ENJOYING A BEAUTIFUL DAY’S WALK AROUND CENTRAL LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – British & Far East Traders Lifestyle & Shopping Blog
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WELCOME TO LONDON

     

London is the capital and largest city of England and of the United Kingdom.[7][8] 

Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, 

at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, 

London has been a major settlement for two millennia. 

Londinium was founded by the Romans.[9] 

The¬†City of London, London’s ancient core ‚ąí¬†

an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) 

and colloquially known as the Square Mile ‚ąí¬†

retains boundaries that closely follow its medieval limits.[10][11][12][13][14][note 1] 

The City of Westminster is also an 

Inner London borough holding city status. 

Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London 

and the London Assembly.[15][note 2][16]

  

    

London is considered to be one of the world’s most important¬†global cities[17][18][19]¬†

and has been termed the world’s most powerful,[20]¬†

most desirable,[21] most influential,[22] most visited,[23] 

most expensive,[24][25] innovative,[26] sustainable,[27] most investment friendly,[28] 

and most popular for work[29] city. 

London exerts a considerable impact upon the arts, 

commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, 

healthcare, media, professional services, research and development, 

tourism and transportation.[30][31] 

London ranks 26th out of 300 major cities for economic performance.[32] 

It is one of the largest financial centres[33] 

and has either the fifth or the sixth largest metropolitan area GDP.[note 3][34][35][36][37][38] 

It is the most-visited city as measured by international arrivals[39] 

and has the busiest city airport system as measured by passenger traffic.[40] 

It is the leading investment destination,[41][42][43][44] 

hosting more international retailers[45][46] 

and ultra high-net-worth individuals[47][48] 

than any other city. 

London’s universities form the largest concentration¬†

of higher education institutes in Europe,[49] 

and London is home to highly ranked institutions 

such as Imperial College London in natural and applied sciences, 

the London School of Economics in social sciences, 

and the comprehensive University College London.[50][51][52] 

In 2012, London became the first city to have hosted 

three modern Summer Olympic Games.[53]

  

    

London contains four World Heritage Sites: 

the Tower of London; Kew Gardens; 

the site comprising the¬†Palace of Westminster,¬†Westminster Abbey, and¬†St Margaret’s Church;¬†

and the historic settlement in Greenwich 

where the¬†Royal Observatory, Greenwich¬†defines the¬†Prime Meridian¬†(0¬į¬†longitude)¬†

and Greenwich Mean Time.[60] 

Other landmarks include Buckingham Palace, 

the¬†London Eye,¬†Piccadilly Circus,¬†St Paul’s Cathedral,¬†

Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square and The Shard. 

London has numerous museums, galleries, libraries and sporting events. 

These include the British Museum, National Gallery, 

Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, 

British Library and West End theatres.[61] 

The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world.

  

   

Economy

    

London’s¬†gross regional product¬†in 2018 was almost ¬£500 billion,¬†

around a quarter of UK GDP.[277] 

London has five major business districts: 

the City, Westminster, Canary Wharf, Camden & Islington and Lambeth & Southwark.

 One way to get an idea of their relative importance 

is to look at relative amounts of office space: 

Greater London had 27 million m2 of office space in 2001, 

and the City contains the most space, 

with 8 million m2 of office space. 

London has some of the highest real estate prices in the world.[278][279] 

London is the world’s most expensive office market¬†

for the last three years according to world property journal (2015) report.[280] 

As of 2015¬†the residential property in London is worth $2.2 trillion ‚Äst

same value as that of Brazil’s annual GDP.[281]¬†

The city has the highest property prices of any European city 

according to the Office for National Statistics 

and the European Office of Statistics.[282] 

On average the price per square metre in central London 

is ‚ā¨24,252 (April 2014).¬†

This is higher than the property prices in other G8 European capital cities; 

Berlin ‚ā¨3,306, Rome ‚ā¨6,188 and Paris ‚ā¨11,229.[283]

 

 

The City of London

     

London’s finance industry is based in the¬†City of London¬†and¬†Canary Wharf,¬†

the two major business districts in London. 

London is one of the pre-eminent financial centres of the world 

as the most important location for international finance.[284][285] 

London took over as a major financial centre shortly after 1795 

when the Dutch Republic collapsed before the Napoleonic armies. 

For many bankers established in Amsterdam (e.g. Hope, Baring), 

this was only time to move to London. 

The London financial elite was strengthened by a strong Jewish community 

from all over Europe capable of mastering the most sophisticated financial tools of the time.[112] 

This unique concentration of talents accelerated the transition 

from the Commercial Revolution to the Industrial Revolution. 

By the end of the 19th century, 

Britain was the wealthiest of all nations, 

and London a leading financial centre. 

Still, as of 2016 London tops the world rankings on the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI),[286] 

and it ranked second in A.T. Kearney’s 2018 Global Cities Index.[287]

   

   

London’s largest industry is finance,¬†

and its¬†financial exports¬†make it a large contributor to the UK’s¬†balance of payments.¬†

Around 325,000 people were employed in 

financial services in London until mid-2007. 

London has over 480 overseas banks, 

more than any other city in the world. 

It is also the world’s biggest currency trading centre,¬†

accounting for some 37 per cent of the $5.1 trillion average daily volume, 

according to the BIS.[288] 

Over 85 per cent (3.2 million) of the employed population of greater London

 works in the services industries. 

Because of its prominent global role, 

London’s economy had been affected by the¬†financial crisis of 2007‚Äď2008.¬†

However, by 2010 the City has recovered; 

put in place new regulatory powers, 

proceeded to regain lost ground and re-established London’s economic dominance.[289]¬†

Along with professional services headquarters, 

the City of London is home to the Bank of England, 

London Stock Exchange, 

and¬†Lloyd’s of London¬†insurance market.

  

   

Over half of the UK’s top 100 listed companies (the¬†FTSE 100)¬†

and over 100 of Europe’s 500 largest companies¬†

have their headquarters in central London. 

