We hope you don't have to search for your lost things on the Underground. But the window of the office at 200 Baker Street is worth a look. What all people have lost in urban transport! Of course, the window is small. Not everything fits there. For example, the coffin that was once found on the train is not there. ;-)
It's not there now, it's moved away. Too bad.
However, if you really forgot an item on public transport, get in touch:
A place that advertises itself as a store for vampires, werewolves and Bigfoots. So what is it? Go there and see. :-D
Open relatively short hours: Mon & Fri 13:00..17:00 and Sat 11:00..17:00. On other days of the week, monsters are on a diet. ;-)
See for details: here .
One of the most beautiful churches in London. It's worth going there when it's raining. In rainy weather, this church has a peculiarity. No, the roof doesn't let through. :-) But rainwater seeps into the walls due to some structural peculiarity. And then inside, the walls of the church seem to be crying big tears.
If you want to have lunch in a fascinating place, maybe do it in the basement of the church St Martin-in-the-Fields? Despite the particularly posh location on the edge of Trafalgar Square, the prices are still relatively moderate.
Of course, if you want a cocktail and a view of the square, go across the square to St James's hotel bar called The Rooftop. As the name suggests, it is located on the roof of the hotel.
If you're already there, maybe you're wondering why the corner of the square and the tube station there are called Charing Cross? Because there ≈1290..1647 stood a cross called the Queen Eleanor Memorial Cross. But Charing comes from the old English word cierring, which means bend in the river. You can't see this bend from the square now, but only a few hundred meters away is the bend of the Thames. In the distant times, it was quite an empty place, as can be concluded from the name of the church mentioned above.
Many of these crosses were placed at different places during Eleanor's journey to her burial site, but this one survived the longest. There is currently an equestrian statue of King Charles I above the cross of Eleanor, the beloved wife of King Edward I. The statue is looking in the direction of the place where that king was executed (in front of the Banqueting House). When the turbulent times of Oliver Cromwell ended, Charles II ascended the throne, and the previous king's executioners were executed on the very spot where this monument stands.
By the way, I didn't use the word "beloved" about Eleanor for nothing. Although the marriage was arranged for political reasons and Edward was 15 at the time and his wife only 13, it turned out to be a true romantic marriage and the death of his husband at the age of 49 was a very big blow to the king. They had 15 children!
Camden Town is home to some of London's most interesting markets. That is why the "s" in the title is in parentheses, that it is actually more of a series of markets. Don't miss any of these. When you get out of the tube and start heading north-west (along Camden High Street), you will soon see the big sign The Camden Market on your right. Of course, you can explore it, but know that it's just a tiny Buck Street market. The main market area is ahead. Move on. You will soon reach a bridge that leads over the Regent Canal. You can cross it along the canal, but it would be more interesting to go left along the shore and enter the market area over the pedestrian bridge. You will also see the system of old locks. The market is large and diverse. I hope you can find the Cyberdog described above and also see the figure of Amy Winehouse. The ice cream shop described in the next point is also located there. Part of the market is located under the railway in old stables. In this regard, there are also many horse figurines on the market.
This place is located in the market described in the previous point. Here you can buy ice cream made using liquid nitrogen. The entire manufacturing process takes place in front of the customer.
Located right next to the Sherlock Holmes Museum. I don't think it's necessary to explain further, the fans themselves know what they're looking for there.
But actually a better shop is next to Abbey Road Studios, a narrow passage on the right.
If you want to feel free and childlike, this is the place for you. A cocktail bar with a sea of balls for adults.
All Hallows Church is located in Twickenham, quite far from the heart of London. But it once stood right in the heart of the City, on Lombard St. ≈1930 it was dismantled stone by stone and rebuilt in a new place. The church is architecturally quite interesting. Its bell tower is connected to the church, but it is located away from the main part. And the bell tower is not pointed, but there is a full-width balcony above.
The bridge may not look very special, but there are several interesting facts related to it.
