London

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  • Free Things To Do

    Be Inspired at the Imperial War Museum London

    A short walk from Lambeth North tube station in the imposing and impressive Imperial War Museum, with huge military guns guarding the entrance. Originally homed in Crystal Palace from 1917, the idea was to record the civil and military war effort and sacrifice of the British Empire during World War I, before expanding to include all conflicts in which the British Commonwealth have been involved in since 1914. The museum moved to its current home in 1936, what used to be the Bethlem Royal Hospital in Southwark (also known as Bedlam, an infamous psychiatric hospital). Tribute and Sacrifice With the sheer number of young men that sacrificed their lives during…

  • Events

    Making the Most of Winter Wonderland

    The festive season has officially arrived in London, with the grand opening of Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. Winter Wonderland is located in the heart of London,  one of the capital’s 8 Royal Parks. Open daily from 10 am to 10 pm, with the exception of Christmas Day until the 6th of January, Winter Wonderland is now in its 10th year and gets bigger and bigger every year. It is free to enter the park, and there are many different experiences available (at a cost) The Magical Ice Kingdom The Magical Ice Kingdom is incredible snow and ice sculpture experience, with this year’s theme of a forest landscape. Woodland creatures sculpted from over…

  • Events,  London

    London’s Top 5 Most Spectacular Fireworks Displays

    London celebrates Guy Fawkes Night every year on the 5th November. This is the day that Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament in a terrorist attack but was foiled. On the weekend closest to the 5th, all over London, there are a number of free or ticketed events to catch a glimpse of some amazing firework displays. North London: Alexandra Palace One of the most famous and iconic firework displays in London, Alexandra Palace in North London also hosts a German Beer Festival and ice rink. There is a nearby train station and then a 15-minute walk or you can get the underground to Wood Green…

  • Events,  London

    London Design Biennale

    A vibrant, ambitious and innovative exhibition by over 40 different countries, regions and territories are currently located in Somerset House, London. With the theme of Emotional States linking all these different pieces together, each has its perspective on emotion. Here are a few of my favourite pieces: Australia – Full Spectrum A rainbow coloured spectrum, with flexible and changing lights, it is said to represent the emotion of love. After Australia legalised same-sex marriage, the designer Flynn Talbot was inspired by the inclusivity of love and the openness of Australia with this piece. Integrating the colours of the LGBTQ+ flag, and the movement of the spectrum shows the progression and…

  • Events,  London

    Triple Review: Instagram tour of London with a social media expert

    I came across Triple.Co while browsing the internet on a typical morning commute (you know what it is like, Alice falling down the rabbit hole!). They offer a number of local run tours in numerous cities across Europe. They appealed to me as I love anything where locals can teach me about my own city and being a guide may be something I consider in the future. It’s sometimes hard to find something to do in your own town and end up doing the same things over and over, so I was looking for inspiration! London Heading over to the London section of the website to browse the various events…

  • Getting Around

    Things I Wish People Knew Before Visiting London

    London is my home city, and yes I may be incredibly biased, but there is nowhere else like it. There may be capital cities but none with the history, diversity, and culture of my own, and rightly so we have a plethora of visitors every year. But… (there had to be a but right!) But it frustrates me how everyone’s experience of London could be improved with just a few small changes and some heartfelt advice. This article isn’t meant to be a bitch fit rant at tourists, but a few tips from a local might make your trip a bit calmer! Please let people off the tube before boarding The whole…

  • Things To Do and See

    The Magnificent Seven – Brompton Cemetery

    A slightly morbid and macabre London destination compared to the local tourist attractions is Brompton Cemetery. Nestled in Kensington and Chelsea, the cemetery has been opened since 1840, making it one of the large seven ancient private cemeteries in London. Brompton Cemetery During one of the population booms in London, local parish churches who would customarily bury the public couldn’t cope with the increased demands and were becoming increasingly overcrowded. An unexpected Parisian inspiration led to the consecration of the first London public cemeteries as an alternative to local churches. One of Seven One of the youngest of the seven, boasting 39 acres and over 205,000 burials at over 35,000 graves.…

