• 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 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.…

  • 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…