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Main Attractions: Cambridge University Botanic Garden, , Fitzwilliam Museum, Corpus Christi College, Corpus Clock, King's College, Great St Mary's Church, Senate House, Market Square, Christ College, Emmanuel College, Sidney Sussex College, The Round Church, St. John College, River Cam Quayside, Pepys Library, Magdalene College, Trinity College, Trinity Bridge, the Mathematical Bridge, Peterhouse Chapel and College.
Public Transport: There are frequent trains from London King’s Cross & London Liverpool Street to Cambridge. During weekdays - there is a service every 10-15 minutes from Liverpool Street station. The ride takes 1.10 - 1.25 hrs. The train ride is quite expensive. Buy "Advance" tickets. Even if the times of your ride are fixed in advance - you can "round the corner" and catch any train without detected or fined by the the conductors. Duration: 1 day. Weather: ONLY good weather. Walking along Cambridge canals deserves a bright day. Distance: 10 km.
Start & End: Cambridge Railway Station. Orientation: Whether you’re visiting Cambridge on a day trip from London, or you’ve decided to spend a few days in one of England’s finest historic university towns, the best thing to do is to step off the crowded streets of Trumpington and King’s Parade, and into college grounds. These places feel like a sanctuary from the outside world. It’s easy to get transported into another time, with ivy-covered towers built hundreds of years ago, porters manning the gates, green lawns that are not to be crossed, and students stepping out in their black academic gowns for formal dinners.
Spending half-an-hour in Liverpool Street before taking your train to Cambridge: Walk 300 m. west to Liverpool Street to Broadgate Circle and spend lovely 20-30 minutes in the charming Urban Eden site. From Liverpool Street Station head west toward Sun St Passage. Turn left onto Sun St Passage. Turn right toward Appold St, then left. Continue onto Sun St and turn left and right onto Broadgate Circle. This brilliant, modern and mainly-pedestrianized development is located beside (west to) and above the railway approaches into Liverpool Street station. In the winter months Broadgate circle used to host Broadgate Ice; London's only turn up and skate rink (not sure, but think there is another skate rink in Canary Wharf). In November 2017, Broadgate installed their first Christmas market. Broadgate Circle is one of London’s latest dining hubs, with a diverse collection of restaurants, bars, cafes and ‘street food traders. With a collection of no less than 18 separate buildings grouped around several open areas, the site acts more like a small town than an office environment. Broadgate Circle has a unique, modern amphitheatre setting and offers international cuisine all year round – from breakfast to supper. There's a lot of dramatic and intriguing architecture in this area. This open space is one of the most memorable features and has been dramatically filled with an amphitheatre. An upper level walkway, level with surrounding squares, fills the outer parts of the circle and lets on to steps down to a shopping arcade and Liverpool Street Station beyond. The bottom layer of the circle is home to shops. Above this is the walkway with views through to the middle, then above that a circular layer of raised bars for those that want a drink
Its main asset during the spring and summer months is a collection of Urban Eden gardens. Urban Eden forms part of an ongoing initiative at Broadgate, which forms the site as a green space:
Deliciously Ella pop-up garden:
If you have five minutes more, hurry-up to the main entrance of Liverpool street. You find myself in front of a modern statue in bright bronze of a collection of five children. This is the Kindertransport. In 1938 and 1939, ten thousand unaccompanied Jewish children were transported to Britain to escape persecution in their hometowns in Germany and Austria. These children arrived at Liverpool Street station to be taken in by British families and foster homes. Only a few were reunited with their families after World War II. Terrifying and, still, noble chapter in the history of modern Europe:
Our daily Cambridge itinerary: we start at the Cambridge Railway Station and walk westward along the Station Road. 350 m. east of the station resides the Cambridge University Botanic Garden (CUBG). We enter the garden through Station Road Gate which is located behind the War Memorial at the junction of Hills Road and Station Road. Opening hours: JAN, NOV + DEC: 10.00 - 16.00, FEB-MAR, OCT: 10.00 – 17.00, APR – SEP: 10.00 - 18.00. Prices: Adult £6.00, over 65s and students with a recognised identification card £5.50, children 0-16 inclusive FREE. Impossible to deposit luggage at the tickets office. The garden is highly rated by gardening enthusiasts. It holds a plant collection of over 8000 plant species from all over the world to facilitate teaching and research. The garden was created for the University of Cambridge in 1831 by Professor John Stevens Henslow (Charles Darwin's mentor) and was opened to the public in 1846. It is an amazing, sublime garden. A peaceful haven. You can spend here hours or, even, half a day. Lots of areas such as the Stream garden, the Bog Garden, the Dry garden, the Rock garden, The Scented Garden, The Chronological Bed etc. A vast variety of plants, trees and flowers. From the outside you would have no idea how spacious and beautiful the gardens are. Very well laid out and superb planting. Eexplanatory panels guide you through the different species. Take your time and make the most of this wonderful garden. You can see, in these gardens, also birds, reptiles, invertebrates, mammals and amphibians that live in these ecosystems:
To continue with our route - please exit the gardens from the same entrance (Station Street entrance, the eastern entrance). Walk north along Regent Street (most of the roads, in this area, have no signs), and, immediately turn west (left) to Bateman Street.
Someone tried scratching off the "E":
We take this road westward until its end (the Botanic Garden on our left) and turn RIGHT (north) to Trumpington Street. Walking approx. 500 m. north along Trumpington will bring us to The Fitzwilliam Museum. The sole public transport to this museum is the U bus from Madingley Road Park & Ride, Cambridge Station (weekdays ONLY). Opening hours: TUE - SAT: 10.00 - 17.00, SUN and Bank Holiday Mondays: 12.00 - 17.00. CLOSED: Mondays, Good Friday, 24-26 & 31 December and 1 January. FREE Admission. No large bags and backpacks) or animals are accepted inside. There are coin operated lockers at the South Entrance for coats and personal items. Photography allowed but NO flash.
The grand façade of the neoclassical building of Fitzwilliam Museum:
Henry Moore, Reclining Figure, 1951 (stands in one of the inner courts, outside the museum):
The Fitzwilliam Museum’s collection of paintings comprises nearly 1700 works, ranging from the 13th to the 21st century. In addition to the regular galleries (over 30) there are alwaysn special temporary (sometimes, extraordinary) exhibitions on. Among the highlights are paintings by Italian artists, especially those of the Venetian school, with masterpieces by Titian, Veronese, Bellotto and Canaletto; a superb collection of landscapes of all schools, including a notable group of atmospheric outdoor oil sketches by Corot, Turner and Constable; a distinguished group of portraits and portrait miniatures by British artists from the 17th to the 20th century, and a remarkable range of works by French Impressionist painters. There are significant holdings of Dutch and Flemish paintings, among which are distinguished works by Ruisdael, Hobbema, Hals and Rubens. The collection of French paintings has grown significantly in recent years with the gift, bequest and purchase of paintings by Poussin, Delacroix, Géricault, Courbet and Monet among others. A particular strength are works by late-19th and 20th-century British and French artists, with outstanding groups of paintings by Vuillard, Bonnard, Sickert, Augustus John, Stanley Spencer and Matisse. You can then relax in the café where they serve really nice scones.
Rubens, The Death of Hippolytus:
The Last of England, by Ford Madox Brown:
Cordelia's Portion , by Ford Madox Brown:
Renoir, La Place Clichy (1880):
Alfred Sisley - A Street in Port Marley (1875-7):
Walter Sickert, Mornington Crescent Nude, 1907:
Jean Leon Jerome, Portarait of Claud-Armand Jerome (1848):
Stanley Spencer, Self-portrait with Patricia Preece:
We leave the FitzWilliam Museum - continuing north along Trumpington Street. We pass: Little St.Mary's Lane, Mill Lane, Silver Street and we see Corpus Christi College on our right. It is notable as the only college founded by Cambridge townspeople. it was established in 1352 by the Guild of Corpus Christi and the Guild of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is the sixth-oldest college in Cambridge. With around 250 undergraduates and 200 postgraduates, it also has the second smallest student body of the traditional colleges of the Cambridge University. One of the wealthiest colleges in Cambridge and very high-ranking in academic achievements of its undergraduates in the UK. Entrance price: £2.50. Architectural and historical grandeur at its best. Very special atmosphere.
The main entrance - the new court (looking east):
The old court:
The College Chapel:
DO NOT MISS the Corpus Clock or Chronograph which stands at the north-west corner of the college, on the outside of the Taylor Library, at the junction of Bene't Street and Trumpington Street, looking out over King's Parade. It was conceived and funded by John C. Taylor, an old member of the college. It was officially unveiled to the public ONLY on 19 September 2008 by Cambridge physicist Stephen Hawking !
From the intersection of Benet Street and Kings Parade (where the Corpus Clock resides) you continue several steps forward more northward - to see the King's College premises on your left (west). The most famous college in Cambridge. King's college lies east to the River Cam and faces out onto (west to) King's Parade in the centre of Cambridge city centre. King's College was founded in 1441 by Henry VI, soon after he had founded its sister college in Eton. However, the King's plans for the college were disrupted by the Wars of the Roses and resultant scarcity of funds, and his eventual deposition. Little progress was made on the project until in 1508 Henry VII began to take an interest in the college, most likely as a political move to legitimize his new position. The building of the college's chapel, begun in 1446, was finally finished in 1544 during the reign of Henry VIII. King's College Chapel is regarded as one of the greatest examples of late Gothic English architecture. One of the largest undergraduate and graduate colleges in Cambridge.
The Front Courtyard:
It has the world's largest fan-vault,
and the chapel's stained-glass windows and wooden chancel screen are considered some of the finest from their era.
The chapel's choir, composed of male students at King's and choristers from the nearby King's College School, is one of the most renowned in the world. Every year on Christmas Eve the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is broadcasted from the chapel to millions of listeners worldwide. SO, we may say that the two most attractive highlights of the visit in King's College would be: the chapel and the choir. Make sure you line up at 16.45 for the 17.30 evensong. Queue up early. If you get there late you might not sit near the choir. The chapel is truly magnificent. It is quite stunningly beautiful.
The picture of the Adoration of the Magi over the altar is world famous and it certainly deserves to be:
Opening Hours: Term Dates: 16 January - 16 March 2018, 24 April - 15 June 2018, 2 October - 30 November 2018: MON - FRI 9.30 - 15.30, SAT 9.30 - 13.15, SUN 13.15 - 14.30. Other periods of the year (non-term dates): everyday 9.30 - 16.30 (except during December and January when the Chapel closes at 15.30). Prices: adult £9.00 or concessions (children and students) £6.00. Photography allowed but without flash and tripod. You buy tickets for entering King's College from the King's College shop on the opposite side of King's parade (the continuation of Trumpington Street). The shop is with books, cards, pictures, clothes, etc associated with King's College. A tip: most of the interesting buildings can already be seen from outside. Attend the service, where you can access the chapel for free and can also listen to the choir. After the service you are free to shortly walk around in the college.
