How many London landmarks and tourist attractions can you name that start with the Letter Z? Blue Badge Tourist Guide William Harry Mitchell completes our Guide London A-Z video series and provides insights on the historical events, famous and not-so-famous landmarks in London starting with the Letter Z.
London landmarks and tourist attractions that begin with the Letter Z
Hello and welcome to Guide London’s last instalment in the A to Z of London attractions, a look at some of the sites that begin with the letter Z. I am Blue Badge Driver Guide William Harry Mitchell, come join me for the next few minutes.
ZSL London Zoo
Z is for ZSL London Zoo. London Zoo is located in the north of Regents Park, the focus of the huge development of this part of town that was partly masterminded by King George IV back when he was the Prince Regent. The grand park contains wonderful water features, a stunning rose garden and an open-air theatre. However, the crowning glory of Regent’s Park is the zoo itself.
Opening in 1828 it is the world’s oldest scientific zoo. In the 1830s the animals from the royal menagerie were transferred here from the Tower of London to join the other animals as part of the zoo. The menagerie is still celebrated at the Tower in the form of wire sculptures throughout that site.
Highlights at the zoo today include the charming Penguin Beach and the Reptile House where a young Harry Potter first realised he could talk to snakes. And who could forget the heartbreaking moment at the end of Withnail and I where the film’s title character recites the soliloquy from Hamlet, alone in the rain, to a prowling wolf on the other side of the bars.
Grant Museum of Zoology
Z is also for the Grant Museum of Zoology. Opened in 1828 the same year as London Zoo it was established as a teaching collection for University College London. Among the highlights of its collection is the skeleton of a Quagga, a now-extinct subspecies of zebra that had a stripy head white belly and legs and a brown bottom.
Z is also for the Ziggurat building – and you thought we were only going to be able to come up with zoo related sites. Located in the cool Clerkenwell area of the city this art deco masterpiece is now an apartment block was originally built in the 1930s and until the 1980s served as the print works for many of the city’s newspapers.
Z is also for Ziggy Stardust the musical alter ego used for a time by the late David Bowie. Bowie was born in Brixton, now a vibrant neighbourhood in the south of the city. There is a mural near to the exit of the tube station in Brixton designed by the superstar street artist Jimmy C that as soon as it was unveiled became a focus for our outpouring of grief at the death of David Bowie. Rest in peace Starman.
Z is also for Zaha Hadid. Another genius no longer with us is the great architect Zaha Hadid who designed the Aquatic Centre for the London 2012 Olympics. Still in use today, this grand building now serves as a centre for the local community and for guests to swim in for fun or competition. All of the new arenas for the 2012 Olympics were built with sustainability and reuse in mind, with many taken apart and reused elsewhere this is one of the few still here in the Olympic Park still being used for its original purpose.
I am William Harry Mitchell, check out my profile on guidelondon.org.uk, and those were just some of the London Landmarks, well actually those were probably all the landmarks that begin with the Letter Z. Over the last 26 weeks using the letters of the alphabet, we have shown you many of the most popular sites and locations in and around London. Did you have a particular favourite? Do let us know in the comments.
We hope the A to Z of London has inspired you to visit this amazing city. And when you do visit, make sure you check out the Guide London website and choose one of our 600 London Blue Badge Tourist Guides to give you a London experience to remember.
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