200+ places (gradually adding).
You can judge from the photos how many places I have been to. I dream about the rest.
Choose according to your taste what else to see if you have already seen the ones in the tourist guide. You probably won't be able to see these all in one week. But I know from my own experience that my legs and spirit cannot withstand more than a week in London. Then I have to rest at home again.
You can view the locations of the places mentioned below together on the Google map.
Although St Pancras railway station itself looks quite like a church, the locality and the station are named after the old church. The church is located behind the station and is named after a 13-year-old boy martyr who was executed in Rome in 303. It is the oldest Christian holy place in London. The exact time of construction is not known, but the stone in the altar dates back to the beginning of the 7th century. The church got its current shape during the reign of Queen Victoria. The cemetery near the church is perhaps more interesting. The composer Johann Christian Bach, the youngest son of the famous Johann Sebastian, rests here. Mary Wollstonecraft, writer and women's rights activist, is also buried here. Her daughter, Mary Shelley, the author of "Frankenstein", met her future husband right here at her mother's grave.
Sir John Soane* designed a tombstone for himself and his wife here, the famous telephone box K2 is modelled after it.
Also worth noting is the 150-year-old ash tree "Hardy tree" (after Thomas Hardy, who organized the reburial when part of the cemetery when it was liquidated due to the construction of the railway). Around it are a number of tombstones in a circle. These are stones from graves that were destroyed before the construction of the railway in the 1860s when the railway and tunnels were built for the railway station. Apprentice Thomas Hardy got the job of reburial, probably because of his youth, as it was not exactly a pleasant activity. He later became a famous writer, but he is buried in what we now know as Grimaldi Park.
* Google Maps previously claimed by John Sloane. Now it's fixed (interestingly, 2 days after I mentioned it on my page). To be clear: there have been two men with a similar name who both bore the title Sir.
Sir Hans Sloane (1660 – 1753) was an Irish physician, naturalist and collector. The British Museum started from his collection.
Sir John Soane (1753 – 1837) was an architect. He designed the Bank of England building.
Unfortunately, on December 27, 2022, the old tree with fungal damage could no longer withstand and fell down. :-(
OXO is a name coined in 1900 by Liebig's Extract of Meat Company to denote broth cubes. The company was founded in 1908 and was official sponsor of the Olympic Games. During the World War, bouillon cubes were part of the soldiers' equipment. 1928 the company built a cold storage and production workshop on the banks of the Thames. A representative tower with a neon sign OXO was planned for the building. Unfortunately, it turned out that according to the laws of the time, no advertising (including the company name or brand) was allowed to appear on the river. The architect found a solution in that special-shaped windows were made on the tower, which formed the text OXO from top to bottom. At night, they are lit from the inside. This is how the law was successfully circumvented.
There is a restaurant in the tower. With a beautiful view of the river. Very fine and... very costly. If you go there, you have to have a lot of money. It is better to explore the building from the outside. If you do go to a restaurant, don't ask the waiter for bouillon cubes. :-)
The best distant view of the tower is from Blackfriars Bridge. But there are often interesting art exhibitions in the courtyard near the tower.
After the Great Fire (1666) began the restoration of London. 13,000 houses and 89 churches were destroyed in the fire. 100,000 people lost their homes. Architect Christopher Wren designed the city's 50 new churches, including St Paul's Cathedral. He was also asked to design a memorial of the fire. He also built (together with his friend Robert Hooke) a column, which is simply called the Monument. The diameter of the pillar is 5 meters and the height is 202 feet or 61 meters. That's how far the Pudding Lane bakery was, where the fire started on September 2nd. It was held by the baker Thomas Farriner, nothing happened to him, the French clockmaker Robert Hubert was hanged for causing the fire. He actually had nothing to do with it. There is a staircase inside the monument, which can be used by those who wish to go to the top. Just count - 311 steps (and £4.50)! Despite the tall buildings nearby, you can see the Thames, The Shard, Tower Bridge, St Paul's and much more from the top. In the lower part of the monument, there are plaques with inscriptions on four sides. One line has been erased on the northern panel. There was once a text blaming Catholics for the fire. It was removed in 1830. The text was: "But Popish frenzy, which wrought such horrors, is not yet quenched."Wren wanted to put a statue of King Charles II on top of the pillar. The king politely refused: "I didn't start the fire..." View from the other side of the river
It is a street that once was right on the banks of the Thames, but now it is separated from it by a small park. The first well-known figure to discover the charms of this area was Sir Thomas More (in Latin Thomas Morus), scholar, clergyman and Lord Chancellor of King Henry VIII. Although the king had his chancellor executed in 1535 (More remained a Catholic, did not accept the Anglican Church), the news about the beautiful place had probably also reached the king (But maybe the reason for the execution was not differences of opinion about religion, it was just necessary to free up the plot?). The following year, the king bought a country house there (current house numbers 19 to 26). Here lived two of his six successive wives - Catherine Parr and Anne of Cleves, so his daughter who became Elizabeth I. Later owner was Sir Hans Sloane, whose collection laid the foundation for the British Museum. Many famous people have lived on this street:
Keith Richards (Rolling Stones, you know) [house number 3];
Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull ;
composer Ralph Vaughan Williams ;
Elizabeth Taylor ;
Author of Dracula Bram Stoker ;
philosopher Bertrand Russell ;
artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti ;
writer George Eliot ;
Prime Minister David Lloyd George ;
engineers Marc and Isambard Kingdom Brunel ;
footballer George Best etc. And a few tens of meters around the corner from here is Oakley St (house number 42), where Bob Marley wrote the song I Shot the Sheriff. It's good to come here after visiting Battersea Park across the Prince Albert Bridge.
