Where Light Falls

This weekend has seen an extraordinary and very moving event at London’s St Paul’s Cathedral. Where Light Falls is a light show which remembers and commemorates the members of the St Paul’s Watch who ensured the cathedral’s survival despite the terrible bombing during the Blitz.

Keith Jarrett has written a poem to accompany the light show, it’s called From the Log Book and starts with quotations from that book. The poem is broadcast throughout the event, and many of the images are linked to the lines. The poem ends with “When morning comes, I’ll wear a dome of hope.”

I hope these pictures will encourage you to go and stand in the cold this evening and be moved by what you see and hear. Continue reading “Where Light Falls”

Season of Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness

We’ve gone through the Keatsian days when it seemed ‘warm days will never cease’, and although the ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ is still with us, there’s a nip in the air in the morning, the sun rises later and sets earlier.

Under grey skies

In London, every season has something to offer residents and visitors alike. So whether you are thinking of visiting a gallery, taking a stroll around the centre of London, visiting somewhere out of town, or exploring some of the lesser known areas, there’s a tour to please everyone. Continue reading “Season of Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness”

Simply Salisbury and Stonehenge

I have had the good fortune to take two contrasting groups to visit Salisbury and Stonehenge in recent weeks. On both occasions the weather was kind, and we enjoyed blue skies and sunshine. I hope everyone got good photos.

The first group was a mix of children and adults from the US. The children were home schooled, and as I have found before with home schooled children, their questions were varied and interesting. If any of them see this post I should love to read some comments about what they thought of the two sites.

On my second visit I was with a group of adults from various countries. Antiques Roadshow was being filmed outside Salisbury cathedral. I have never seen so many people there, many with their dogs.

But we found a space outside the west end of the cathedral, and my group kindly posed.

Outside Salisbury Cathedral
Continue reading “Simply Salisbury and Stonehenge”

Through other eyes (for the teachers planning school trips)

Obviously when I am guiding somewhere it is a place I have explored and studied. Oh the late nights over guttering candles, the hours in libraries, the sore feet from investigating hidden corners.
Not that I am complaining: absolutely not. I love my job.

One of the joys is seeing somewhere familiar through other eyes. This was very much the case recently when I had the joyous task of accompanying some French primary school children when they visited Windsor and Eton.

Royal Windsor
Continue reading “Through other eyes (for the teachers planning school trips)”

Why Windsor?

Since the wedding last year between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Windsor has enjoyed increased popularity as a visitor destination.
I advised one of my Irish cousins who was meeting friends from Canada in London to take the train and spend the day in Windsor. They all loved it.

You may not get to see the Queen, but you can have your photograph taken with Harry and Meghan.

Harry and Meghan

Eton College, where Princes William and Harry received their secondary education, is a short pleasant walk away across the Thames.

Eton College

The domestic architecture of both Windsor and Eton is easy on the eye.

Red door
Continue reading “Why Windsor?”

Animal Lovers’ London

Leading a tour of Greenwich yesterday I was delighted to see two mounted police officers coming our way. We weren’t in trouble, but meeting police horses on tours, or police dogs, or any horse or any dog has to be a plus.

The officers had ridden over from nearby Lewisham and were relaxed about stopping and talking to us. One of the horses was called Livingstone, the other Young Rupert. I carry packets of mints in my bag for exactly this type of encounter, so soon most of us had rather slobbery hands and Livingstone was very aware I was the keeper of the treats.

Much as people love going on holiday, those with pets often miss them, so having a cuddle with a police horse or a friendly dog is welcome. I’m surprised how many conversations about pets take place on guided tours. Continue reading “Animal Lovers’ London”

Mayflower 400: Rotherhithe

In 2020 it will be four hundred years since the Pilgrim Fathers set off for the new world on board The Mayflower, sailing to join another ship, The Speedwell, in Southampton. But after springing a leak, The Speedwell did not make the journey across the Atlantic, and her passengers crowded onto The Mayflower which left Plymouth alone 6th September 1620.

Pilgrim Father with C20 Child

1620 A-Z of the New World
Continue reading “Mayflower 400: Rotherhithe”

Eltham Palace

Royal London exerts a certain pull and many visitors to the capital have Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace high on their lists of things to see. Others head out to Hampton Court, the sumptuous palace created by Thomas Wolsey and expanded by Henry VIII. Then there’s Greenwich where just one wall remains of the palace where Henry VIII was born. In Bermondsey you can see the site of Edward III’s manor house uncovered by archaeologists.

Fewer visitors make the trip out to Eltham Palace, SE9, and that’s a shame because it is a wonderful place, managed today by English Heritage, the same organisation that manages Stonehenge.

I was there last week on a thrillingly cold day where fortunately the sun put in an appearance by late morning. It’s an easy trip by public transport, take the train from Charing Cross or London Bridge and you’ll be there in a trice. Alternatively, don your walking boots and follow the Green Chain Walk or the Capital Ring.

How can I walk there?
These panels at the ticket office and visitor centre, where there’s also a shop and a café, helpfully give the site’s history.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


There should really be another panel explaining how English Heritage manages the site now. Continue reading “Eltham Palace”

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