200 m. more northward along King's Parade (north end) will bring us (on our right, east) to Great St Mary's Church, The University Church, Senate House Hill:
it is the university church for the University of Cambridge. The church houses the University Organ and the University Clock. The latter chimes the "Cambridge Chimes" which were later used by the clock tower of the "Big Ben" in London. The first church on the site of the current one was built in 1205, but this was mostly destroyed by fire 9 July 1290 and then rebuilt. During its early years, the church was the property of the crown, but on 15 July 1342, the land was passed to King's Hall. Ownership then passed to Trinity College, where it has rested since. In the Middle Ages it became an official gathering place for meetings and debates for Cambridge University, but this ceased in 1730 when the University's Senate House was built across the street. The present building was constructed between 1478 and 1519. The church was restored by James Essex in 1766. In 1850–51 a restoration was carried out by George Gilbert Scott, followed by further work by Anthony Salvin in 1857. The south porch was rebuilt in 1888. There has been some more restoration work during the 20th century. FREE, but if you want climb the tower you have to pay around 3 pound. Fantastic, amazing views. Not so many stairs (125), but, the stairs are circular and a bit narrow though. On the way up, you go past the bells and can see them as well:
The Senate House viewed from the Great St Mary's tower:
The Senate House is west to Great St Mary Church. It resides in the northern end of the King's Parade road. The Senate House of the University of Cambridge is now used mainly for degree ceremonies. It was formerly also used for meetings of the Council of the Senate. The building was designed and built in 1722–1730 by architect James Gibbs in a neo-classical style. Graduates are presented in the Senate House college by college, in order of foundation or recognition by the university. In the end of King's Parade we turn right (east) to St. Mary Street and, immediately, right to the Market Hill - just to stroll around the busy market stalls. Cambridge Market is centered around the Market Square. This market is one of the landmarks of the city. It is a nice, little, diverse and cosmopolitan market place with local produce and interesting food selection from all over the world - as broad as the selection of countries represented in Cambridge's student population. Many stalls do really good looking "street food". Most of the stalls close at 15.00. Several are open until 17.00:
The next college (Christ College) is 300 m. from the Market Square. Head south on Market Hill toward St Mary's Passage, 70 m. Turn right toward Petty Cury, 17 m. Trn left onto Petty Cury, 130 m. Turn right onto Sidney St, 30 m. Sharp left onto St Andrew's St, 22 m. Turn right and after 15 m. you see the Christ College on your right. The Christ College was founded by William Byngham in 1437. In 1505, the college was granted a new royal charter and changed its name to Christ's College, becoming the twelfth of the Cambridge colleges to be founded in its current form. Within Cambridge, Christ's has a reputation for strong academic performance and tutorial support. It has averaged 1st place on the annual ranking, that lists the Colleges of the University of Cambridge in order of their undergraduate students' performances, from 1980–2006 and third place from 2006 to 2013. One of the wealthiest colleges in Cambridge. Christ College is open to visitors ONLY in terms dates except during the Christmas close down and during the Quiet Period (exams and holidays periods), as follows: College Grounds 09.00 - 16.00 7 Days a week, Fellows' Garden 09.00 - 16.00 Monday to Friday only.
The Great Gate on St Andrew's Street:
The First Court:
The Chapel in the First Court:
The Second Court:
The New Court:
Young Darwin Statue by Anthony Smith, in Darwin gardens adjacent to the New Court, Christ's College:
After exiting Christ College we change direction, for a short (optional) detour, and continue walking along Hobson Street and St. Andrews Street with our back to the north (Christ College) and our face to the south. After passing Emmanuel Street on our left (north-east) and arriving to Downing Street (on our right) we see Emmanuel College on our left. One of the top-ranking and wealthiest colleges in Cambridge. In every year from 1998, Emmanuel has been among the top six colleges in the table, which ranks colleges according to end-of-year examination results. Its mean score places it as the second highest ranking college. Emmanuel is the fourth wealthiest of the colleges at Cambridge. Like all of the older Cambridge Colleges, Emmanuel originally took only male students. It first admitted female students in 1979. The college was founded in 1584 by Sir Walter Mildmay, Chancellor of the Exchequer to Elizabeth I. Mildmay's foundation made use of the existing buildings. The College had been occupied, before, by a Dominican friary until the Dissolution of the Monasteries, between 1536 and 1541 by by King Henry VIII. Emmanuel Collegeis found to be quite a pleasant place with a real sense of community. Not big and scary but not too small and gossipy. It Is also a beautiful college, located right near to the new Grand Arcade shopping centre. It's one of the most competitive colleges to get a place at:
Emmanuel College Chapel designed by Christopher Wren:
Dining hall of Emmanuel College:
We retrace our steps and walk back along St. Andrews Street, with our face to the north, until e meet the intersection with Petty Cury. We continue directly north along Sidney Street. We pass the Green Street on our left, and, immediately further, on our right is the Sidney Sussex College. The college was founded in 1596 under the terms of the will of Frances Sidney, Countess of Sussex (1531–1589) and named after its foundress. In her will, Lady Sussex left the sum of £5,000 together with some plate to found a new college at Cambridge University "to be called the Lady Frances Sidney Sussex College". It was from its inception an Protestant foundation. Sir John Harington and Henry Grey, 6th Earl of Kent, supervised by Archbishop John Whitgift, founded the college seven years after her death. Oliver Cromwell studied here. Cromwell was born in the nearby town of Huntingdon and came up to Cambridge to study in 1616. Cromwell's skull was buried in the college ante-chapel in 1960. Sidney Sussex is recognized as one of the smaller, more classical Cambridge colleges. Its current student body consists of roughly 350 undergraduate students and 190 graduates. Academically, Sidney Sussex has tended towards a mid-table position in the unofficial Cambridge University Colleges Table, Surprisingly elegant, peaceful grounds. Open: everyday 09.00 - 15.00. The Chapel Court:
View of the college from Sidney Street:
North face of Hall Court:
Impressive Chapel inside Sidney Sussex College - an unexpectedly long and beautiful place of worship. Before the founding of the college the site was occupied by Franciscan friars, so it's no surprise to find a fine wood-carvings. A beautiful chapel, and empty of tourists...:
We continue walking northward, entering, now, the Bridge Street and passing, on our right, the Jesus Lane. On our right is the Round Church. One of the most enjoyable small churches in East Anglia. The round shape was believed to represent resurrection, since Constantine's church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem (regarded as one of the most holy sites in Christendom) was though to stand over the site where Jesus was buried, and where he subsequently rose from the dead. Given this symbolic meaning, only four medieval round churches survive; The Round Church in Cambridge, Temple Church in London, St John's in Little Maplestead, Essex, and Holy Sepulchre in Northampton. The round bit, the older part was constructed in 1130 by a religious guild of local merchants. Sometime before the mid-13th century this Holy Sepulchre church became a 'proper' parish church, served by Augustinian monks from the Hospital of St John. It is the marvelous circular nave and ambulatory, with the wonderful medieval carvings, that make this such an enjoyable church to visit. a real gem. Opening hours: MON 14.00 - 17.00, TUE - SAT 10.00 - 17.00, SUN 13.30 - 17.00. Prices: adult £3, child - £1.50. Bill Gates, the Dalai Lama and Queen Victoria have all visited the Round Church!
Opposite the Round Church (left or west to the intersection of Bridge Street and the Round Church Road or St. John Street) stands the St. John College. Opening hours: 1 MAR - 31 OCT: 10.00 - 17.00, Other dates (off-season): 10.00 - 15.30. The College is closed from 25 December - 2 January. Prices: Adult: £10, Children (12-17), senior citizens & students: £5.00, Children under 12: FREE. The tourist route is accessible by all visitors; however the main route enters the Chapel via steps. The college was founded by Lady Margaret Beaufort (mother of King Henry VII) in 1511. She had begun the process of transforming the ancient hospital of St John the Evangelist, Cambridge (founded c. 1200), into a college for students in the liberal arts and theology. The college's alumni include the winners of ten Nobel Prizes, seven prime ministers and twelve archbishops of various countries. The Romantic poet William Wordsworth studied at the college, as did William Wilberforce and Thomas Clarkson, the two who led the movement that brought slavery to an end in the British Empire. Prince William was affiliated with St John's while undertaking a university-run course in estate management in 2014. St John's College is also well known for its choir, its members' success in a wide variety of inter-collegiate sporting competitions and its annual May Ball. In 2011, the college celebrated its 500 years anniversary, an event marked by a visit of HM Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
The main entrance is from St. John Street. The gatehouse is crenelated and adorned with the arms of the founder Lady Margaret Beaufort. Above these are displayed her ensigns, the Red Rose of Lancaster and Portcullis. The college arms are flanked by curious creatures known as yales, mythical beasts with elephants' tails, antelopes' bodies, goats' heads, and swiveling horns:
First Court is the oldest part of the college, built in the years 1511-20 to contain all the necessary buildings of a residential college, including living quarters, kitchen, library, and hall. First Court is entered via the Great Gate, and is highly architecturally varied. First Court was converted from the hospital on the foundation of the college, and constructed between 1511 and 1520. Though it has since been gradually changed, the front (east) range is still much as it appeared when first erected in the 16th century. Parts of First Court were used as a prison in 1643 during the English Civil War. In April 2011, Queen Elizabeth II visited St John's college to inaugurate a new pathway in First Court, which passes close to the ruins of the Old Chapel.
The Chapel, designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott and built during the 1860s, includes in its interior some pieces saved from the original chapel. It is the tallest building in Cambridge:
The Chapel Roof:
St. John's Third Court, Old Library on the Right:
We continue walking north-west along Bridge Street. We pass Portugal Place,on our right, with its white-washed low houses. The next road to the right is Thompson Lane (with a closed Synagogue). At last we arrive to the River Cam. We turn RIGHT and walk with our face to the north-east along the river and along the River Cam Quayside: (note: we shall return back along this section afteer having glance at the bridge, the lock and the pier):
punting can be quite tricky if you do it for the first time, be prepared to collide with others boats and having to control at all first half an hour:
The Lock and the Bridge on River Cam:
Jesus Common (on your right, east) from the Bridge on River Cam:
Return along the eastern bank of River Cam - back to the bridge which connects Bridge Street (the east bank of Rivar Cam) and Magdalene Street on the west bank of River Cam. After passing Prezzo restaurant and the bridge over the river (our face to the west) - we see Pepys Library on our right (east) (second court of Magdalene College). Part of Magdalene College, but should be admired in its own right. This is the personal library collected by Samuel Pepys which he bequeathed to the college following his death in 1703. Regarded as the jewel in the crown of Magdalene College, the Pepys Library is a rare example of a 17th-century private library. The Library is open to members of the public and visiting scholars. Pepys was a lifelong bibliophile and carefully nurtured his large collection of books, manuscripts, and prints. At his death, there were more than 3,000 volumes, including the diary, all carefully catalogued and indexed; they form one of the most important surviving 17th-century private libraries. Pepys made detailed provisions in his will for the preservation of his book collection; and, when his nephew and heir, John Jackson, died, in 1723, it was transferred, intact, to Magdalene College (in the Second Court). The library houses Samuel Pepys’s original diaries and remains one of the most significant collections of books, manuscripts, documents and prints acquired by any private individual. Pepys Library is open to visitors during Cambridge University Full Term and for a period over the summer. Booking in advance is not required. Entrance to the Pepys Library is FREE for individuals. Opening hours: 05.01.18 – 25.03.18: MON - SAT: 14.00 - 16.00, 17.04.18 – 08.09.18 MON - FRI: 14.00 - 16.00, SAT: 11.30 - 12.30, 13.30 - 14.30, 09.09.18 - 30.09.18 Closed. The Library is housed on the first floor of the building. FREE entrance (and from here you can continue to other premises of Magdalene College). The gardens around are very pretty and calming too. You cannot take any bags, cameras or phones into the library. NO photography of any sort is allowed inside. Unbelievable piece of history !!! The old books and manuscripts are wonderful to see:
Follow the signs or walk more to the west and you are facing the other buildings of Magdalene College. Remember: entrance is FREE compared to over charged other colleges in Cambridge. One of the small and more delighted colleges in Cambridge. Wonderful architecture and stunning setting on the river. Walk into the First Court and see the delightful houses around:
Step into the second courtyard and enter the fellows dining hall (no electricity here it all by candlelight). All very Harry Potter like:
Walk into the Fellows Hall and see the wooden panels, the long benches and the pulpit:
From Magdalene College we head southwest. We turn right toward Magdalene St and turn left o(south) onto Magdalene St. We continue south-east onto Bridge St, go through 1 roundabout and turn right (west) onto the pretty All Saints Passage:
We turn LEFT (south) onto Trinity street. The second turn to the right is Trinity Lane:
On the middle of Trinity Lane, on your right (north) is the main entrance (Great Gate) to Trinity College. The Great Court and the Chapel are open daily, 10.00 - 16.30. Tickets, priced at £3 for adults, may be purchased from the visitors’ booth inside Great Gate. Alternatively, Great Court may be viewed from beneath Queen’s Gate, on Trinity Lane, every day, free of charge. Photography is allowed (no tripods) except of the Wren Library section in the back side of the campus. Trinity was founded by Henry VIII in 1546, when he combined two existing colleges and seven hostels. Trinity College is now a home to around 600 undergraduates, 300 graduates, and over 180 Fellows. The most expensive and most reputable College in Cambridge. Members of Trinity have won 32 Nobel Prizes out of the 91 won by members of Cambridge University, the highest number of any college at either Oxford or Cambridge. Isaac Newton discovered gravity here, in this college. Unfortunately, the Wren Library was closed during our visit. We were told it has a very unique atmosphere and very rare documents and books. Walk in the footsteps of the greats: texts by Newton, including his annotated Principia Mathematica, documents of Galileo, and Copernicus, an original copy of the Canterbury Tales, the First Folio of Shakespeare, A.A Milne's hand-written manuscript of Winnie the Pooh as well as Milton's manuscripts are there. The Library is only accessible for two hours, during the day, and only allows access to 15 persons at a time. Only half of the Library's central space is open for visitors. Do not miss the Chapel with the sculptures of, amongst others, Newton and Tennyson.