By the way: If you're already in that area, you shouldn't miss visiting a place like Chelsea Physic Garden, right next door to the east. It is like a small botanical garden, which was founded in 1673 for the cultivation of medicinal plants.Mick Jagger, house on the right Bob Marley Keith Richards Thomas More. The house is gone, but the statue is. During his lifetime, a river flowed over this place.
There is a pagoda with a golden Buddha near the river in Battersea Park. It was built in 1985 by Japanese organization (Nipponzan Myohoji Order) for the 40th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. The organization has built more than 80 such pagodas around the world. Every June, a peace festival is held nearby. The pagoda is 33.5 m high, it has two far-reaching oriental roofs. On the four sides are golden statues representing Buddha. The south side represents his birth, the east side his enlightenment, the west side his death. To the north is the Buddha praying. All around is a quintessentially English park with dog walkers, mothers with children, sunbathers and athletes. And all this is watched over by the Buddha's calming gaze. In the park, there is a small house in a shady place, in which lives a monk who takes care of the pagoda. Every morning, walking slowly and beating the drum, he moves to the pagoda, to tidy up its surroundings. He is often joined by volunteers. Reverend Gyoro Nagase lives at Old English Garden, 250 meters South-west of the pagoda.
The first such pagoda in England was built in Milton Keynes. But it is lower and has only one roof.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) was, of course, an American, statesman, writer and inventor. But many do not know that from 1757 to 1775 he lived in London. His house at 36 Craven Street is his only surviving residence in the world. This building was the de facto US embassy during that time. Currently, anyone who wishes, can visit it accompanied by a costumed guide.
Franklin was also the inventor of the lightning rod. The first large public building in the world to be protected by a lightning rod was St Paul's Cathedral.
An interesting object for those who respect engineering. It is a three-story bridge, with a railway below, a motorway above, but between these there is a bridge for a navigable canal. Built in 1859 according to the project of Isambard Kingdom Brunel (son of the famous tunnel builder Marc Brunel). You have to walk about 3 km to get there, but the beautiful views on the way are worth it. Of course, you can also take bus 195, but it runs with long intervals.
There are not so fancy, but triple crossings closer to the city centre. If you go to the NW end of Stapleton Road there is an old viaduct (now Parkland Walk). If you are standing under the viaduct, know that the section of the railway that is still operating is right under your feet in the tunnel.
The territory is limited by a high fence, but the iron fence is full of hanging colourful strips of cloth, artificial flowers, papers with texts, Christmas ornaments, teddy bears and all kinds of other stuff. So what place is it? It was an unconsecrated cemetery.
17th century prostitutes called "Winchester geese" were buried there. Prostitution was under the control and management of the bishop of Winchester at that time, the bishop did benefit (not a small one), but the "ladies" were not allowed to bury the consecrated ground. The bishop was a person of high morals. ;-) Later it became a Christian cemetery, until 1852. was closed when 15,000 graves were filled and could not accommodate more. Even later, this lot was a dream for many real estate developers, but they were opposed by local residents, mystics, feminists and local writer John Constable, whose main work is inspired by this very place. Halloween has been celebrated here since 1998. Well worth a look, near Borough Market.
Currently, volunteers from the local organization BOST take care of the garden, visitors are also allowed in at certain times, but there is no exact timetable. Free of charge. It's worth trying in the afternoon. The entrance is around the corner to the left according to the first photo.
The former building of the City Government of London. It was built on the south bank of the Thames in 2002, because at the behest of the Prime Minister, London had no city government for a decade and a half, and its previous location had already found another use (London Marriott Hotel, right at the east end of Westminster Bridge). The new city government found its seat here. But now they have moved.
The building was designed by Foster and Partners and is a glass ovoid structure, inclined to the south. It's also been described as a flashed-up Darth Vader helmet. The glass walls must symbolize the openness of the city government. In the building, a 500 m long spiral ramp surrounds the meeting hall from the basement to the top, allowing you to look inside the hall, which made the city fathers feel like goldfish in an aquarium.
