There are many private squares in London, usually fenced off and residents can enter with their own key. These squares usually have a garden and benches to sit upon, particularly popular in central areas. Around the squares residents normally live in Victorian houses.
Not quite sure where to post this but London commuters save money by taking a free 'Metro' newspaper which you can collect each morning at most stations throughout the capital. It has the latest news and sports as well as a list of London Theater and Cinema showings.
BRIT LIFE © NO. 3 – BEEFEATERS
Why do they call them Beefeaters? The answer: no one knows! Yes there are a few theories, but that’s all they are! The yare officially called YEOMAN WARDERS and they are the guardians of the Tower of London and the Crown Jewels. They have been there for over 600 years and they have no idea where the nickname came from. Don’t believe any person or website saying they know because they don’t. They are excellent tour guides by the way and you get it free with the insane ticket price.
- Historical Travel
- Castles and Palaces
- Family Travel
BRIT LIFE © NO. 2 – THE FREE HOUSE
No, its not a house and its certainly not free. Everything has a price here – so get used to it. You will see the words ‘FREE HOUSE’ only on the outside of Pubs. So many tourists think. ‘Oh well – I can use the toilets here for free’. This is like thinking you can stick your head in the jaws of a crocodile and not get a severe haircut. Many Pubs are tied to a Brewery chain. Much like a certain Scottish sounding burger place only has Coca Cola products. They have to sell the Brewer's beers and ales and only other good stuff by permission (exception).
Free Houses are not tied to a Brewer and sell what they damn well want to.
Did you notice that you and your bladder take no part in the considerations? That’s right. To pee here you have to DRINK here. Kind of defeats the original object of you journey with crossed legs at this point. You will be shouted at as well by the staff or just barred from your destination.
So what can you do? Well public urination is against the law and just plain bad manners. Either go into a very crowded Pub or just learn to hold it. For days.
- Budget Travel
- Beer Tasting
- Study Abroad
The Cologne Christmas Market.
The Cologne Christmas Market is held on the Southbank, where 80 wooden stalls are ligned up by the river Thames. This is such a lovely market and on sale are hand-crafted things, etc, a very traditional Christmas market.
There is also "Glühwein", or German Mulled wine, German Bratwurst and roasted nuts and all kinds of goodies. And a Merry-go-round and a Santa Claus. But it can get very, very crowded, to the point that I could not take photos in the crowds, so I walked up the stairs to the bridge and took my photos from there.
Even though it was so crowded I enjoyed the market and the activities at the Southbank, it is such a lively, fun place to be.
The Christmas Market is open from November 16th until December 24th. It is located on Queen´s Walk and starts a little east of London Eye and stretches down to Waterloo bridge.
Opening hours: Monday-Friday: 11:00-22:00. Weekends: 10:00-22:00.
Christmas on Southbank
Christmas Markets are hardly the special preserve of London or Londoners. In fact, the popularity of the traditional Christmas market has now spread from European cities to North American ones as well. This particular Christmas market, set up on the Southbank of the city just past Royal Festival Hall, was intended to be traditional - so traditional that the organizers appear to have gone back through the Norman invasion to their Germanic roots. The stalls, done in an Alpine style, are nearly kitschy, although that doesn't stop visitors from enjoying themselves (especially kids). This Christmas market is also near a book market on the waterfront, although not of the Seine type. It still offers a fairly good selection of used books, though.
- Arts and Culture
In the fall of 2011, cities in North America and Europe saw the rise of the Occupy movement, or similar (but not necessarily related) political organizations that targeted financial capital and the upper echelons of the wealthy. London has a long tradition of protest movements and alternative politics, and its streets were not immune from the same sentiments that were echoed in New York and Oakland. The protestors for Occupy London sought to set their base camp in the area around St. Paul’s Cathedral, likely because this was the space closest to the City that afforded both open areas (for tents) and some sort of public right of abode. The protest camp did engage in informative campaigns, and those who were so inclined would have had no problem finding willing participants in a discussion about the relative benefits of the Occupy movement. Nevertheless, the encampment hardly had the feeling of Tahrir Square, and, should it spring up again, it is unlikely to provide much of an enduring tourist attraction for any visitor.