Great Court of Trinity College:
Great Gate (left side of the photo):
The statue of the college's founder Henry VIII over the Great Gate:
The Clock Tower at the Trinity College:
The Dining Hall:
Head west on Trinity Lane and turn left to stay on Trinity Lane. Turn right onto Garret Hostel Lane and you face, in front the Trinity Bridge over River Cam. It was built in 1765 to the designs of James Essex to replace an earlier bridge built in 1651:
To the left of the bridge (south) is Jerwood Library.
We continue walking SOUTHWARD along the River Cam. We see the Clare College (and a narrow water canal) on our left. It is 800 m. walk southward until this path ends (at Queens College and the Mathematical Bridge). We pass through the back entrance of Kings College (no entrance to the public). When the path ends - we see the Mathematical Bridge. The Mathematical Bridge bridges the River Cam northwest of Silver Street Bridge and connects two parts of Queens' College. Its official name is simply the Wooden Bridge. The bridge was designed by William Etheridge, and built by James Essex in 1749. It has been rebuilt on two occasions, in 1866 and in 1905, but has kept the same overall design. Although it appears to be an arch, it is composed entirely of straight timbers built to an unusually sophisticated engineering design, hence the name. The original "mathematical bridge" was another bridge of the same design, also commissioned by James Essex, crossing the Cam between Trinity and Trinity Hall colleges, where Garret Hostel Bridge now stands.
We turn LEFT (east) to Silver Street. At the intersection of Silver Street and Trumpington Street - we see this church:
We turn RIGHT (south) to Trumpington Street. After walking 320 m. south along Trumpington Street - we see Peterhouse Chapel and College on our right. It is the oldest college of the university, having been founded in 1284 by Hugo de Balsham, Bishop of Ely, and granted its charter by King Edward I. Today, Peterhouse is one of the wealthiest colleges in Cambridge. The college has very small student population. Peterhouse is one of the few colleges that still insists that its members attend communal dinners, known as "Hall". Hall takes place in two sittings, with the second known as "Formal Hall", which consists of a three-course candlelit meal and which must be attended wearing gowns. At Formal Hall, the students rise as the fellows proceed in, a gong is rung, and two Latin graces are read.
From Peterhouse - we have a 2 km.walk to Cambridge Railway Station. Head southeast on Trumpington St toward Fitzwilliam St, 320 m. Slight left to stay on Trumpington St. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Lensfield Rd. Continue to followLensfield Road, 480 m. Turn right onto Hills Rd, 480 m. Turn left onto Station Rd, 480 m.
2-3 hours in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park:
The bottom line: Well worth a visit if you are in the area but don't make a special journey just to see the place. Duration: 1/2 day or 2-3 hours. Weather: avoid rainy or windy day. far better in a bright day. Ideal for visitors who stay in one of Stratford hotels. A good choice if you have a flight in the afternoon/early evening hours. Good weather is essential. Public Transport: The nearest stations are Stratford station and Stratford International station.
Stratford station is served by:
• Docklands Light Railway (DLR)
• Jubilee and Central lines
• National Rail services operated by Greater Anglia and c2c
• London Overground services
Stratford International station is served by:
• Docklands Light Railway (DLR)
• Southeastern High Speed 1 services
Stratford bus station and Stratford City bus station are both located in close proximity to Stratford station. Buses that run to these stations are:
• 25 from Oxford Street to Ilford
• 69 from Canning Town to Walthamstow
• 86 from Romford to Stratford
• 97 from Chingford to Stratford
• 104 Manor Park to Stratford
• 108 from Lewisham to Stratford
• 158 from Chingford Mount to Stratford
• 238 from Barking to Stratford
• 241 from Prince Regent to Stratford
• 257 from Walthamstow to Stratford
• 262 from Becton to Stratford
• 276 from Stoke Newington to Newham University Hospital
• 308 from Clapton to Wanstead
• 339 from Leytonstone to Shadwell
• 425 from Clapton to Stratford
• 473 from North Woolwich to Stratford
• D8 from Crossharbour to Stratford International
It can take between 15-20 minutes to walk from Stratford regional station or Stratford International station to the northern Park entrance (walking distance is approximately 800m). We went, first, to the Westfield Shopping Centre. From the ground floor (north side of the mall) - there are good signs, leading to the park. It is a 300-350 m. walk. Opening hours and Prices: Open every day, no charge to visit the park.
When you exit the mall on its western side - this is the park' sight. The water stream is River Lea. The Olympic Park is one or two levels lower than the Westfield mall. You have to descend the stairs to connect with the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park's lower level paths. The whole park was a run down and neglected area of London. After an 18-month makeover the park was opened for the first time since the 2012 Olympics. The same size as Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens combined and the biggest new park to open in London for a century, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is the one of the most ambitious developments London has ever seen. The park is beautiful, the structures around are a sight to behold and there are many attractions and activities (including playgrounds and a cafe) (most of them under payment) to enjoy. Enjoyable as a couple or with a group of friends. The landscaping design is admirable.
The main sights and attractions are:
The Olympic Park near Hackney Wick and Fish Island:
We found that the most amazing part of the Olympic Park is its integrated artworks. 26 artworks have been made to be experienced in the landscape. Some are large and striking while others are smaller and harder to find. The most visible and large-scale ones are:
One Day in Central London - from Buckingham Palace to St. Paul Cathedral and Paternoster Square:
Tip 1: from Green Park to Lambeth Bridge.
Tip 2: Victoria Tower Gardens to One New Change Shopping Centre.
Tip 1 Main Attractions: Green Park, Canada Gate, Buckingham Palace, Victoria Memorial square, Wellington Arch, Apsley House, Hyde Park, statue of Achilles, Cavalry Memorial statue, Sloane Street, Chelsea Pensioners' Hospital, Chelsea Bridge, Grosvenor Road, Dolphin Square Building, Pimlico Gardens, Vauxhall Bridge, Riverside Walk Gardens, Lambeth Bridge.
Distance (Tip 1 and Tip 2): 15 km. Weather: avoid windy or rainy days. Orientation: a full, busy day of walk. Crossing Central London from north to south and, then, from west to east and, back, from south to north. Quick exploration of several districts in London with no in-depth visits.
Tip 1 - from Green Park to Lambeth Bridge.
Start: Green Park Metro Station. End: Lambeth Bridge
Public Transport to Buckingham Palace: By Underground: Victoria, Green Park and Hyde Park Corner. You can also walk to Buckingham Palace from Hyde Park Corner or Green Park Underground Stations (both Piccadilly Lines) in 5 to 10 minutes. By bus: Numbers 11, 211, C1 and C10 stop on Buckingham Palace Road.
From Green Park Metro (underground) station to Buckingham Palace on foot: exit the Green park station through the southern exit (leading to the Green Park and Buckingham Palace). The Piccadilly Street is on your back (north). You face Diana fountain/ statue outside of Green Park station:
Green Park resides between Hyde Park and St. James's Park. The park is bounded on the north by the Green Park tube station, which is a major interchange located on Piccadilly, Victoria and Jubilee lines. From the station starts the Queen's Walk, which forms the east border of the park, leading to the south end of the park. In the south is the Constitution Hill. To the south is also the ceremonial avenue of the Mall, and the buildings of St James's Palace (more to the east) and Clarence House (bordering the park) overlook the park to the east. Clarence House was home to Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother for almost 50 years prior to her passing in 2002. It is now the official residence of The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall. It is usually closed to the public through the year but every summer, it is open to visitors for around a month – usually August – with guided tours of the ground floor reception. St. James’s Palace was built in the 16th century. It is the UK’s most senior royal palace and contains the London residences of The Princess Royal and Princess Alexandra. Wellington Arch is in the south-west corner of Green Park. Many people will tell you that Green Park is so called because flowers don't grow there. Some more dubious types will even claim that the reason for the lack of flowers stems back to Charles II; his wife Catherine apparently caught him picking flowers for his mistress and ordered all flowers to be removed. The now-buried Tyburn stream, running from Hampstead to the Thames, runs under the park, coming in from Mayfair before heading off west underneath Buckingham Palace. The Broadwalk through the park roughly follows its path. Handel's Music for the Royal Fireworks was composed specifically for a fireworks celebration held in The Green Park in 1749. On 10 June 1840, it was the scene of Edward Oxford's assassination attempt on Queen Victoria, on Constitution Hill. No public toilets, but some in Green Park Underground station.
Our best advice to arrive to Buckingham Palace from the Metro station is taking the second from the left path. Or, look in the distance for big golden gates. These are the gates (Canada Gate) that separate the Green Park from Buckingham Palace grounds. The golden Canada Gates were a gift from Canada, celebrating its contribution to the then British Empire. The gate is in the same style as those of Buckingham Palace. The metalwork includes the crests of seven Canadian provinces. Canada Gate takes the form of a screen consisting of 5 portals of gilded wrought iron, the central section being the principal and largest gate; the double gates are supported on columns of iron. The gate stands at the junction with Constitution Hill; today, a congested roundabout, but occasionally closed to traffic when the famous Mall (Constitution Hill road continuation to the east) is required for state processions from the palace.
Canada Gate in May 2016:
You just cross the Green Park from north to south. You may take the pedestrian Queen's Walk, the Spencer House on your left,
and turn right and left to follow the paths southward until you arrive the Constitution Hill road. The path that crosses Green Park from north to south, leading to Canada Gate is a wide grass path lined with trees, known as The Broadwalk. It was planted in 1905 to create a good view of the Queen Victoria Memorial from Piccadilly. The Broadwalk also marks the approximate course of the ancient River Tyburn that now flows under the park on its course from Hampstead to the River Thames. The Victoria Monument outside Buckingham Palace can be seen in the distance:
Behind this road reside: Buckingham Palace Garden, the palace and Victoria Memorial Square. Just follow the paths with the signs pointing to Buckingham Palace. Other ones point to Hyde Park. There is a refreshment kiosk at the Buckingham Palace corner of the park. Best seen when the weather is nice and flowers in bloom. The park may get busy during summer sunny and warm afternoons/evenings. Then, you'll be surprised by the amount of deckchairs spread around. The noise always seems far away.
It is an almost necessary London tourist ritual of taking photos outside the palace’s iconic facade.