Over 70 per cent of the FTSE 100 are within London’s metropolitan area,¬†

and 75 per cent of Fortune 500 companies have offices in London.[290]

 

 

 

Tourism

 
 

London is one of the leading tourist destinations in the world 

and in 2015 was ranked as the most visited city

 in the world with over 65 million visits.[299][300] It is also the top city in the world by visitor cross-border spending, estimated at US$20.23 billion in 2015.[301] 

Tourism is one of London’s prime industries,¬†

employing the equivalent of 350,000 full-time workers in 2003,[302] 

and the city accounts for 54% of all inbound visitor spending in the UK.[303] 

As of 2016 London is the world top city destination as ranked by TripAdvisor users.[304]

 

 

In 2015 the top most-visited attractions in the UK were all in London. 

The top 10 most visited attractions were: (with visits per venue)[305]

 

 

  1. The British Museum: 6,820,686
  2. The National Gallery: 5,908,254
  3. The Natural History Museum (South Kensington): 5,284,023
  4. The Southbank Centre: 5,102,883
  5. Tate Modern: 4,712,581
  6. The Victoria and Albert Museum (South Kensington): 3,432,325
  7. The Science Museum: 3,356,212
  8. Somerset House: 3,235,104
  9. The Tower of London: 2,785,249
  10. The National Portrait Gallery: 2,145,486
  11.    
  12.   

The number of hotel rooms in London in 2015 stood at 138,769, 

and is expected to grow over the years.[306]

 

   

Aviation

 
 

London Heathrow Airport is the busiest airport in Europe 

as well as the second busiest in the world f

or international passenger traffic. 

 

 

London is a major international air transport hub 

with the busiest city airspace in the world. 

Eight airports use the word London in their name, 

but most traffic passes through six of these. 

Additionally, various other airports also serve London, 

catering primarily to general aviation flights.

 

 

  • London Heathrow Airport, in¬†Hillingdon, West London,¬†
  • was for many years the¬†busiest airport in the world¬†for international traffic,¬†
  • and is the major hub of the nation’s flag carrier,¬†British Airways.[310]¬†
  • In March 2008 its fifth terminal was opened.[311]¬†
  • In 2014,¬†Dubai¬†gained from Heathrow the leading position¬†
  • in terms of international passenger traffic.[312]
  • ¬† ¬†
  • ¬† ¬†
  • London Gatwick Airport,[313]¬†
  • south of London in¬†West Sussex,¬†
  • handles flights to more destinations than any other UK airport[314]¬†
  • and is the main base of¬†easyJet,[315]¬†
  • the UK’s largest airline by number of passengers.[316]
  • ¬† ¬†¬†
  • ¬†¬†
  • London Stansted Airport,[317]¬†north-east of London in¬†Essex,¬†
  • has flights that serve the greatest number of European destinations of any UK airport[318]¬†
  • and is the main base of¬†Ryanair,[319]¬†
  • the world’s largest international airline by number of international passengers.[320]
  • ¬† ¬†¬†
  • ¬† ¬†
  • London Luton Airport, to the north of London in¬†Bedfordshire,¬†
  • is used by several budget airlines for short-haul flights.[321]
  • ¬† ¬†
  • ¬† ¬†¬†
  • London City Airport, the most central airport¬†
  • and the one with the shortest runway,¬†
  • in¬†Newham, East London, is focused on business travellers,¬†
  • with a mixture of full-service short-haul scheduled flights¬†
  • and considerable¬†business jet¬†traffic.[322]
  • ¬† ¬†
  • ¬† ¬† ¬†
  • London Southend Airport, east of London in¬†Essex,¬†
  • is a smaller, regional airport that caters for short-haul flights on a limited,¬†
  • though growing, number of airlines.[323]¬†
  • In 2017, international passengers made up over 95% of the total at Southend,¬†
  • the highest proportion of any London airport.[324]

 

Tertiary education

  

London is a major global centre of higher education 

teaching and research 

and has the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe.[49] 

According to the QS World University Rankings 2015/16, 

London has the greatest concentration of top class universities in the world[363][364] 

and its international student population of around 110,000 

is larger than any other city in the world.[365] 

A 2014 PricewaterhouseCoopers report termed London 

the global capital of higher education.[366]

 

 

King’s College London,¬†

established by Royal Charter in 1829, 

is one of the founding colleges of the University of London

A number of world-leading education institutions are based in London. 

In the 2014/15 QS World University Rankings, 

Imperial College London is ranked joint 2nd in the world, 

University College London (UCL) is ranked 5th, 

and¬†King’s College London¬†(KCL) is ranked 16th.[367]¬†

The London School of Economics 

has been described as the world’s leading social science institution¬†

for both teaching and research.[368] 

The London Business School 

is considered one of the world’s leading business schools

 and in 2015 its MBA programme was ranked second best

 in the world by the Financial Times.[369]

 

 

With 120,000 students in London,[370] 

the federal University of London 

is the largest contact teaching university in the UK.[371] 

It includes five multi-faculty universities¬†‚Äst

City,¬†King’s College London,¬†Queen Mary,¬†Royal Holloway¬†and¬†UCL¬†‚Äst

and a number of smaller and more specialised institutions 

including Birkbeck, the Courtauld Institute of Art, Goldsmiths, 

Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the London Business School, 

the London School of Economics, 

the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, 

the Royal Academy of Music, the Central School of Speech and Drama, 

the Royal Veterinary College and the 

School of Oriental and African Studies.[372] 

Members of the University of London have their own 

admissions procedures, and some award their own degrees.

 

 

A number of universities in London are outside the University of London system, 

including Brunel University, Imperial College London, Kingston University, 

London Metropolitan University,[373] 

University of East London, University of West London, 

University of Westminster, London South Bank University, 

Middlesex University, and University of the Arts London 

(the largest university of art, design, fashion, communication 

and the performing arts in Europe).[374] 

In addition there are three international universities in London¬†‚Äst

Regent’s University London,¬†Richmond,¬†

The American International University in London and 

Schiller International University.

