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Archive for london

London’s Oldest Bookshop

By Linda Tancs

Hatchards is London’s oldest bookshop. It was established in 1797 by publisher John Hatchard and has occupied its current space at 187 Piccadilly since Georgian times. Far from a crusty old bookstore, it shelves are lined with the latest bestsellers and contemporary works along with time-honored classics. The store’s dedicated team can even source out-of-print titles. As one might expect, they’re the Official Bookseller to the Royal Household.

A Local History Museum in London

By Linda Tancs

Gunnersbury Park boasts an opulent stately home in Regency style located in the London Borough of Hounslow. Once owned by the Rothschild banking family, it now houses a local history and heritage museum for the London boroughs of Ealing and Hounslow. You can thank Maria de Rothschild for that, who sold the park and its mansion houses to Ealing Borough Council and Acton Borough Council in 1925 to be preserved as a public space. Some popular features are the 19th-century carriages owned by the Rothschilds, the Victorian kitchens and the Greek-style Doric Temple, one of the oldest buildings in the park. You can get there easily via Acton Town or South Ealing tube stations.

Jewish Heritage in Britain

By Linda Tancs

Around 150,000 Jewish immigrants settled in Britain from the late 19th century until the early 20th century, and the majority built their homes and lives in London’s East End. Their history there (as well as the overall history from medieval times to the present) is chronicled at the Jewish Museum on Albert Street. The facility houses some 28,000 objects representing  the history of the Jewish community in Britain and includes a Judaica collection and a social history collection covering subjects such as Nazism and the Holocaust.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

The Story of Fleming

By Linda Tancs

Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin at St. Mary’s Hospital in 1928, a breakthrough that earned him a Nobel Prize. It’s only fitting, then, that the London hospital is home to the Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum. Declared an International Historic Chemical Landmark by the American Chemical Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry, you can see Fleming’s laboratory (restored to its 1928 condition) and explore the story of Fleming and his development of penicillin through displays and video.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Medieval Meets Art Deco in London

By Linda Tancs

In London’s Royal Borough of Greenwich, medieval meets Art Deco at Eltham Palace and Gardens. Indeed, the manor house is a unique combination of ancient and contemporary. The oldest part of the dwelling is the Great Hall, the only remains of the medieval palace that served as the boyhood home of King Henry VIII. The rest is an Art Deco-style mansion built in the 1930s by millionaires Stephen and Virginia Courtauld, who saved Eltham Palace from ruin after years of neglect. Among the rooms of interest in the house are the map room where they planned their exotic world travels and the centrally-heated sleeping quarters designed for their pet lemur. The 19-acre garden is likewise not to be missed. The Rock Garden leads to the moat, crossed by London’s oldest working bridge. Closer to the palace, the terraced beds are awash in color now with primulas, pansies and tulips. The property is about a 15-minute stroll from Mottingham railway station, which is served by London Charing Cross and Cannon Street stations.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Exploring a Dome

By Linda Tancs

At 364 feet high, the dome of St Paul’s is the second largest cathedral dome in the world, an iconic part of the skyline of the City of London. At that height, you’ll find the dome’s Golden Gallery, a mere 528 steps from the cathedral floor. The smallest of three galleries in the dome, what it lacks in size it makes up for in sights. You’ll be treated to panoramic views of London that take in the River Thames, Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Curating London

By Linda Tancs

London has a museum for every taste. What about a taste for London itself? That’s where the Museum of London comes in, curating details about the capital from its first settlers to modern times. Discover the London “before” London, from around 450,000 B.C. until the creation of the Roman city of Londinium around A.D. 50, the biggest city Britain would see for over 1,000 years. The permanent exhibitions also feature medieval times, the city’s growth to one of the most populous and wealthy in the world and the 2012 Olympic cauldron. Free gallery tours are available daily. Currently located at 150 London Wall, the facility is on the move to historic West Smithfield in the next several months.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

London’s Only Lighthouse

By Linda Tancs

Built in the 1860s, London’s only remaining lighthouse in the Docklands is of interest not only for its historical use as a testing facility for lighthouse technology but also for its current use as the musical home of a composition destined to last for 1,000 years. Known as Longplayer, the score is a continuous 1,000-year-long piece of music performed with Tibetan singing bowls conceived for the turn of the millenium in 1999. The music will run uninterrupted (and without repetition, thanks to technology) until midnight on December 31, 2999, when the music will start anew. There’s a listening room in the lighthouse itself as well as an installation of 234 Tibetan singing bowls that were part of a live performance of part of the score, which lasted for 1,000 minutes. The lighthouse is located at Trinity Buoy Wharf, just minutes from Canning Town Underground station.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

London’s Cheese Bar

By Linda Tancs

Touted as the world’s first cheese conveyor belt restaurant, The Cheese Bar in London offers Pick & Cheese, a bar featuring a conveyor belt with glass-domed plates of cheeses sourced around the U.K. Pick as you please; prices vary according to the color of the plate. Bar seats are available on a walk-in basis for a one-hour period. In the heart of London’s West End, the venue is located just two minutes from Covent Garden Station at Short’s Gardens.

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As coronavirus proceeds, it is likely that the vast majority of us will be limited in our travels. But this, too, shall pass. Our love for travel remains, so Travelrific will continue offering travel inspiration in this medium. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

A Garden Fit for a Queen

By Linda Tancs

London’s largest and best rose garden is fit for a queen. It is, after all, named after the wife of King George V. Opened in 1932, Queen Mary’s Garden in Regent’s Park boasts 12,000 roses, the city’s largest collection. You’ll find 85 single variety beds on display, exhibiting most rose varieties from the classics to the most modern English roses. The upcoming first two weeks of June offer the best blooms.

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As coronavirus proceeds, it is likely that the vast majority of us will be limited in our travels. But this, too, shall pass. Our love for travel remains, so Travelrific will continue offering travel inspiration in this medium. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

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