Covent Garden Christmas Market
Christmas Markets are hardly the special preserve of London or Londoners. In fact, the popularity of the traditional Christmas market has now spread from European cities to North American ones as well. Nevertheless, London’s Christmas markets, including the one set up in Convent Garden, seem to take at least some of their inspiration from the city’s organic, artisanal and locavore trends. While Budapest and Prague revel in the traditional nature of the treats on offer, London offers a whole gamut of options and selections, allowing visitors to go from comfort and nostalgia to exploration and amazement just by taking a few small steps.
- Arts and Culture
A Santa Riot!
As we were leaving the National Portrait Gallery, Lorna asked, "would you mind if we popped across Trafalgar Square to catch a bus?"
We turned the corner and there it was.... a SANTA RIOT! Literally hundreds, if not thousands of Santas filled the square. Every possible interpretation of a Santa was there; punk Santa, Lite up Santa, old fashioned Father Christmas, Turkey Santa, Modern Santa, even Dog Santa! It was one of those serendipitious finds that makes a trip special. I think it might have been London's version of Santa Con. It was great!
PINEAPPLES FOR THE RICH
While walking through London's older streets you may come across pineapple decorations on gate posts or by the entrance doors. The reason for this was because pineapples were a tropical fruit and only the rich could afford them as they were transported by ship from different parts of the world. In the 17th and 18th centuries they were considered an exotic and rare tropical fruit and were equivalent to £5,000 in today's money, so it was customary to use them as a welcoming sign by the door. Also ship's captains would stick them on a railing outside their house to let everybody know he was home.You can see pineapples on London Bridge, St Paul's Cathedral and Lambeth Bridge.
- Historical Travel
Christmas in London
Contrary to what every sappy American movie will have you believe, it is not common for London to be blanketed in snow during the winter, or indeed during the Christmas season. While it may be bold, it is not exactly freezing and you are more likely to face depressing boughts of rain than snow. Nevertheless, that does not mean that the city is drab and uninviting. Rather, London is done up with plenty of decorations all throughout the city, and the areas in the centre of Westminster - Piccadily, Soho, Oxford Street - will feature pretty displays strung up over the traffic to brighten the mood. In some ways, it can actually be cheerier to be out on the town during the evening and at night than during the day.
DEMONSTRATE BY THE PARLIAMENT
Usually opposite the Houses of Parliament there will be a few people demonstrating against a variety of topics such as wars, taxes, abortion, foreign policy and some crazy things too!!!
Brian Haw in the photograph has been there for 10 years
COAT of ARMS
Coats of Arms were originally to be found on a shield during feudal times but now you will still find them at institutions and at private houses. Many societies still exist today and their coat of arms are still maintained today due to the mediaeval authorities that first granted their arms. You may see them above building doors or higher up on the wall.
- Historical Travel
RED LONDON TELEPHONE BOX
Although there has been a reduction in the telephone box in recent years there are still many around London, particularly near Parliament in on the corner with Whitehall ( think i saw around 12 there). They were designed by Giles Scott who won a competition in 1924 with only 4 other candidates putting their design forward. They were made in cast iron and coloured red because it was easy to spot them . The original design was a K1 but throughout the years they were modernised to a K6 and more recent ones had no sides. They have become collector's pieces as some are removed from the streets.
- Historical Travel
As you will notice in the attached photographs there are rows and rows of houses with chimneys, but not many are in use now as few people have coal fires. In the 20th and 19th centuries nearly all houses were constructed with chimneys as they all had fire places where they would burn coal. Nowadays people have gas or electric fires in the fire place or the house is heated in some other way and the fireplace is purely ornamental or has been removed.
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