Simply Salisbury and Stonehenge

I’m doing a bit of homework for the tours I do fairly regularly to Salisbury, reading The Spire by William Golding. It’s very good, both the story and the way it is written. I’m two thirds of the way through, so not sure how it will end. I hope to finish it before I am back in Salisbury on Tuesday.

I am rather fond of Salisbury, so I was glad to meet someone at the start of last week who came with me a couple of weeks ago. She approached me smiling, and said how much she had enjoyed the day.

That sort of feedback always pleases.

Salisbury Cathedral’s spire is very famous. It pierces the sky above the town. Currently in the cloisters and in the churchyard around the cathedral there are sculptures by Sophie Ryder.

This one is my favourite:

Dog and hare having a conversation sitting on a horse

Dog and hare having a conversation sitting on a horse

The explanation says the dog and hare are having a coversation while sitting on the horse and the horse is listening intently. Sophie Ryder uses animal figures, or often human bodies with animal heads, to explore the relationships we have with each other. That is a pretty important theme anywhere, but particularly in a Christian church. Continue reading

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Happy New Year!

I’ve hung up my Blue Badge for the rest of 2015. It’s been a great year, and I have loved guided you around all the various places. Yesterday we were blessed with warm sunshine and minimal wind at Stonehenge following a visit to the ever wonderful Salisbury cathedral.

This morning at the Tower of London the skies were grey, but it stayed dry.

Being a London Registered Blue Badge Guide is such a privilege (though I might not have said that during our gruelling two year training). A couple of weeks ago I walked around Vauxhall with my friend and fellow guide Hilary. I was in Estate Agent Mode as she and her husband are looking for a new address in London. I wish I had had the forethought to video her reactions. At one point she grabbed my arm and said “Look at that building!” I think lunch at the Bonnington Café may have been the final brick that put Vauxhall high up on the list of desirable areas. Continue reading

All Kinds of Everything: This Week’s Public Walks

What’s your taste? London icons; ancient monuments; a cathedral town?

I’m covering all these on public walks this week, as well as a sortie in a local neighbourhood, my neighbourhood, on Saturday to coincide with artists’ Open Studios and Open Squares weekend.

Tomorrow, Monday 8th June, I shall be guiding Westminster Abbey, the church of coronation and royal marriages. Meet me outside Westminster tube exit 4 at 10.45.
The tour costs £10, £8 concs, plus entrance to the abbey.

In the afternoon, I shall be at the British Museum. Entrance is free, so this time you pay for the tour only. Meet outside Holborn tube station for 2.15.

On Tuesday 9th June it’s an early start from Waterloo railway station to spend the day at Salisbury and Stonehenge. That first sight of the Standing Stones as we approach never fails to move me, and Salisbury is a gem of town with one of the most celebrated cathderlas in England. It also has a jolly good café, and must be one of the only cathedrals in the country to get rave reviews about its toilets.

Stonehenge

Stonehenge


Meet me opposite platform 16, outside the ticket office. The full price is £77, which includes all travel, tours and entrance fees.
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Flaming June

Nearly half way through the year already. Where does it go?

London is welcoming eager visitors, and I and my colleagues are busy busy busy.

I seem to have a lot of private groups over the next few weeks, but I do have some tours anyone can join.

Top of the list, 1st June. Meet at 10.30 by the Tower Hill Tram ready to take the boat to travel to Greenwich the royal way – by river.

Next, 6th June. Maybe you have read Sarah Waters The Paying Guests, shortlisted for this year’s Bailey Prize set in leafy Denmark Hill and Camberwell, just a step from central London, and a welcome breath of fresh air at any time of year, especially summer. We meet outside Denmark Hill overground station.

8th June I’m back in central London with two classic tours. For Westminster Abbey meet outside Exit 4 Westminster tube at 10.45, and for the British Museum I’ll be witing for you on Kingsway outside Holborn tube at 2.15.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

9th June, we can head out of town for an Explorer Day to Salisbury and Stonehenge. We’ll be away all day. Obviously this costs a bit more, but a very reasonable £77 which covers travel, entrance fees and tours. There is an excellent new exhibition about Magna carta at Salisbury cathedral.Meet at Waterloo Railway Station opposite platform 16 outside the main ticket office at 8.45. Continue reading

Updates, Flowers and This Week’s Public Walks

My thanks to Kathy for reminding me that I needed to update the Dates for Your Diary page.

London in the spring is a mighty fine place. Actually it’s a mighty fine place at any time, but the explosion of colour we have enjoyed over the last few weeks has been wonderful.

Flowers are everywhere, not least at Chelsea Flower Show, but fear not if you don’t have tix, there are lots of fab alternatives including Vauxhall, Mayfiar and Walworth:

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