Buckingham Palace itself is rarely open to the public (usually only during August and September). On a gorgeous, sunny day join the masses to watch the world-famous Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. There is an detailed blog (from May 2013) on this event in Tipter: http://tipter.com/trips/buckingham-palace-changing-of-the-guard. Allow one hour or more wait before everything begins. Add the lack of space to move around, and it is just long enough to begin losing feeling in your feet. From the first strains of music to the last piper leaving the palace, the whole ceremony lasts just under an hour. Be ready with your umbrella. The sky in London is changing in minutes. The ceremony takes place, weather permitting, at 11.00 on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday and daily in the summer. For detailed schedules see: http://www.householddivision.org.uk/changing-the-guard-calendar. Please note that the schedule is subject to change. To learn more on this ceremony - check this site: https://changing-guard.com/changing-guard-buckingham-palace.html. Bear in mind that the event might be so jammed packed that you might hardly see the red-uniformed guards from afar. During the formal ceremony, the ‘New Guard’ relieves the soldiers who have been on duty at Buckingham Palace and St James’s Palace. A military band plays music, which ranges from Abba’s greatest hits to more traditional songs:
Buckingham Palace actually started out as Buckingham House owned by the Duke of Buckingham. George III bought the original Buckingham House in 1761 for his wife Queen Charlotte and 14 of George III's 15 children were born there. Then, in 1826, £450,000 was spent on transforming the house into a palace. When George IV became king he began turning the house into a palace. He appointed the architect John Nash, who was later dismissed by Parliament for spending too much. The architect, Edward Blore was later employed to finish the palace for the new Queen Victoria. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert moved to Buckingham Palace after they were married in 1840. They played an important role in transforming the palace for state functions and activities. Over the following years many changes and improvements have been made to the palace with the latest work being the completion of gates and railings in 1914. The palace’s state rooms have been open to the public since 1993, and since that time 519,000 people have taken the opportunity to visit. By the way, the Queen doesn’t even come to Buckingham during the summer. She lives in Scotland and Windsor Castle.
The State Rooms which are open to visitors for 10 weeks each summer and on selected dates during winter and spring. Tour of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace is open daily, during year 2018 from 21 July until 31 August 2018 during the hours 09.30-17.15 and from 1 September until 30 September 2018 during the hours 09.30-16.15. Prices: Adult £24.00, Over 60 / Student (with valid ID) £22.00, Under 17 / Disabled £13.50, Under 5 FREE, Family (2 adults and 3 under 17s) £61.50. At the end of your visit, don’t forget to ask a Warden to stamp your ticket to convert it into a 1- Year Pass. You should allow around 3-3.5 hours for the full experience at Buckingham Palace (the Garden tour lasts 45 minutes if you opt for it). Prices including the Palace gardens: Adult £33.00, Over 60/ Student (with valid ID) £31.00, Under 17/ Disabled £19.70, Under 5 FREE, Family £85.70 (2 adults and 3 under 17s). I must advise that if you do want to visit the palace then you will have to book online far in advance. The tickets are sold out for several day/weekss beforehand and you will not be able to buy on the spot.
The tours are very popular due to its limited season and the hype of the royal family. Be prepared for a short half hour queue to get through the airport style security. NO PHOTOS ALLOWED INSIDE ! You cannot take pictures inside the palace. There are security people in every room and they are very quick at spotting visitors who are taking pictures.
It is one of the oldest working palaces in the world and the State Rooms are so beautiful and grand. With 775 rooms (including the 19 State Rooms and 78 bathrooms) and the largest private garden in London, it has been the official London residence of UK sovereigns since 1837 and today is the administrative headquarters of the Queen. Be prepared to queue for the summer conducted tour. During August the queues are horrendous. You'll wait at least an hour before you get in. The queues might be slightly better if you go in September. No toilets in the beginning of the tour. The public toilets are in the garden, at the end of the tour. The conducted tour takes you round all the grandest rooms of the palace including the Throne Room, the Ballroom where State Banquets are held, and the lavishly decorated official drawing rooms. The audio tour guides you at leisure through the many different rooms, corridors and grand staircases. The tour takes you to nineteen of the State Rooms which the Queen uses for ceremonial occasions and entertains official visitors. The tour of the State Rooms begins at the Grand Entrance. This entrance is reserved for foreign ambassadors and diplomats. You’ll see the Quadrangle, the courtyard in the middle of the palace, where processions form for special occasions. On a state visit, the mounted band of the Household Division also plays here to welcome the visiting Head of State and their entourage. At the end of the Quadrangle looms the magnificence of the Grand Entrance, with its many columns and facades. Inside, it is even more magnificent with its red carpet and fireplace made from a single block of marble. Upstairs the Grand Staircase invites you up with its elegant curls.
Each room unveils its spectacular beauty, every piece of furniture is a piece of art. The art collections, including the marble sculptures, 350 clocks, chandeliers, paintings, and vases of all sizes, from China and Japan, overwhelm the visitors. Even the mirrors, trim, and carvings on each wall is different. It reveals the care, work, heart, and creativity of the designer in every inch of the space, striving for perfection.
The Throne Room was Initially designed for investitures and ceremonies. The Throne Room is now primarily used on important occasions for the reception of formal addresses, including last year’s Diamond Jubilee. The space also housed a significant number of concerts and balls before 1861. The Throne Room, sometimes used during Queen Victoria’s reign for Court gatherings and as a second dancing room, is dominated by a proscenium arch supported by a pair of winged figures of ‘victory’ holding garlands above the ‘chairs of state’. It is in the Throne Room that The Queen, on very special occasions like Jubilees, receives loyal addresses. Another use of the Throne Room has been for formal wedding photographs:
The Ballroom is the largest multi-purpose room in Buckingham Palace. The Ballroom was opened in 1856 to celebrate the end of the Crimean War. Today, it’s used for State banquets, memorial concerts and artistic performances, as well as for Investitures. It was opened in 1856 with a ball to celebrate the end of the Crimean War. In the spectacular Palace Ballroom you’ll see the traditional horseshoe-shaped table lavishly decorated for a State Banquet, including the silver gilt from the Grand service, first used to celebrate the birthday of George III in 1811, as well as jeweled cups, ivory tankards, chased dishes, sconces, shields and basins:
Inside, you’ll find the Green Drawing Room with its green walls, green sofas and green curtains:
The White Drawing Room is the grandest of all 19 State Rooms. The White Drawing Room displays two fascinating pairs of ebony-veneered cabinets, built into the wall beneath tall mirrors, to provide members of the Royal Family a discreet means of entering the premises. The room has been used as a backdrop in many photographic portraits of the Royal Family and is currently the setting for a number of audiences and receptions:
Before the Ballroom was added to the Palace in the 1850s, the first State Ball was held in the Blue Drawing Room in May 1838 as part of the celebrations leading up to Queen Victoria’s Coronation. Note the thirty fake onyx columns and the Sevres porcelain table which was made for Napoleon:
The Music Room was originally known as the Bow Drawing Room. Four Royal babies – The Prince of Wales, The Princess Royal, The Duke of York and Prince William – were all christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Music Room:
The Marble Hall, clad in Italian marble, contains fine sculptures, including three groups by Antonio Canova:
Situated at the rear of the palace, the garden covers 40 acres, and includes a helicopter landing area, a tennis court, and a lake graced by a flock of flamingos. Home to more than 30 different species of birds and 350 wildflowers, the garden has hosted summer parties, charity tennis competitions, and pop and classical music concerts. The garden is open to walk through at the end of the tour during the summer in daylight. The Garden Café also provides beautiful views over the Palace lawns at the end of your visit:
London may be known as a museum city, but some of the city’s best art is housed in the Queen’s Gallery, which is a part of Buckingham Palace. That collection is one of the best (and most valuable) in the entire world, a result of multiple centuries of uninterrupted collecting by the country’s royal families. The gallery building itself sits on a site that formerly housed Queen Victoria’s chapel. Destroyed in a 1940 air raid, it was rebuilt after the war as a purpose-built art gallery and renovated and modernized in the 1990s. Because the museum can only display about 450 works from the vast collection, those chosen are quite special and quite spectacular. The Queen’s Gallery was reopened in May 2002 as part of the Golden Jubilee celebrations. The Queen’s Gallery hosts a programme of changing exhibitions from the Royal Collection. The building that initially stood on its site was originally used as a private chapel, but after being damaged by German bombs in the war, it was totally refurbished and expanded.
Photos below are from year 2013.
"An old Woman" called "The Artist's Mother"' c.1627-9 by Rembrandt:
Rembrandt (1606-1669) - Agatha Bas (1611-1658):
"A Lady at the Virginal with a Gentleman", known as "The Music Lesson" by Vermeer (from year 2013):
Every year, Buckingham Palace's summer opening also features a special exhibition. This temporary exhibition can only be seen during that year's summer opening. In 2018, the exhibition celebrates the 70th birthday of Charles, Prince of Wales.
Note: your best way to taste something from the royal family is this web site: https://www.royal.uk/
We return to the Buckingham Palace main gate. Opposite the (closed) main entrance gate is the The Victoria Memorial square with the monument to Queen Victoria designed and executed by the sculptor Thomas Brock. Designed in 1901 and unveiled on 16 May 1911, though it was not completed until 1924. It was the centrepiece of an ambitious urban planning scheme, which included the creation of the Queen’s Gardens to a design by Sir Aston Webb, and the refacing of Buckingham Palace by the same architect. The square and the monument reside at the western end of The Mall and the eastern end of the Constitution Hill. At the top of the central pylon stands a gilded bronze Winged Victory, standing on a globe and with a victor's palm in one hand. Beneath her are personifications of Constancy, holding a compass with its needle pointing true north, and Courage, holding a club. Beneath these, on the eastern and western sides, are two eagles with wings outspread, representing Empire. Below these, statues of an enthroned Queen Victoria (facing The Mall) and of Motherhood (facing Buckingham Palace), with Justice (facing north-west towards Green Park) and Truth (facing south-east). At the four corners of the monument are massive bronze figures with lions, representing Peace (a female figure holding an olive branch), Progress (a nude youth holding a flaming torch), Agriculture (a woman in peasant dress with a sickle and a sheaf of corn) and Manufacture (a blacksmith in modern costume with a hammer and a scroll):
With our face to the Buckingham Palace and our back to Victoria Monument - we turn right (our face to the Green Park) and turn LEFT (WEST) along Constitution Hill (following the "Pedestrians Hyde Park" signpost). We follow the pedestrians' path along this road (800 m.) - leading to Wellington Arch:
Wellington Arch resides at Hyde Park Corner, at the western corner of Green Park, where Kensington Road meets Piccadilly near its junction with Park Lane. It was built in 1825–7 and was originally intended as an outer entrance to Buckingham Palace, later becoming a victory arch proclaiming Wellington's defeat of Napoleon. At first it stood facing the Hyde Park Screen, but it was moved to its present position in the 1880s. Its original design was never completed, and a controversial giant statue of the Duke of Wellington was placed on top of it in 1846. The quadriga sculpture that crowns the arch today was erected in 1912. Crowned by the largest bronze sculpture in Europe, it depicts the Angel of Peace descending on the 'Quadriga' - or four-horsed chariot - of War. In 1891 the sculptor Adrian Jones (1845–1938) exhibited a magnificent plaster group at the Royal Academy entitled ‘Triumph’, of a quadriga (a four-horse chariot). The Prince of Wales suggested that it would make a suitable adornment for the rebuilt Wellington Arch. Initially no funds were available, but eventually a banker, Sir Herbert Stern, made an anonymous donation of about £20,000, and from 1908 Jones set to work on a full-size plaster version of his quadriga in his Chelsea studio, with Edward VII taking a personal interest. The final bronze version was erected on top of the arch in January 1912. Between 1901 and 1912 the approaches to Buckingham Palace were redesigned, to create the magnificent ceremonial landscape we see today. Constitution Hill was widened and repaved, and the Wellington Arch was framed between fine new piers and gates, tying it into this composition. The arch’s setting was again altered in an attempt to relieve traffic congestion with the creation of the present Hyde Park Corner roundabout in 1960–62. The Edwardian gates to either side of the arch were removed, and it was cut off from Constitution Hill on the new traffic island. The southern pier of the arch was gutted to serve as a ventilation shaft for an underpass; the rest of the arch was left empty after this date. In 1999 the arch was transferred to the care of English Heritage. Major repairs and refurbishment were carried out, and in 2001 the arch was opened to the public. Nowadays, it is isolated on a traffic island. Opening hours: Winter (OCT-MAR): everyday 10.00-16.00, Summer: 10.00-17.00. Closed: 7-13 May, 24-26 Dec & 1 Jan. Prices: Adult £5.00, Child (5-15 years) £3.00, Concessions £4.50, Family (2 adults, 3 children) £13.00:
it is open to the public and contains three floors of exhibits detailing the history of the arch, and an Exhibition "Waterloo 1815; The Battle for Peace". At one time the arch was used as a local police station, and you can see the original police office during your visit. Visitors can also step onto terraces on both sides of the top of the arch, which give views of the surrounding area. You can visit this spectacular landmark and admire the glorious panoramas over London from its balconies. There is a lift as well as the STEEP spiral staircase - all leading to the top balconies. It is a strategic point to watch the Household Cavalry on their way to the Changing of the Guard. They leave the barracks and march underneath the arch. From the balconies, you can see right into the Buckingham Palace gardens ! Allow 30-45 minutes to visit this site:
The Duke of Wellington's former London home Apsley House is just across the road North to Wellington Arch). It stands alone at Hyde Park Corner, on the south-east corner of Hyde Park, facing south towards the busy traffic roundabout in the centre of which stands the Wellington Arch. its official address remains 149 Piccadilly, W1J 7NT. Where Wellington Arch tells the story of the Battle of Waterloo - Apsley House tells Wellington's story. It is sometimes referred to as the Wellington Museum. It is a museum and art gallery, exhibiting the Wellington Collection, a large collection of paintings, other artworks and memorabilia of the career of the 1st Duke. The practice has been to maintain the rooms as far as possible in the original style and decor. The 9th Duke of Wellington retains the use of part of the buildings but most of it is maintained by the English Heritage (FREE to holders of English Heritage Pass). It is perhaps the only preserved example of an English aristocratic town house from its period. A joint ticket for both locations costs about £10.00 for non-members of English Heritage. Opening hours: Winter (OCT-MAR): SAT-SUN 10.00-16.00. Closed: Christmas Eve 24 Dec, Christmas Day 25 Dec, Boxing Day 26 Dec, New Year’s Eve
31 Dec, New Year's Day 1 Jan. Prices: Adult £9.30, Child (5-15 years) £5.60, Concessions £8.40, Family (2 adults, 3 children) £24.20. NO PHOTOS INSIDE !
