The Piccadilly area in general is a
place to visit to see one of London's finest streets,
Jermyn Street, to see St. James
Church with its famous church organ, to walk
St. James Square to admire fine
architecture and the lovely garden with Wm.
IIs huge statue, to check out the art
galleries on King Street, to see an exhibit at
the Royal academy of Art, to view the lobby
of the wonderful Ritz Hotel (must be
dressed appropriately), to take a guided tour of the
Spencer House, to enjoy a stroll in the
ornamental gardens in St. Jame's Park
where you may peruse the lovely flower beds or
take a stroll by the sea. and, of course, to
experience the dazzle of Picadilly Circus.
(Whew....what a sentence!)
Downing street, hermetical closed to the public. It is at number 10 that resides the Prime Minister of England. Number 10 is even enough to be perfectly understood by every Londoner.
I even found the official website!
If I would have liked shopping and I would be a neon light fan, I certainly would have loved this area.
Unfortunately non of the above apply to me, so I thought the place was noisy and dirty because of the traffic and hectic because every one was running around and rushing from nowhere to nowhere.
What a circus !
I think on a second visit I might skip this area and head for new undiscovered places!
Note: this picture was taken during afternoon! Ah! it was one of those typical rain days in London :-)
There are several tour companies that take you to Stonehenge from London, but we only found one that would take us on the whole ýKing Arthurý experience. This tour went to Stonehenge, Glastonbury (abbey and Chalice gardens), a crop circle, and Avebury. We much preferred Avebury to Stonehenge for even though we arrived at Stonehenge almost as soon as it opened, there were still a lot of people there and it felt a bit like a cattle herd. And then there are the darn ropes. But at Avebury, a stone circle bigger and older than the one at Stonehenge, you can walk right up to the stones and touch them and we were the only people there. The tour lasted all day, and although it was expensive due to our poor exchange rate, it was an excellent choice.
Fondest memory: http://www.astraltravels.co.uk/
Astral Travels U.K, 72 New Bond Street, Mayfair, London, England W1S 9SS
There I was, looking for Buckingham Palace, when I came upon a rear entrance. Just where you'd expect those from the colonies to arrive. Can't have that muck through the front gate.
It even has, clearly cut into the stone wreath on the right hand gate post, the name "Australia". I felt humble and proud all at the same time.
Fondest memory: This picture also frames the splendid, gold-capped, Victoria Monument with classic fountain beneath.
Finding a new area to explore is always one of the great delights of London. London is really a collection of villages, rather than a city.
I recently came across the following website that seems to offer a very well researched and detailed knowlege of every corner of the capital :
At the British Museum, it was a joy to see the Rosetta Stone which allowed modern Egyptophiles to translate the hieroglyphic picture writings of the ancient Egyptians found in the temples and pyramids.
The Rosetta has 3 different writings, Greek, Demotic Egyptian and heiroglyphic. It was thought to be written during the Ptolemy Greek Dynasty ruling of Egypt in 196 BC. The stone was discovered by the French in 1799 AD and is part of the British Museum collection since 1802.
"Allies" is a well-known statue in Old Bond Street. It is much photographed by tourists, posing with those two great politicians. This picture wasn't posed, just a candid shot from the other side of the street.
The bronze is by Lawrence Holofcener and depicts the leaders of the allies of the Second World War sitting on a park bench. Winston Churchill is even holding his trade-mark cigar and is relaxing and talking to Franklin Rosevelt.
I love to walk in London. I keep my maps handy but i like to wander the streets and duck down side streets and alleys to discover interesting courtyards and buildings. What some people have been known to do is hop on a bus and stay on for, say 20 minutes then get off and explore that area. I'm not sure i would unless i knew i was still in a fairly touristy or safe area of the city.
Even in the central London area though, there are hidden spots to find.
Fondest memory: Two memories come to mind. Taking a day and walking around the City of London starting at Liverpool street station, discovering old Wren churches and ruins, courtyards and gardens where you would least expect them. There are lots of places to stop for a rest, pubs and coffee shops.