A church that is essentially in the middle of the street on a traffic island. But in 1714, when construction began, there was not much traffic there... In the twentieth century, the church was planned to be demolished twice, but due to public opposition, the church still remains. However, the cemetery that was located near the church no longer exists for a long time.
But right across the road you can see letters on the house: PICCADILLY RLY STRAND STATION. This is the now closed Aldwych tube station. It was opened in 1911 and was closed in 1994, because the entrance was by lifts, but they did not meet modern safety requirements. TfL (Transport for London) sometimes organizes tours there. See https://www.ltmuseum.co.uk/ whats-on/hidden-london.
At the edge of a large park, it may not look very big, but take a closer look. It was made in 1951, but the 108-foot tall mast was erected in 1977 in its current location. Especially vandal-resistant - weighs five and a half tons.
A stone seat for twelfth-century boatmen who ferried people across the river. The house it once stood in front of is no more, now in the wall of The Real Greek eatery.
In the 19th century, London had many problems with infectious diseases spread through contaminated drinking water. With the help of benefactors, 85 public drinking water points were built, from which pure spring water flowed and from which Londoners could drink without fear of infection. The very first of these was built at the church of St Sepulchre-without-Newgate (well, it's just a name!). You can see it even now, although this does not give water.
If you want to fill a free water bottle on a warm summer day, you have one such option in the corner of the park in front of the Green Park Underground station exit.
In London, there are many special posts (so-called bollards) that must prevent cars (formerly probably horse-drawn carriages) from entering the pedestrian area. Recently, there have been a lot more of these due to the threat of terrorism. But not everyone is like that. Some are just part of a fun sculpture group.
We already talked about triple bridges above. You can still discover one unexpectedly if you walk along the Regent Canal and know how to look. At the point where Camden Road crosses the canal, look up from under the bridge. There is a pipe running under the ceiling. There flows the River Fleet, right above your head.
This church right in the centre is of course beautiful, but there is something else worth seeing here. If you go to the courtyard on the right, you will see large stone details from the very first stone bridge in London. And under the tower of the church there is an arch where you can see a piece of wood attached to the wall, which comes from the port that was by this bridge. You can even touch this piece of wood, which is about 2000 years old.
Columbia Road Flower Market. If you need flowers, go there. The selection is good and the prices are many times cheaper than in a flower shop. Unfortunately only open on Sundays. Buses 26, 48 and 55 (the last station near Old Street) take you closer. But you can't walk far, 1.3 km. When you leave the tube station, after half a kilometre (right after the ELKAY PROPERTIES sign on the left), you could turn left onto Rufus St., a hundred meters away. There is a nice little park and a small street cafe. If you drink a coffee there, know that Dr. John Parkinson, the first describer of the disease named after him, lived in the house next door.
In the old days, the market was open on Saturdays, but at the request of the local rather numerous Jewish community, the day was changed. Open Sun 8:00..15:00. The best flowers are sold during the first few hours, but after 13:00 the prices again drop considerably, because the sellers want to get rid of all the goods. Choose the right time to visit the flower market.
The prime minister lives at this address. But you can't get there, the street is closed to mere mortals. If you want to take a selfie in front of the Prime Minister's house , know that there is a very similar house and front door at 10 Adam Street. There you can take as many pictures as you need. Who cares anyway.
The house and the front door are really amazingly similar. But I'll let you in on a little secret. A lantern hangs above the Prime Minister's door, which the other house does not have. When taking a picture, turn the camera downwards so that the difference is not visible. ;-)
Try not to get lost. Right next to Adam Street is also John Adam Street, the latter is not the right one.
Wait, wait... When I mentioned the London airports above, this wasn't one of these. It does not exist any more. But it was London's first passenger airport. In the past, only vulgar hobbyists and military pilots flew. Opened in 1920, the airport had a waiting room, an air traffic control tower and radio navigation equipment. It's a common thing now, but back then they were here for the first time. This airport was closed in 1959. Aeroplanes needed longer runways and the noise disturbed the residents of nearby houses too much. But unlike many other small airports, here the airport building has been preserved. A magnificent building. It currently houses a visitor centre. And in front of it stands a real plane on top of the poles. Quite far from the city centre and you have to walk a kilometre from the railway station, but a nice place to see for aviation enthusiasts.
