I Want a Picture-Perfect White Christmas in London
In December our thoughts turn to Christmas. We think about our family, friends, Christmas cards, food (lots of it!) and presents – will Santa pass by this year? Also, just as important, the reason for Christmas: the birth of Jesus. But what we also think about is the weather – will it snow? This question set me thinking – why do we feel Christmas isn’t really Christmas if it doesn’t snow?
The Black Sailors of Georgian London
Inspired by the new exhibition “Black Greenwich Pensioners” at the Old Royal Naval College (which at the time of writing I have yet to visit), my mind recently turned to Britain’s Black seafaring past, particularly to the time Britain was most actively involved in the Transatlantic Slave Trade and the enslavement of Africans, a time which loosely coincides with what we refer to as the Georgian age (1714-1837).
Guiding Teenagers Around London
Blue Badge Tourist Guides conduct many different types of tours, from individual families to large groups, and each type requires different skills to be successful. Here, Olga Romana shares her experiences of guiding student groups.
I have worked with students my whole life!
Public Walking & Virtual Tours By London’s Blue Badge Tourist Guides
In addition to offering customized private tours, many London Blue Badge Tourist Guides also conduct regular walking tours and virtual tours for groups. Joining a group tour can be a fun and affordable way to take in the sights. For locals, a walk with a knowledgeable and passionate Blue Badge Tourist Guide can reveal fun facts and hidden gems you may not have been aware of.
Because I’m a Londoner: From Postman to Blue Badge Tourist Guide
This is part of a series of articles written by London Blue Badge Guides who used to be key workers in our capital city. First up is Neil Parker, who worked for 30 years as a postman before becoming a tourist guide.
I qualified as a London Blue Badge Guide in 2013 and now, as my mates from the post would say, ‘I’m paid to be me!’ At least I was until March 2020 when Covid-19 arrived. This got me thinking, what was life like for my mates in the post? So, after it reopened, I went to the pub to find out.
Introducing Millie the Blue Badger Cartoon
Hello Internet! I’m excited to introduce myself to you as one of the newly hatched Blue Badge Tourist Guides! While I’d already been guiding for a number of years, it was only in 2020 that I finally qualified as a Blue Badge Tourist Guide…
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.Read more
If you’ve got just two full days in London – what were you thinking? – and you want to tick off the big-ticket attractions, plan carefully and follow the sage advice of a London Blue Badge Tourist Guide. Better yet, hire one and have them show you what you would never see on your own on a tour of Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London or even the not-so-simple-as-it-looks Changing of the Guard.Read more
The Tower of London is one of the most popular sites in our capital city, attracting more than 2.8 million visitors a year. One of the main draws is the Jewel House, located in the heart of the Tower grounds. It contains some of the most precious gems you’re ever likely to see: the royal ceremonial regalia known as the Crown Jewels.Read more
There are half a million people of Russian descent in London, three quarters from the form Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Amongst them are the actors Helen Mirren, David Suchet, and Peter Ustinov, writer Stephen Poliakoff, the former politician Nick Clegg and the recently deceased opera director and television personality Jonathan Miller.Read more
Westminster Abbey is definitely one of London’s must-see attractions. And you’re sure to discover new things every time you visit, especially if you go with a knowledgeable Blue Badge Tourist Guide. Among other things, the Abbey is the burial site of many of the most famous people in British history.Read more
Why is February 14th the most romantic day of the year? According to legend, Valentine was a Roman priest who defied Emperor Claudius. The emperor believed that single soldiers were more effective than married ones, but Valentine challenged the ban and continued to help young lovers, and he paid for his defiance with his life on this very day.Read more
Visitors to London often want to try Indian food, one of Britain’s most popular cuisines. The United Kingdom celebrates National Curry Week every October. Although curry is an Indian dish modified for British tastes, it is such a favourite with locals that it contributes more than £5 billion to the British economy. Hence it was hardly surprising when in 2001, Britain’s Foreign Secretary referred to chicken tikka as a true British national dish. Read on for some tips on the best places for Indian food in the capital, as well as some fascinating history and fun facts – including which restaurant shares a birthday with Her Majesty the Queen.Read more
Did you know that the word museum means a “Temple to the Muses”, all of whom were female? The British Museum in London is a museum of world history, but all too often that history has ignored half of the world. This is true even though women have wielded power in a variety of ways. In ancient Greece, Aristotle believed it was the natural order of things for women to be subordinate to men, that men were more virtuous, brave and intelligent. He also believed that men’s blood was hotter than women’s blood! Well, on both counts, he was wrong of course.Read more
Most Blue Badge Guides, when conducting a tour of London, will give priority to what people can see. Occasionally, however, they will mention a building that has been lost to fire, bombing or development. One such is the Crystal Palace, originally found in Hyde Park.Read more
There is no better time to visit the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park than spring or summer. The Park opened fully in April 2014 and has since welcomed millions of visitors. It covers 560 acres and people visiting can enjoy the beautiful parklands, idyllic riverside lawns, giant climbing walks and intricate fountains.Read more
Who doesn’t love a great view? And even better if there’s good food and/or classic cocktails to go with it. As you take a break from sightseeing for refreshment and relaxation, let your Blue Badge Tourist Guide help you seek out the most stunning vistas across London. With an ever-increasing number of steel and glass skyscrapers heading for the heavens in the financial district, the area known as the City of London is a great place to start.Read more
The wonderful Christmas lights in Central London are coming down, and red lanterns are beginning to appear around Soho and in particular Chinatown. This is part of the celebration for Chinese New Year which is also known as the Spring Festival. This year it falls on the 28th January, the first day of spring in the lunisolar calendar.Read more