London’s best preserved seventeenth century country house

Ham House was built on land owned by King James I in 1610.   The lease of the house transferred between several royal courtiers until it was granted to William Murray in 1626 - during the reign of King Charles I.   Murray was granted the freehold ten years later.   Murray, a Scotsman, was a close friend [...]

London’s second ‘City’ – Canary Wharf in Docklands

Canary Wharf is the name of the second financial district for London.   It is situated about three miles to the east of the ‘City of London’ in the former London Docklands.   The addition of Canary Wharf was to provide additional capacity for the ‘City’ – a top-ten world economy, if it were a country in [...]

England’s Lake District in the life and legacy of Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter was born on the 28th July 1866 in South Kensington, London.  She died, 77 years, later in the village of Sawrey in the Lake District, Cumbria.   At the time of her death, she had made a fortune writing books for children.  She left fourteen farms and 4000 acres of land to the National [...]

Red House – The Arts and Crafts home of William Morris

William Morris was an influential designer and one of the leaders of the Arts and Crafts movement - that started in Britain before becoming a world-wide phenomenon.  This is the house where the movement started!   'Arts and Crafts' rejected plain mass produced household furniture and fittings in favour of ambitious, creative and bespoke designs [...]

How to watch Changing the Guard in London

Every day of the week in London, there are two guard changing ceremonies that display the splendour of Britain’s constitutional monarchy against a backdrop of historic royal palaces. One guard changing is located at ‘Horse Guards’, off Whitehall, and the other takes place outside Buckingham Palace.  Both ceremonies happen at 11am, except on Sunday when [...]

Hidden treasures of the Cotswolds

This article gives a route to visit some of the hidden treasures of the Cotswolds, an 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty' of around 800 square miles in size and sixty miles to the north-west of London.  Once in the Cotswolds, the route will take you around five hours allowing for stops. Head up the M40 [...]

The site of London’s Roman Forum!

Discover the site of London's Roman Forum - and the secrets of the Victorian Leadenhall Market today!   Designed and created by Sir Horace Jones in 1881, Leadenhall Market is one of the three markets he built for the City of London.  It was built on the site of the Roman Basilica and Forum (some ruins [...]

Kensington Palace – a history of Prince Harry and Meghan’s home

We're not going to let the major Royal event of 2018 go without a mention!  Referring of course to the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on the 19 May at St Georges Chapel, Windsor Castle.  Once married, the couple will live together in the second largest apartment of Kensington Palace - moving out [...]

Covent Garden – London’s first residential square, a short history

Covent Garden is home to the world renowned Royal Opera House, the Royal Ballet and the London Transport museum – as well as some of the best shopping, food & drink and street entertainment in London! However, have you ever wondered how it started? This post is about the foundation of Covent Garden and, in [...]

The British Library – historical treasures and a quiet place to work in London!

The British Library re-located to new premises near St Pancras Station, Euston Road in 1997. The building is an expansive state of the art premises utilising hi-tech book storage and retrieval systems. It also offers free seating and Wi-Fi for around 300 people - many are students, but you’ll be very welcome. No special pass [...]