Nice decor inside, impressive pictures, elegant stately home, interesting history. Note, especially, the huge statue of Napoleon and the oldest surviving grand piano in the UK:
The house was originally built in red brick by Robert Adam between 1771 and 1778 for Lord Apsley, the Lord Chancellor, who gave the house its name. Some Adam interiors survive: the semi-circular Staircase, the Drawing Room with its apsidal end, and the Portico Room, behind the giant Corinthian portico added by Wellington. The house was given the popular nickname of "Number One, London", since it was the first house passed by visitors who travelled from the countryside after the toll gates at Knightsbridge. In 1807 the house was purchased by Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley, the elder brother of Sir Arthur Wellesley, but in 1817 financial difficulties forced him to sell it to his famous brother, by then the Duke of Wellington, who needed a London base from which to pursue his new career in politics. Wellington employed the architect Benjamin Dean Wyatt to carry out renovations in his new property.
A Musician by Caravaggio, c. 1615, The Wellington Collection:
The Dissolute Household, Jan Steen (1625/1626–1679), The Wellington Collection:
The Drawing Room:
We continue north-west heading to Hyde Park. We cross the Piccadilly (near the Hyde Park Corner Tube station), cross the S Carriage Drive road and enter Hyde Park near the Queen Elizabeth Gate. Not far from this gate we meet the statue of Achilles, the Greek hero of the Trojan War, commemorates the soldier and politician, Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (1769-1852). It was installed by order of King George III and unveiled on 18 June 1822. The statue of Achilles was the first statue installed in Hyde Park and was commissioned by a patriotic, upper class society, known as Ladies of England. It was made by Sir Richard Westmacott cast from cannon taken in the victories of Salamanca, Vittoria, Toulouse and Waterloo. The statue head is based on the Duke himself. The statue was originally completely nude and caused outrage so a small fig leaf had to be added soon after it was installed...:
We take the Serpentine Road (2nd to the left), heading westward into Hyde Park. On our way to the lake we see, on our right, the Cavalry Memorial, a bronze sculpture, which represents St George on horseback stepping over a defeated dragon, with a frieze of galloping horsemen around the base. The memorial commemorates members of the Cavalry Regiments killed during World War I. The Cavalry Memorial also contains a bronze plaque which lists the cavalry of the Empire. The text has been updated to include later conflicts. Designed by Adrian Jones, the sculpture contains bronze which came from guns captured during WW1. The base was designed by Sir John Burnet. Originally installed in 1924 at Stanhope Gate, the Cavalry Memorial was moved to its present site near the bandstand in 1961, following the widening of Park Lane:
When we arrive to the Serpentine Bar & Kitchen and to the Serpentine lake
we turn LEFT and walk along an asphalted path (the lake is on our right). We cross a sand track for horses and head SOUTHWARD to Knightsbridge Tube Station. We cross the Knightsbridge Street - the tube station on our left and the Harvey Nichols store is on our right:
We continue in the same direction, southward onto Sloane Street. We shall walk the whole stretch from Knightsbridge to Sloane Square - approx. 1150 m. Sloane Street runs north to south, from Knightsbridge to Sloane Square, crossing Pont Street about halfway along. Sloane Street takes its name from Sir Hans Sloane, who purchased the surrounding area in 1712. Many of the properties in the street still belong to his descendants the Earls Cadogan, via their company Cadogan Estates. Sloane Street has long been a fashionable shopping street, especially the northern section closest to Knightsbridge, which is known informally as Upper Sloane Street. Many shops are concerned with top-notch fashion. In this sense, Sloane Street rivals Bond Street, which has been London's most exclusive shopping street for two centuries. The street has flagship stores for many of the world's most famous brands in fashion: Dolce & Gabanna, Dior, Gucci etc'. An amazing road:
When we cross Harriet Street on our left - we see the Millennium Hotel on our right. Further south - we pass Hans Cres. on our right (which leads to the famous Harrods mega-store). Note: all these name with Sloane and Hans are named after Sir Hans Sloane (1660–1753), whose estates owned the land at the time:
Further southward, we pass Hans Street. We pass through the Prada store:
We pass the Cadogan Place road and Jumeirah Carlton Tower 5-star hotel (with a wonderful park) on our left and Peru and Denmark embassies on our right.
We cross Pont Street on our right. We cross Cadogan Place and Cadogan Gardens on our right, further south - Sloane Terrace on our left. At last we arrive to Sloane Square with its nice fountain. The Venus Fountain in the centre of the square was constructed in 1953, designed by sculptor Gilbert Ledward. On the basin section of the fountain is a relief which depicts King Charles II and Nell Gwynn (one of the first English actresses and a mistress of King Charles II of England) by the Thames:
On the northern side of the square is the Sloane Square Hotel. Two other notable buildings in this square are: Peter Jones department store
and the Royal Court Theatre first opened in 1888.
Sloane Square Underground station (District and Circle lines) is at the south eastern corner of the square. We cross the square from north to south and continue south along the Lower Sloane Road that changes its name to Chelsea Bridge Road. It is, approx., 1 km. walk until we'll arrive to the River Thames. After walking 250-300 m.south from Sloane Square - you (hardly) can see the Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York's HQ, King's Rd, Chelsea on your right. Crossing the Chelsea Hospital Road we see the Home of Chelsea Pensioners on our right and the grandiose residence project "Chelsea Barracks" on our left:
See Tipter blog http://tipter.com/trips/chelsea - for more descriptions on Chelsea area. The museum (inside the Pensioners' village) is open Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays) from 10.00 to 16.00. Entry is free for groups under ten and is also included as part of the guided tour. Tour prices: 10 to 15 people £180, 16 to 30 people £330, 31 to 50 people £530.
Groups must be a minimum of 10 people. Tours must be booked a minimum of 4 weeks in advance. Tours take place as follows: Starting at 10.00 – Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Starting at 13.:30 – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday. Payment must only be made once you have received an invoice from the Royal Hospital. You CAN visit the Royal Hospital Chelsea independently. You can drop in and visit the grounds, as well as access the Chapel, Great Hall, and Museum during normal opening hours (10.00 - 16.30). The Great Hall is closed between 12.00 and 14.00 for the Chelsea Pensioners’ lunch. Arriving to the Thames River we CROSS IT by walking along Chelsea Bridge from north to south. It connects Chelsea on the north bank to Battersea on the south bank. It was built in the 1840s as a suspension bridge intended to provide convenient access from the densely populated north bank to the new Battersea park. Although built and operated by the government, tolls were charged initially in an effort to recoup the cost of the bridge. The bridge was opened in 1858 and the tolls were abolished in 1879. In 1926 it was proposed that the old bridge be rebuilt or replaced, due to the increased volume of users from population growth, and the introduction of the automobile. It was demolished during 1934–1937, and replaced by the current structure, which opened in 1937. In 2004 a smaller bridge, Battersea Footbridge, was opened beneath the southern span, carrying the Thames Path beneath the main bridge. Chelsea Bridge is floodlit from below during the hours of darkness.
After crossing the river over the bridge - we descend the stairs to the river level and turn LEFT (EAST) on the southern bank of the Thames River. After walking 300 m. eastward along the river we see the Barkeley Battersea project and the old Battersea Power Station premises and chimneys. Note: in a gloomy day - it might be quite windy and/or freezing in this open district. Quite neglected and very few people around. Make sure you are not blocked and there is an access towards the east along the river. Otherwise, see the instructions below. In a bright day and with the constructions' obstacles around - it should be a nice and pleasant walk along the Thames with some of the most sophisticated, new and calm projects in southern London:
If you are blocked by the construction works and walls - return to the Chelsea Bridge and walk EASTWARD along Grosvenor Road (as we did...):
The view to the south of the former Battersea Power Station and the new residence projects from Grosvenor Road and the northern bank of the Thames is magnificent (in a bright day):
If we walk along Grosvenor Road - we cross Lupus Street on our left. The avenue is dotted with many nice chestnut trees:
At Grosvenor Road #111 stands the King William IV hotel and pub. An english and Thai pub with good food. One of the best in Pimlico district of London.
a bit further east - we see, through the southern bank of the Thames, the Nine Elms towers of a mixed-use skyscraper scheme:
Still along Grosvenor Road, the river is hidden from our eyes for a few hundreds metres. On our left is the huge red-bricked Dolphin Square building and, following it, the Pimlico Gardens. Dolphin Square is a block of 1250 private flats and business complex built in Pimlico, between 1935 and 1937. At one time, the huge development was home to more than 70 MPs, and at least 10 Lords and where Oswald Mosley, Harold Wilson, Christine Keeler, Charles de Gaulle, CP Snow, Donald Campbell, and Princess Anne once lived:
If you can sneak into the private premises of thsi complex - you won't regret it. Well maintained and manicured grounds with the Dolphin sculpture:
Pimlico Gardens is a small Thames-side park with river frontage along its whole length. It consists of Plane trees and statues. One of the most notable statues in the gardens commemorates "William Huskisson – Statesman, financier and member of parliament" by the artist John Gibson.
The London Boating Base (Eagle Wharf) is immediately adjacent to the Pimlico Gardens grounds. Opening hours: 8.00 – dusk. Disabled access.
