201Nice ice cream lorry

pilt  Queensway   pilt

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.

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202Marble Arch

pilt  Marble Arch   pilt

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.

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In some parts of the internet, you can find claims that Marble Arch has not been moved. Or that the triumphal arch was moved from the royal palace to Hyde Park Corner instead. There is a triumphal arch, but with one passageway, not three. This old engraving should perhaps explain the matter.

203Paddington Bear

pilt  Paddington   pilt

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?

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204Stained-glass window

pilt  Charing Cross   pilt

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.

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205Granary Square

pilt  King's Cross   pilt

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.

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206Of Alley

pilt  Charing Cross   pilt

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.

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pilt  Temple   pilt

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.

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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.

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208Elfin Oak

pilt  Queensway   pilt

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.

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209Attendant Cafe in Fitzrovia

pilt  Goodge Street   pilt

Have you ever drank coffee and eaten pastries in a public toiletpilt? 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.

210Dans Le Noir

pilt  Farrington   pilt

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. :-)

211Execution Dock

pilt  Wapping (Rail)   pilt

piltIn 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.

212Tower Bridge Chimney

pilt  Tower   pilt

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 it is still there.

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213Oscar Wilde Memorial

pilt  Charing Cross   pilt

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.

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214Great Storm Memorial Tree

pilt  Charing Cross   pilt

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.

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215Wellington Monument

pilt  Hyde Park Corner   pilt

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.

216The Lioness and the Lesser Kudu

pilt  Victoria   pilt

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.

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217Isokon Flats

pilt  Belsize Park   pilt

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...

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218Little Ben

pilt  Victoria   pilt

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 Benpilt. It is located quite close to the Victoria railway station and is a small tower with four clocks a few meters high.

219Stairway to Nowhere

pilt  Cannon Street   pilt

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 entrancespilt 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.

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220Lions on the roof

pilt  Parsons Green   pilt

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.

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221Boy with a Dolphin

pilt  Sloane Square   pilt

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.

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222Spire House

pilt  Lancaster Gate   pilt

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. :-)

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