 

London is home to¬†five major medical schools¬†‚Äst

 

Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry¬†(part of¬†Queen Mary),¬†King’s College London School of Medicine¬†(the largest medical school in Europe),¬†

Imperial College School of Medicine, 

UCL Medical School¬†and¬†St George’s, University of London¬†‚Äst

and has many affiliated teaching hospitals. 

It is also a major centre for biomedical research, 

and three of the UK’s eight¬†academic health science centres¬†are based in the city¬†‚Äst

Imperial College Healthcare, 

King’s Health Partners¬†and¬†UCL Partners¬†(

the largest such centre in Europe).[375] 

Additionally, many biomedical and biotechnology spin out companies 

from these research institutions are based around the city, 

most prominently in White City.

 

 

There are a number of business schools in London, 

including the London School of Business and Finance, 

Cass Business School (part of City University London), 

Hult International Business School, 

ESCP Europe, European Business School London, 

Imperial College Business School, 

the London Business School and the UCL School of Management. 

London is also home to many specialist arts education institutions, 

including the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts, 

Central School of Ballet, LAMDA, 

London College of Contemporary Arts (LCCA), 

London Contemporary Dance School, 

National Centre for Circus Arts, RADA, 

Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, 

the Royal College of Art, the Royal College of Music and Trinity Laban.

 

 

Recreation

 
 

Parks and open spaces

 
 
St. James’s Park¬†lake with the London Eye in the distance

A 2013 report by the City of London Corporation 

said that London is the “greenest city”¬†

in Europe with 35,000 acres of public parks, 

woodlands and gardens.[402] 

     

The largest parks in the central area of London 

are three of the eight Royal Parks, 

namely Hyde Park and its neighbour Kensington Gardens in the west, 

and¬†Regent’s Park¬†to the north.[403]¬†

Hyde Park in particular is popular for sports 

and sometimes hosts open-air concerts. 

Regent’s Park contains¬†London Zoo,¬†

the world’s oldest scientific zoo,¬†

and is near Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.[404][405] 

Primrose Hill, immediately to the north of Regent’s Park,¬†

at 256 feet (78 m)[406] is a popular spot from which to view the city skyline.

 

 

Close to Hyde Park are smaller Royal Parks, 

Green Park¬†and¬†St. James’s Park.[407]¬†

A number of large parks lie outside the city centre, 

including Hampstead Heath and the remaining 

Royal Parks of Greenwich Park to the southeast[408] 

and Bushy Park and Richmond Park (the largest) to the southwest,[409][410] 

Hampton Court Park is also a royal park, 

but, because it contains a palace, 

it is administered by the Historic Royal Palaces, 

unlike the eight Royal Parks.[411]

 

 

Close to Richmond Park is Kew Gardens 

which has the world’s largest collection of living plants.¬†

In 2003, the gardens were put on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.[412] 

There are also parks administered by London’s borough Councils,¬†

including Victoria Park in the East End and Battersea Park in the centre. 

Some more informal, semi-natural open spaces also exist, 

including the 320-hectare (790-acre) Hampstead Heath of North London,[413] 

and Epping Forest, which covers 2,476 hectares (6,118 acres)[414] in the east. 

Both are controlled by the City of London Corporation.[415][416] 

Hampstead Heath incorporates Kenwood House, 

a former stately home and a popular location in the summer months 

when classical musical concerts are held by the lake, 

attracting thousands of people every weekend to enjoy the music, 

scenery and fireworks.[417]

 

  

 Epping Forest is a popular venue for various outdoor activities, 

including mountain biking, walking, horse riding, 

golf, angling, and orienteering.[418]

 

 

Walking

   
 
 

Walking is a popular recreational activity in London. 

Areas that provide for walks include Wimbledon Common, 

Epping Forest, Hampton Court Park, Hampstead Heath, 

the eight Royal Parks, canals and disused railway tracks.[419] 

Access to canals and rivers has improved recently, 

including the creation of the Thames Path, 

some 28 miles (45 km) of which is within Greater London, 

and The Wandle Trail; this runs 12 miles (19 km) through South London along the River Wandle, 

a tributary of the River Thames.[420]

 

 

Other long distance paths, linking green spaces, 

have also been created, including the Capital Ring, 

the¬†Green Chain Walk,¬†London Outer Orbital Path¬†(“Loop”),¬†

Jubilee Walkway, Lea Valley Walk, and the

 Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Walk.[421]

 

 

Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; 

additional terms may apply

 

 

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London

 

 

 

      

This is the M23. A motorway that serves the South of England. 

     

     

This is now Hyde Park Corner after which we are bearing left to drive towards Park Lane. 

      

   

    

We are now driving in Park Lane, 

so called because on your left hand side is Hyde Park. 

   

   

   

If you do plan to bring your car in Central London, 

please ensure you have booked your parking in advance i

f your hotel does not have free allocated parking. 

Parking fees in Central London are notoriously expensive 

some to the tune of even £42/hour and that is not even the top end of it. 

Shop wisely, you are in one of the most expensive cities in the world lol. 

JustPark gives you very good parking deals all over UK, 

we’ve used JustPark severally and you can save tons of money¬†

just by saving on London parking. 

   

  

     

National Express are UK-wide coaches. 

If you need to go from point A to B without the need to be stressed by driving, 

you can book your comfy seat online. 

Nothing is cheap here whether you travel by coach, by train, or by plane inside UK.

 In fact its even cheaper to grab a plane ticket 

to nearby European countries like Italy, Spain, etc 

than to travel from Brighton to London Victoria on peak hours. 

When they are taxed heavily by the Crown, 

somebody’s got to bear the load right?

  

   

       

On your left is the main entrance to Churchill Hyatt Regency London. 

    

   

     

The Iconic structure ahead is the Marble Arch. 

           

    

WELCOME TO HYDE PARK LONDON

   

Hyde Park is a Grade I-listed major park in Central London. 

