10 Facts About The Elizabeth Line Running Across London
The idea for a line joining the eastern and western suburbs of London was first mooted in 1941 during the Second World War but it took over eighty years before this dream was realised. The Elizabeth Line, as it has become known, was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II who officially opened the line on 17 May 2022 at Paddington Station; passenger services started on 24 May 2022. Her Majesty was presented with an Oyster Card with £5 on it. Although she was shown how to use the card, she did not do so and left the station in a lift. The Queen spent time at the opening talking to Transport For London staff.
Lifeboats In London: The Work Of The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) On The River Thames
While most visitors to London might not associate the capital with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), the River Thames will be seen on virtually every tour of London and is often considered the backbone of the capital. Four of the RNLI’s 238 lifeboat stations are on the Thames, and their busiest is RNLI Tower Lifeboat Station by Waterloo Bridge. The others are at Chiswick and Teddington in Greater London and Gravesend in Kent.
Austrian Composer Joseph Haydn In London
One of the greatest composers in the history of music, Joseph Haydn, lived in London for four years during the 1790s, just as the Napoleonic conflict was beginning to convulse Europe. The King of England George III himself had mused on bringing the Viennese composer here, and several music-loving earls had sent invitations, all of which had gone unanswered.
Trooping the Colour – A Royal Birthday Parade
Many of us would love to have a birthday parade with marching bands, and soldiers perfectly turned out displaying their marching skills. Trooping the Colour marks Her Majesty The Queen’s official birthday. As the late Duke of Edinburgh stated, ‘it is not a “theatrical” production, (sic) it is a deadly serious demonstration of the basic infantry skills for which the British Guards are renowned across the world.’
10 Events During The English Summer Social Season
“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.
American Ambassadors In London – At Home And At Work
Visitors from the United States are often interested to see places associated with their own country in London. There are statues or busts of six American presidents in the capital * and one of them, a statue of George Washington, stands in the centre of London in Trafalgar Square. The area around Grosvenor Square in Mayfair is sometimes referred to as “Little America.”
John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) was the greatest portrait painter of his generation. Acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic, he was closely connected to many of the other leading artists, writers, actors and musicians of the time. His portraits of these friends and contemporaries, including Auguste Rodin, Claude Monet and Robert Louis Stevenson, were rarely commissioned and allowed him to create more intimate and experimental works than was possible in his formal portraiture.Read more
Guide London is the public/brand name for the Association of Professional Tourist Guides (APTG) and last December, about 125 of its 500 Blue Badge Tourist Guide members came to the University Women’s Club for the annual Christmas Party. We started with a cocktail reception, quaffing Cranberry Gin Fizzes and White Chocolate Martinis, chatting and catching up with everyone’s news. Then we enjoyed a turkey and salmon buffet meal, followed by Eton Mess and Fruit Salad.Read more
In commemorating of the centenary of the First World War, much of our attention has been focused on the soldiers that fought and died in foreign lands in what was described as a war to end all wars. Simon Rodway’s walking tour from Holborn to Liverpool Street on 11 November 2014 made us look at the events closer to home – the deadly menace that was the Zeppelin air ships that flew almost silently over the London sky in 1915 wreaking havoc on the unsuspecting Londoners below by launching the first of many incendiary bombs here in London and other parts of England. It was to be known as the Year of the Zeppelin. The catastrophe that befell London lasted 20 minutes but our walk would take a little longer.Read more
Although it is one of the more recent additions to the array of tourist attractions available in London, the London Eye has become one of the most prominent attractions in the city. The London Eye is a massive Ferris Wheel which is located on the South Bank, right on the River Thames. The London Eye is still something referred to as the Millennium Wheel and over the years it has had a number of different names due to the sponsor of the wheel at the time.Read more
There is no shortage of excitement and interesting places to visit while in London, but there is also a great deal of culture. If you are looking to expand your horizons or you are keen to find out more about the world that we live in, you will find that the top London museums will provide you with fascinating insight into the world around us.Read more
What a treat it was to inspect gas lamps around Westminster last November with Ian and Garry from British Gas, who love their lamps. They clean and polish them, feel pain when one gets smashed by a passing truck and complained to the Royal Parks who repainted lamps in St. James’s Park without gold paint. Lamps are listed by English Heritage so if one gets knocked down, it must be replaced with an exact copy. Below are some more interesting facts as shared by Ian & Garry while on this education and training tour for Blue Badge Tourist Guides.Read more
The fabulous Grade II-listed gin palace Crocker’s Folly in St John’s Wood has been beautifully restored as a restaurant and bar. The establishment has 50 kinds of marble, Romanesque columns, cut glass chandeliers and carved mahogany.Read more
A spectacular Stegosaurus skeleton was unveiled on 4 December at the Natural History Museum in London. It is the first complete dinosaur specimen to go on display at the Natural History Museum in nearly 100 years. The 150 million year old Stegosaurus stenops is the only Stegosaurus in a public collection outside the USA.Read more
This exhibition will bring together masterpieces produced during Rubens’ lifetime, as well as major works by great artists who were influenced by him in the generations that followed.Read more
2015 marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo and the defeat of Napoleon. In celebration of the allied victory, George IV created the Waterloo Chamber at Windsor Castle, a grand space filled with portraits of those instrumental in the victory, among them the Duke of Wellington.Read more
The Association of Professional Tourist Guides (APTG) member and Blue Badge Tourist Guide Amanda Bryett who runs Windsor Tourist Guides Ltd was a finalist at the Beautiful South Awards 2014 held at the Grand Hotel, Brighton in December and won a Bronze award for Outstanding Customer Service. As a finalist Amanda now goes forward to the national VisitEngland awards 2015.Read more
For all of the Blue Badge Tourist Guides who led tours around and in the London Olympic Park, one of the most frequently asked questions was ‘Who will be chosen to light the Olympic Flame? How will it work on the night?’ But of course, it was as much of a mystery to us, as to everyone else!Read more