Category Places to Visit

The Vikings Exhibition at the British Museum

The Vikings opens tomorrow. I have been lucky enough to go already, and I urge every London resident and visitor to go to. It is wonderful. The audioguide is excellent. I went round once without it, stopping at the things that caught me attention. Then I started again with the audioguide. It led me to […]

Harcourt Arboretum Oxfordshire

Posted on 30/10/2013 by Pseu Yesterday the sun shone in a clear blue sky and it felt distinctly Autumnal. We decided that it was just the right sort of day to walk among the trees. We are lucky. Locally, less than 17 miles from here, there is an arboretum which has been part of Oxford […]

Strawberry Hill

“It is a plaything house…….and it is the prettiest bauble you ever saw.” Horace Walpole, June 1747 Walpole was the dilettante son of Britain’s first Prime Minister and author of the first horror novel, The Castle of Otranto. Horace Walpole took a lease on a small 17th century cottage with 5 acres in Twickenham a […]

Afternoon Tea

The quintessential botannical gardens at Kew have staged the ultimate English event: an afternoon tea. But there are no scones, no jam, no cream. And no tea. Instead, as part of the Garden’s Incredible Inedible festival, English bone china white-ware from Staffordshire – some vintage and some simply irreplaceable – and filled it with the plants […]

Clubland

Not far from where I live is Clubland. No, I don’t mean the Ministry of Sound, but that is pretty close by too. Maybe the historians among you are already making connections. The church is where William Booth used to worship when he was working in a pawnbrokers on the Walworth Road. The same William […]

A Little Bookshop With A Big Story To Tell – Ours

Big is best. Globalisation is the future. Online over High Street. Thus speaks the zeitgeist before it invariably fades away. That it does can be no surprise; as C. S. Lewis once said, what is not eternal, is eternally out of date. He was talking about matters of religion; this post is concerned with something […]

Blue Magic – If you go down in the woods today you’re sure of a big surprise!

Nature creates blue magic around this time of year in British forests and cliff tops stretching from Scotland in the north to Cornwall in the far south –  it’s bluebell time. British bluebells, Hyacinthoides non-scripta, are a protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside act. You cannot pick them or dig them up. If you […]

St Paul’s Cathedral, More Than a dome

Today the cameras are going to be trained on London for Margaret Thatcher’s funeral, and one building in particular will be in the limelight; St Paul’s, London’s cathedral, known especially for its iconic dome. I suspect attention will be more on those in the congregation than the building, but maybe some of those watching will […]

Regenerating the Elephant

We were so lucky with the weather for the Elephant and Castle walk yesterday. And I was lucky to have such a nice group of people for the walk. Thanks everyone who came along. It’ll be on again later in the year, see http://londonbyguide.wordpress.com/dates-for-your-diary/ for details. As some of you know, the Elephant is undergoing […]

Sylvia Plath: In Memoriam

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the American poet Sylvia Plath’s death. In the early hours of 11th February 1963 she committed suicide by gassing herself in the kitchen of her Primrose Hill home. Plath is buried in the new graveyard of Thomas a Beckett church, Heptonstall, West Yorkshire. I visited her last resting place in […]