It is the largest of four Royal Parks 

that form a chain from the entrance of Kensington Palace 

through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, 

via Hyde Park Corner and Green Park 

past the main entrance to Buckingham Palace. 

The park is divided by the Serpentine and the Long Water lakes.

 

 

The park was established by Henry VIII in 1536 

when he took the land from Westminster Abbey 

and used it as a hunting ground. 

It opened to the public in 1637 and quickly became popular, 

particularly for May Day parades. 

Major improvements occurred in the early 18th century 

under the direction of Queen Caroline. 

Several duels took place in Hyde Park during this time, 

often involving members of the nobility. 

The Great Exhibition of 1851 was held in the park,

 for which The Crystal Palace, designed by Joseph Paxton, was erected.

 

 

Free speech and demonstrations have been a key feature

 of Hyde Park since the 19th century. 

Speakers’ Corner¬†has been established as a point of free speech

 and debate since 1872, while the Chartists, the Reform League, the suffragettes, 

and the Stop the War Coalition have all held protests there. 

In the late 20th century, 

the park was known for holding large-scale free rock music concerts, 

featuring groups such as P

ink Floyd, The Rolling Stones and Queen. 

Major events in the park have continued into the 21st century, 

such as Live 8 in 2005, and the annual Hyde Park Winter Wonderland from 2007.

 

 

 Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; 

additional terms may apply.

 

 

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyde_Park,_London

 

 

       

Judging from the fallen leaves, 

you can very well tell these photos were taken during autumn/ fall season. 

    

  

      

You can see alot of squirrels about in Hyde Park 

during this season because they gather fallen nuts 

and squirrel them away for the coming winter months. 

At least they are thinking about their near future, how about you lol. 

     

   

     

As you can see, still alot of green leaves on the maple trees, 

so its still early days of autumn. 

        

    

     

These oak trees are very old. 

You can see how huge they grow by comparing the size of their trunks 

with those of the park goers walking beside. 

      

  

 

   

THE SERPENTINE LAKE IN HYDE PARK LONDON

    

The Serpentine (also known as the Serpentine River) 

is a 40-acre (16 ha) recreational lake in Hyde Park, London, England, 

created in 1730 at the behest of Queen Caroline. 

Although it is common to refer to the entire body of water as the Serpentine, 

strictly the name refers only to the eastern half of the lake. 

Serpentine Bridge, which marks the boundary between Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, 

also marks the Serpentine’s western boundary;¬†

the long and narrow western half of the lake is known as the Long Water.

 The Serpentine takes its name from its snakelike, 

curving shape,[1] although it only has one bend.

 

 

Originally fed by the River Westbourne and Tyburn Brook in the 1730s, 

the lake’s water was then pumped from the¬†Thames¬†in the 1830s.¬†

The water is now pumped from three boreholes within Hyde Park,

 the most recent being installed in May 2012 

as part of the 2011‚Äď2012 restoration of the Lake.¬†

The Serpentine provided a focal point for The Great Exhibition of 1851, 

and more recently was a venue for the men’s and women’s triathlon¬†

and marathon swimming events in the London 2012 Olympics. 

Since 1864 the Serpentine Swimming Club 

has organised a 100-yard race every Christmas morning. 

In 1913, the Peter Pan Cup was inaugurated for this race 

by J. M. Barrie, the creator of the fictional character Peter Pan.

 

 

There are many recreational facilities around the Serpentine, 

as well as boating on the lake itself. 

In 1860 the Serpentine was to be modified into

 a skating pond with formal edges. 

This scheme was not implemented. 

Among the landmarks near the lake is the 

Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain.

 

 

Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; 

additional terms may apply.

 

 

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Serpentine

 

 

DIANA PRINCESS OF WALES MEMORIAL FOUNTAIN

    

The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain 

is a memorial in London dedicated to Diana, Princess of Wales, 

who died in a car crash in 1997. 

It was designed to express Diana’s spirit and love of children.[1]

 

 

The fountain is located in the southwest corner of Hyde Park, 

just south of the Serpentine lake and east of the Serpentine Gallery. 

Its cornerstone was laid in September 2003 

and it was officially opened on 6 July 2004 by Queen Elizabeth II.[2] 

Also present were Diana’s younger brother¬†Charles Spencer,¬†

her ex-husband Prince Charles, 

and her sons William and Harry, 

her ex-father in law Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and 

her two sisters Lady Jane Fellowes and Lady Sarah McCorquodale .[3] 

The opening ceremony brought the Windsors and the Spencers 

together for the first time in 7 years.[4]

 

 

Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; 

additional terms may apply.

 

 

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diana,_Princess_of_Wales_Memorial_Fountain

 

      

Here the park warden is telling the visitors that dogs 

are not allowed inside the memorial…sorry cutie.¬†

   

    

    

HYDE PARK CAFE

     

 

  

      

Park visitors picking up fallen chestnuts. 

These are lovely when roasted. 

Be careful that you’re not picking horse chestnuts though,¬†

we’ve picked a handful in Sussex before thinking all chestnuts are the same but my word,

 those things are a killer; please verify this for me.  

Good thing they tasted awful, 

otherwise could have eaten loads then died in the end. 

That could have been a disaster HAHA!!

    

  

   

    

We’re guessing these geese are also enjoying the abundance of chestnuts,¬†

good for them. 

We love seeing happy people and happy animals. 

Good for the soul!

   

   

       

They remind us of a scene from Disney’s Little Mermaid¬†

when the prince and Ariel (the little mermaid) were boating. 

Maybe the creator took some inspiration from Hyde Park lol…

   

    

      

Wow, you seem to be in deep thoughts. 

Carry on your meditation. I feel you. Bless your heart. 

      

       

Look how graceful these beauties are. 

They remind us of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake,¬†

not that we know the lyrics nor the meaning of the composition, 

the title just popped into mind lol. 