The building is like a metaphor for London itself - wonderful, provocative and unbalanced. There is a public cafe on the ground floor of the building, its floor depicts a satellite image of London.
But because of the too high rent, the city government moved out of here and is now located several kilometres to the east. I don't know what will happen to this building.
Coade Stone Lion. Why such a name? Because this statue is not made of natural stone, but is actually ceramic. It is made mainly of clay and fired in a workshop in Lambeth at a steady heat for 4 days. This statue was originally painted red and stood in front of the Red Lion Brewery on the site where the Royal Festival Hall now stands. When the brewery was demolished, by order of King George VI, the statue was stripped of paint and placed near Waterloo station. Now it has found its place at the end of Westminster Bridge near the building that once housed the City Hall (until it was abolished by order of Margaret Thatcher in 1986).Lion Former city government building, now a hotel
"Mews" is the name of a type of street specific to London. These are found in large numbers in prestigious areas such as Kensington, Mayfair and Bayswater. The name hardly occurs outside of London. This name simply means service street. The dignified nobleman did not want milkmen, stable boys, etc., messing around in front of the facade of his magnificent house, so a special somewhat hidden street was built for the lower class, behind the houses, through which the supplies took place.
There were small houses along this street, the ground floor of which housed stables and warehouses, and the top floor housed the servants. Spacious cellars and attics hid food supplies and other things that gentlemen needed. As time went by, the sheds became garages and the houses there became high-priced even among the wealthiest. In the 1950s, these streets became popular among creative people, especially artists. In the film A Hard Day's Night* (The Beatles), the action takes place on just such a street.
As stated above, these streets have now changed. But there is still one such, where there are still stables and real horses in these. Find Bathurst Mews near the northern edge of Hyde Park.
* This film features a pre-teen fan in a cameo role. This was played by Phil Collins. :-)
If you find yourself in Trafalgar Square, don't miss the old standards of measurement. In the square in front of the National Gallery, there is a ledge or terrace, and at its lower edge there are a number of bronze plaques introducing the old units of measurement. You can feel with your hand how long one foot is, for example, or what unit of measurement Standard Chain is.
The headquarters of the Secret Service (still called MI6) stands right on the banks of the Thames at Vauxhall Bridge. You can't go inside and you'll hardly meet James Bond, but the building itself is interesting. The secret service has been conducting operations abroad since 1909, its existence was officially recognized only in 1994. The main building was completed the following year, the architect of which was Terry Farrell. It is interesting that the same man can also be seen in the Bond film The World is Not Enough.
The building is built very strong. It is claimed that 27 different types of safety glass have been used for the windows. There are rumours that a tunnel leads directly to Westminster from here. In 2000, IRA terrorists fired at the building with an anti-tank weapon and did not cause significant damage.
You can walk along the river bank right in front of the building and feel proud - you are in the field of view of dozens of TV cameras at the same time. Don't forget to wave. ;-) Nearby (on the other side of the bridge) a rusty gate with iron chains opens directly into the river. However, this is not a secret entrance for spies, as some might think. Through it at high water flows the River Effra (Celtic for rapid river), one of the twenty underground rivers of London.
In fact, this fountain is not a fountain at all, but an oval channel located on the hillside, from the top of which water flows down from both sides. It was designed by Kathryn Gustafson and opened in 2004. The channel is 3 to 6 meters wide and 210 meters long. On the way, the water encounters many bumps and steps, which are supposed to symbolize the princess's life path. The water channel consists of 545 granite parts and water is obtained from a borehole 100 meters deep.
Immediately after opening, the object received a lot of criticism. The children slipped on the smooth granite and got injured. In the autumn, tree leaves blocked the drain. The fountain was closed for additional works. These were helpful. The granite was made rougher in the slippery places and it is now a favourite spot for many children in the warm summer. Many adults also walk along the canals with their trouser legs rolled up. Officially, this is not allowed. You can only sit on the edge with your feet in the water. But the ever-present security team turns a blind eye to this matter. And rightly so, Diana would have loved it.
In the first picture, the house with the clock tower is a cafe, don't forget to visit and drink a delicious coffee right on the banks of the Serpentine.
Also in Regent Park, there is a cafe with a big clock on the bank of the water body. Maybe that's why the clock was put there so that the boat renters would know to come back on time?
One and three-quarters of a century ago, these big trees didn't exist yet, and the Crystal Palace would have been visible in the background...
A footpath called Rotten Row runs uphill on the right. Why such a name? It is a former riding track of the kings (a riding road runs next to it even today) and is believed to be a corruption of the French Route du Roi (king's road). Another version is that it is an allusion to soft pavement. It is the first illuminated road in Britain.
