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London Street Art: Otto Schade Artist - Elephutterfly. Photo Credit: © Alex Lacey.

Top 10 Facts About Street Art In London

There’s a revolution happening in London. But it’s not a political one, or even a social one. Far away from the headline-dominating machinations of governmental Westminster and the bright lights of the glitzy west end theatres, an artistic revolution has been gathering pace in the East End of the city. Into this atmospheric, edgy neighbourhood come the artists, often incognito, to adorn the walls with their creative, talented, sometimes controversial works.

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The Mayflower Pub. Photo Credit: © Ursula Petula Barzey.

15 London Sites for American History Buffs to Visit

They may have to travel across an ocean to get here, but for Americans in London, home is never that far away. Britain and the United States have a long shared history, and there are many sites in London associated with America. They reflect the close political, cultural and military ties between the two countries. The term “special relationship,” often used to refer to the Anglo-American friendship, was first coined by Britain’s wartime Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, whose mother was American.

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Queen's Hotel in Norwood area of London: Blue Plaque for Emile Zola.

French Novelist Émile Zola Exiled in London

London, has (or had) a reputation for housing members of the international awkward squad. One exile was the French writer Émile Zola who arrived at Victoria Station on 19 July 1898 without any luggage or knowledge of the English language. He spent his first night at the Grosvenor Hotel and later moved to the more modest Queen’s Hotel in Norwood.

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Buckingham Palace: 2017 Summer Opening of the State Rooms Royal Gifts Exhibition: A beaded Yoruba throne presented to The Queen by the people of Nigeria in 1956. Photo Credit: Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017.

Royal Gifts At The Summer Opening Of Buckingham Palace

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is the most travelled sovereign in British history, undertaking more than 250 overseas visits during her 65-year reign. During 2016 alone, The Queen carried out over 300 official engagements the length and breadth of the United Kingdom. An important part of these occasions is the receiving or exchanging of gifts, the subject of the an exhibition at this year’s Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace.

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Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. Photo Credit: ©Themis Halvantzi-Stringer.

10 Locations For Discovering William Shakespeare’s London

William Shakespeare. Revered throughout the world as one of the greatest playwrights, Shakespeare wrote some of the best known and best loved words in the English language. Over 400 years on, these words still have the power to question, console, illuminate and inspire us today.

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Tower Bridge - River Thames And HMS Belfast. Photo Credit: ©Visit London Images.

9 Major Sites Along London’s River Thames

At 215 miles long and neatly dividing London between North and South, the River Thames is the silvery thread that provides continuity for a City that is always changing. The sinuous loops and eccentrically named reaches provide the focus for some of London’s greatest sights.

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St Paul's Cathedral - As viewed on a spring day.

Top 10 Tips For An Insider’s Tour Of St Paul’s Cathedral

St Paul’s Cathedral is one of London’s most instantly recognisable landmarks. The unmistakable Dome and the beautiful west towers dominate the skyline of the City. Designed by one of our greatest architects, Sir Christopher Wren, and completed in 1711, St Paul’s is London’s cathedral and embodies the spiritual life of British people.

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Brixton Village Market. Photo Credit: ©Ursula Petula Barzey.

Top 10 Things To See In London’s Multicultural Brixton

Brixton is one of London’s most diverse and exciting neighbourhoods. It is bit of a hidden gem tucked away south of the river Thames and less than 3 miles from Westminster and the Houses of Parliament. Known for its Caribbean heritage and referred to as London’s Harlem by the US actor Will Smith, immigration has been a theme in Brixton’s history that defines its character as well as its cultural diversity.

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British Museum: The Rosetta Stone Front. Photo Credit: © British Museum, London.

The Rosetta Stone at London’s British Museum – Uncovering the Secrets of Ancient Egypt

One of the most popular items in the British Museum in London is the Rosetta Stone. It is rather unremarkable. It is the height of a child, cracked at the edges, lacking colour, and with inscriptions on only one side. There is little beauty in it, and the inscriptions are boring decrees – yet it is maybe one of the most famous stones in the world. For over 20 years it became the focus of a race to crack a code of strange pictures and shapes and in doing so uncover the life of Ancient Egypt.

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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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