   

   

     

This basin/ pool spillover from the lake doubles up as a wishing well 

and people throw in some shiny pennies as tokens for their wishes. 

Some don’t really even know what they want in life,¬†

so their wish is hopefully to finally find out what they want in life. 

You would need more than a few shiny pennies for that problem lol. 

You need some serious soul-searching. 

Life is a limited and time-sensitive ASSET. 

You’ve got to make the most of what you’ve got because¬†

you really won’t know when it will be taken away from you do you?

   

   

    

     

HYDE PARK CORNER

    

We are now heading away from the middle of the park, 

your marker is really the Serpentine. 

Now heading towards Hyde Park Corner. 

   

   

   

CAVALRY OF THE EMPIRE

    

The Cavalry of the Empire Memorial, 

also known as the Cavalry Memorial, 

is a war memorial in Hyde Park, London. 

It commemorates the service of cavalry regiments

 in the First and Second World Wars. 

It became a Grade II listed building in 1987, 

and was promoted to Grade II* in November 2014.

 

 

For the memorial, Jones designed a bronze equestrian statue of St George, 

depicted as a mounted knight in armour with sword raised aloft, 

slightly larger than life size, 

with his horse standing over the coils of a slain dragon 

(with upturned Germanic moustache). 

A frieze of horsemen parade around the base of the statue. 

Some details of St George’s armour were copied from a bronze effigy¬†

of Richard de Beauchamp, 13th Earl of Warwick from 1454, 

and the horse was adapted from an engraving of St George by¬†Albrecht D√ľrer.

 

 

The statue was cast from guns captured by the cavalry in the First World War, 

and mounted on a Portland stone pedestal which bears an inscription, 

extended after the Second World War to read:

 

 

“ERECTED // BY THE // CAVALRY OF THE EMPIRE //¬†

IN MEMORY OF // COMRADES // WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES //

¬†IN THE WAR // 1914‚Äď1919 // ALSO // IN THE WAR // 1939‚Äď1945″

 

 

Brunet designed a classical backdrop for the statue, 

built with Portland stone, which shielded the memorial from Park Lane. 

The backdrop housed a bronze plaque listing the 150 cavalry units from

 Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and the UK, 

that served in the forces of the British Empire in the First World War, 

along with the names of four British cavalry officers 

who became Field Marshals: Haig, French, Allenby and Robertson.

 

 

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Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cavalry_of_the_Empire_Memorial

 

 

WELLINGTON ARCH LONDON

    

Wellington Arch, also known as Constitution Arch 

or (originally) as the Green Park Arch, 

is a Grade I-listed triumphal arch by Decimus Burton 

that forms a centrepiece of Hyde Park Corner in central London, 

between corners of Hyde Park and Green Park; 

it stands on a large traffic island with crossings for pedestrian access. 

From its construction in 1826 until 1830 the arch stood 

in a different location nearby; 

it was moved to its current site in 1882‚Äď1883.¬†

It originally supported a colossal equestrian statue 

of the 1st Duke of Wellington by the sculptor Matthew Cotes Wyatt, 

as a result of which it has acquired the name

¬†“the Wellington Arch” in the vernacular.¬†

A bronze quadriga (an ancient four-horse chariot)

 by Adrian Jones has surmounted it since 1912.

 

 

Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; 

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Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wellington_Arch

 

 

    

GREEN PARK LONDON

     

Description and surroundings

 
    

Green Park covers just over 40 acres (16 ha)[1] 

between¬†Hyde Park¬†and¬†St. James’s Park.¬†

Together with Kensington Gardens and the gardens of Buckingham Palace, 

these parks form an almost unbroken stretch of open land 

reaching from Whitehall and Victoria station to Kensington and Notting Hill.

 

 

In contrast with its neighbouring parks, 

Green Park has no lakes, no buildings, no playgrounds, 

and few monuments, having only the Canada Memorial by Pierre Granche, 

the Diana of the Treetops Fountain by Estcourt J Clack[2], 

and the RAF Bomber Command Memorial by Philip Jackson. 

The park consists almost entirely of mature trees rising out of turf; 

the only flowers are naturalised narcissus.

 

 

The park is bounded on the south by Constitution Hill, 

on the east by the pedestrian Queen’s Walk,¬†

and on the north by Piccadilly. 

It meets St. James’s Park at Queen’s Gardens with¬†

the Victoria Memorial at its centre, 

opposite the entrance to Buckingham Palace. 

To the south is the ceremonial avenue of the Mall, 

and the buildings of¬†St James’s Palace¬†and¬†

Clarence House overlook the park to the east. 

Green Park Underground station is a major interchange located on

¬†Piccadilly,¬†Victoria¬†and¬†Jubilee¬†lines near the north end of Queen’s Walk.¬†

Tyburn stream runs beneath Green Park.[3]

 

 

History

 
 

The park is said to have originally been swampy burial ground 

for¬†lepers¬†from the nearby hospital at St James’s.¬†

It was first enclosed in 16th century when it formed part of the estate of Poulteney family. 

In 1668, an area of the Poulteney estate known as Sandpit Field 

was surrendered to Charles II, 

who made the bulk of the land into a Royal Park as 

“Upper St James’s Park” and enclosed it with a brick wall.[4]¬†

He laid out the park’s main walks and built an¬†icehouse¬†there¬†

to supply him with ice for cooling drinks in summer.

 

 

The Queen’s Walk was laid out for George II’s queen¬†Caroline;¬†

it led to the reservoir that held drinking water for¬†St James’s Palace,¬†

called the Queen’s Basin.[5]

 

 

At the time, the park was on the outskirts of London 

and remained an isolated area well into the 18th century, 

when it was known as a haunt of highwaymen and thieves. 

