Showing posts from March, 2018

Tour 10 Hyde Park

Take the bus, underground or walk from Victoria Station to Marble Arch which once itself travelled a similar route, brick by brick, from its original site at Buckingham Palace when the latter was expanded in 1851. It stands incongruously on a traffic island north of Hyde Park the largest of four Royal Parks that form a chain from the entrance of Kensington Palace through Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park and Green Park to St James’s Park. Our tenth tour takes in Speaker’s Corner and Reformers’ Tree, both linked to Britain’s tradition of free speech, descends to the Serpentine lake turning right then left by the Serpentine Sackler Gallery to cross the bridge, then left to view Princess Diana Memorial Fountain continuing alongside Rotten Row to The Dell.

Speaker’s Corner

‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it’ is a saying attributed to Voltaire. Across the road from Marble Arch there’s a public space that gets crowded on Sundays where you can hear l…

Tour 9 St James’s Palace

This ninth tour of free London sights from Victoria station starts from Hyde Park Corner accessed by bus or on foot up Buckingham Palace Road, Grosvenor Gardens and Grosvenor Place skirting the Palace walls on your right.  We start near the horseback statue of  the Duke of Wellington (1769-1852) whose defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 makes him one Britain's greatest military heroes. The tour continues through Wellington Arch to the Bomber Command Memorial. From there we cross Green Park to St James’s Palace returning across the Park via the Canada memorial and Commonwealth memorial gates to Hyde Park Corner and Victoria. 

Wellington Arch

UIKEWellington Arch on the traffic island lies opposite the Duke of Wellington’s former abode at Apsley House known as No 1 London because the Arch and a previous turnpike gate were seen as the entrance to central London from the west.  Both Wellington and Marble Arch were planned in 1825 by King George IV to commemorate Britain&…

Tour 8 Horse Guards

Take an 11 or 24 bus from Victoria station to Trafalgar Square to start our eighth tour at the Canadian High Commission, the large building with distinctive red and white flags opposite the Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery. There’s generally a free exhibition at the High Commission accessible after a body and luggage scan. This circular tour crosses from the Commission past the historic Admiralty Pub onto the Mall turning right to view the free Mall galleries and Queen Mother memorial further down. We turn back along the Mall to Horse Guards via the Police memorial then pass through to Whitehall and visit Downing Street, the Cenotaph and the Banqueting House heading back to Trafalgar Square for a bus to Victoria.

Mall galleries

From the Canadian High Commission cross into Spring Gardens passing the HMS Victory-themed Admiralty pub into the Mall. Admiralty Arch on your left is King Edward VII’s memorial to his mother Queen Victoria and its central arch is reserved for Royal process…