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Visiting Chartwell, the home of Winston Churchill

7 April 2018
image from Visiting Chartwell, the home of Winston Churchill

After recently watching the film Darkest Hour, and being enthralled by Netflix’s The Crown, I was inspired to pay a visit to Chartwell. This country house near Westerham in Kent was the home of Winston Churchill for over forty years. Winston and his wife Clementine had wanted a country house for years but they struggled financially. In 1921, he received an inheritance from a distant cousin which gave them a much-needed boost in funds...

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Capital Ring Walk Sections 1 & 2 - Woolwich to Falconwood to Grove Park

20 February 2018
image from Capital Ring Walk Sections 1 & 2 -  Woolwich to Falconwood to Grove Park

I have been continuing with my resolution to complete the Capital Ring walk in 2018. I covered sections 13-15 in my previous post and now I’m going to show some of the highlights from sections 1 and 2. Section 1: Woolwich to Falconwood Distance: 7 miles (11.2 kilometres) We pick up the trail where we left off last time, at the southern end of the Woolwich Foot Tunnel. This is one of the longest sections of the Capital Ring so come prepared with water, snacks and comfy shoes...

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Highlights from the Capital Ring Walk: Sections 13-15

28 January 2018
image from Highlights from the Capital Ring Walk: Sections 13-15

One of my goals for 2018 is to complete the Capital Ring Walk, a 78 mile circular walking route around London. The walk is broken up into 15 sections, each being between 4-8 miles long. You can start at any point along the route, I started with the last sections first since I live in East London and these are the closest to where I live. They also happen to be some of the shorter sections of the Capital Ring, so it was a nice way to ease into it...

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Visiting St Paul's Cathedral After Hours - Reformation Lates

14 January 2018
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St Paul’s Cathedral is one of my favourite places in London. With it’s iconic dome, awe-inspiring interior and panoramic views, I think it’s a must-see for anyone visiting the city. Normally you’re not allowed to take photographs inside the cathedral, so when I heard about these special late openings where they would be allowing photography, I immediately snapped up tickets. The Reformation of the 16th century was a series of events by which the Church of England broke away from the Roman Catholic Church...

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Day trips from London: Knebworth House

2 December 2017
image from Day trips from London: Knebworth House

I finally crossed Knebworth House off my Historic Houses Association bucket list on their last open day of 2017. Located near Stevenage in Hertfordshire, this stately home is just over an hour away from London, making it ideal for a day trip. On the day I visited, access to the house was via guided tour only. The first tour had already filled up when I arrived so spent some time checking out the house exterior while I waited for the next tour...

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Open House London 2017

25 November 2017
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Open House is one of my favourite events in London. For one weekend, members of the public can visit over 800 buildings in the capital for free. It’s a fantastic opportunity to have a snoop inside places which are not normally accessible. Here are the places I was able to visit during this year’s event: One Canada Square This skyscraper in Canary Wharf used to be the tallest building the UK, until it was surpassed by the Shard...

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Taking a ride on London's Mail Rail

18 November 2017
image from Taking a ride on London's Mail Rail

The Mail Rail was a small underground railway that operated in London from 1927 until 2003. The network spanned 6.5 miles from Paddington to Whitechapel, carrying millions of letters daily between the city’s mail sorting stations. The Royal Mail shut down the railway when the running costs became significantly more expensive than using road transport, but thanks to the brand new Postal Museum the Mail Rail is running once more...

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Painted Hall Ceiling Tour at the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich

5 November 2017
image from Painted Hall Ceiling Tour at the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich

If you head down to the Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, there’s a unique opportunity to see London’s largest painted ceiling up close. A major conservation project is currently underway and visitors are able to climb up 60 feet in the air on guided tours to see the work in progress. Upon arrival for the start of our tour, we were given hard hats and high-vis vests to wear and were given an overview of the history of the building...

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Day trips from London: Wimpole Estate

21 October 2017
image from Day trips from London: Wimpole Estate

My National Trust membership hasn’t been getting much of a workout lately. To rectify this we took advantage of the warm weather over the August Bank Holiday weekend and popped in to visit the Wimpole Estate. Located in Royston, Cambridgeshire, the Wimpole Estate contains a large country house (Wimpole Hall), a working farm and about 3,000 acres of parkland. Many of the historic houses I visit have mostly stayed within one family but Wimpole Hall had a variety of different owners...

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Unusual days out in London: Crossness Pumping Station

14 October 2017
image from Unusual days out in London: Crossness Pumping Station

After five years in London I’ve done most of the obvious tourist hotspots. I’m always on the lookout for quirky and interesting things to do in this city so I was intrigued when I first heard about Crossness Pumping Station. The Crossness Pumping Station was built by Sir Joseph Bazalgette in 1865. At the time, London’s water supply and the Thames were heavily polluted with sewage. Bazalgette was put in charge of finding a solution to this problem...