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The London Explorer Blog

London Taxi Drivers Glossary and Slang: Part 1 – Buildings and Locations

London hackney carriage drivers in the 1600s became London cab drivers in the 1800s and they in turn became London taxi drivers in the 1900s. In fact all three names are still in everyday use and as the taxi trade in London has evolved over the past 400 years there has always been slang used…

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April 16, 2024

‘Knowledge of London’ Definitive Guide – How to be a London cabbie in only three years!

Every licensed London taxi driver has completed the Knowledge of London, a topographical test-of-endurance like no other. Nothing else like the Knowledge of London exists anywhere else in the world. There are no other taxi drivers like London taxi drivers anywhere else in the world. I’ll explain what all that means.   A licensed London…

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January 30, 2023

The National Gallery: Top 12 Highlights

Founded in 1824, the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square houses a collection of over 2,300 European paintings from the mid-13th century to the early 1900s. Every great artist from Romanesque to Renaissance and from Baroque to Impressionism is displayed here. The National Gallery, London. This ‘National Gallery – Top 12 Highlights’ will hopefully provide an…

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December 6, 2022

Victoria & Albert Museum: Top 12 Highlights

Vast and relentlessly eye-opening and pleasing, the Victoria & Albert Museum is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts & design. This ‘Victoria & Albert Museum – Top 12 Highlights’ will hopefully give you an easy-to-follow intro of sorts and a bit of focus for your first visit. Admission is free: 10.00am – 6.00pm. Here is the…

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November 8, 2022

The British Museum: Top 12 Highlights

The British Museum’s origin has no connection to royalty or church. It has always been a museum for people, dedicated to people: displaying their arts, exhibiting their cultural objects and explaining their civilisations. It’s one of the great world museums, visited by millions of people every year. Admission is free: 10.00am – 6.00pm. Here is…

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April 27, 2022

Fleet in the City: Part 2 – Holborn Viaduct

The River Fleet rises in Hampstead Heath meandering downhill through north London for four miles, until it exits into the River Thames at Blackfriars.  Holborn Viaduct – looking south where the River Fleet once flowed From Heath to Thames the Fleet is now culverted and runs underground, incorporated into Joseph Bazalgette’s grand nineteenth century London…

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March 8, 2022

Fleet in the City: Part 1 – The Valley of the Fleet

  The River Fleet rises in Hampstead Heath meandering downhill through north London for four miles, until it exits into the River Thames at Blackfriars.  From Heath to Thames the Fleet is now culverted and runs underground, incorporated into Joseph Bazalgette’s grand nineteenth century London sewer system. Its exit into the…

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January 26, 2022

St Dunstan in London and Somerset – Part 2: London

Some Christian saints are real historic figures and some are mythical. Some saints are real but have mythical events attributed to them. Dunstan (c.909 – 988) has both. He really did exist and yet the most famous legend linked to him is nothing more than a devilishly imagined story (see ‘St Dunstan in London and…

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December 15, 2021

St Dunstan in London and Somerset – Part 1: Somerset

Some Christian saints are real historic figures and some are mythical. Some saints are linked to historic events and some have mythical events attributed to them. The English saint, Dunstan has both. He really did exist (c.909 – 988) and yet the most famous legend linked to him is nothing more than a devilishly imagined…

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November 15, 2021

Queen Victoria Memorial versus The Albert Memorial: Part 2 – Victoria

Queen Victoria Memorial The Mall, London SW1. This is the second part of my definitive guide to the Queen Victoria Memorial and to the Albert Memorial. Married in life, separated by death and each the recipient of a grand, excessive and elaborately detailed London memorial. Victoria and Albert were a pair in life and are…

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October 28, 2021

Queen Victoria Memorial versus The Albert Memorial: Part 1 – Albert

The Albert Memorial (real name: Prince Consort National Memorial) Kensington Gardens, London SW7. This is the first part of my definitive guide to the Queen Victoria Memorial and to the Albert Memorial. Married in life, separated by death and each the recipient of a grand, excessive and elaborately detailed London memorial. Victoria and Albert were…

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September 8, 2021

Buckingham Palace Garden, Summer 2021: Part 2

On July 8th 2021 Buckingham Palace opened up the Garden for it’s preview day, before opening up to the public. I was given a ticket. Here are my pictures.   Buckingham Palace: West Facade. Designed by John Nash (1820s) and part of the original Palace.   Buckingham Palace: West Facade. The three friezes were designed…

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July 24, 2021