The Huskisson statue:
Helmsman, , a bronze statue by Andre Wallace of 1996, in Pimlico Gardens:
The Thames River from Pimlico Gardens:
The Nine Elms project and tower(s) from Pimlico Ggardens:
We had our lunch at The Grosvenor Pub, 79 Grosvenor Rd, Pimlico - good (see Tip below). Walking further east along Grosvenor Road will bring us to Vauxhall Bridge. The bridge connects Vauxhall on the south bank and Pimlico on the north bank of the Thames. Built between 1809 and 1816 as part of a scheme for redeveloping the south bank of the Thames. Opened in 1906, it replaced an earlier bridge, originally known as Regent Bridge but later renamed Vauxhall Bridge. The design and appearance of the current bridge has remained almost unchanged since 1907. The bridge today is an important part of London's road system and carries the A202 road across the Thames:
Gorgeous view of Nine Elms project from Vauxhall Bridge:
We continue walking eastward.We cross the Vauxhall Bridge Road and start walking from west to east (no crossing of the bridge !) along the Millbank. The distance between Vauxhall Bridge to Lambeth Bridge is, approx. 1 km and our direction of walk changes to: SOUTH TO NORTH. Millbank is east of Pimlico and south of Westminster. Millbank is known as the location of major government offices and the main landmarks are: Riverside Walk Gardens, Millbank Tower and prominent art institutions such as Tate Britain and the Chelsea College of Art and Design. Millbank takes its name from Westminster Abbey's mill. The mill was replaced by Millbank Prison, from which convicts were deported to Australia. The Prison was replaced by the Tate Gallery in 1902. In the beginning of the Millbank, on our right, is the fantastic Riverside Walk Gardens. This splendid, green area creates a calmer area adjacent to the busy Millbank Road and a more pleasant green route for those walking to Tate Britain or the river-bus pier. It is completely open at all times and from all sides, and is particularly well used by nearby office workers to eat their lunches or take a breath of fresh air. It consists of a series of curving tiered grass terraces and informal seating looking towards the adjacent river.
the site includes a statue by Henry Moore entitled "Locking Piece":
Lorenzo Quinn sculpture "Love":
The view from Riverside Walk Gardens to the Nine Elms and Vauxhall Bridge is majestic:
The Riverwalk Condominium Complex, adjacent to Riverside Walk gardens:
Further east we see two other landmarks on our left. First, the old Tate Museum:
and, a bit further, the Millbank Tower: a 118-metre high skyscraper. The tower was constructed in 1963, and has been home to many high-profile political organisations, including the Labour and Conservative parties, and the United Nations. Other floors in the tower are occupied by various organisations and commercial companies:
The Albert Embankment on the opposite, southern bank of the Thames:
As we approach Lambeth Bridge the green area on our right is Victoria Tower Gardens South. Victoria Tower Gardens is a public park along the north bank of the River Thamesand, as its name suggests, it is adjacent , in its northern part, to the Victoria Tower, the south-western corner of the Palace of Westminster. The park, which extends southwards from the Palace of Westminster to Lambeth Bridge, sandwiched between Millbank and the river, also forms part of the Thames Embankment. Victoria Tower Gardens were created in 1864–1870 by Joseph Bazalgette, following the embankment of the Thames. It is in a Conservation Area, and is, partly, within the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Westminster.
The Albert Embankment on the opposite, southern bank of the Thames from the Victoria Tower Gardens South:
Lambeth Bridge is a road traffic and footbridge crossing the River Thames in an east-west direction. The next bridge (to the north) is Westminster Bridge. The most conspicuous colour in the bridge's paint scheme is red, the same colour as the dominant colour in the House of Lords, which is at the southern end of the Palace of Westminster nearest the bridge. This is in contrast to Westminster Bridge, which is predominantly green, the same colour as the dominant colour in the House of Commons at the northern end of the Houses of Parliament. On the east side of Lambeth Bridge are Lambeth Palace, the Albert Embankment, St. Thomas' Hospital, and the International Maritime Organization. On the west side, in Westminster, are Thames House (the headquarters of MI5), behind which is Horseferry House (the National Probation Service headquarters), and Clelland House and Abell House (the headquarters of HM Prison Service), and (more to the south) the Millbank Tower and Tate Britain. The Palace of Westminster is a short walk downstream to the north through the Victoria Tower Gardens.
Lambeth Bridge from Millbank, facing east towards Lambeth:
The Albert Embankment on the opposite, southern bank of the Thames from Lambeth Bridge:
Houses of Parliament and Big Ben on the opposite, southern bank of the Thames from Lambeth Bridge:
We take the stairs down from Lambeth Bridge to Victoria Tower Gardens South. Skip to Tip 2 below.
One day in the National Gallery, London (Level 2 ONLY):
Room 2 - Titian - Bacchus and Ariadne:
Room 2 - Palma Veccio - A Blonde Woman - might be NOT on display:
Room 2 - Titian and Venice 1500–1530 - Vincenzo Catena - Portrait of the Doge, Andrea Gritti, probably 1523-31
Room 4 - Germany - Hans Holbein the Younger - A Lady with a Squirrel and a Starling:
Room 4 - Lucas Cranach the Elder - Portrait of Johann Friedrich the Magnanimous:
Room 4 - Younger Hans Holbein - The Ambassadors, 1533:
Room 6 - Venice 1500–1600 - Jacopo Tintoretto - The Origin of the Milky Way, about 1575:
Room 6 - Paolo Veronese - The Rape of Europa, about 1570:
Room 7 - scenes from the Old Testament story of Joseph - Bacchiacca -
Joseph pardons his Brothers:
Room 8: Raphael - Pope Julius II, 1511:
Room 9 - Venice 1530-1600 - Paris Bordone - A Pair of Lovers:
Room 10 - Ferrara and Bologna - Garofalo - An Allegory of Love, about 1527-39:
Room 11 - Joachim Beuckelaer painted The Four Elements in 1569 - The Four Elements: Water - 1569:
Room 12 - Northern Italian Portraiture 1510–1580 - Lorenzo Lotto - Portrait of a Woman inspired by Lucretia, about 1530-2:
Room 14 - Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Adoration of the Kings, 1564:
Room 14 - Jan Gossaert (Jean Gossart) - Adam and Eve, about 1520:
Room 14 - Jan Gossaert (Jean Gossart) - Man with Rosary, 1525-1530:
Room 14 - The Netherlands - Jan Gossaert (Jean Gossart) - THe Adoration of the Kings, 1510-1515:
Room 16 - Dutch Interiors - Johannes Vermeer - Young Woman standing at a Virginal, about 1670-2:
Room 18 - Peter Paul Rubens - Samson and Delilah, about 1609-10:
Room 18 - Peter Paul Rubens - Peace and War, 1629-30:
Room 18 - Peter Paul Rubens - The Judgement of Paris, 1632-5:
Room 18 - Peter Paul Rubens - A Lion Hunt, about 1614-15:
Room 21 - Van Dyck - Anthony van Dyck - Portrait of Cornelis van der Geest, about 1620:
Room 21 - Anthony van Dyck - Portrait of the Abbé Scaglia, 1634:
Room 22 - Rembrandt - An Elderly Man as Saint Paul, 1659:
Room 22 - Rembrandt - Portrait of Aechje Claesdr, 1634:
Room 22 - Rembrandt - Self Portrait at the Age of 34, 1640:
Room 23 - Dutch Portraits - (might NOT be on display) - Judah and Tamar - Aert de Gelder, about 1681:
Room 23 - Frans Hals - Portrait of a Middle-Aged Woman with Hands Folded, about 1635-40:
Room 24 - Biblical Stories - Rembrandt - Belshazzar's Feast, about 1636-8:
Room 24 - Joachim Wtewael - The Judgement of Paris, 1615:
Room 29 - Seaport - Claude, 1644:
Room 25 - A new art for a new nation - Frans Hals - Young Man holding a Skull (Vanitas), 1626-8:
Room 29 - French Painting 1600–1700 - Seaport with the Embarkation of Saint Ursula - Claude, 1641:
Room 29 - Nicolas Poussin - The Finding of Moses, 1651:
Room 29 (may be NOT on display) - Studio of Peter Paul Rubens - Portrait of the Infanta Isabella, about 1615:
Room 30 - Spain - (might be NOT on display) - Diego Velázquez - Philip IV hunting Wild Boar (La Tela Real), 1632-7:
Room 30 - Diego Velázquez - Portrait of Archbishop Fernando de Valdés, 1640-5:
Room 30 - Diego Velázquez - The Toilet of Venus ('The Rokeby Venus'), 1647-51:
Room 30 (might be NOT on display) - Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio -
The Supper at Emmaus, 1601:
Room 31 - A different view of Flanders - Peter Paul Rubens - Portrait of Susanna Lunden(?) ('Le Chapeau de Paille'), 1622-5:
Room 32 - Italy - (might be NOT on display) - Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio - Salome receives the Head of John the Baptist, 1609-10:
Room 33 - France 1700-1800 - (might be NOT on display) - Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun - Self Portrait in a Straw Hat, from 1782:
Room 33 - Jean-Honoré Fragonard - Psyche showing her Sisters her Gifts from Cupid, 1753:
Room 33 - François-Hubert Drouais - Madame de Pompadour at her Tambour Frame, 1763-4:
Room 33 - Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun - Madame de Pompadour at her Tambour Frame, 1788:
Room 34 - Great Britain 1750-1850 - Thomas Gainsborough - The Morning Walk, 1785:
Room 34 - George Stubbs - Whistlejacket, about 1762:
Room 34 - William Hogarth - The Graham Family, 1742:
Room 34 - John Constable - The Hay Wain, 1821:
Room 34 - John Constable - The Cornfield, 1826:
Room 35 - Hogarth and British Painting - The Marriage Settlement - , William Hogarth, about 1743:
Room 35 - William Hogarth- The Toilette, about 1743:
Room 36 - British Portraits 1750-1800 - Joshua Reynolds - Colonel Tarleton, 1782:
Room 38 - Canaletto and Guardi - Canaletto - The Stonemason's Yard, about 1725:
Room 38 - Canaletto - The Grand Canal with S. Simeone Piccolo, about 1740:
Room 38 - Canaletto - Regatta on the Grand Canal, about 1740:
Room 38 - Canaletto - The Basin of San Marco in Venice on Ascension Day, about 1740:
Room 39 - Spain and Venice 1700-1800 - Francisco de Goya - Isabel de Porcel, before 1805:
Room 40 - Italy 1700-1800 - Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo - The Building of the Trojan Horse, about 1760:
Room 41 - Cézanne, Monet, and Matisse - (might be NOT on display) - Claude Monet - Water-Lilies, after 1916:
Room 41 - André Derain - Madame Matisse au Kimono, 1905:
Room 42 (might be NOT on display) - Pierre-Auguste Renoir - Dancing Girl with Tambourine, 1909:
Room 42 - Degas and Art around 1900 - (might be NOT on display) - Pierre-Auguste Renoir - The Lunch, 1901:
Room 42 - Odilon Redon - Ophelia among the Flowers, about 1905-8:
Room 43 (or 41) - Camille Pissarro - Portrait of Cézanne, 1874:
Room 43 - Seurat, Gauguin, and Van Gogh - Georges Seurat - Bathers at Asnières, 1884:
Room 43 - Camille Pissarro - Rainy Morning in Blvd. Monmartre, 1897:
Room 43 - Vincent van Gogh - Sunflowers, 1888:
Room 44 - Manet, Monet, and the Impressionists - Claude Monet - The Beach at Trouville, 1870:
Room 44 - Pierre-Auguste Renoir - At the Theatre (La Première Sortie), 1876-7:
Room 44 - Camille Pissarro - The Pork Butcher, 1883:
Room 45 - Romantic Painters - Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld - Ruth in Boaz's Field, 1828:
Room 46 - 19th-Century Landscape Painting in Europe - Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot - Italian Woman, about 1870:
Main Attractions: Bell Edison Telephone Building, Birmingham School of Arts, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Victoria Square, Bullring Shopping Centre, The Rotunda, Centenary Square, Library of Birmingham, Birmingham Canal, Brindleyplace, Cube project, The Mailbox, Gas Street Basin.
Start: Snow Hill Railway Station. End: New Street Station. Duration: 3/4 day - 1 day.
Orientation: Birmingham is served by several railway station (like many other cities in the UK). The distances among the various stations is, very often, no more than 15-20 minutes walk. The city centre is fantastic shopping and the ramped canal system amazing. Nice to walk both day and night time. It does look like it was back in old days in parts. Canals in Birmingham wonderfully restored. A city with around 150 km.s of canals. BIRMINGHAM IS A LOVELY CITY !!!
