London’s last great ducal residence

Syon House, near Brentford, is home of the Percys, Dukes of Northumberland.   It sits in a 200 acre estate on the River Thames in Middlesex. The house we see today was built by Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset in 1547, refurbished and enhanced by the Scottish architect Robert Adam in the 1760's and refaced in [...]

The ghosts of Tower Hill

Tower Hill is an open area of raised land just north of the Tower of London.   During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries it was the execution site for those incarcerated in the Tower in London.  It's believed around 125 people were executed, mostly by beheading.   At this time, only a few people (with Royal or [...]

Political landmarks in Westminster

The Parliament of the United Kingdom is renowned world-wide as being the 'mother of all parliaments'  This post is a self-guided walk through the heart of political Westminster. The walk starts in Smith Square, Westminster, home to party HQ's, lobbyists and political associations and ends in Trafalgar Square.  It will take you around three hours, [...]

The site of the world’s first national postal service

This post describes a group of buildings near 'Cheapside' in the City of London; an area well-known as being associated with medieval London.   The area is also the site of the world's first national postal service that was established in the early part of the eighteenth century. The Royal Mail was originally established in Tudor [...]

Historic Kennington pub walk

  The district of Kennington is south of the River Thames in the borough of Lambeth.    It is Historic Kennington owing to its royal connections reaching back to Saxon and medieval times (its name means the 'Kings Town’). Kennington was the location of the palace of the Black Prince, eldest son of King Edward [...]

Highlights from the V&A Museum, British Galleries

The Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum in London is a triumph of Royal patronage, government foresight and public sponsorship spanning back to it’s inception after the Great Exhibition of 1851.  We recommend the V&A for its scale, privacy (in many galleries), great restaurants and the exhibits! The Great Exhibition (in London’s Hyde Park) was such [...]

The history of the British Army at the National Army Museum

The National Army Museum in Chelsea exhibits artefacts about the history of the British Army, its impact on society and key conflicts from the British Civil War to the modern day. There are five galleries spread over four floors.  These are; Soldier, Army, Society, Battle and Insights.   The Soldier gallery asks us if we could join the [...]

Hampton Court Palace – home of England’s most famous king

Hampton Court Palace was the home of England's most famous king from 1529 until his death in 1547.   With sixty acres of gardens and 750 acres of parkland, it was King Henry VIII's weekend and summer retreat from London.    Successive monarchs also saw the appeal and the palace was occupied by monarch's of the Stuart [...]

The Royal Hospital Chelsea – historical buildings and the finest gardens

The Royal Hospital Chelsea is a retirement home to around 300 veterans of the British Army.    Located on a large site in Chelsea, it offers fabulous walks in the gardens, beautiful art and architecture and an intimate view into the retired lives of the service men and women who live there.    These former [...]

London commemorates the Centenary of the Armistice

This year, Britain’s Remembrance Sunday coincides with the Centenary of the Armistice, marking the end of World War I.    Events will take place throughout the country on Sunday 11th November.    In London, commemorations will concentrate on Whitehall and at the Cenotaph monument.  As is traditional we will remember the fallen in all conflicts. [...]