The old execution site was on what is now a triangular traffic island near the north-east corner of Hyde Park. Currently, this place is marked by a round stone slab with the name of the place. In fact, this location is somewhat symbolic - historians do not quite agree on exactly where this place was. Around 30,000 people were executed here between 1196 and 1783, including 105 Catholic martyrs. Usually, the execution took place in such a way that the executed were in a noose on top of a and the carriage drove away. Up to 24 people were executed at once. Pieces of the rope were often sold by the executioner as souvenirs to onlookers. People also tried to touch the corpses because it was supposed to improve health.
The day of the executions was a day off for all working people, and when highwayman Jack Sheppard was executed, nearly 200,000 people gathered to watch.
The most famous person to have been hanged here is probably the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell. What is special about him is that he had already been dead three years. But the vengeful King Charles II ordered to dig him out of the grave and hang him anyway. "Digging" is, of course, a figurative expression. He was buried under the floor of Westminster Abbey, and in the same place now lie four infant princes who lost their lives in some court affair. Presumably, no one knows for sure.
Tyburn Tree is named after the river Tyburn (it still flows somewhere in a deep tunnel), but the name of the river means two streams in a very old language. Another explanation is that "ty" means border (hence - border stream). Who knows... The river formed two branches at the mouth, between which was Thorney Island, on which Westminster Abbey was built. The river also crosses the Regent Canal (in the tube under the Camden Road bridge). Marleybone Lane follows the riverbed precisely with its curve. A curious river, it passes through all the famous places. :-)The plaque was installed in 1964. and was restored in 2014. Three trees were planted near it by TfL (Transport for London). There were still many places of execution in London... Tudor era (1485 to 1603).
A genuine Hindu temple. Can be seen both inside and outside. When you go there, keep in mind that a certain dress code is required: clothes must cover the shoulders and stomach and trousers/skirts must reach below the knees. Shoes must be removed when entering the premises. Photography/filming for your own use is only allowed outdoors. Keep in mind that this is a holy place - as in any church, turn off your mobile phone.
This monument was erected by Queen Victoria in memory of her late husband Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1819-1861) in 1876. In the centre sits a gilded statue of Albert on a chair. All around are groups of sculptures depicting the four continents. The groups symbolize industry, business, engineering and agriculture. Each continent is also symbolized by the corresponding animal. The statues symbolize the progress that Albert believed in. He was the leader of the 1851 world exhibition, for which the Crystal Palace was built in a nearby park. This facility was later moved to another location (the place still bears this name), but burned down in 1936. The exhibition generated a lot of revenue, which was used to build three museums. Note that the statue of Albert is not looking directly at the Albert Hall across the road, but his head is turned slightly to the left, just in the direction of these museums.
The historic City of London is a square mile that employs 300,000 people but only 12,000 live in it. A third of them live in the Barbican. The historic Cripplegate district was bombed to rubble in the war. Its new construction began in 1950, but was not completed until the seventies. Most of the flats are located in three towers, each with 42 floors. To live up to the name (Barbican means outdoor security works), the residences are turned inward, leaving only plain walls outside. Residents are isolated from the noise of the city centre and can listen to the gurgling of fountains and rustling of trees. The quarter has an art centre, cinemas and exhibition halls. There is also a historic church, which fortunately has been preserved - St Giles-without-Cripplegate, founded in 1394. Oliver Cromwell was married in this church and the poet John Milton is buried there.
Want to visit the famous The Beatles crossing? The photograph of the famous record sleeve was taken on the zebra crossing in front of the recording studio on August 8, 1969, at 11:35 AM. Photographer Iain Macmillan took 6 photos while standing on a stepladder while the police closed the street to cars for ten minutes. Later, one photo was selected for the album cover and it immediately became world-famous. Even now, you can see people crossing the street dozens of times every day, moving their arms and legs strangely. If you're going to do something stupid there too, take into account that there is a webcam with a microphone in front of the studio and the whole world can see your behaviour and also hear louder voices.
Just don't make the mistake of going to a train station called Abbey Road. It is located at the other end of the city.
By the way, if you want to see the house on the roof of which The Beatles gave their last concert in London, it is located at 3 Savile Row (Piccadilly Circus is a few hundred meters away).
The studio was founded in 1931. Amy Winehouse and Pink Floyd have also recorded their songs in this studio. Here made his last recording in 1944 Glenn Miller. George Martin made his first recording here.
By the way, if you want to see the house that Paul McCartney lives in, it's right near here, 3 Cavendish Avenue.
The prime meridian runs through Greenwich. Of course, it's nice to take a selfie with one foot in one, the other in the other hemisphere. But it is inconvenient to do this in a dense crowd. If you want to take a picture in a calmer atmosphere, don't forget that the meridian runs around the entire Earth. Take the DLR station to East India. There, the meridian is marked on the wall of the house and in front of the house. Take a free picture.