By the way, it was at Croydon Airport in 1921 that Senior Communications Officer Frederick Stanley Mockford introduced the "mayday" distress signal.
A rather unremarkable footbridge in a place called Paddington Basin. But designer Thomas Heatherwick has come up with it quite cleverly. Every Friday at noon, this bridge rises and rolls up. Interesting to watch for tech enthusiasts. The best geometry miracle.
See video here .
But in the second half of this video, there is another interesting bridge, see .
Above we talked about noses created by the artist. But there are also ears. Go to 9-10 Floral Street and you will see an ear on the side of the house. There are actually more of these ears created by the artist Tim Fishlock (you can find one of these on the opposite side of the street, at the end of the street, if you're lucky, also a nose). I don't know what he had in mind (or ear?) when he created these.
When you have seen the place described in the previous point, turn your gaze to the east. There you can see a particularly interestingly designed connecting bridge between the houses. Perhaps the design was also conditioned by the fact that the ballet school is passed by it.
For centuries, merchant ships bound for London have passed close by this place. Executed pirates were brought here for all to see. The execution took place at Execution Dock Wapping. But the pirates were hung in a large cage and brought here for all to see.
Of course, they are not here now, but there is something else to look at. For example Richard Wilson's "artwork" called Slice of Reality. This is a segment of an ocean liner. And it is said to be located exactly on the zero meridian. I hope you can find it, there are directional signs outside the Underground station.
Cockfights were popular in London in the 18th century. The small circular area where they were organized was called the Cockpit. This staircase led to one of these. Cock is known to be the British equivalent of the US word rooster.
Rules for matching and fighting cocks in London:
To begin the same by fighting the lighter pair of cocks (which fall in match) first, proceeding upwards to the end: that every lighter pair may fight earlier than those that are heavier.
In matching (with relation to the battles) it is a rule always, in London, that, after the cocks of the main are weighed, the match bills are compared.
That every pair of dead or equal weight are separated, and fight against others, provided that it appears that the main can be enlarged by adding thereto either one battle or more thereby.
But why is there cockpit in an aeroplane? In the early days of military aircraft, the pilot sat in a circular hole in the fuselage. The shape of this hole and the fight with the enemy planes probably led the mind to cockfighting.
Nice place to see the London skyline. There is also an information board on the viewing platform, where you can see what a building is called that you can see on the horizon. The hill is 65 meters high and bears its name from the 15th century.
I went there during the day, but the view must have been especially beautiful at sunrise. The night view should also be amazing. There is a residential area on the hill (behind the first picture) where many famous and rich people live. For example, the model Kate Moss, you may have heard this name.Here you can see many of London's famous buildings. How many of these do you recognize? But this is how the hill looks from below. ZOOM
There used to be a lot of these huge bottle-shaped kilns for firing pottery in London. But only one of these has been preserved as a whole. Fortunately, it is right next to the street, so it can be seen. The kiln also has a tag explaining its history. The street behind the row of houses is called Hippodrome Mews. The only sign that this area once housed a racecourse.An interesting object just across the road
The smallest house in London. Barely a meter wide. There was a narrow passage between the two houses through which the grave robbers got into the churchyard behind the house. To prevent them, this house was built, with one door and one window. There is hardly more than one room in there... Twenty meters to the right there is a plaque on the wall commemorating the 105 Catholic martyrs who died on the Tyburn gallows near here.
But if you want to see the narrowest house in London, which is also lived in, then go: 14 Goldhawk Road W12 8HD.
Nice pub right next to the Underground station. But here is one peculiarity that not everyone can notice. On the outer wall of the tavern, three golden spheres hang from the console. Why? This is a sign of a pawn shop from long ago. But there is actually no pawn shop there. It's an old story... Two hundred years ago, a well-dressed unknown man appeared at an inn and wanted to borrow money. He offered a very valuable pocket watch as a pawn. The innkeeper also borrowed money. A few days later, the king's envoy appeared at the tavern and returned the money. It turned out that the unknown had been King George IV. To make the matter completely legal, the deputy also brought a pawnbroker's licence signed by the king. And as is customary in this land of traditions, it is still valid today. That is why a house can bear the sign of a pawn shop, even though there is not actually a pawn shop there.
