A Tour of London’s Street Art

Crane by Belgian artist Roa

Next time you're in the East End, take a moment to soak up London's street art. It's bold, witty and often subversive, much like the city itself. The works of artists who revel in pseudonyms like Jimmy C, Stik, Ronzo and, of course, Banksy, have turned the formerly mean streets of Spitalfields and Shoreditch into a continually evolving open air art gallery. Once, not so long ago, the East ... Read Full Article

A Victorian Valhalla: Meeting London’s Famous Dead at Highgate Cemetery

Visitors come to a dead stop when they first see the gateway to Egyptian Avenue. Flanked by two pairs of columns with lotus bud capitals and a forbidding overhead archway, it leads to the “Street of the Dead”.

London’s renowned Highgate Cemetery exudes its own distinct spirit as you stroll through its long, narrow winding gravel paths. Shaded by a forest canopy of ancient, leafy, towering oaks, alders, willows, and silver birch and chestnut trees, you can see all of England’s quintessential natural beauty within the 37-acre confines of this park-like necropolis. At Highgate, nature’s ground cover ... Read Full Article

Eight Ways to Beat Jet Lag in London

Up at the O2 Arena

Thanks to free museums and stunning architecture, London is frequently the first stop for many travelers going to Europe. This means that London is also where many travelers face jet lag. Thankfully, this dynamic city offers plenty of fun and surprising activities to keep you awake, from climbing to the top of its O2 Arena for a bird’s-eye view to sipping some of the best coffee in the world. Here ... Read Full Article

The Weald and Downland Open Air Museum

17th century house

You’ve got to hand it to the English—they do a marvelous job of preserving their heritage, especially in museums. But the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum has taken preservation of ancient buildings to a whole new level. In the middle of the rolling green hills of rural Sussex, about 50 miles southwest of London, you’ll find an enormous 50-acre farm dotted with 45 historic homes, farms, and ... Read Full Article

Kensington Palace: Romance, Tragedy and Scandal in the Royal Residence

Kensington Palace in London

On a recent visit to London, I only had a morning to spend sight-seeing so I chose a visit to Kensington Palace. I had no idea when I went there how much I would learn about the romance, tragedy and scandals of the royalty who had occupied the palace over the centuries. Kensington Palace has been a royal residence since the 17th century and some of the most important moments in royal ... Read Full Article

London’s Alexandra Palace: The People’s Palace

The Alexandra Palace

When I was a youngster, growing up during WWII, every evening I’d sit in my grandparent’s kitchen and together we’d listen to the wavering voice of the BBC broadcasting the war news from London England. My father was serving as a chaplain at a field hospital in Holland. So after the news,Grandpa and I would put coloured tacks on a map over the table that showed, from the news, where the action of ... Read Full Article

A Visit to the Coronation Church – Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey Interior

I, like millions of others, watched the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton in 2011, and the celebration of the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation. So, on a recent trip to London I couldn't wait to visit Westminster Abbey, the scene of these celebrations. Westminster Abbey was founded by Benedictine monks in 960. In 1245, Henry III began building the present church and ... Read Full Article

Tracing Britain’s History Through its Cathedrals

Worcester Cathedral Courtyard Garden

You don’t have to be a religious person to appreciate the majesty of Britain’s many cathedrals. All of them are significant in British history and each contains historical relics such as the tombs of kings and statesmen. Westminster Abbey A trip to London wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Westminster Abbey. This magnificent Gothic style church is the burial place of many monarchs. The ... Read Full Article

Hampton Court Palace: Looking for Henry VIII

Portrait of Henry VIII

It was an invitation to attend a royal wedding that caught my eye — a re-enactment of the marriage of Katherine Parr to Henry VIII, at Hampton Court Palace. How could I resist? And just to keep it all authentic, I opted to take the Thames cruise from the London docks up the Thames River to Hampton Court, just as Henry would have done. The river boat leaves from the Westminster pier, near ... Read Full Article

A Pleasant Wander around London’s Old Hampstead Heath

Georgian door in Hampsted Heath

Back in the 1700's and 1800’s when the city of London’s streets were often runnels of filth and the air thick with noxious fumes from coal fires, Hampstead Heath  became a haven for the wealthy. For those with health ailments it was a place of refuge because of the fresh country air and medicinal water from the natural springs, and a popular place where Londoners could enjoy a refreshing walk in ... Read Full Article