Prime Minister Horace Walpole was one of many to be robbed there.[6] 

During the 18th and 19th centuries, 

it was a popular place for ballooning attempts and public firework displays; 

Handel‘s¬†Music for the Royal Fireworks¬†was composed specifically¬†

for a fireworks celebration held in The Green Park in 1749.[7] 

The park was also known as a duelling ground; 

one particularly notorious duel took place there in 1730 

between William Pulteney, 1st Earl of Bath and 

John Hervey, 1st Earl of Bristol.[8]

 

 

In 1820, John Nash landscaped the park, 

as an adjunct to¬†St. James’s Park.[9]¬†

On 10 June 1840, it was the scene of¬†Edward Oxford‘s assassination attempt¬†

on Queen Victoria, on Constitution Hill.

 

 

Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; 

additional terms may apply.

     

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Park

 

 

       

BUCKINGHAM PALACE LONDON

    

Buckingham Palace  is the London residence and administrative headquarters 

of the monarchy of the United Kingdom.[a][3] 

Located in the City of Westminster, 

the palace is often at the centre of state occasions and royal hospitality. 

It has been a focal point for the British people 

at times of national rejoicing and mourning.

 

 

Originally known as Buckingham House, 

the building at the core of today’s palace was a large¬†townhouse¬†

built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703 

on a site that had been in private ownership for at least 150 years. 

It was acquired by King George III in 1761[4] 

as a private residence for Queen Charlotte 

and became known as¬†The Queen’s House.¬†

During the 19th century it was enlarged, 

principally by architects John Nash and Edward Blore, 

who constructed three wings around a central courtyard. 

Buckingham Palace became the London residence 

of the British monarch on the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837.

 

 

The last major structural additions were made 

in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, 

including the East Front, 

which contains the well-known balcony 

on which the royal family traditionally congregates to greet crowds. 

A German bomb destroyed the palace chapel during World War II; 

the¬†Queen’s Gallery¬†was built on the site and¬†

opened to the public in 1962 to exhibit works of art from the Royal Collection.

 

 

The original early 19th-century interior designs, 

many of which survive, include widespread use of brightly coloured scagliola 

and blue and pink lapis, 

on the advice of Sir Charles Long. 

King Edward¬†VII¬†oversaw a partial redecoration in a¬†Belle √Čpoque¬†cream and gold colour scheme.¬†

Many smaller reception rooms are furnished in the Chinese regency style 

with furniture and fittings brought from the 

Royal Pavilion at Brighton and from Carlton House. 

The palace has 775 rooms, 

and the garden is the largest private garden in London. 

The state rooms, used for official and state entertaining, 

are open to the public each year for most of August and September 

and on some days in winter and spring.

 

 

Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; 

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Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckingham_Palace

    

   

 

 

        

ST. JAMES’S PARK LONDON

    

St James’s Park¬†is a 23-hectare (57-acre) park in the¬†City of Westminster,¬†central London.¬†

It is at the southernmost tip of the St James’s area,¬†

which was named after a leper hospital dedicated to St James the Less. 

It is the most easterly of a near-continuous chain of parks that includes 

(moving westward) Green Park, Hyde Park, and Kensington Gardens.[1][2][3]

 

 

The park is bounded by Buckingham Palace to the west, 

the Mall to the north, Horse Guards to the east, and Birdcage Walk to the south. 

It meets Green Park at Queen’s Gardens with the¬†Victoria Memorial¬†at its centre,¬†

opposite the entrance to Buckingham Palace. 

St James’s Palace¬†is on the opposite side of The Mall.¬†

The closest London Underground stations are 

St James’s Park,¬†Green Park,¬†Victoria, and¬†Westminster.[2]

 

 

The park is Grade I listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.[4]

 

 

Features

 
 

The park has a small lake, St James’s Park Lake,¬†

with two islands, West Island and Duck Island, 

the latter named for the lake’s collection of¬†waterfowl.¬†

A resident colony of pelicans has been a feature of the park 

since a Russian ambassador donated them to Charles II in 1664.[5] 

While most of the birds’ wings are clipped,¬†

there is a pelican who can be seen flying to 

the London Zoo in hopes of another meal.[6]

 

 

The Blue Bridge across the lake affords a tree-framed view 

west towards Buckingham Palace. 

Looking east, the view includes the Swire Fountain to the north of Duck Island and, 

past the lake, the grounds of Horse Guards Parade, 

with Horse Guards, the Old War Office and Whitehall Court behind. 

To the south of Duck Island is the Tiffany Fountain on Pelican Rock; 

and past the lake is the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 

with the London Eye, the Shell Tower, and the Shard behind.[2] 

The park has a children’s playground including a large sandpit.[7]

 

 

History

 
 

In 1532, Henry VIII purchased an area of marshland through 

which the Tyburn flowed from Eton College. 

It lay to the west of York Palace acquired by Henry from Cardinal Wolsey; 

it was purchased in order to turn York Palace, 

subsequently renamed Whitehall, 

into a dwelling fit for a king. 

On¬†James I‘s accession to the throne in 1603,¬†

he ordered that the park be drained and landscaped, 

and exotic animals were kept in the park, 

including camels, crocodiles, an elephant and exotic birds, kept in aviaries.[8]

 

 

While Charles II was in exile in France under the Commonwealth of England, 

he was impressed by the elaborate gardens at French royal palaces, 

and on his ascension he had the park redesigned in a more formal style, 

probably by the French landscaper André Mollet. 

A 775-metre by 38-metre (850 by 42-yard) canal 

was created as evidenced in the old plan. 

The king opened the park to the public and 

used the area to entertain guests and mistresses, 

such as Nell Gwyn. 

The park became notorious at the time as a meeting place 

for impromptu acts of lechery, 

as described by John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester in his poem 

“A Ramble in St James’s Park”.[9]

 

 

In the late 17th and early 18th centuries cows grazed on the park, 

and milk could be bought fresh at the “Lactarian”,¬†

described by Zacharias Conrad von Uffenbach in 1710.[10] 

The 18th century saw further changes, 

including the reclamation of part of the canal for Horse Guards Parade 

and the purchase of Buckingham House (now Buckingham Palace) 

at the west end of the Mall, for the use of Queen Charlotte in 1761.

