Liz Cooper

Liz Cooper

I’m a Londoner born and bred.  My first memories are of feeling the rush of air and the hiss of the rails as the tube (subway) train approached our local station.  I now live just  five miles away from where I was born - even though I have spent time living in other great cities (Istanbul for example) All Blue Badge Guides believe that London is just that little bit special.  Greater London may cover some 620 square miles (1,590 square kilometres) but it is built on a human scale around what were villages - and sometimes London can feel just that.  In a city with almost nine million inhabitants it’s still possible to ‘bump into’ people you know.  I was once introduced to someone who coincidentally knew three of my friends.  A women I chatted to at an arts event turned out to be the daughter in law of someone I knew from night school.  At my previous address, the neighbours were originally from Holland, Greece, Jamaica, Poland.  Before that  three writers lived in my street. All of this in one of London’s less remarkable neighbourhoods.  I've now moved East, to a place even Londoners haven't heard of (Highams Park) and have the forest for a neighbour. For a first time visit - you will probably want to see the unmissable sites - Westminster Abbey for centuries of royal intrigue. Coronations, burials, weddings (most recently that of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge - our future King and Queen).  Not far away is Buckingham Palace - official London residence of the Queen - where most days you can see the Horseguards clatter past.  When they’re not carrying out their ceremonial duties on horseback,  these soldiers serve as  members of a tank regiment.  The Tower of London is also a ‘must’ see - over almost 1,000 years it has served as a fortress, palace, prison, armoury, mint, - even a zoo.  Nowadays the Tower is a kind of Museum - but one lived in by Yeoman Warders(Beefeaters) and also the cheeky ravens who will steal your potato chips when you’re not looking.  The Tower is, of course,home to the Crown Jewels - which are still in use today for state ceremonial. The above are the ‘obvious’ places to see - along with Windsor Castle - a short train or car ride outside of London where Meghan and Harry married in the St George’s chapel and where the Queen still went horseback riding at the age of 93. There is so much more you can visit though - from ancient churches, to fascinating museums and art galleries.  I can even take you outside of London - to mysterious Stonehenge, elegant Bath, intellectual (and architecturally gorgeous) Oxford or literary Stratford upon Avon. Post pandemic we're all learning to 'think outside the box'  As central London emptied, the hugely diverse suburbs thrived.  Perhaps, on a return visit to London, you'd like to see some of these extraordinarily diverse communities. Whatever your interests - from the Pilgrim Fathers - belatedly celebrating their anniversary -  to family history, Methodist, Catholic or Presbyterian/nonconformist  connections - I can put together a programme that's both meaningful. I have even been known to tackle the subject of Brexit and the ‘Westminster Village’ for German school groups My interests lie in the arts world - I write when I’m not guiding and love all kinds of drama (just not so much in real life) I speak German and Turkish as well as English. Please feel free to contact me for a programme tailored to you and your interests

Languages

EnglishGermanTurkish

Guide Calendar Last Update: 10th of July, 2022

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    Blog Posts

    Top 10 Facts About The Houses Of Parliament

    The official title of the Houses of Parliament is the New Palace of Westminster. The name reminds us that the earliest Parliaments were consultations between the King and his closest followers, together with representatives of the Church, held at his London residence. The Houses of Parliament combine spectacular architecture with a fascinating history. Located next door to Westminster Abbey and inextricably linked to it by history the Houses of Parliament are an intriguing place to visit.

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