By the way, our Earth is far from spherical, but rather curved in many ways. This leads to ambiguity in the determination of coordinates. Don't be surprised if your GPS lets you go 102 m east. Take a selfie there too. :-)
May be you have seen photos of a house in the middle of a highway somewhere in China because the homeowner doesn't want to give up his home. But here is an example from London. Whitechapel had a row of bankrupt shops. One man decided to buy these and build a big department store. In 1927 he built it and it was popularly called the Harrods of the East. But one owner decided not to sell his property. The department store was built around this plot. That's how a gorgeous house with a hole in it is still standing there.
Goldsmith Spiegelhalter's shops were demolished towards the end of the 20th century, but at the request of local residents, the facade is preserved and the owners name can be still read there. But Wickham's department store did not really take off, as hoped. 1960 the house was quite empty. But now there are new shops in the building again.
A French artist with the pseudonym Invider has created over 50 characters from a once popular computer game out of ceramic tiles and placed these on different objects. Try to find some using the attached map!
A cemetery where "non-conformists" are buried, many writers, radicals such as Isaac Watts, William Blake, John Bunyan, George Fox and Daniel Defoe. There is also a memorial to Thomas Hardy (who worked in St Pancras Cemetery, see number 1). The name is derived from the words "bone hill". This cemetery has never been consecrated by the Anglican Church, which is why dissidents are buried there. The cemetery was founded in 1665, but reburials had taken place there before.*
After the Great 1666 fire, there was a temporary camp for those who lost their homes in the fire.
Daniel Defoe, the author of Robinson Crusoe, died in April 1731 and a modest tombstone was placed on his grave. In the winter of 1857/8 tombstone was struck by lightning. The money for the new obelisk was raised from donations in sixpence increments, and the tomb now has a magnificent marble column.
Thomas Newcomen**, the inventor of the steam engine, is also buried here, but the location of his grave is unknown.
* Another cemetery where dissidents and those not affiliated with the official church were buried was Abney Park.
** James Watt is often credited as the inventor of the steam engine, but he only improved Newcomen's engine. Newcomen was self-educated because he and his family were Baptists, but the university only accepted members of the Anglican Church.
While you're there, pay attention to two more things. Next door (to the west) is Braithwaite House, a high block of flats. This is exactly the place where the Kray brothers were arrested in their mother's flat in 1968. They had also been in prison before (kidnappings, later also murders). These two criminals were the last prisoners of the Tower Fortress until 1952. But now they couldn't get free any more.
The street next to the house (Chequer St) is paved with cobblestones. But take a closer look - part of the street is paved with wooden blocks! Very similar to stones, if you don't know how to look, you'll walk by. At the end of this street, you can turn into a small park, which was also once part of the cemetery. Members of the Quaker sect were buried there. Currently there is a children playground.
The church was built around 1100. It was damaged in the Great Fire of London, but rebuilt. 1695 a new tower was added, designed by Sir Christopher Wren. However, the church was so badly damaged in World War II that it was not rebuilt. Only the walls and the tower remain. 1971 this place was turned into a public park. A very nice place to rest your feet when you have just arrived from the 311 steps of the Monument pillar.
The famous telephone box K2 was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott (1880-1960), the architect of two well-known power stations, Bankside (now known as Tate Modern) and Battersea (known as the cover of Pink Floyd's Animals album). He won the Post Office competition in 1924. K2 was made of metal and weighed 1250 kg. Later, K3 was made, which was made of concrete, and this series continued until K8. The author's example for the design of the peculiar roof was the grave monument of another architect, Sir John Soane. According to the original plan, K2 was supposed to be silver, but by the decision of General Post Office they were painted red. This red colour even has its own national standard: BS381C-Red539 (Currant Red). Currently, about 200 K2s have been preserved and are under national protection. You can see these K series boxes everywhere, there are thousands of these, but the attached link has a place (Burlington House), where you can see the first prototype. With a fully working payphone.
Right next door is Burlington Arcade, a covered shopping street...A modern, fully functional phone is inside. The attachment point of the old device is also visible.
The church bell manufacturing company was founded in 1570. It was moved to the current location in 1738. The first bell maker was Robert Mot, whose two bells still ring in the North-west tower of Westminster Abbey. Big Ben was cast here in 1858. To get the bell out of the workshop, the door had to be made bigger. This 13.8 ton bell was then transported to the parliament building on a carriage pulled by 16 horses, accompanied by cheering crowds. Philadelphia's The Liberty Bell, considering a symbol of US freedom, was also cast here.
For the opening of the Olympic Games in 2012. was cast a bell at a weight of 23 tons.
There was also a small museum near the workshop. Video
Unfortunately, the company was liquidated on June 12, 2017. :-( A bit less than 450 years.One pigeon is flying in the photo. :-) By the way, there is a minimum fine of £75 for feeding pigeons. The maximum is £2500.
