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The London Explorer Blog

Famous London Taxi Passengers: Part 1 ‘A – L’

I’ve been driving a taxi around London for over twenty years. I completed the world-renowned ‘Knowledge of London’ in 2000, entitling me to become an ‘All London Green Badge’ licensed taxi driver. The first ten years were a mix of taxi work combined with building up a parallel career as a tour guide. Since then…

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May 26, 2021

Changing of the Guard Ceremony: Origins and Who’s Who.

Steeped in history, full of pomp, ancient ceremony. But have you ever wondered who all those soldiers were? Those soldiers on sentry duty at Buckingham Palace and those soldiers who march and ride during Changing of the Guard ceremony? This blog explains who’s who, where is where and how they got here. What’s in a…

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April 23, 2021

Changing of the Guard Ceremony: Definitive Step-by-Step Guide

Welcome to the definitive guide and timetable for Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace….St James’s Palace, Wellington Barracks and Horse Guards Parade. Buckingham Palace Did I just mention four locations? The answer is yes I did; and not only are four locations involved but two ceremonies are taking place at the same time!…

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April 22, 2021

Guildhall. City of London: Part 2

The Great Hall – from Medieval to Victorian London. Continuing our exploration of Guildhall, this post looks at the architectural history, up to the 20th century, of its original and most important building. For centuries the words ‘Guildhall’ and ‘the Great Hall’ were interchangeable. Today the Guildhall complex is made up of lots of buildings…

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March 19, 2021

Guildhall. City of London: Part 1

More songs have been written and recorded about New York than any other city. ‘New York, New York’ is one of many. Starting from ‘’A’ Train Lady’ by Mink DeVille and ending at ‘Zulu Bronx River’ by Afrika Bambaataa there are over 3500 entries on the Wikipedia list for NYC. Guildhall. City of London. London…

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March 10, 2021

The Modern Wonders of Brent: London Borough of Culture 2020/2021

The Mayor of London’s ‘Borough of Culture’ award aims to put culture at the heart of local communities, enabling boroughs to fund events and support local artists and performers. The first LBC was Waltham Forest in 2019 and the second is my home London borough of Brent. What is Brent? Following the hugely significant London…

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February 23, 2021

King Charles I in Westminster: His life, execution and survival beyond death.

As I write this blog post we have just passed the 372nd anniversary of the execution of Charles I, outside the Palace of Whitehall in the heart of ‘royal’ Westminster. His death marked an end to what is always referred to as ‘The English Civil War’. Various English monarchs have met a bloody ending, perhaps…

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February 15, 2021

The Beatles (and Hendrix and Bowie) in London: Part 2 – Mayfair.

Posh Mayfair, upmarket Mayfair, moneyed Mayfair, you get the picture; it’s nice in Mayfair. Mayfair is in the West End of central London, which is not one district but a patchwork of neighbouring areas that developed through the 17th and 18th centuries (St James’s, Covent Garden and Soho were others). The West End formed the mainly…

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January 26, 2021

The Beatles in London: Part 1 – St John’s Wood

St John’s Wood is a residential, mainly well-to-do, area on the north west edge of central London. It’s fair to say that St John’s Wood is best known for two world famous locations: Lord’s Cricket Ground and Abbey Road Studios (of which more later). Like many parts of London, this area has a history stretching…

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January 9, 2021

American Heritage in London: St James’s – Pt. 2

The West End of central London is not one district but a patchwork of neighbouring areas that developed through the 17th and 18th centuries (Soho and Mayfair are others). They formed the mainly well-to-do areas developing west of the ancient City of London and, you could say, were the launch pads for the suburbanisation of…

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December 20, 2020

American Heritage in London: St. James’s – Pt. 1

The West End of central London is not one district but a patchwork of neighbouring areas that developed through the 17th and 18th centuries (Soho and Mayfair are others). They formed the mainly well-to-do areas developing west of the ancient City of London and, you could say, were the launch pads for the suburbanisation of…

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December 14, 2020

Lockdown London: Summer 2020 – Pt. 2.

Lockdown London: Summer 2020 – Pt. 2. I’m going back in time for my first two blogs. Back in time to the ‘lockdown’ summer of 2020 when I drove around central London taking photos of big things from empty streets.  If you’re reading this in 2120 and wondering why London is so deserted all I…

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November 17, 2020