 

 

Further remodelling in 1826‚Äď27, commissioned by the Prince Regent (later¬†George IV)¬†

and overseen by the architect and landscaper John Nash, 

saw the canal’s conversion into a more naturally-shaped lake,¬†

and formal avenues rerouted to romantic winding pathways. 

At the same time, Buckingham House was expanded to create the palace, 

and Marble Arch was built at its entrance, 

whilst The Mall was turned into a grand processional route. 

It opened to public traffic 60 years later in 1887. 

The Marble Arch was moved to its current location at the junction of 

Oxford Street and Park Lane in 1851 and the 

Victoria Memorial was erected between 1906 and 1934.

 

 

Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; 

additional terms may apply.

      

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_James%27s_Park

 

 

       

This is Trafalgar Square, it sits just outside St. James’s Park.¬†

  

  

Chinese New Year Celebrations are usually held here organised 

by the London Chinatown Chinese Association. 

    

   

Check out our blog: 

 

      

KUNG HEI FAT CHOI! A GLIMPSE INTO LONDON CHINESE NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS: LONDON CHINATOWN & TRAFALGAR SQUARE

   
   

    

WHITEHALL LONDON

    

Whitehall is a road in the City of Westminster, Central London, 

which forms the first part of the A3212 road from Trafalgar Square to Chelsea. 

It is the main thoroughfare running south from 

Trafalgar Square towards Parliament Square. 

The street is recognised as the centre of the Government of the United Kingdom 

and is lined with numerous departments and ministries, 

including the Ministry of Defence, Horse Guards and the Cabinet Office. 

Consequently, the name ‘Whitehall’ is used as a¬†metonym¬†

for the British civil service and government, 

and as the geographic name for the surrounding area.

 

 

The name was taken from the Palace of Whitehall 

that was the residence of Kings Henry VIII through to William III, 

before its destruction by fire in 1698; 

only the Banqueting House survived. 

Whitehall was originally a wide road that led to the front of the palace; 

the route to the south was widened in the 18th century 

following the destruction of the palace.

 

 

As well as government buildings, 

the street is known for its memorial statues and monuments, 

including Britain’s primary war memorial,¬†the Cenotaph.¬†

The Whitehall Theatre, now the Trafalgar Studios, 

has been popular for farce comedies since the mid-20th century.

 

 

Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; 

additional terms may apply. 

 

     

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whitehall

 

 

   

 

 

       

WESTMINSTER 

   

Westminster is a government district and former capital of the Kingdom of England in Central London 

within the City of Westminster, part of the West End, 

on the north bank of the River Thames.[1] 

Westminster’s concentration of visitor attractions and historic landmarks,¬†

one of the highest in London, 

includes the Palace of Westminster, 

Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and 

Westminster Cathedral.

  

  

Historically the area lay within¬†St Margaret’s parish,¬†

City and Liberty of Westminster, Middlesex.

 

 

The name Westminster (Old English: Westmynstre)[2] 

originated from the informal description of the abbey church 

and¬†royal peculiar¬†of St Peter’s (Westminster Abbey),¬†

literally West of the City of London 

(indeed, until the¬†Reformation¬†there was a reference to the ‘East Minster’¬†

at Minories (Holy Trinity Priory, Aldgate) east of the City). 

The abbey was part of the royal palace that had been created here 

by Edward the Confessor. 

It has been the home of the permanent institutions of¬†England’s government¬†

continuously since about 1200 

(High Middle Ages’ Plantagenet¬†times),¬†

and from 1707 the British Government.

 

 

In a government context, 

Westminster often refers to the Parliament of the United Kingdom, 

located in the¬†UNESCO World Heritage¬†Palace of Westminster‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČ

also known as the Houses of Parliament. 

The closest¬†tube stations¬†are¬†Westminster¬†and¬†St James’s Park,¬†

on the Jubilee, Circle, and District lines.

 

 

The area is the centre of Her Majesty’s Government,¬†

with Parliament in the Palace of Westminster 

and most of the major Government ministries known as Whitehall, 

itself the site of the royal palace that replaced that at Westminster.

 

 

Within the area is Westminster School, 

a major public school which grew out of the Abbey, 

and the University of Westminster, 

attended by over 20,000 students. 

Bounding Westminster to the north is Green Park, a Royal Park of London.

 

 

Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; 

additional terms may apply.

    

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westminster

 

 

    

That is the famous Big Ben of London, 

most unrecognisable in this photo as it was covered in scaffolding due to it 

undergoing major repairs after how many years. 

   

   

         

St. Thomas Hospital towering from the Southbank of the River Thames. 

It sits just opposite (across the river) The Palace of Westminster. 

       

  

     

The iconic London Eye towers above the South bank of River Thames. 

    

London Eye offers a 360 degree view of the City and neighbouring counties. 

The only drawback is when the weather is nice, 

all the tourists want to have the experience too 

so be prepared to queue for an average of 2 hours during peak season. 

    

    

    

River Thames offers visitors alot of things to do. 

If you don’t wish to queue for 2 hours for the London Eye,¬†

perhaps you could take Thames River Cruises which can take 

about 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on the cruise you choose. 

Some of them even have luxury cruises- 

champagne on board, what’s there not to love?¬†

Just make sure you don’t get too tipsy and drown yourself on the water.¬†

These waters have alot of buried secrets lol- 

don’t be one of them.¬†

   

    

      

We are now crossing River Thames via Westminster Bridge. 

 

 

Westminster Bridge is a road-and-foot-traffic bridge over the River Thames in London, 

linking Westminster on the west side and Lambeth on the east side.

 

 

The bridge is painted predominantly green, 

the same colour as the leather seats in the House of Commons 

which is on the side of the Palace of Westminster nearest to the bridge, 

but a natural shade similar to verdigris. 

This is in contrast to Lambeth Bridge, which is red,

 the same colour as the seats in the House of Lords 

and is on the opposite side of the Houses of Parliament.[2]

 

 

In 2005‚Äď2007, it underwent a complete refurbishment,¬†

including replacing the iron fascias and repainting the whole bridge. 