Currently, you can no longer see this building yourself, you can only admire the places where it once was and try to imagine it for yourself. The Crystal Palace was a giant steel and sheet glass building built for the 1851 World's Fair. It was located on the southern edge of Hyde Park and had truly stunning dimensions: 564 m long and 39 m high inside, with an area of 92,000 m2. It was designed by Joseph Paxton. 14,000 exhibitors showed the cutting edge of current science and technology there.
After the exhibition, the building was dismantled and rebuilt to the south at a place called Penge Common. Unfortunately, the palace burned down in 1936. The residential area there is still called Crystal Palace. There is a nice park now.
However, something of the palace has been preserved - some steps guarded by a marble sphinx and some foundation stones.
The initial location is here. Later here (rotate the picture anti-clockwise by 45o so that it is correct in relation to the maps).
In 2013, Chinese entrepreneurs proposed to rebuild the palace. Unfortunately, it was only a plan.The palace after the fire.
There are many high-rise buildings in the historic centre of London. The West End, on the other hand, stands out with just one solitary tower block (although this is changing). When it was completed in 1963, it was the tallest building in London. Developer Harry Hyams was granted 150 years of use of the plot and the right to build a 117-meter-high house on the condition that the free area of the plot remains open to traffic. The business plan was to rent all 20,000 m2 to one tenant (not for residential use). But no such tenant was found. So this building, designed by architect Richard Seifert, remained empty for decades. Many considered the building to be extremely hideous, but in any case it is quite an interesting and striking building. 2016 work finally began to build 82 luxury flats in the building. Now the house is in excellent condition and in use.
The house is built on the place where there was once a gallows.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, this islet was a place where townspeople took boats to dance and dine. Currently, a pedestrian bridge leads to the island, there is not a single car on the island, and not even bicycles. The 700 m long island has a yacht club, a rowing club and 50 residential buildings. On two weekends in the summer, artists gather here. It hasn't always been so quiet on the island. In the middle of the last century, there was a hotel here, where you could hear the most popular music of that time. Rod Stewart, The Who, Pink Floyd and The Rolling Stones often performed here before they became world-famous. Under pressure from the authorities, the hotel was closed in 1967, but then a group of anarchists moved in. Soon there was one of the largest hippie communes. This "party" ended abruptly in 1971, when the hotel burned to the ground.
There is also a museum dedicated to the island, but interestingly, it is not located on the island. See the map here.
The streets of London were lit with gas more than 200 years ago, but there are still over 1,500 gas-powered street lights in London. There used to be officials responsible for lighting and extinguishing the lamps, but now they are no longer needed. The lamps are built in such a way that the so-called pilot light burns continuously in these, the main tap is opened and the light is increased by a clock mechanism or electronics. So far, British Gas has employed 4 workers to maintain the lanterns.
Also a curiosity: 1894 Joseph Edmund Webb patented a street light that uses gases emitted from sewers to operate. One of these is still in operation today, look behind the Savoy Hotel (Carting Lane, some call it Farting Lane because of the lantern ;-) ).The lantern has been restored. A car once hit the pole.
London is an interesting place in that, just a hundred meters away from a crowded business street, you can find a quiet place where time seems to have stopped centuries ago. Take, for example, Belgravia's Knightsbridge* street, which is known to have rows of luxury department stores and shops. How much hustle and bustle. Turn onto Wilton Place. Look for Wilton Crescent, turn onto narrow Wilton Row, turn left and... There's The Grenadier pub, all painted in flag colours, white, red and blue. Grenadier troops were founded in 1656 as the bodyguard of King Charles II and operated until 1818. The walls of the tavern have many photos, pictures and newspaper clippings from the old days. The Waterloo Dinner was held here to celebrate the victory over Napoleon's forces. Apparently, the Duke of Wellington (civil name Arthur Wellesley), who resided nearby, also attended.
One evening in September, the grenadiers were playing cards here, but one of them was caught cheating. The culprit was beaten to death in front of the tavern. It is said that mysterious footsteps are heard in the tavern in September and that some shadowy figure moves from room to room...
* The only place name in London with six consecutive consonants.
This half-hectare park is a former cemetery. It is named after Joseph Grimaldi, arguably the most famous clown of all time, whose grave can still be seen there today. The former chapel was demolished in 1980. and was replaced by an office building. In memory of the famous clown, the park often hosts various fun events.
It was placed in the park in 2010 installation - two coffin-shaped areas were covered with bronze plates that produced musical sounds when stepped on. Watch the video . So you could dance to home made music at the grave of a famous clown. English humour indeed... Unfortunately, this installation has now been removed. :-(
On the first Sunday of every February, a memorial service is held in honour of Grimaldi. Many clowns from all over the world arrive there. And everyone is in their clown clothes and makeup. It can still be a worthwhile sight.Ball games are now played at the former cemetery
There are known to be 5 cash points (ATM-s, called also "hole in the wall") in London where you can choose between two languages: English & Cockney*. These are located:
If you choose the last language ** , you will get such messages from the machine:
Some moolah for ya sky rocket? Ya rattle & tank balance?
