London

Making friends

These European Starlings were giving us some attention in front of the Tower of London; it probably had something to do with the fact that we had some food in our hands.

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Old and New

I love the juxtaposition of the old and new in London. Here you have the All Hallows by the Tower church with the Walkie Talkie building in the background.

All Hallows is the oldest church in the City of London and was founded in 675 AD, 300 years before the Tower of London. The church survived the Great Fire of London in 1666, but was extensively damaged in WWII, and only the tower and the walls remained, before it was rebuilt.

The Walkie Talkie building (officially called 20 Fenchurch Street) was completed in 2014 and is 37 storeys high. It contains the Sky Garden, a three-storey visitor attraction, including bars and restaurants.

All Hallows at the Tower and the Walkie Talkie building

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Tower of London View

It is no secret that I love the Tower of London, so here is another shot I took almost a year ago, which I just came across.

One of the things I really love about the Tower of London is the fact that it is home to a number of Warders and their families. Just imagine living there – my dream location!

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Sherbet Lemon

No further words are needed for Harry Potter fans.

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Neal’s Yard

The colourful and photogenic Neal’s Yard in London is a little alley in Seven Dials and is named after Thomas Neale, who developed Seven Dials in the 17th century.

Neal’s Yard, London, UK

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Carnaby Street

The most bling sign ever?

The hippest place to be seen in London in the 1960s was Carnaby Street. I would love to get into a time machine to see the street in its full glory back then.

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Rules are meant to be broken

More from our visit to the Harry Potter Studios in London from last year.

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The Monster Book

When we visited the Harry Potter Studios Tour in London last year, I took a ton of photos and I am only just properly going through them. What I love about the studio is that it is filled with the actual props used on the sets of the movies.

For those of you who are in the know, these books need no introduction. For those of you to whom Harry Potter is still something you have not explored (why not???), these are Monster Book of Monsters. They have a tendency to bite each other and wizards and muggles alike, so are best kept securely closed!

The Monster Book of Monsters, Harry Potter Studio Tours

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Lights anyone?

Somewhere off Carnaby Street I found these lights last year. They must have looked fab at night!

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Seven Dials in London

Looking at Seven Dials in London today you’d be hard pressed to associate this area with anything but fashionable shops and cafes. However, this was not always the case.

Seven Dials, London

Seven Dials lies sandwiched between Soho and Covent Garden in London’s West End. The layout was designed by Thomas Neale, and MP in the early 1690s; his design laid the area out in a series of triangles to maximise the number of houses as rentals were charge per foot of frontage and not per square foot of interiors (it’s all about the money here!). Neale envisaged an area that would attract affluent residents and so the names of the seven streets were chosen very carefully (as a side note, the original design was for 6 streets, a 7th was introduced late in the design stages – that is also why the monument includes only 6 sun dials).

The sundial of Seven Dials, London

The original names were Little and Great Earl Street (now Earlham Street), Little and Great White Lyon Street (now Mercer Street), Queen Street (now Shorts Gardens) and Little & Great St. Andrew’s Street (now Monmouth Street). Some of the original street signs can still be seen attached to buildings in the area. Unfortunately, the affluent residents never materialized, instead, the area became a slum, renowned for its gin shops (gin was much cheaper than wine in those days). There were drunken brawls in the streets, mobs would reign at night and women would sell their bodies to passers-by. It is also said that many a baby has been left at the Seven Dials monument.

The sundial column you see in the center is not the original, this one was installed in 1988-89, but it is identical to the original design.

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