Nice street quite near Westminster Palace, beautiful red stone houses. But look carefully - many windows are bricked up. Why? They have been walled up since the times when the state demanded a tax on the number of windows from flat owners. The window tax was valid in 1696..1851. To save money, many closed some of the windows to pay less. And they are closed until now.
By the way, if you are already on this street, look at houses 7 and 9. On the wall between these houses, there are still inscriptions from WWII that led to the bomb shelter.
The bridge called London Bridge has been demolished and rebuilt several times. The current bridge is rather faceless... Or maybe boring, if you try to express yourself nicely. But one of the bridges was demolished in 1831. The bridge had 14 shelters cut from stone, where the person on the bridge could sit and perhaps take shelter from the speeding barge. Some of them have been preserved. One is quite close to the original site in the hospital courtyard. The other is in the courtyard of a residential block. But two pieces are located in the eastern part of Victoria Park. This stone shelter is perhaps most reminiscent of a vandal-proof bus shelter. But why don't you go and see for yourself (West of the railway station, you can cross the road via the pedestrian bridge and near the entrance to the nearest park).
This is where the rather poor residents of Hampstead in the 17th and 18th centuries took drinking water. It was spring water that came from the neighbouring street in the canal. This was very important because it was through polluted water that many devastating epidemics spread. It was donated to local residents in December 1698. a lady named Susanna Knowle. The source of drinking water gets its name from Greek mythology. The water had a high iron content and was considered very beneficial for health. A treatment facility was built across the road because this water was supposed to be good against stomach worms, hysteria and excess fluid in the brain. So claimed the local doctor Dr. Gibbon. Already in 1665 during the great plague, many city dwellers fled here, after all, it was such a harsh climate...
Now, instead of a medical facility, there are residential buildings and you can no longer get water from here. There is a footpath above the water channel. But the building of the water intake still stands and is under national protection.
The Thames is a river that cannot be missed when in London. But if you want to look at the river in silence, away from the crowds, feel the water with your hand, then this is the right place. Yet this quiet corner is located right in the city centre. You just have to go straight down the tiny street on the right-hand side of the Cannon Street railway station and soon you can descend the stairs directly to the river bank. When the water is low, you can walk a few hundred meters along the shore in either direction. On the wall, you can see walled-up openings through which sewage once flowed into the river. Now, of course, that doesn't happen any more. The small river Walbrook used to flow here, which is no longer there, it has long been piped.
It is known that the first Masonic lodge (The United Grand Lodge) was founded in 1717* in England. However, this truly impressive building was built in 1933. You can also go inside for a look, the inside of the building is just as powerful and gloomy. Open Mon..Fri 10:00..17:00. Tours at 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 16:00 and 16:00. Among other things, you can also see a three-meter-high throne, which was made in 1790. for the Prince Regent, later King George IV. It's funny to think how that short stocky man must have looked there. :-) If you want to get into the theme, you can go eat at the Rules restaurant (35 Maiden Lane** , half a kilometre south-west). There, they serve food according to the traditions of Freemasonry.
* By the way, it is good to remember the year 1717 - exactly 200 years before it the Reformation began, 200 years later the revolution in Russia confused many things in Europe.
** I hope I won't spoil your appetite by mentioning that Maiden Lane doesn't get its name from the word maiden; instead, from the word midden - a pile of manure and dung. :-).
In 1711, Parliament passed a decision to build 50 new churches. However, only 12 of them were built. The architect of six of them was Nicholas Hawksmoor (1661..1736), a student of Christopher Wren. One of these churches was St. Anne's Church in Limehouse. The church has a tall tower and a clock which is the tallest of all London church towers. The church is quite close to the Thames, and the chimes every quarter of an hour rang out to the ships on the river. The church tower has a direct line of sight to the observatory, specifically the red orb there that fell (still falls, by the way) every day at 1:00 p.m. This ensured the accuracy of the time signals.
