London’s most fascinating district – Whitechapel

London’s most fascinating district – Whitechapel

Following the previous post on Spitalfields, we explore the neighbouring area of Whitechapel – starting with one of its most notorious characters. The Whitechapel Murders These murders, assumed to be the horrific deeds of ‘Jack the Ripper’ shocked London and the world.   The murders happened over three months in the autumn of 1888.   And today, [...]

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

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

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 [...]

The Virginia Quay Settlers Monument in London

The Virginia Quay Settlers Monument in London

The Virginia Quay Settlers Monument, on the north shore of the River Thames, marks the embarkation point of the first English settlers of North America.  This was where Captains Christopher Newport and John Smith set sail in December 1606 - some 14 years before the Mayflower set sail two miles further upstream.  There were three ships [...]

Charles Dickens’ London home – birthplace of his early novels

Charles Dickens’ London home – birthplace of his early novels

At the age of 25, Charles Dickens rented (as was normal practice of the day) a large home in Doughty Street, North London. He did this, just as his writing career (under the pseudonym of ‘Boz’) was taking off.  Dickens lived here happily with his wife, Catherine, and their three children. Charles and Catherine would [...]

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

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 [...]

The Churchill War Rooms

The Churchill War Rooms

Among the most popular and famous of sights in London are the Churchill War Rooms.  We visited recently to experience it again, along with the Churchill Museum. 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 [...]

The City of London Guildhall – the grandmother of all parliaments!

The City of London Guildhall – the grandmother of all parliaments!

That’s what Margaret Thatcher called the City of London Guildhall - in comparison to the United Kingdom's national parliament; itself often called the mother of all parliaments. Near Gresham Street in the City of London (the City), the Guildhall has been the centre of municipal government in the City since medieval times. In fact, it [...]

Enjoy gardens? Visit a seventeenth century secret garden in London

Enjoy gardens? Visit a seventeenth century secret garden in London

Stroll around a seventeenth apothecary’s garden, followed by afternoon tea at the café.  The Chelsea Physic Garden is a micro climate tucked away in Chelsea.  It is the oldest in England (after Oxford) and is open to the public (closed Nov-Jan).  If you’re near the King’s Road, take a cab for the 5 minute journey [...]

Mozart in London – see where he wrote his first symphony, age eight!

Mozart in London – see where he wrote his first symphony, age eight!

The European Tour A short walk from Victoria Railway Station is the smart, cosmopolitan Orange Square in Pimlico. This is the former neighbourhood of the eight year old Mozart in London.  In the square there is a small statue of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart commemorating this.  In 1764, this was an open area with sheep and donkeys [...]