Please enter your Huckleberry Finn (PIN) then press ENTER to continue
please select amount Speckled Hen (£10) Horn of Plenty (£20) Dirty (£30) Double Top (£40)
* Originally, people who were born in a place where the bells of St Mary-le-Bow church could be heard were called cockney. Later, the meaning of the term expanded to include special language. The name probably comes from the image of a cock (American: rooster) on the church.
** If you get into trouble, press CANCEL at any moment and you can change the language. ;-)
Texas was once a republic in its own right for a short time (1842-1845) and had a total of three embassies in the world: in Paris, London and Washington DC. The London one was at 3 James's St, right next to the Berry Bros & Rudd wine shop (the Cutty Sark Scotch was created in this shop, by the way). Next to the wine shop is a narrow passage covered with dark wooden panels, and at the end of it, under the lantern on the right, were the ambassador Dr. Ashbel Smith's workspaces. When in 1963 a plaque marking the embassy was placed, former Texas Governor Price Daniel was also present. The embassy's premises were rented from a wine shop next door, and when the ambassador left in 1845, £160 in rent was owed. In 1986, a special delegation arrived from the USA and the debt was paid off. :-)
This tiny square at the end of the passage is called Pickering Place, it is the smallest square in London and also the last known place in London where a duel was fought. Writer Graham Greene and Prime Minister Lord Palmerston have also lived in the house next door.
Next door is the Berry Bros & Rudd wine shop, one of the oldest in the world. At one time, an interesting method was used there - instead of keeping track of how much wine a customer drinks, he was weighed upon entry and exit.
Central London has long suffered from flooding when the Thames has burst its banks in heavy storms. 1984 a ready-made protective structure that can be used to close the river and stop its reverse flow. The defence took 10 years to build and cost £534 million (£1.6 billion in today's value). The author of the idea was Reginald Charles Draper.
The building consists of segments of a horizontal cylinder, which, when turned down, do not obstruct ship traffic, but if necessary, are turned up to stop the flow of the river. The metal segments are hollow inside and made of 4 cm thick steel. In the lower position, they are filled with water, when turned up, they are partially empty.
On the way from the DLR station to the riverside you pass an old dock which has now been transformed into a unique park. Worth watching, really worth it!
If you get to a Underground station with this name, look at what is above the platform. There is a greenish-blue square construction (pipe) that crosses the railway line diagonally. What could it be? Surprisingly, it's the River Westbourne. This river, like dozens of others like it, is directed underground. And since the tunnel was ahead of the construction of the station, the river had to be led through the station in a large metal pipe. Watch this video, 22:57.
By the way, if you go to the 20 Bourne St building, the station platform can be seen from the street between the two buildings, you don't even have to enter the station
The Waterloo & City line (colloquially The Drain) is London's shortest tube line. It has only two stations: Waterloo and Bank. The journey lasts four minutes, the length of the line is 2.37 km. It is the least used line, serving "only" 15 million people a year. On the other hand, in terms of passengers per mile, it is second only to the Victoria line. It was built in 1898 and at that time the present Bank station was called City. This line was the second underground line with electric trains. It is also interesting that the line has no connection tunnels with other lines. So how did the trains get into that tunnel? Next to Waterloo Station (Spur Road) is a special pit into which carriages are lowered by crane and, if necessary, lifted out again for repair or replacement.
This object was created in memory of the two builders who fell to their deaths during the construction of the Monument. Two builders got into a fight over who had eaten which sandwich. In the struggle, they fell from the scaffolding. In fact, the mice had eaten the sandwiches. In their memory, the facade of a house in Philbot Lane depicts two mice scavenging for pieces of cheese. In fact, it is not known whether everything was still like that. Who knows these things of the 17th century so precisely... But still a nice legend and the mice can really be seen on the facade.
The Crown Tavern. I went inside and talked to the staff. This tavern has a relatively dark, windowless back room with a table along one wall, which is more like a shelf attached to the wall. A large clock still hangs above it. In fact, as the local workers explained to me, a hundred years ago all the walls had clocks. The walls were even covered with these. And in this place under the clock (which symbolizes history), in the dark, with their backs to the people, they met behind a beer mug in 1905 for the first time, Lenin and Stalin. Somehow symbolic. Scary but interesting.
In the next building (looking across the road on the left-hand side from here) there was a tiny room where Lenin edited the Iskra newspaper. Now this building houses a library of Marxist literature (SIC!).
The best way to get there is by getting off at Farringdon tube station and heading North-west along Turnmill Street. The railway is now on the left. The River Fleet flowed (still flows now, only deep underground) on this place, and the street is named after the many water mills that were on it. The street was also called Turnbull Street because cattle were driven along it to the slaughterhouse.