In the garden of the church, however, there is a stone pyramid with a height of 3 meters. On its south side is the inscription: "The Wisdom of Solomon." It is not yet known why it is there and what it was intended for. It doesn't look like it's some detail left over from the construction of the church, it wouldn't fit anywhere. A connection with Freemasonry has been suggested... Hawksmoor churches are said to form a pentagram on the map. But I guess we still don't know the purpose of the pyramid, it's standing in the garden of the church anyway, you can go see it.
London is an interesting city. One of the largest in the world, but there is always a quiet place to rest and reflect relatively close by. Just 13 minutes by tube from Westminster (Jubilee Line), and you are at the top of the Greenwich Peninsula. Just 300 meters to the North-east and you are on the river bank. The Thames is wider here and the view is not obscured by high-rise buildings. There is a platform in the water near the shore and something on it... Is it a sculpture? Can't even name it. The object is 30 meters high and consists of criss-cross metal rods. But if you look carefully, there seems to be a human figure inside. This is the creation of Antony Gormley. His works can also be seen in Liverpool, but he also created 31 male figures on the roofs of South Bank houses.
Nearby, the cable car goes over the river to a height of 90 meters. If you haven't already, definitely go for a ride. It's not scary at all, the gondolas don't sway even in strong winds and the view is beautiful. Also nearby is the Slice of Reality I described in point 174.
Holland Park is actually used as the name of the area, there is a street and a Underground station named after it. But the park itself is meant here.
The park is 22 hectares in size and is named not after the country, but after a person. Lord Holland built a house here called Holland House. One of the wings of the house is preserved, the other part was destroyed in the bombing of II MS. Opera performances are given on the terrace of the house in the summer. The park also has sports fields and two play areas for children. Two Japanese gardens are also located in the park - Kyoto Garden (1991) and Fukushima Memorial Garden (2012).
Holland Park is much more diverse than Hyde Park. There are buildings, large open areas and almost virgin forest in the northern part.
Little Venice is an area on Regent Canal. Nice place to walk. It's not too crowded either, you can calmly enjoy the coffee of Waterside Cafe. The name Little Venice was given to the place by the poet Robert Browning, who lived right here (just the same white house south-east of the Waterside Cafe, where the canal narrows).
Nice street market. Get everything.
Big market (under the roof), very diverse goods.
Beneath the north end of Tower Bridge is a strange room with tiled walls. What was it used for? The answer is a little scary - it was a temporary storage place where drowned people pulled out of the river were put. After all, there were so many of them at one time that a special storage place was needed.
The Nauticalia store, which advertises itself as the world's first. And in a way it is, it is only 0.4 minutes west of the prime meridian. :-) All kinds of nautical souvenirs. From cheap to really costly. But there is also quite interesting stuff. Unfortunately, it was closed when I took the picture, but later I still went inside. It's worth a look, maybe you'll find something interesting. Compasses, barometers, ship models. That being said, some are outrageously high-priced and appear to be masterfully made. Not quite an ordinary souvenir shop.
The V&A is a commonly known abbreviation for Queen Victoria and her husband Albert. The museum has an incredible amount of toys from many eras. Free of charge.
You can't get there at the moment, the museum is being renovated. The new name is Young V&A. Then you can see...
In Trafalgar Square, there is a base for a monument that was left unfinished a century ago due to lack of money. There was to be a statue of King William IV. The works of several artists are now exhibited on this basis. This bottle was also there at first. But now it stands in front of the Greenwich Maritime Museum. It is more correct, because the ship is still associated with sailors.If you take off the cap, this boy would also fit in the bottle :-)
Very strong construction. Because it is not just a railway bridge. An entire railway station is located on top of it. It is the only station in London with entrances on both sides of the river.By the way, the red pillars of the previous, demolished bridge can be seen on the left. There were three of these pillars a row, but one is inside the new bridge.
