London’s 5 most historic five-star hotels

London’s 5 most historic five-star hotels

Here are London’s 5 most historic five-star hotels, in date-of-opening order. If your budget doesn’t stretch to an overnight stay, settle for a coffee in the public lounge! London’s first hotel built in 1837 with numerous historical associations - not least being the location for the first successful telephone call in London by Alexander Graham [...]

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. [...]

The must-see exhibits at the British Museum (part 2)

The must-see exhibits at the British Museum (part 2)

Welcome to part two of the ‘Must-see exhibits at the British Museum'!    Part one, published recently, explored the ground floor galleries.    Part two starts in Room 61 and will work clockwise around the entire first floor. Room 61 Here we find artefacts from the tomb of a senior (and very successful!) ‘financial book-keeper’ [...]

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.   The canal 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 [...]

Private chapel of Her Majesty the Queen

Private chapel of Her Majesty the Queen

Established in 1510, Savoy Chapel is the private chapel of Her Majesty the Queen, as the Duke of Lancaster. Its name derives from Savoy Palace, previously on this site and the residence of Peter of Savoy - the uncle of Eleanor of Provence, wife to King Henry III. Originally dedicated to St John the Baptist, [...]

The world’s first long distance railway

The world’s first long distance railway

Euston Station in London is the terminus of the world’s first long distance inter-city railway. Completed in 1837, the station was the most southern point of the London and Birmingham Railway line. The line was the brainchild of railway pioneers George and Robert Stephenson and the station was designed by the renowned Philip Hardwick. The [...]

Cast Court, V&A Museum

Cast Court, V&A Museum

Fascinating to visit the refurbished Cast Court at the Victoria & Albert Museum in Kensington. Reopened in 2019 after six years of renovation, but then interrupted by Covid, the Cast Court has displayed plaster copies of renowned sculpture since the 1880s. Owing to being indoors, Trajan’s Column is better preserved than the original in Rome [...]

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 [...]

The shopfronts of Brick Lane, Spitalfields

The shopfronts of Brick Lane, Spitalfields

Brick Lane, in London's East End, is an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, market stalls and street art installations. Here are a few shots taken in late 2021. (Nearest tube station: Aldgate East).

London’s best districts – Clapham (part 2)

London’s best districts – Clapham (part 2)

Part 2: Monuments, places of worship, Clapham at war - and essential pubs and cafes! Monuments, statues and markers Boundary markers, dotted throughout Clapham, are parish boundary markers delineating Clapham from Wandsworth and Battersea. The history of Clapham’s local government is beyond the scope of this short book, but here are the basics from the [...]