It links the Palace of Westminster on the west side of the river 

with County Hall and the London Eye on the east 

and was the finishing point during the early years of the London Marathon.

 

 

The next bridge downstream is the Hungerford footbridge 

and upstream is Lambeth Bridge. 

Westminster Bridge was designated a Grade II* listed structure in 1981.[3]

  

Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; 

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Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westminster_Bridge

   

 

 

       

LONDON SOUTH BANK

   

South Bank is an entertainment and commercial district in central London, 

next to the River Thames opposite the City of Westminster. 

It forms a narrow strip of riverside land 

within the London Borough of Lambeth 

(where it adjoins Albert Embankment) 

and the London Borough of Southwark, (where it adjoins Bankside). 

As such, South Bank may be regarded as somewhat akin

 to the riverside part of an area known previously as Lambeth Marsh and North Lambeth.

  

   

While South Bank is not formally defined, 

it is generally understood to bounded by Westminster Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge, 

and to be centred approximately half a mile (800 metres) south-east of Charing Cross. 

The name South Bank was first widely used in 1951 during the Festival of Britain. 

The area’s long list of attractions includes the¬†County Hall¬†complex,¬†

the Sea Life London Aquarium, 

the London Dungeon, Jubilee Gardens and the London Eye, 

the Southbank Centre, Royal Festival Hall, National Theatre, and BFI Southbank. 

In addition to their official and business functions, 

both the County Hall and the Shell Centre have major residential components.

   

   

Due to it often being waterlogged in winter, 

the area was slower to develop than the “North Bank” of the Thames .¬†

Throughout its history, it has twice functioned as an entertainment district, 

interspersed by around a hundred years of wharfs, 

domestic industry and manufacturing being its dominant use.[1] 

Restoration began in 1917 with the construction of County Hall at Lambeth 

replacing the Lion Brewery. 

Its Coade stone symbol was retained and placed on a pedestal at Westminster Bridge 

and is known as the South Bank Lion.[1] 

The pedestrianised embankment is¬†The Queen’s Walk,¬†

which is part of the Albert Embankment built not only for public drainage 

but also to raise the whole tract of land to prevent flooding.[1]

  

   

In 1951 the Festival of Britain redefined the area 

as a place for arts and entertainment. 

It now forms a significant tourist district in central London, 

stretching from Blackfriars Bridge in the east 

to Westminster Bridge in the west. 

A series of central London bridges connect the area 

to the northern bank of the Thames Golden Jubilee and Waterloo Bridge.[1]

  

   

Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; 

additional terms may apply.

    

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Bank

   

  

    

UNWIND ALONG LONDON RIVER THAMES AT NIGHT

  

The Best Way to end a long day’s walk is always beside the water as much as possible.¬†

There is healing energy being beside the water 

even if you don’t get your feet wet.¬†

It is perhaps the calm and the cool & gentle breeze 

that caresses your soul. 

To top it all off, the beautiful lights of the establishments 

and of London’s skyline is a very romantic juxtaposition¬†

that makes London a global city that will be forever loved 

by many more generations to come. 

       

 

   

That is the magnificent Shard London towering over the city. 

We recommend you visit the Shard for an incredible London Nightlife experience. 

To learn more, visit their website at : https://www.the-shard.com/

 

 

     

That’s the HMS Belfast, a decommissioned British Naval ship.¬†

It’s now a permanent fixture in River Thames that serves as a tourist attraction perhaps.¬†

You are not allowed inside it though (at the time of writing). 

   

    

    

From the other side of the river looms the Tower of London, 

infamous for drowning prisoners with the Thames water. 

Also infamous for executions in its long history. 

It is now a historical place, perhaps a bit of a museum. 

It’s not used as a residence nor a prison anymore.¬†

We never had an inkling to visit the place, 

who would want to immerse themselves in a place full of dark past. 

In UK if they say a place is haunted, 

we really don’t joke with it anymore lol.¬†

We used to stay in a very old Inn as a base for our Cotswolds trip 

and that was enough to put us off Old Inns and haunted places. 

We’re here to relax not to be haunted.¬†

Can you hand us some red wine please lol. 

   

    

    

This is the London Tower Bridge, 

contrary to what most visitors believe to be the London Bridge. 

The Tower Bridge can accommodate taller ships passing underneath 

by raising its bridge at the same time cutting and stopping road traffic. 

 

 

London Bridge is actually not a featured tourist attraction anymore as it is very old, 

and like what the nursery rhyme accurately says, 

it is actually falling down so they had to do alot of restoration work. 

We’re not sure if it is still in active service though.¬†

You’ll have to do your research about that. Head is tired lol.¬†

      

   

 

    

London Tower Bridge upclose. 

     

   

This is the posh Bond Street. 

Could you believe we managed to even arrive here by foot after all that walking. 

 

 

We actually planned to just walk along the North bank of the Thames 

as it would surely lead us back to Westminster Bridge, 

and from Westminster Bridge it would all be easy going to the hotel around Kensington area. 

 

 

 WRONG! It was actually a disaster and we started to panic. 

That side of the river is not all the way accessible to pedestrian, 

alot of repairs going on along the banks, 

and its not all very touristy. 

You’ll see more of cold looking buildings and industrial areas.¬†

Now its okay to be confronted with this reality during the day, 

but at night around 10pm you will really start to panic. 

 

 

So we decided following the river is no good and opted to use Google Maps instead. 

Now Google Maps is also playing up as it leads us to locked up footpaths 

or abandoned subterranean footpaths. 

 

 

Seeing Bond Street once more means where now in familiar territory. 

Thank goodness for it. 

We won’t even need any more wine to send us to sleep.¬†

We are utterly drained, and so are the phones we used for navigation. 

Can’t wait to just put up our feet up in bed and drift off like a log.¬†

 

   

Goodnight London!

Goodnight World!

 

 

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