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Windsor Castle & Town

One of my most favourite places to visit of all time is Windsor Castle, the oldest continuously inhabited castle in the world and favoured weekend (and then some) residence of Her Majesty. So many amazing events have happened here over the centuries, most recently of course the wedding of Harry & Meghan at the breathtaking St George’s Chapel. Normally it is absolutely heaving with people taking in its unique atmosphere, treasures and awe-inspiring sense of history. Fabulous artwork, astonishing fixtures and fittings, St Georges Hall where those famous state banquets are held and the recently refurbished Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House, the semi state rooms (my personal fave is the Crimson Drawing

Red Lion Square, Holborn

Whilst it may not be my absolute favourite of squares in London, Red Lion Square near to Holborn tube station doesn’t half pack a punch when it comes to cool stuff that has happened there over the years. It is said to be the final resting place of Oliver Cromwell who ruled England in the capacity of Lord Protector during the 1650s after a Civil War in the decade before that. Not that you would know it as there is no plaque commemorating him. In fact, he was originally buried with full honours at Westminster Abbey. However, with the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, his body was dug up, stored overnight in the Red Lion Inn just around the corner (which still exists) before being hung in ch

St Luke's, Old Street

And on the subject of Hawksmoor churches with odd spires, I bring you St Luke’s, Old Street with this rather striking obelisk spire which he also designed. But this is the only bit of the church that he did design, well that and the flanking staircase wings. Although that seems to me to be pretty much the main part, and so the debate on who built it rages on. (The other architect was John James, btw). Anyway it never really worked that well as a church, built as it was on marshy land so lots of subsidence and to this day, you can notice the distorted shapes of the windows on one side. In the mid 1960’s, after it had been abandoned and ruinous for years, it was taken over and turned into a co

St George's, Bloomsbury

Random things from my cycle around London in this glorious weather. So, this is a picture of a church, which I imagine you have already guessed. It is St George’s, Bloomsbury and known as a Hawksmoor Church, on account of the fact it was designed by a leading architect of the time Nicholas Hawksmoor. He was in operation mainly in the early 1700’s, was a pupil of Christopher Wren who built tons of stuff including St Paul’s Cathedral and in fact worked a lot with Wren on that church. Hawksmoor also built the two big towers at the front of Westminster Abbey, the ones you always see on the TV whenever the Queen goes in, or a royal wedding takes place etc. Hawksmoor built in the fashionable Baroq

Victoria Square, Westminster

London is full of unexpected surprises, hidden alleys and gorgeous little ‘finds’ and one of my favourites is Victoria Square, just a stone's throw from Buckingham Palace. It is a collection of 26 stucco fronted houses that surround a delightful square enclosed with traditional railings and lanterns. Originally constructed at the time Queen Victoria came to the throne, it was refurbished about 10 years ago with a formal, symmetrical layout, paving, raised beds, seating and a couple of mature Indian Bean trees at each end. The centrepiece of the renovated gardens is a life size bronze statue of the young Queen Victoria as she would have looked when she started her reign at just 18 years old a

Dragon Boundary Markers

Always loved these heraldic beasts that you see dotted around London. They are known as Dragon Boundary Marks and are used to mark the different gates (Aldersgate, Bishopsgate, Temple Bar, Bridge Gate and Moorgate) located around the City of London, by which I mean the one square mile that has traditionally been the central business district and economic powerhouse during the heady days of the British Empire. Traditionally associated with protection, dragons have been linked with the City since the Great Fire of London in 1666 and they also resonate with the story of St George and the Dragon as St George is the patron saint of England. The largest pair pictured here can be seen by Temple Gar

Dennis Severs House, Spitalfields

Took a trip to Dennis Severs House at 18 Folgate Street, in an area towards the east of London called Spitalfields. It is a unique testament to the artistic vision of one man who was born in California but moved to London in the late 1960s and decided to disengage from the 20th Century entirely, preferring instead to immerse himself in the life of an 18th Century Huguenot immigrant from France. The house was constructed in the early 1720s and Severs purchased it in 1979. He immediately set about regressing it, ripping out anything modern such as electricity or central heating and then proceeded to furnish the place in his own eclectic vision of what life would be like for an imaginary family

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