  • Events

    London Pride

    The weekend, central London hosted the annual Pride Parade, with the LGBT and the extended community painting the town a rainbow with a colourful and vibrant parade of over 500 different groups celebrating across the iconic backdrop of London. The UK’s most significant and diverse Pride Parade, London has hosted a festival since 1972. The first event was held on the nearest Saturday in July to the Stonewall Riots in 1969 in New York. This incident caused a movement. Within a few years of Stonewall, there were Gay rights groups and events in the US and the UK. In 1988, with the update Clause 28 of the Local Government Act,…

  • Free Things To Do

    Harry Potter Studio Tour

    I started reading the Harry Potter series in 2001 when the first four books were published. I read them so greedily, pouring myself into the pages and escaping into another world. I was captivated and truly enchanted. I never went as far as queuing up at midnight for the next book or dressing up for the upcoming film (which is totes fine btw), but I was and still am a huge fan of the universe. So naturally, when Warner Bros at Pinewood opened the doors to how the magic was made on the big screen, I definitely wanted to visit and see for myself. The Making of Harry Potter is located…

  • Free Things To Do

    Tower Of London

    An impenetrable fortress on the north bank of the river Thames is the Tower of London. A long and multi-functional history since being built in 1066, the Tower has been a palace, a prison, an armoury, a royal mint, a treasury, a public records office and the home of the Crown Jewels. Most famously the Tower of London was a prison, with grisly rumours of torture. Some famous names during the medieval period were held and/or executed at the Tower, including Anne Boleyn (Henry VIII’s second wife), Guy Fawkes (gunpowder plot) and even Elizabeth I was imprisoned here.  A plague immortalises Guy Fawkes and his fellow plotters, both in remembrance and as…

  • Food and Drink

    The Great British BBQ

    Numerous countries around the world are famous for its barbeque traditions, and the UK is amongst them.  The UK has strong indigenous barbecue culture. Something of a Bank Holiday or lazy Saturday tradition is a barbecue. A quick glimpse of the sun, and its the optimistic rush to the garden shed for the grill. The Preparation British tradition is to invite pretty much everyone to a barbeque. Digging around in the shed, cupboards and loft for an assortment of chairs and blankets to accommodate everyone. Then the food. Brits over prepare for BBQs in the same way that they do for Christmas but buying the supermarket out of food! Head…

  • London by Locals

    Barbican, London

    A brutalist concrete jungle casts shadows over the City of London. An ambitious community project from the 1960s oozes with character and charm. Formerly a gateway to the London Wall, an original part of Roman Londonium. Incredibly part of the wall still survives as you walk around the complex. Population blossomed in the area during the 1850s, as did the ‘rag trade’ or textiles markets, especially at the Cripplegate end of the Barbican complex. Devasted during World War II, the area was rebuilt in the 1960s. The idea was to populate the city, to build a community in the heart of the tragedy of the devastation. Brilliantly ambitious to create…

  • London

    Best Songs About London

    With Manchester and Liverpool representing English pop music for decades, it is easy to forget that the Capital City has produced some fantastic artists and provided the inspiration for many incredible songs. Here is just a selection: ‘A Foggy Day (In London Town)’ – Ella Fitzgerald ‘London: the best place on Earth to be miserable’ surely resonates with the majority of commuters stuck on a crowded and delay train/tube/bus. Ms. Fitzgerald beautifully croons on this number which has been covered by many artists, about the infamous fog that would haunt the capital, but the sun is always shining. ‘American Boy’ – Estelle feat. Kanye West London born Estelle uses a…

  • London by Locals

    London’s Best Parks

    An unusual seasonal heatwave hits London over a bank holiday weekend; it is like hitting the jackpot! One of the chief joys of London is the numerous green spaces within the labyrinth of old cobbled streets and high rise buildings. Other major cities will have one large park but London has so many, and here are the big five to visit: Greenwich Park For most people who know me, Greenwich is probably my most favourite part of London. Greenwich means ‘green settlement’ in old Saxon, and this park is monumental in honouring the origins of the name. The oldest enclosed royal park in London, covering 180 acres, used to be an old hunting ground.…