London's oldest still operating hat store. The oldest hat shop in the world. Established in 1676. Not exactly a cheap place to buy a hat, but... Customers of this shop have been Nelson, Winston Churchill, Oscar Wilde, Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable, Jackie Chan, Jacqueline Kennedy Onásis, Eric Clapton, Pierce Brosnan, David Beckham and Prince Charles. Pretty good company, aren't they. :-)
In 1849, the world's first such hat, the kind Chaplin later had, was ordered from here. The customer wanted a head covering that would protect the head from tree branches while hunting.
It seems to be a fairly normal viaduct, the road goes over the other one, so what happens. But in fact it is a bridge that originally crosses the river. A river called Fleet now flows somewhere deep there to join the Thames under Blackfriars Bridge in 600 metres. While standing there, try to squint and imagine water flowing below…
57 Holborn Viaduct was home to the first public power station designed by Thomas Alva Edison.Beautiful, isn't it?
This street no longer exists, but you can still see a piece of it. If you go to the crossing of Old Compton St and Charing Cross Rd, there is an iron grating on the island separating the traffic directions nearby. Swing down through it, there is a preserved part of the street from the Victorian era. Actually, from the tunnel that ran under this street when this street still existed and connected Old Compton St and New Compton St. Even the name of the street can still be seen on the wall.
At the northern edge of Regent's Park, you can discover an oriental pagoda, which - oh wonder - is floating in the water of the canal. It's actually a Chinese restaurant, but if you don't want to go inside, you can take a picture from the nearby bridge. Those who love a variety of exotic flowers and plants could walk further south.
The restaurant barge is located at the dead end of the canal. In fact, this branch was once hundreds of meters longer, but is filled mainly with the rubble of houses destroyed in the WWII bombardment.
This is the only house in the centre of London that survived from 1666 in a great fire. 1929 it was planned to be demolished, but luckily it survived. The house was in a very poor condition, but in 1995 it got new owners who properly restored the house. In 2000, this work received an award: the City Heritage Award. Many famous persons, such as Sir Winston Churchill and the Queen Mother, have left their autographs with a diamond pen on the tin-framed window panes of the house. Unfortunately, I took a picture of the wrong house on the spot. :-(
After the victory over France at the Battle of Trafalgar, Londoners began to use everything that could be obtained from captured French ships. It turned out that the French cannons could not be used for direct purposes due to their technical characteristics. So they started to be used as barrier posts in the streets. This use became so popular that real cannons ran out and replicas began to be made, which can be seen everywhere. You can still admire the original in the pictures presented here.
As you can already see from the previous subdivision, the English are resourceful in using stuff left over from the war. Look at this fence for example. What is it made of? The material of this fence is metal stretchers, which were used to carry the wounded and fallen from the battlefield. After the war, they were no longer needed so much, and they found a new use as fences.
There are many churches in London. Among these St Botolph-without-Bishopsgate, St Giles-without-Cripplegate, St Sepulchre-without-Newgate. Maybe you're wondering what the "without" in their name means? The explanation is simple - it means that these churches were located outside the medieval city walls, behind the gate contained in the name.
The Athenaeum Club on Pall Mall (founded in 1824) has been one of the most important gentlemen's clubs in London. The club is aimed specifically at intellectuals, not so much at politicians, officers and gamblers as many others. England's most famous men, such as Charles Dickens, Charles Darwin, Michael Faraday, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Winston Churchill, have been members. But only one of them, the Duke of Wellington, has received a special honour. Under his leadership (he was also called the "Iron Duke"), Napoleon's forces were defeated at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Since the duke was relatively short (maybe a little drunk after a night at the club :-) ), he sometimes had difficulties getting on the horse. So stone blocks were specially placed in front of the club for him to make it easier for him to get home. These stones are still there on the side of the road.
Right next to the Duke of York's monument is a modest grave site, which some say is the only Nazi memorial in London. Giro was the terrier of the German ambassador Leopold von Hoesch. 1934 he chewed through a cable in the garden of the embassy at the time and was electrocuted. He was buried in the embassy garden. You can see his tombstone through the iron fence (under a big tree): GIRO EIN TREUER BEGLEITER! LONDON IM FEBRUARY 1934 HOESCH
In fact, it is probably unfair to consider the poor dog a Nazi, because Ambassador Hoesch was much more respected in England than he was in his home country. He was a popular man and his ability to dress well was especially appreciated. Gorgeous parties were organized at the embassy. Hoesch died 1936, his swastika-draped coffin was taken from Buckingham Palace to Dover Harbor and sent to Germany. And not a single member of the Nazi Party attended his funeral!
The next ambassador was Joachim von Ribbentrop.
When you see this house, the first moment you think it's graffiti. But, no, the artist has covered his home and its fence with millions of ceramic tiles. It's true, you probably need a telescope to see all the little details. The house is located near the corner of Cunnington St and Fairlawn Grove and is visible from both streets. If you are interested, take a closer look.