From the Snow Hill station - we turn RIGHT twice and arrive to Livery Road. At the 2nd intersection - turn left to Edmund Street. On your right - the Old Conteptibles Pub. We pass, on our right and our left - the Church Street:
We pass Barwick Street on our left and arrive to Newhall Street on our left and right. Attention the red-bricked building with gorgeous turrets on our right - The Bell Edison Telephone Building (17-19 Newhall Street). it was built as the new Central Telephone Exchange and offices for the National Telephone Company (NTC). The NTC was taken over by the Postmaster General in 1912 and the ownership transferred to the General Post Office. During World War I, it was the Midland headquarters of the air raid warning system:
Opposite, a similar building - The Exchange:
Next, we pass Margaret Street on our right and the Birmingham School of Arts. The foundation stone was laid on 31 May 1884 and the building was opened in September 1885. It is a red-brick Victorian Gothic structure with Venetian style and naturalistic decoration. Completed after its architect J. H. Chamberlain's death by his partner William Martin and his son Frederick Martin. Considered as Chamberlain's masterpiece:
We continue walking south-west along Edmund Street and arrive to Chamberlaine Square. On our left is the tower of the Council House or Town Hall:
The side of the building, which faces Chamberlain Square, is the entrance and façade of the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery which is partly housed within the same building. The front of this building is, actually, in Victoria Square:
The link bridge between the original Art Gallery and the Art Gallery Extension of 1911–1919. The archway or bridge resembles slightly The Bridge of Sighs in Venice:
Big Brum is the local name for the clock tower on the Council House, Birmingham, England. Built in 1885, the clock tower is part of the first extension to the original Council House of 1879 and stands above the Museum & Art Gallery. The clock tower, Museum & Art Gallery and Council House were designed by architect Yeoville Thomason and form a single block. The clock was donated by A. Follett Osler, a local pioneer in the measurement of meteorological and chronological data:
Opening Times: MON - THU: 10.00 - 17.00, FRI 10.30 - 17.00, SAT & SUN 10.00 - 17.00. Free entry. Fascinating museum. The visit is a delight. Quite a lot to see. Allow, at least, two-three hours. Magnificent building in its own.
--- Faith Section ---
Simhanada Lakeshvara, 11th cent., Bihar, India, Stone:
Statue of Buddha, 7th Cent., The Sultangang Buddha:
Death of Buddha, 10th Cent., Eastern India:
--- Religions Section ---
There is a special hall devoted to the 4 main religions in our world. Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism. Flat, naive exhibition. No inspiration. Skip it.
--- British Modern 20th Cent. Art ---
Henry Moore - The Warrior, 1954:
Head of Rabindranath Tagore, Jacob Epstein, 1926, Bronze:
--- 19th and 20th Cent. Art (including Impressionism from France):
Henry Matisse - The White Fox Fur, 1929, Lithograph:
Alfred Sisley - Church of Moret in the Rain, 1894:
Camille Pissaro, The Pont Boieldieu at Rouen in Sunset, 1896:
Jean-Francois Rafaell, The Awakening, 1890:
--- 18th - 19th Cent. British Paintings ---
Henry Roenburn (Scotland most famous portrait painter), Mrs. Ferguharson of Frinzean, around 1814-1823:
--- The Pre-Raphaelites ---
Ford Madox Brown - The last of England (emmigration from England to America in the 1850s):
Ford Madox Brown - The Death of Sir Tristram, 1864:
Fredrick Sandys, Medea preparing a poisoned portion for Glouke, 1866-1868:
New Lamps for Old, Joseph Southall, 1900-1 (from a legend in 1001 Nights Tales):
Silver and Gold, William Musell Flint, 1931. A stunning picture of a woman wearing a fashionable evening dress of the late 1920s. !:
The Battle of the Amazons, Paul Rubens, 1590:
Everitt Cabinet designed by John Henry Chamberlain. The cabinet was commissioned for Allen G Everitt, Secretary of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, by fellow members of the Society, on the occasion of his marriage in 1880:
--= The Level 3 of the museum is very impressive---
The whole floor hosts a plaster cast of the original Frieze of the Parthenon in the British Museum in London. There is a collection of Mummies as well.
The section of Ancient Egypt is a bit gloomy and neglected. Funerary Mask, 332-64 AC:
Limestone relief from a tomb wall of Min, Hor-nakht, 18th-19th Dynasty, 1300 B.C:
Granite block, Temple of Bubastis, 22nd Dynasty, 850 B.C:
Ptah-Seker, Osiris figure , Soqqara, 26th Dynasty, 600 B.C:
---Ancient Iraq ---
Fragment of a carved relief from the reign of Assurbanipal, Ninveh, 668-627 B.C:
To exit the museum - press: "Level 2" in the elevator.
Victoria Square resides south to the Town Hall and adjacent to Chamberlaine Square. THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPRESSIVE SQUARES IN EUROPE. Amazing building around. Fantastic mix of colors and shapes. Beautiful scenery of architecture, flowers, buildings and statues. The fountain did not function during my visit. It seems it would be non-operational for a long time. This square always seems relaxing and peaceful BUT with many busy coming and going. Plenty of places to sit, relax, enjoy lunch and chat. The fact that it isn't flat adds to it's interest. There is a lot of work going on during the last 18 months - making it a little tricky to enjoy the surroundings.
The Council House and Statue of Queen Victoria:
'The River' fountain and sculpture (locally known as 'The Floozie in the Jacuzzi'):
The Guardian statue:
(non-operational) water/fountain statues:
(Iron) Man statue by Anthony Gormley:
From Victoria Square we head southeast on Hill St toward Swallow St, 500 m. Turn left onto Smallbrook Queensway, 320 m. and we arrive to the Bullring Shopping Centre. Bullring is the glamorous heart of Birmingham with over 160 imaginative and iconic shops to explore. It is styled as one word, Bullring.
Since opening in 2003 Bullring has helped to transform shopping in Birmingham – making it one of the most popular destinations for retail commerce in the UK. The most known is the Selfridges building (which was inspired by a Paco Rabanne sequinned dress and designed by Future Systems). The store is clad in 15,000 shiny aluminium discs:
Others are: Debenhams, Forever 21, John Lewis, House of Fraser and Hollister and more than 40 restaurants and cafés to relax in. You can enter Nando's restaurant - which down the stairs from the central square of the Bullring complex. It has been an important feature of Birmingham since the Middle Ages, when its market was first held. Two shopping centres have been built in the area; in the 1960s, and then in 2003. the centre has been a huge success, attracting customers from all over the world. A huge variety of shops and restaurants:
Bullring Shopping Centre was master-planned and designed mainly by Benoy international firm of architects. The shopping centre consists of two main buildings (East and West Malls) which are connected by an underground passage lined with shops and is also accessible from St Martin's Square via glass doors. There are three full floors of a myriad of shops, department stores, eateries etc'. Easy access from the main train station (Birmingham New Street Station). The shopping centre's design has both its admirers and detractors:
At the main entrance to the west building stands the tall bronze sculpture of a running, turning bull. It was created by Laurence Broderick and has become a very popular photographic feature for visitors to Birmingham. The statue was vandalized in 2005. The sculpture was vandalized again in 2006. The sculptor gave support to calls for the statue to be renamed "Brummie the Bull". However, it is more widely known as simply "The Bull.":
Another famous statue is the Statue of Lord Nelson by Sir Richard Westmacott, 1807-09, on the Portland plinth and railings surrounding it. This bronze statue was the first publicly funded statue in Birmingham, and the first statue of Horatio Nelson in Britain. It was made in 1809 by public subscription of £2,500 by the people of Birmingham following Nelson's visit to the town on 31 August 1802, the year before he sailed against the fleets of Napoleon. The statue was unveiled on 25 October 1809, that being the day decreed as the official golden jubilee of George III:
The site is located on the edge of the sandstone city ridge which results in the steep gradient towards Selfridges store. The slope drops approximately 15 metres from New Street to St Martin the Bulring Church. This lovely church, largely rebuilt in the 19th century, is stranded on the southern edge of the Bullring, facing a wall of 21st century consumer paradise. St Martins provides a real tranquil centre to gather your thoughts when you have had enough wandering around the Bullring. Just sitting for a few moments allows you to take a deep breath before heading back into the commercial world outside. In 1873, a former church was demolished and rebuilt by architect Alfred Chatwin, from Birmingham, preserving the earlier tower and spire. During the demolition, medieval wall paintings and decorations were discovered in the chancel, including one showing the charity of St Martin dividing his cloak with a beggar. St Martin was a soldier. He was born in Hungary in 316 and never wanted to join the army but was obliged to by law. At the age of 18, he was posted to Amiens in France. One bitterly cold winter’s night he was riding through the city when he saw a half-naked beggar huddled against a wall. Martin was so moved by the sight that he cut his cloak with his sword and gave one half to the beggar. That night he had a dream in which Christ appeared to him as the beggar and thanked Martin for clothing him. In response, the young soldier got baptised. Later he was to leave the army to become a soldier of Christ, eventually becoming Bishop of Tours in France. St Martin is remembered today for his service to the poor.
The interior has an open timber roof, which shows the influence of the great hammer-beam roof of Westminster Hall in London:
The South Transept has a Burne-Jones window, made by William Morris in 1875. This window was taken down for safe keeping the day before a World War II bomb dropped beside the church on 10 April 1941, destroying all remaining windows:
The West window is a 1954 copy of the Henry Hardman 1875 window destroyed in the Blitz:
Even more south to the church, the Birmingham Open Market is on Edgbaston street, just outside the Indoor markets. Opening times: TUE - FRI: 9.00 - 17.00, SAT: 9.00 - 17.30. The Bull Ring Open Market has 130 stalls. The wide, covered aisles are suitable for wheelchair users and those with mobility difficulties. The original Market Hall, with room for 600 stalls and an ornamental fountain, was built in 1835, again designed by Charles Edge, the man who finished the Town Hall. In 1940 it was deserted after being hit by a German incendiary bomb. It was still in use although roofless until the redevelopment of Birmingham swept it away in the early 1960s. Work began to redevelop the Bull Ring in 1961 and the new Bull Ring, which cost a total of £8 million, was opened by the Duke of Edinburgh in May 1964. It was meant to be the ultimate shopping experience and was declared to be the biggest indoor shopping mall outside the USA, but many said the feel of the old market had been lost. Now it plays host to more than six million shoppers every year, with 140 stallholders offering fresh fruit and veg, farm produce, delicious cheeses, Carribean food, lots of beautiful fabrics, clothing:
Try to find your way to the Rotunda. From the Open Market - you head to the north-west corner of the Bullring complex. The Rotunda is in the intersection of High Street and (our well known) New Street. The Rotunda is a cylindrical 81 metres high-rise building. It was completed in 1965. It was refurbished between 2004 and 2008 and was turned into a residential building. The building was officially reopened on 13 May 2008:
With our back to the Rotunda building we enter New Street and walk north-west. Flowers stall in New Street:
We cross Corporation Street - where, on our left, is the Grand Central Shopping Centre. On the background we see the "Brum" clock tower of the Town Hall:
New St turns slightly right and becomes Paradise St. Slight right onto Fletchers Walk and turn right to take the stairs. Turn left and you face the grandiose Centenary Square. SUPERB ! MAJESTIC !! Named in 1989 to commemorate the centenary of Birmingham achieving city status. The square is used as a staging area for many of the city's main cultural events including the German (Frankfurt) Christmas Market, Arts Festivals, Remembrance Day Services, New Year's Celebrations and during Christmas hosts a temporary ice rink and Ferris wheel. The area was an industrial area of small workshops and canal wharves before it was purchased by the council in the 1920s for the creation of a grand civic centre scheme to include museums, council offices, cathedral and opera house. The scheme was abandoned after the arrival of World War II with only the Hall of Memory and half of the planned Baskerville House complete. The Centenary Square is especially pretty in Spring and Summer with flowers in full bloom.
On our left, as we enter the grandiose square, is the War Memorial. This is the oldest building in the square:
The Baskerville House is, on our right, immediately as we enter the square from the east:
The square is bounded to the north by Birmingham Repertory Theatre (1971),
Library of Birmingham (2013)
and Baskerville House (1938) (see above). The western edge of the square is defined by the International Convention Centre (1991),
Symphony Hall (1992)
and Hyatt Hotel (1990).
Symphony Hall and Hyatt Regency Hotel:
To the south of the square is Broad Street beyond which are the House of Sport (1951),
Birmingham Municipal Bank headquarters (1933) and Alpha Tower (1972).
