Another of our free ‘chats’, the five of us talking about some of our favourite squares in London, Bath and Oxford. There’s history, architecture and some myths and tall tales, not to mention a suggestion to commit treason at the next coronation.
The video of the evening is below.
Emma talked about the aristocratic splendour of London’s St James’s Square; Leo discussed Notting Hill’s enclosed gardens and the garden squares of Bloomsbury; Don travelled to Oxford for the glories of Radcliffe Square, and Rachel showed the Georgian magnificence of Bath’s Queen’s Square. Tim then tells you ten things you probably didn’t know about Trafalgar Square, and the five of us share tales of Parliament Square in Westminster.
If you’re looking for a unique gift – for Christmas, for birthdays, as a ‘thank you’, or just because you’re a good friend – you can now give our talks and virtual tours as presents.
We’ve come up with gift certificates (you can find out more and order here). Just choose how many of our events you want to gift, pay online (£10 each, no booking fee, and buy four and get a fifth for free, just like our season tickets) and we’ll send you a certificate with a booking code.
The gift recipient simply enters that code when booking a tour, so won’t have to pay anything themselves. And it’s good for the number of tours you decide to gift.
We’ll email you the certificate as a PDF, so you’re in control of when you give it – you can print it out and put it in a card, email it, or simply let the recipient have the unique code in your own message.
Another of our free ‘chats’ this evening, as the five of us talked about the buildings in London that we love – and the ones that we’d be quite happy to see flattened by bulldozers. The video of the evening is below.
And to see just where in London these buildings are, visit our Google map. You can get a sense of the location, see images and there are links through to street view for some of the places so you can see them in situ.
Southwark, on the south side of the river Thames, has a history as long and fascinating as any part of north London, but it is not as well known.
Perhaps this is because over the centuries debtors prisons, abattoirs, primitive hospitals, bawdy taverns and heavy industry have been located here. For many years, Londoners travelled across the river at their own risk!
Today this part of London boasts a thriving market, a cathedral, the tallest building in the UK and a WW2 battleship. There are connections to John Harvard and Sir Francis Drake, not to mention William Shakespeare. In this UK Tours Online talk, get to know this colourful area and judge for yourself whether South London has a rather maligned reputation!
Between September 1940 and May 1941, London was bombed nearly every night, with tens of thousands killed or wounded, and millions of homes destroyed or damaged. Night after night, the population of the world’s biggest city was forced into shelters, basements and tube stations as the Luftwaffe tried to destroy the city and the morale of its people.
In this online talk DON BROWN looks at the history of the Blitz, and its effect upon the capital’s buildings and population. We will also examine the other major raids across the UK and the ‘V’ weapon onslaught that hit London in the last year of the war.
It’s a story of fear, survival, and heroism, but there is so much more to it than the popular image of cheerful cockneys “keeping calm and carrying on”.
As we add more events (we’re just putting together our November programme, including a range of shorter, lunchtime, talks – more news on those soon), our page of forthcoming events starts looking a little crowded.
So we’ve put everything onto a Google calendar, which we’ll update as new things go in. This lets you see what’s coming up on a handy ‘month to view’ (which you can change to a week view), so you can plan your viewing. Each entry has a link to take you to the Eventbrite page so you can get more information or book.
After the success of our first charity talk, which – through your generosity – raised £630 for Prostate Cancer UK, we’ve scheduled another event on 20 October.
Emma will be doing her virtual tour of Old Chelsea, to tell us what brought Kings, courtesans, actors and artists to Chelsea from the 1500s up to the trendiest and wealthiest of today. There’s stunning architecture and great stories making this an hour of history and scandal not to be missed.
And, keeping it local, all ticket money will be donated to the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, based on the Fulham Road. From funding state-of-the-art equipment and groundbreaking research, to creating the best patient environments, the charity helps ensure that the Royal Marsden hospital can continue to provide the very best care and develop life-saving treatments.
There’s no fixed ticket price – just pay what you feel able to donate. You can book tickets below:
Our friend, and fellow guide, Marc Blake has only gone and published a book.
Called ‘Spirit of the Blitz’ this young adult thriller is set during the height of the bombing of London in WW2 and will make a perfect addition to any mystery fan’s bookshelf.
During the Blitz of 1940, many thousands of Londoners sheltered in the Underground. On the very first day, twelve-year-old William Lumley, his mother, and little sister Aggie are bombed out. Fleeing to the safety of the Tube, they begin a subterranean existence and Will befriends the station marshal, Mr Sands. Although they are protected from the constant bombing above, there is great danger underneath the streets. There’s a gang of spivs as well as temptation and frustration in the form of Will’s fickle cousin Evie. But worst of all an evil, malignant being lurks deep in the tunnels, appearing at night to steal the children away. Only Will has seen the beast, but can he find a way to convince others of the danger amidst the chaos and destruction of war-torn London?
As part of the research for his talk on the life of Churchill, Don has been plotting various locations associated with Sir Winston on the map below (it’s still very much a work in progress, so it’s being added to all the time).
You can see, for example, the addresses where he lived in London, monuments to him or his works, where he went to school, where he’s buried, even where he bought his cigars.
Enjoy exploring the map – and do drop us a line if you think there are other addresses that should be plotted.