A tram once ran in the centre of London. This here is the entrance to the former tram tunnel. It is now closed and abandoned. However, the river side of the tunnel is now adapted for cars.
The section adapted as a car tunnel exits onto Waterloo Bridge at its beginning. But the trams did not go to the bridge, but turned to the river bank. From where? Go under Waterloo Bridge on the north bank of the river. There you will see big gates and behind them is a night club. This was once the place where the trams left and made a rather sharp turn to the right.
A pub with this name has been here since time immemorial. In the great fire of 1666 it burned down. But already the next year, a new pub was built and the business continued. In fact, it is not just a pub, but a whole small complex of various restaurants and eateries. Lots of tiny bars in 12 rooms over four floors. Charles Dickens and Sir Conan Doyle have loved spending time here.
By the way, don't forget to visit St Bride's Church almost directly across the road (slightly to the left). Also worth watching. Designed by Grandmaster Wren.Don't try too hard to pronounce this name. In fact, it is still pronounced "the old...". It's just an old spelling.
A pillar brought from Egypt. It was erected in 1475 BC in Heliopolis. The emperor Augustus ordered it to be transported to Alexandria, but the foundation was poorly made and the column fell to the ground. So it lay there for centuries. In 1819 Muhammad Ali (not the man you're thinking of :-) , the viceroy of Egypt) gave it to Britain. Under the pillar is a time capsule containing a Bible, cigars, money, newspapers and 12 (some say 14) pictures of England's most beautiful women. The column is supposed to be guarded by sphinxes, but the bad thing happened to them was that the workmen put them in place the wrong way, so the guards are facing the rear end of the possible enemy (compare the four lions in Trafalgar Square). :-) The third picture shows the damage caused by shrapnel during the very first bombing of London on September 4, 1917.
If you visit the observatory, you definitely want to see the telescope. What is an observatory without a telescope? But there is a small trick involved. You go through the observatory doors through the courtyard and turn right. There you can buy a rather costly ticket, which allows you to enter and see a lot of photos and other crap, and you can stand with one foot in one hemisphere and the other in the other hemisphere (selfie!). Like you can't do anywhere else, because the zero meridian goes around the whole Earth... But you can't see the telescope, because it's not there. In fact, there is no need to spend money at all. Go in the front door and immediately turn right. There is a souvenir shop. At the end of the shop is a wooden staircase that goes up. Go up along it to the second floor, there is an iron spiral staircase. This is how you get to the telescope and you don't have to pay anything.
The rose garden in Greenwich. Of course, it depends on the season, but an awful lot of roses.
A Rolls Royce car has been adapted to sell ice cream. Can be seen in the summer in the south-west corner of Kensington Gardens. Probably the only car of its type in this role.
A gate called Marble Arch was built to enter the royal palace. But it was too narrow for the royal transport, and when the palace was expanded, it was moved to the north-east corner of Hyde Park. But why is there a door in it? The park used to host large-scale events and the arc has facilities for a police unit. Currently, this is no longer in use.
Paddington's name is probably associated with Agatha Christie's crime novel for many. But also for many from the series of children's books with the bear of that name. The books have also been published in Estonian, they have been made into a DVD and read as a bedtime story on the radio. Where is this cute teddy bear? At Paddington train station of course. Go to the left wall and from there you can continue along the platform without going through the ticket gates.
On my last visit, I couldn't find it there anymore. :-( Who knows where it is now?
The large stained-glass window of the church St-Martin-in-the-Fields was broken in the bombings of the WWII. The new window was designed by Iranian female artist Shirazeh Houshiary. It is a very peculiar window indeed. Well worth a visit, right by Trafalgar Square.
Robert Boyle, the discoverer of the eponymous law of physics, is also buried in the church.
Interesting place behind King's Cross train station. There are nice steps to sit and watch the canal. Also four areas with fountains in which the height of the water changes all the time. Children like it very much. But in the old days there was water in this place. Here ships were unloaded with grain. And these four areas of fountains mark the very places where the ships stood.
One of the strangest street names ever to come across in London was Of Alley. It was renamed in 1855 and is now called York Place, but the street sign still has the old name in small print.