  • Getting Around

    Going Underground

    Dramatically busy, feeling like a rock concert mosh pit, with shouts of ‘can you move further down please’ as you manoeuvre and contort like some standing game of Twister, generally a sweltering hot sweatbox with suspicious and potent odours. But we wouldn’t have it any other way. Still one of the most reliable and frequent underground services in the world, it helps connect London. The London Underground is the iconic transport network of the capital, but given the history and development of the tube, it can seem quite like an ancient labyrinth, near impossible to navigate! With 11 lines, 270 stations and 400km of track, it can be quite daunting…

  • Events

    London Marathon

    Electricity sparks in the air, the gentle excited laughter and soft pounding of trainers of thousands of runners heading to the start. Spectators trying to find a perfect vantage point, ensuring they make the most of the sun shining. Final preparations before the race begins. “Do, or do not. There is no ‘try'” (Yoda, Star Wars) The London Marathon was first established as an annual race since 1981. The question was to whether London would be able to host such a spirited and community festival. Looking back with the success of the race, it is amazing to think that this was even considered. Before this time there was the London…

  • Events

    Lumiere Light Festival London

    London hosted the Lumiere Light Festival for the second time this weekend, following a very successful launch in 2016. With over 50 installations around Westminster, King’s Cross, Southbank and the West End I was really looking to visiting again. Here are some of the highlights from the festival: The Light of The Spirit [Part 2] by Patrice Warrener at Westminster Abbey A colour image is projected onto the front of Westminster Abbey, as it the abbey itself was painted with colour and it changes colour throughout the evening. Walking up from Victoria Street and turning the corner to face this hypnotic and alluring sight. Child Hood by Collectif Coln at…

  • London by Locals

    Old Royal Naval College & Painted Hall, Greenwich

    The Old Royal Naval College is the centrepiece of maritime Greenwich, just located on the River Thames towards the east of London. Maritime Greenwich is a listed UNESCO site, including Queens House, Royal Observatory and Greenwich Park (blog post to come!) What is now the Old Royal Naval College was once originally the site of the Palace of Placentia (Greenwich Palace) but came into disrepair and was demolished before the start of the 18th century. The site then became the Royal Hospital/Greenwich Hospital, where sailors would live once they retired (hospital originating from the word hospitality, meaning a place to stay rather than a place to receive medical care). The plan was…

  • Food and Drink

    Borough Market

    Borough market is one of the largest and oldest markets in London. This fresh food market has been situated near London Bridge since before 1014, and it has a prime location along the wharf and docks of London. Although no longer used as a wholesale market, it is still open to the public on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays just a short walk down from London Bridge and nestled next to Southwark Cathedral. Many of the Market’s stallholders are themselves producers, where there is no chain or middle-man. The Market’s stalls, shops and restaurants reflect London’s status as a truly global city, with traditional British produce sitting alongside regional specialities…

  • London

    Remembrance Sunday

    “They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them.” The Sunday around the 11th November is observed as Remembrance Sunday in the UK and other Commonwealth countries. This day remembers those who have lost their lights fighting in the British Armed Forces and the civilians who also lost their lives during these conflicts. The poppy is seen as the symbol of remembrance in the UK, and a national service takes place every year at the Cenotaph on Whitehall. The Queen and other dignitaries…

  • Free Things To Do

    Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew

    Kew Gardens are the world-renowned botanical gardens based in South West London. It is a bit of a journey from the city centre out towards Kew, but the gardens are well worth a visit. The commonly used image of Kew is its gigantic Palm House overlooking a large freshwater lake. This Victorian glass palace recreates a rainforest climate for some unusual species of palms (some growing as high as the glass house). Top Tip: it is hot and humid, so protect your camera! Kew prides itself on conservation and education, and one of its recent installations in a giant hive. Bumblebee numbers are in decline in the UK, and without…