s to the 1980s, it really was THE place to shop in London. I’ll be looking at three important, but very different, designers from the last 60 years who started their careers in Chelsea and whose fashion influence is still felt today.

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History of Harrods Department Store in London

As a Blue Badge Tourist Guide, I have noticed that visitors are always very excited to be shown around Harrods department store in London. The very name conjures up images of luxury and quality. Due to its history, clientele, location and former royal patronage, it is the most well-known department store on the planet.

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The View from My Front Door. Photo Credit: © Steve Fallon.

The View from My Front Door: Open Sesame

It’s time. Slowly and with resolve, I close my bedroom window upstairs and walk down the steps into the hallway. It’s been a while. I open the front door. The world is at my feet. But like so many around me and around the world, I look to the left and to the right and I wonder: Is this what I want? In almost four months I’ve seen acts of human kindness positively overflowing, enough to fill that half-empty glass many times over.

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Spitfire in front of St George's Royal Air Force Chapel of Remembrance Biggin Hill. Photo Credit: © Ursula Petula Barzey.

Five Top Battle of Britain Sites to Visit in London

This summer marks 80 years since the Battle of Britain was fought in the skies over southern England. This was a fight for Britain’s survival against a Nazi Germany that had conquered much of western Europe in just a few short months. With the fall of France in June, Britain expected a German invasion, and one was indeed being planned under the codename Operation Sealion. However, for the invasion to be successful the Germans first needed to control the skies over Britain – they needed to destroy the Royal Air Force.

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English Sunday lunch with roast beef, roast potatoes, vegetables and Yorkshire pudding. Photo Credit: © Jeremy Keith via Wikimedia Commons.

Six Great English Dishes other than Fish and Chips!

If you fancy sampling some traditional English dishes the next time you’re able to visit London, try one or more of these staunch favourites!

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Exploring London through a virtual tour_Whitechapel Gallery. Photo Credit: © Pepe Martinez.

Exploring London By Taking A Virtual Tour With A Blue Badge Tourist Guide

Lockdown has been pretty devastating for London Blue Badge Tourist Guides, as you can imagine. However, rather than sitting at home polishing up our shining badges waiting for the clients who were never going to arrive, we decided to bring London to the world.

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