Battle of Britain Bunker

Battle of Britain Bunker

By the summer of 1940, Hitler’s ‘Operation Sea Lion’ was in full swing. Hitler needed air superiority over the English Channel. This meant destroying RAF airfields in the south of England and the sources of aircraft production throughout the country. The enemy attacks started on 10 July 1940 and continued every day throughout summer – [...]

Bermondsey to Rotherhithe

Bermondsey to Rotherhithe

Bermondsey is a thriving business and social area on the south side of the River Thames.  It found prominence as the location of Bermondsey Abbey in the middle ages.   The abbey was dissolved during Tudor times and the area developed into the centre of London's leather processing industry.   Many of the street names bear witness to [...]

The Spirit of Soho – how it evolved, what to see and where to go

The Spirit of Soho – how it evolved, what to see and where to go

Soho is a well-known district of the City of Westminster in London.   This article describes how Soho evolved into the epicentre of London’s entertainment scene. Soho is thought to take its name from the hunting cries used when it was a royal hunting park belonging to King Henry VIII, who hunted here with members of [...]

A self-guided walk in Spitalfields, London

A self-guided walk in Spitalfields, London

Spitalfields is an historic area to the east of the City of London.   Since the 1660's, it has been the traditional first stop for immigrants arriving in London - and has suffered its share of poverty and destitution.   Today, however, the area is a melting pot of the creative industries, street art and bohemian residents.  [...]

Normandy’s D-Day beaches, Bayeux and Caen

Normandy’s D-Day beaches, Bayeux and Caen

Before the lockdown, my brother and I took a trip to Normandy (ahead of the 75th anniversary commerations of VE day on 8th May 2020).  We visited the D-day landing beaches, museums and memorials.  We also visited the Bayeux Tapestry (depicting the Norman invasion of England in 1066) and the burial tomb of King William [...]

Handel and Hendrix in London

Handel and Hendrix in London

In Brook Street, Mayfair there is an extraordinary couple of houses - turned into a museum.   Numbers 23 and 25 were homes to two musicians 200 years apart; Jimi Hendrix in London and the house of George Frideric Handel! Handel House G F Handel was born in Germany in 1685.   He moved to London age [...]

The Churchill War Rooms

The Churchill War Rooms

Among the most popular and famous of sights in London are the Churchill War Rooms. Commissioned in the nick of time in August 1939 the War Rooms were the venue for 115 meetings of the War Cabinet during the 'Blitz' of London in 1939/40.  Then used again during the V-1/V-2 'flying bomb' attacks in 1945.  When [...]

New York City at Christmas

New York City at Christmas

Brits going the other way for this post!   Here are six walks (with various visits and meals along the way) highlighting some of the must-see sights of New York City at Christmas. One: Central Park (Uptown) Two: the Historic Metropolis  (Downtown) Three: World Trade Center Memorial (Downtown) Four: Little Italy and Chinatown (Midtown) Five: 42nd [...]

American art and literature in Tite Street, Chelsea

American art and literature in Tite Street, Chelsea

The district of Chelsea in the south west of London is part of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (royal owing to Kensington Palace). One particular street in Chelsea was almost an American enclave for artists and writers in the late Victorian period .   These included John Singer Sargent (between 1885 and 1925), James [...]

The home of the first American Ambassador to Great Britain

The home of the first American Ambassador to Great Britain

In the north east corner of Grosvenor Square is a little-known and unique piece of American history.   Here is the home of the 1st American Minister to Great Britain!   You may not immediately know who that was?   He was later to become the 2nd President of the United States.   It is John Adams.   He fulfilled [...]