Carnaby Street in London

April 1st, 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, London

© SisterLondon/cc-by-sa-4.0

© SisterLondon/cc-by-sa-4.0

Carnaby Street is a pedestrianised shopping street in Soho in the City of Westminster, Central London. Close to Oxford Street and Regent Street, it is home to fashion and lifestyle retailers, including a large number of independent fashion boutiques. Streets crossing, or meeting with, Carnaby Street are, from south to north, Beak Street, Broadwick Street, Kingly Court, Ganton Street, Marlborough Court, Lowndes Court, Fouberts Place, Little Marlborough Street and Great Marlborough Street. The nearest London Underground station is Oxford Circus (on the Bakerloo, Central and Victoria lines).   read more…

Kensington in London

March 20th, 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, London

Serpentine Gallery © Mark Ahsmann/cc-by-sa-3.0

Serpentine Gallery © Mark Ahsmann/cc-by-sa-3.0

Kensington is a district in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in West London. The district’s commercial heart is Kensington High Street, running on an east-west axis. The north east is taken up by Kensington Gardens, containing the Albert Memorial, the Serpentine Gallery and Speke‘s monument. South Kensington is home to Imperial College London, the Royal College of Music and the Royal Albert Hall. The area is also home to many European embassies.   read more…

Tower of London

March 1st, 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month, London, Museums, Exhibitions, UNESCO World Heritage

© Bob Collowân/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Bob Collowân/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Tower of London, officially Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, is a historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the square mile of the City of London by the open space known as Tower Hill. It was founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest of England. The White Tower, which gives the entire castle its name, was built by William the Conqueror in 1078 and was a resented symbol of oppression, inflicted upon London by the new ruling elite. The castle was used as a prison from 1100 (Ranulf Flambard) until 1952 (Kray twins), although that was not its primary purpose. A grand palace early in its history, it served as a royal residence. As a whole, the Tower is a complex of several buildings set within two concentric rings of defensive walls and a moat. There were several phases of expansion, mainly under Kings Richard I, Henry III, and Edward I in the 12th and 13th centuries. The general layout established by the late 13th century remains despite later activity on the site.   read more…

Arts and Crafts Movement

January 18th, 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, Design & Products, General, London

Philip Webb's Red House in Upton, Bexleyheath, Greater London © Ethan Doyle White/cc-by-sa-3.0

Philip Webb’s Red House in Upton, Bexleyheath, Greater London © Ethan Doyle White/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Arts and Crafts movement was an international movement in the decorative and fine arts that began in Britain and flourished in Europe and North America between about 1880 and 1920, emerging in Japan (the Mingei movement) in the 1920s. It stood for traditional craftsmanship using simple forms, and often used medieval, romantic, or folk styles of decoration. It advocated economic and social reform and was essentially anti-industrial. It had a strong influence on the arts in Europe until it was displaced by Modernism in the 1930s, and its influence continued among craft makers, designers, and town planners long afterwards. The term was first used by T. J. Cobden-Sanderson at a meeting of the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society in 1887, although the principles and style on which it was based had been developing in England for at least twenty years. It was inspired by the ideas of architect Augustus Pugin, writer John Ruskin, and designer William Morris. The movement developed earliest and most fully in the British Isles, and spread across the British Empire and to the rest of Europe and North America. It was largely a reaction against the perceived impoverished state of the decorative arts at the time and the conditions in which they were produced.   read more…

West End of London

January 11th, 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, London

Piccadilly Circus © flickr.com - Jimmy Baikovicius/cc-by-sa-2.0

Piccadilly Circus © flickr.com – Jimmy Baikovicius/cc-by-sa-2.0

The West End of London (commonly referred to as the West End), is an area of Central London, west of the City of London and north of the River Thames, in which many of the city’s major tourist attractions, shops, businesses, government buildings and entertainment venues, including West End theatres, are concentrated. Use of the term began in the early 19th century to describe fashionable areas to the west of Charing Cross. The West End covers part of the boroughs of Westminster and Camden.   read more…

Westminster Abbey in London

August 1st, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, London

Big Ben and Westminster Abbey, seen from London Eye © Tebbetts

Big Ben and Westminster Abbey, seen from London Eye © Tebbetts

Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, is a large, mainly Gothic abbey church in the City of Westminster, London, England, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is one of the United Kingdom’s most notable religious buildings and the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English and, later, British monarchs. The building itself was a Benedictine monastic church until the monastery was dissolved in 1539. Between 1540 and 1556, the abbey had the status of a cathedral. Since 1560, the building is no longer an abbey or a cathedral, having instead the status of a Church of EnglandRoyal Peculiar“—a church responsible directly to the sovereign.   read more…

Temple Church in London

May 2nd, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, London

© geograph.org.uk - John Salmon/cc-by-sa-2.0

© geograph.org.uk – John Salmon/cc-by-sa-2.0

The Temple Church is a late 12th-century church in the City of London located between Fleet Street and the River Thames, built by the Knights Templar as their English headquarters. During the reign of King John (1199–1216) it served as the royal treasury, supported by the role of the Knights Templars as proto-international bankers. It is jointly owned by the Inner Temple and Middle Temple Inns of Court, bases of the English legal profession. It is famous for being a round church, a common design feature for Knights Templar churches, and for its 13th and 14th century stone effigies. It was heavily damaged by German bombing during World War II and has since been greatly restored and rebuilt. The area around the Temple Church is known as the Temple and nearby formerly in the middle of Fleet Street stood the Temple Bar, an ornamental processional gateway. Nearby is the Temple Underground station.   read more…

Chelsea in London

March 7th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, London

Clabon Mews © flickr:com - Cristian Bortes/cc-by-2.0

Clabon Mews © flickr:com – Cristian Bortes/cc-by-2.0

Chelsea is an affluent area in West London, bounded to the south by the River Thames. Its frontage runs from Chelsea Bridge along the Chelsea Embankment, Cheyne Walk, Lots Road and Chelsea Harbour. Its eastern boundary was once defined by the River Westbourne, which is now in a pipe above Sloane Square tube station. The modern eastern boundary is Chelsea Bridge Road and the lower half of Sloane Street, including Sloane Square. To the north and northwest, the area fades into Knightsbridge and Brompton, but it is considered that the area north of King’s Road as far northwest as Fulham Road is part of Chelsea. The football club Chelsea F.C. is based at Stamford Bridge in neighbouring Fulham.   read more…

The Savile Row in London

February 2nd, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, London

Gieves & Hawkes © Gryffindor/cc-by-sa-3.0

Gieves & Hawkes © Gryffindor/cc-by-sa-3.0

Savile Row is a street in Mayfair, central London. Known principally for its traditional bespoke tailoring for men, the street has had a varied history that has included accommodating the headquarters of the Royal Geographical Society at 1 Savile Row, where significant British explorations to Africa and the South Pole were planned; and more recently, the Apple Corps office of the Beatles at 3 Savile Row, where the band’s final live performance was held on the roof of the building. Savile Row runs parallel to Regent Street between Conduit Street at the northern end and Vigo Street at the southern. Linking roads include New Burlington Place, New Burlington Street, Boyle Street, and Clifford Street.   read more…

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