The other was a walk from Victoria Station to the Tate Britain when i got a little lost in the quiet streets of Pimlico, streets lined in white rows of Georgian terraces and little crumbling churchyards. Marvellous!
Piccadilly Circus is seemingly the unofficial centre of the London. In my eyes it seemed that virtually everything that I wanted to see in London was in a reasonable distance of Piccadilly Circus. For instance the National Gallery is just a short walk away. So is Regent and Oxford Streets if you are interested in shopping. I walked here from Hyde Park. There are also many theatres nearby as you approach Leicester Square.
Piccadilly Circus itself is famed for its aluminium statue of Eros which is actually rather ugly.
Fondest memory: Piccadilly Circus is best at nighttime when the lights of the illuminated signs are ablaze and the streets are full of young people looking to have some fun.
Leicester Square. Not as difficult as it looks. Just say 'Lester Squah' and you'll be directed to this charming spot where public laundry used to be hung out to dry.
Busts of Hogarth and Reynolds are a clue that this area was a haven for artists. The Charlie Chaplin statue and bright red cinema remind you that movies play a huge role in the local economy. And the low-roofed TKTS booth tells you this is the official source for 1/2 price seats in London theatres.
Let's all give a nice round of applause to Albert Grant, Esq. MP, whose foresight and financial backing ensured that lovely Leicester Square forever will be maintained for the 'free use and enjoyment of the public.'
Bearing the family name of the rather notorious Dukes of Buckingham, this road
connects the tube stops Embankment and Charing Cross. Running immediately east of the Thistle Charing Cross hotel, it is packed with interesting little eateries. Also houses a good pub or two.
Duck under the space-age triangle clock pictured here, and you can escape the rain while exploring shops in the cavernous arches that support the Charing Cross train station overhead.
Villiers Street provides easy access to the Victoria Embankment gardens.
No convent is to be seen, no garden could possibly spring up between the the tightly pieced cobblestones. The name Covent Garden is all that is left to remind us of what once stood on this square.
No longer the vast fruit and veggie market of days gone by, the Garden still offers produce from colorful stalls like the one pictured. Other market stalls sell crafts, artisan goods or coffee. While away a lazy afternoon, listening to the opera singer or string quartet in the lower courtyard. Take in the juggler performing his act precariously perched on a unicycle at 'center stage', or the mimes acting up in front of the actor's church of St. Paul's behind the square. Adjacent shops are both high fashion (near the Opera House) or bargain basement (next to the Transport Museum). A smattering of everything that London has to offer is found right here, off Wellington and Maiden Lane.
The largest Christmas tree set up at Trafalgar Square every year, has been sent by the Norwegian folk as a sign of gratitude for Britain’s assistance during World War II.
The tree itself is traditionally 20 – 25 metres tall and its sight decorated in white light according to the Norwegian tradition has become an iconic London Christmas image.
The ornament lighting is turned on on the evening of the first Thursday of December.
The lighting ceremony is traditionally attended by the Lord Mayor of Westminster, formally announcing the arrival of the tree in London from the forests surrounding Oslo.
The lighting ceremony and Carol singing are free to attend.
Fondest memory: The popular Christmas song "Jingle Bells" was composed in Victorian England, and was originally called "One-Horse Open Sleigh." It was actually written for Thanksgiving, not Xmas.
Just escaped Trocadero, what seemed to be more like the upper level of underworld, I walked direction Leicester Square to find myself in Little Suisse!
Glochenspiel? I will safe you the association when we hear this word, as it is totally different from what it is in reality.
What I discovered here was an automatic carillon outside the front of a store.
The Suisse Centre Glochenspiel will entertain you every day of the week on various times. A big board tells you, if you just have missed it and need to come again!
But Leicester square was pulling on me so I didn?t waited till the next bell performance.
A little further you could see a nice collection of Suisse suspected to be different Suisse coat of arms or weapon shields.