As you walk around the capital city it’s impossible not to notice a few more union jacks flying over buildings and dancing above streets. Many of these are recent additions hanging in eager anticipation of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Add this to the upcoming patron saint days in the coming months and I thought this edition was the perfect opportunity to focus on a few truly British iconic venues.
Westminster Abbey Tour Explore a place that's touched the lives of Kings, Queens, Statesmen, soldiers, poets, priests, heroes and villains since 960AD. Westminster Abbey has been the coronation church since 1066 and is the resting place of more than 3,000 great Britons. The Highlights of this tour include The Coronation Chair, Poets’ Corner and the Royal tombs, final resting place of 30 Kings and Queens. For the first time in 700 years, you can now climb the Weston Tower to the beautiful medieval triforium which currently house The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries. There is also an option to take a guided tour, led by The Abbeys vergers who know all the hidden secrets.
St Pauls Cathedral Tour St Paul's Cathedral is one of the most famous and most recognisable sights of London, with its dome, dominating the skyline for over 300 years. Throughout its history St. Paul’s has served as a key location for several important events in British history; the wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles in 1981 and the funerals of Lord Nelson, Winston Churchill, the Duke of Wellington and Margaret Thatcher. Venture down to the crypt and discover the tombs and memorials of some of the nation’s greatest heroes, such as Admiral Lord Nelson, the Duke of Wellington and Sir Christopher Wren. If you’ve got a head for heights, visit the Stone and Golden Galleries to take in some of the most spectacular views across London or climb up the dome to the Whispering Gallery and try out its unique acoustics; a whisper on one side can be heard clearly 100 feet away.
The Palace of Westminster Tour Politics at a Dinner Party conversation or not? Either way few buildings are more iconic than the Palace of Westminster, one of the world's most famous buildings.
From 4th April for a limited period the Speaker of the House of Commons is opening a rarely seen part of the Palace of Westminster for public tours of the State Apartments of Speaker's House for the very first time. You will discover the history and traditions of the role of the Speaker and see the magnificent artworks on display. These one-hour tours include the Grand Staircase, the Crimson Drawing Room, the State Dining Room, and the State Bedroom. The tours start and finish in Westminster Hall which you are welcome to explore afterwards.
London to Windsor by Steam Train 90 minute train journeys running on Tuesdays from May to August.
There’s very little that’s more British than our love/hate relationship with our railways! Why not take yourself back to the glory days of the Great British railways by stepping aboard a stunning steam train at London Victoria. Then let the train take the strain as you make your way to the historic town of Windsor, famous for the castle, riverside and royal weddings. Treat yourself to a Champagne Brunch on board or bring along your own Farmers Club picnic. From July, Windsor Castle will host a special display commemorating Her Majesty's Coronation with the Coronation Dress and Robe of Estate worn by The Queen on that joyous day in June 1953 on display.
The Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace 19th May – 2nd October 2022
No one quite does pomp and ceremony like us! The Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace is responsible for all the road travel arrangements for The Queen and members of the Royal Family. This unique environment hosts some wonderful family days where children can learn how to tack up a wooden pony and sit in a replica of Queen Victoria’s Semi-State Landau. The highlight is to visit the Diamond Jubilee State Coach.
The Living Tea Experience Museum of London Docklands
What more British than a lovely pot of tea? This unique and wonderful experience will begin with a selection of cakes and a warming cup of tea whilst you settle in and listen to Curator, Danielle Thom's introductory talk. She will offer you a view into 18th century tea drinking and the significance that importing tea into London had on the nation. From 18th Century London to ancient China, you will then be joined by founder of Grass People Tree, who will lead an interactive workshop celebrating 2,500-year ancestral insight to tea knowledge, cultural diversity and environmental harmony.
The World of Stonehenge The British Museum
Stonehenge is, in many people's eyes, the most iconic British landmark there is, an ancient stone circle, enveloped in lore and mythology. This exhibition at the British Museum charts the truth behind its construction and the society which concocted it and is the UK’s first major show about the monument.
Being an article on all things British, it would be impossible for me to sign off without mentioning the weather. With the recent storms, April showers and that old saying “Ne’er cast a clout ‘til May is out” in mind, I would highly recommend taking an umbrella – which you can buy from Reception if you forget yours!