A large plot of land next to what is now Charing Cross railway station once belonged to a man called George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham. He had inherited this land from his father, who bore the same name and title. In 1670, he decided to sell the land to developers who planned to build many new houses and streets here. The land was sold, but with a very strange additional condition in the sales contract. All new streets to be built had to bear the seller's name. And so the streets named George Court, Villiers Street, Duke Street, Buckingham Street and finally Of Alley was born. There were no more components to take from the name... Some names have been preserved, some have not. But it's worth going to see the sign on the street corner.
It is a tea house founded by Thomas Twining in 1709. It is still operating today. The facade of the building features a design that is considered to be the world's oldest corporate logo still in use.
There is also a box here in the shop that says T.I.P. It means: To Insure Promptness. This is where the expression "tip" originated.
If you turn around 180 degrees, you will see a building that could be considered a cathedral. But it's actually The Royal Court of Justice. If you bother to take a closer look at this magnificent building, you can discover a colonnade in which one column is shorter than the others. This is done on purpose. The builders found that only God could build something that would be perfect.
It is a sculpture made from a hollow oak trunk and depicts a multitude of fairies, elves and animals. It was made by Ivor Innes in 1930 from an oak log sourced from Richmond Park. Pink Floyd's album Ummagumma features a photo of the band's guitarist and singer David Gilmour standing in front of this sculpture. Writer and actor Spike Milligan donated in 1997 the larger amount of money with which the statue was restored. This peculiar object stands next to the outdoor cafe behind the children's playground named after Princess Diana.
Have you ever drank coffee and eaten pastries in a public toilet? In the upscale Fitzrovia district, an underground public toilet has been turned into a nice cafe. It may seem strange at first, but it is actually a very hygienic and interesting place.
A restaurant for lovers of special experiences. Eating takes place in absolute darkness. Served by blind waiters. At least you don't have to be ashamed if something you eat spills on the tablecloth in a restaurant. :-)
In the old days, the British fleet was in trouble with pirates. Fighting crime was a concern of the Admiralty. The pirates were also caught and the only possible punishment for them was hanging. To scare off potential future pirates, they were hanged for 400 years at a place called Wapping right on the river bank, so that everything could be seen by passing ships. The most famous pirate who hang here was probably Captain Kidd, who has been the subject of books and films. Unfortunately, the exact location is not known, see the map above for possible locations.
There are many pubs on the street closest to the river (Wapping High Street) and if you find a passage between them that leads to the river, behind many of them there is a mock gallows erected by the river. Business is business.
In fact, there are as many as three pubs competing for the 'right spot': the Prospect of Whitby, the Captain Kidd and the Town of Ramsgate.
About 40,000 tourists cross the Tower Bridge every day, but there is one thing most of them don't notice, even though it's very visible. If you approach the bridge from the north, there are street lamps on both sides of the road. They are on top of carved cast iron posts. But just before reaching the suspension bridge's supporting structures, there is an irregularity. If the posts are otherwise regularly spaced, on the right side there is one extra post between the others. And there is no lantern at the end of it. It turns out that it's not a lamp post. It's a chimney instead. Under the bridge, there were rest rooms for the bridge guards, and the chimney belongs to the heating hearth that heated the rooms, which was heated with coal. After strict anti-pollution laws came into force in 1956, no more smoke has risen from this chimney. But is is still there.
You can see the statue just behind the church St Martin in the Fields on the pedestrian street. This is the first monument to a famous writer outside of Ireland since 1998, the artist Maggi Hambling. It is as if the writer was lying in a coffin, what the artist wanted to say with that, it is hard to guess. The writer's right hand seems to be holding something. In fact, the figure was originally holding a cigarette. But it was repeatedly broken off from the statue and finally abandoned to replace it.
On October 16, 1987, England and France were hit by a major storm. 22 people died, 15 million trees were destroyed in England. 250,000 trees were broken in London. After the storm, the Evening Standard laid out £60,000 to plant new trees. The tree named The English Oak was planted in front of Charing Cross station a year after the storm. Behind the tree is a phone box (black in colour for some reason) and there are commemorative plaques with text explaining the origin of the tree. While admiring the trees, do not step on other people's feet - it is a very crowded place.
