Trade and the British Empire

Trade and the British Empire

The foundations of empire At the dawn of World War I, Britain ruled over a quarter of the world’s land mass, comprising over four hundred million subjects belonging to an empire with, broadly, four types of British rule. Firstly, the five settler colonies or ‘Dominions’ of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Newfoundland. These [...]

A Mayfair pub walk

A Mayfair pub walk

Here is a pub-walk through one of London's most historical and well-heeled residential areas. Mayfair, named after its raucous annual fair, was purpose-built during the mid to late-1700's.   Many wealthy residents moved here from Soho - where they had lived after the devastating Great Fire of London of 1666. Sir Richard Grosvenor engaged Thomas Barlow [...]

Lincoln’s Inn Fields – training ground for the English Civil War

Lincoln’s Inn Fields – training ground for the English Civil War

Lincoln’s Inn Fields is named after the former recreation ground for lawyers learning and practising their profession at the adjacent Lincoln’s Inn - one of London's four Inns of Court still operating today. Originally, two separate fields, it was home to public executions before becoming a training ground for parliamentarian troops during the English Civil [...]

Twilight on the Thames

Twilight on the Thames

Tower Bridge, the City of London and the Tower of London greet nightfall after twilight in early March. All awaiting a return to normality.

Charles Dickens’ London home and museum

Charles Dickens’ London home and museum

Note: COVID-19. The museum is now open five days a week, Wednesday to Sunday throughout December 2020. Book ahead, walk ups will be accommodated subject to availability. At the age of 25, Charles Dickens rented (as was normal practice of the day) a large home in Doughty Street, London.  He did this, just as his [...]

Political landmarks in Westminster

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, [...]

Hidden alleyways in the City of London

Hidden alleyways in the City of London

In the heart of the City of London (the historic ‘square mile’) is a labyrinth of hidden alleyways connecting coffee houses, wine lodges, restaurants and churches.    If you’re visiting London, it’s a must-see. This short guide will direct you through the area.    You might lose your bearings, but it’s compact and completely safe. [...]

Essential Clapham – a pocket guide

Essential Clapham – a pocket guide

Essential London has published 'Essential Clapham' - a pocket guide to this popular area in south-west London.   It's a guide to the history of Clapham and the best cultural, historical and social (e.g. leisure venues, pubs and cafes) sights that you can see and visit today. Showcasing modern-day London-living through 100 pages and 90 original [...]

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 [...]

Regent’s Canal to London Docklands

Regent’s Canal to London Docklands

Regent’s Canal was London’s main thoroughfare for heavy freight from the 1820’s – used by horse-drawn barges taking goods from sea-faring vessels on the River Thames into mainland England.   It stretches 13.5 km from Little Venice in the west of London to Limehouse Basin in the east, today’s Docklands.   The canal drops around 30 metres [...]