The Duke of Wellington (Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington) was the commander under whose leadership Napoleon's forces were defeated in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. The duke became a national hero, several monuments were erected to him, for example, an equestrian statue near the Hyde Park Corner Underground station, or another equestrian statue in front of the Bank of England. High-class women from the Ladies of England also wanted to pay their respects and commissioned a statue from sculptor Richard Westmacott. The statue was cast from cannons obtained as spoils of war (from the battles of Salamanca (1812), Vitoria (1813), Toulouse (1814) and Waterloo) and weighs 33 tons. The statue was placed in the south-east corner of Hyde Park on June 18, 1822. The statue is modelled after the statue of Achilles in Monte Cavallo, Italy, but the head represents the Duke himself. The figure caused quite a stir and a scandal because the hero is completely naked. Later, a fig leaf was added to the statue to appease the ladies of London. There were other criticisms, such as the shield being too small to protect himself from enemies. But the statue is standing in its place even now, go see it.
If you want to see bronze statues, but politicians and kings are bored, Lower Grosvenor Garden offers a very interesting hunting scene from the savannah. The statue is by Jonathan Kenworthy and was originally intended to be placed in a castle garden. But later it was decided to put it in a place where everyone could see it.
It is an block of flats built in 1934. It is an experimental building in which a new lifestyle was tried to be introduced. The real thing that came out... The house is the first residential building in London that was cast entirely from concrete. There are 32 flats in the building, and they are connected by a common balcony with no fences between the flats. The house was designed by Wells Coates. The name of the house is derived from isometric projection and constructivist aesthetics. 1941 Agatha Christie moved into the house because her previous residence was bombed. In the opinion of its creators, the Isobar restaurant on the roof was supposed to emphasize the collectivism of the residents, so that all the residents could eat together. But I guess the experiment didn't go as the creators hoped. Anyway, in the sixties, several dozen Soviet spies lived in the house...
Many know the north tower of the Houses of Parliament as Big Ben, which is actually called the Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben is the bell inside it that makes the note E). The other towers of the same building are called Victoria Tower and Central Tower. But there is also Little Ben. It is located quite close to the Victoria railway station and is a small tower with four clocks a few meters high.
Sometime in the sixties of the last century, the idea arose that car traffic and pedestrians should be separated from each other. For this purpose, pedestrian flyovers were built over roads and balcony-like walkways on buildings at the height of the second/third floor, where you could walk for hundreds of meters without ever descending to street level. You can see such "balconies" covering entire blocks, for example, if you start walking east along Queen Victoria St from Blackfriars station. Even one of the station entrances located there at the height of the third floor. But nothing came of the idea. Everything was too rustic and, for example, the entrances to shops were still at street level. No one liked the constant climbing of stairs either. One absurd example of an abandoned venture is on the corner of Swan Lane and Lower Thames Street. A magnificent staircase begins there. If you bother to climb up, you'll find that this staircase doesn't really lead anywhere.
If you happen to be walking in a place called Fulham from Parsons Green tube station in a south-east direction (such as Studdridge Street and the streets branching off it), be sure to look up. All houses are topped with stone lion statues, at least three for each house. Why so? The development of these streets was led by a real estate developer named James Nichols around 1890. He thought it would be nice to put a statue of a lion on some of the houses, but he got too many zeros on the order sheet. So he mistakenly ordered 1,500 of these statues instead of 15.
By David Wynne. Located at the north end of the Albert Bridge. The sculpture depicts the author's 9-year-old son. The author of the statue was a biologist by education, but it seems that he had the soul of an engineer. I can't help wondering how this boy stands up there and doesn't break his arm.
There was once a church here, but it was destroyed in the bombing of WWII. But the tower remained. A rather peculiar house has now been built there. An interesting solution and, in my opinion, even nice. But actually it would be strange to live in a church. :-)