The southern side of the square is earmarked for redevelopment as part of the Arena Central scheme. To the east across Centenary Way is the Copthorne Hotel (1987),
Birmingham Central Library (1974) and Chamberlain House (1987). The NEW Library of Birmingham was opened on 3 September 2013, it replaced Birmingham Central Library. The library is viewed by the Birmingham City Council as a flagship project for the city's redevelopment. It has been described as the largest public library in the United Kingdom, the largest public cultural space in Europe, and the largest regional library in Europe.It is the 10th most popular visitor attraction in the UK:
This bronze sculpture by Gillain Wearing challenges what is meant by "family": I am not sure you'll see this sculpture. I heard it was removed during year 2017:
The Birmingham Library from the Repertory Theatre:
Library of Birmingham opening hours: MON - TUE: 11.00 – 19.00, WED - SAT: 11.00 - 17.00. An architectural magic. On 17 July 2014 the Library of Birmingham was nominated as one of the six short-listed buildings for the 2014 Stirling Prize, awarded for excellence in architecture. YOU MUST ENTER AND VISIT THE BUILDING.
The views from the Birmingham Library viewing platform are outstanding. The breathtaking views of Birmingham and the Centenary Square around the Library stunning tower is another inspiring magnet attracting visitors from all around the world to this wonderful building:
The secret garden on level 4 with the raised beds, birds' boxes interwoven with gravel paths reflect the façade pattern, which has been used as the identity of the Library. (It has also been used in the floor pattern and on the Library teams uniforms...):
On level 7 there is even more beautiful and stunning "secret garden". The views of this garden combined with the mighty landscaping of the Centenary Square, downstairs - are unforgettable. BOTH ROOF GARDENS ARE A MUST !
It is a special experience to see and use the contemporary glass elevators in the library building:
The Centenary Square was equipped with several famous (and controversial) statues in the past. Most of them were destroyed (Forward Statue - by a blaze) or removed (Ordinary Birmingham family - by Emma Jones). Still, you can see green, planted and manicured sculptures like this one in front of Birmingham Library:
We enter the ICC and Symphony Hall complex. It is an underground shopping centre - leading to the Birmingham Canal basin:
Exiting the shopping centres passage we face a bridge over the Birmingham Canal. The canals were the life-blood of Victorian Birmingham and the Black Country. At their height, they were so busy that gas lighting was installed beside the locks to permit round-the-clock operation. Boats were built without cabins for maximum carrying capacity. Do not underestimate Birmingham waterways. Many people say that Birmingham has a larger network of waterways than Venice. Many of our canals were built at the height of the industrial revolution. Birmingham's waterways make the ideal spot to unwind in the middle of a busy city. You can admire the historic architecture and passing boats on a towpath walk or cycle. You can enjoy a boat trip down the canal, or explore the vibrant waterfront by visiting one of the cafés, bars and restaurants: The Malt House, The Prince of Wales, The Queens Arms or the Tap & Spile:
View from the canal basin to the ICC and Symphony Hall. The sculpture is The Battle of Gods and Giants by Roderick Tye. It symbolizes Birmingham's struggle to rebuild its centre.
Birmingham Canal opposite ICC and the Symphony Hall:
We cross the Birmingham City Central Path canal from east to west to Brindleyplace - the Waters Edge (more punctually, the Waters Edge is the most eastern part of Bridleyplace...). Brindleyplace is a large canalside development. It was named after Brindley Place, the name of the street (in turn named after the 18th century canal engineer James Brindley) around which it is built. In addition to shops, bars and restaurants, Brindleyplace is home to the National Sea Life Centre, Royal Bank of Scotland, Orion Media, Ikon Gallery of art and the Crescent Theatre. The site covers 69,000 m² of redevelopment on a grand scale - the UK's largest such project.] The Birmingham Canal Navigations Main Line Canal separates Brindleyplace from the International Convention Centre, although there are linking bridges. The National Indoor Arena, Old Turn Junction and bustling bars of Broad Street are nearby. The area occupied by Brindleyplace was, at the height of Birmingham's industrial past, the site of factories, however, by the 1970s as Britain's manufacturing went into decline, the factories closed down and the buildings lay derelict for many years. Brindleyplace is full with interesting buildings. A variety of architects were used to design the buildings in the complex to create a range of architectural styles:
WE shall enter Brindleyplace and change direction - walking into this quarter with our face to the south-east. We cross Brindley Place and Brunswick Streets and, on our left, is the Ikon Gallery. The gallery features temporary exhibitions over two floors. Ikon shows works by artists from around the world and a variety of media is represented, including sound, film, mixed media, photography, painting, sculpture and installation. FREE entry. Opening Times: TUE – SUN: 11.00 - 17.00:
Oozels Street separates between the Ikon Gallery (north-east side of the square) to the Oozels Square. The square's epic centre is the RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) building in the south-east edge of the square. The square is surrounded on three sides by modern buildings and on one side by the historic building, used to be a school, but is now the modern art museum - Ikon Gallery:
With our face to the RBS main building (south-west) - the Broad Street is on our left. I did not find a reason to devote time to this street .
Oozele Square, the north-east side of the square: the Ikon Gallery:
Brindleyplace has three famous squares: Brunswick Square, Oozelle Square and Central Square. If we walk from the Oozelle Square NORHWARD (between the Brindleyplace Six building on your left and Brindleyplace Two building on your right) - you arrive to the Central Square. The square is paved in York stone and has a fountain featuring 38 jets of water. I found the squares in Brindleyplace - very impressive, neatly maintained and designed:
Three Brindleyplace from Central Square:
"Aquaduct" sculpture by Miles Davies in Central Square in front of Four Brindleyplace, made of bronze and phosphor:
At Ten Brindleyplace- you see a sculpture "Future" by Robert Bowers, located outside the "Ten Brindleyplace" building:
We RETURN to the ICC. We cross the bridge with our face (north-east) to the ICC building and our back (south-west) to Brindleyplace:
The bridge leads back into the ICC building:
We exit the ICC building and turn RIGHT (south-east) to Bridge Street. The Hyatt Regency hotel is on our right. We pass the Holiday Street on our left and pass through the Cube project. My opinion: it looks like a Tetris Cube... Widely considered one of the most successful additions to Birmingham’s ever-changing skyline, The Cube 25-storey structure also includes the UK’s largest automated car park. Award-winning architect Ken Shuttleworth (who designed London's Gherkin building with Norman Foster) was chosen for the project, whose world-class portfolio includes The Gherkin and Hong Kong’s Chek Lap Kok Airport. Taking inspiration from the city’s jewellery making tradition, his vision for The Cube was to create “an enchanting jewellery box” rich with light and intricate gold and bronze geometric shapes. The site is enclosed by The Mailbox complex, Commercial Street, Washington Wharf apartment complex and the Worcester and Birmingham Canal. Astonishing views all around. I was told to climb to the the top floor and have breath-taking views of Birmingham. Didn't do that due to the late hour arriving here. Come here before the dusk hours - and enjoy first-class landscaping all around. RECOMMENDED !
The Mailbox project resides south-east to the Cube. The Mailbox is an upmarket shopping and office development. It serves as the base for BBC Birmingham. Above the front shops it has an additional 6 floors which includes a Malmaison hotel and residential apartments. The Worcester and Birmingham Canal passes along the back with a number of restaurants overlooking. The views from the Cube to the Mailbox and the adjacent canal branches - ARE OUTSTANDING:
From the Cube and the Mailbox developments we descend to the canal level and walk BACK from south-east to north-west - heading back to the ICC building. The canal is on our right:
The more we advance westward - we'll see the spectacular Birmingham Library silhouette or colorful rooftop structure:
We arrive to the Gas Street Basin. Good place to go for a lunchtime or evening walk along the canals. There are a few nice bars and restaurants about and the canals go to the mailbox and off Broad Street. A very pleasant place to relax and take in the sights and sounds of canal life. Very scenic area. A lot of photo ops. A lot of house boats. This is old Birmingham:
We pass under the bridge (which bears Broad Street above) and, soon, we face the ICC. From the ICC we take the underground passage to connect with New Street Station(approx. 850 m.): Take the stairway up to the 3rd floor. Exit the complex. Head east, turn right toward Fletchers Walk, turn left toward Fletchers Walk, 160 m., turn left toward Fletchers Walk, take the stairs, turn left onto Fletchers Walk, turn left onto Paradise St, slight left at Hill St, 160 m. Continue onto New St.
Introduction: It is a very peaceful place. It is rural Warwickshire. The estate has many facets - each worth a one-day visit: the house itself steeped in history is comprised of several beautiful buildings: the main lawn overlooking the river is magnificent, the gardens are superb and walking into the extensive deer park is unforgettable, delicious food in the Orangery cafe' serving a range of hot meals and light snacks as well(mainly: bacon sandwiches, quiche, potatoes and salad and cakes). If you use public transportation - you'll need, at least, 3/4 day. The grounds are extensive and your walks will consume, each between half an hour and an hour and an half. It is a bit of a walk from the bus station ( and the car park) to the estate's house itself.
Location and transportation: Charlecote is a delight to visit Charlecote Park is 10 km. south of Warwick and 6 km) east of Stratford-upon-Avon, on the banks of the River Avon near the (large) village of Wellesbourne. It is maintained and administered by the National Trust (NT). NT members have free entrance. Public transportation is with bus only: the Stagecoach X18 bus from Stratford-upon-Avo to Royal Leamington Spa. Some services even go as far as Coventry. The bus stops near Charlecote Pheasant Hotel, There is NO shelter with the bus stops. In case of rain - wait in the hotel's facilities. Times of departure from Stratford (weekdays): 08.23, 09.05, 10.07, 10.38, 10.51. SAT: 09.08, 09.51 (X17), 10.38. SUN: 10.33, 11.33, 12.33, 13.33.
History: The Lucy family owned the land for 800 years, since 1247. Charlecote Park was built in 1550 by Sir Thomas Lucy (1532-1600), a magistrate under Elizabeth I, on the foundations of an even earlier medieval house. The house has Tudor appearance with iconic gatehouse and romantic turrets. Queen Elizabeth I stayed in the room that is now the drawing room. Young William Shakespeare (a legend) had been brought into court, to be tried by Sir Thomas Lucy I for poaching his deer. It is unclear whether there were any deer in the park at that time. The story goes that Shakespeare was forced to flee the area to avoid prosecution by Sir Thomas. The young playwright escaped to London, and the rest, as they say, is history. Although the general outline of the Tudor/Elizabethan house remains, nowadays it is in fact mostly Victorian. Successive generations of the Lucy family had modified Charlecote Park over the centuries. In 1823, George Hammond Lucy (High Sheriff of Warwickshire in 1831) inherited the house. The lands around the house were landscaped by Capability Brown in about 1760. This resulted in Charlecote becoming a popular destination for notable tourists to Stratford-upon-Avon from the late 17th to mid-18th century. Brown created a raised lawn and planted it with the cedars of Lebanon which you see today:
Opening hours: House - 11.00 - 16.00, Garden - 11.00 -18.00, Deer Park and Outbuildings - 10.00 - 18.00. On Wednesdays during Warwickshire school holidays the house is open for afternoons only, 12.00 until 15.00 with last entry at 14.30. Prices (House, Gardens, Park & Outbuildings): adult - £12.00, child - £6.00, family - £30.00.
Lucy family, the owners built a special gatehouse for queen Elizabeth I, who visited their estate, which still stands today ! The original two-storey Elizabethan gatehouse that guards the approach to the house remains unaltered. You can climb to the top of the gatehouse for a great view of the house:
There are eighteenth-century lead statues to west side of the steps to the Cedar Lawn.These are almost life-size figures of a shepherds:
House Interiors: The Charlecote House tells, mainly, the Lucy Family story: their portraits as well as through the objects they collected from around the world. You, easily, observe the design influence they had on the house and parkland. You see how Mary Elizabeth Lucy spared no expense furnishing it in Victorian times.
The Great Hall has a barrel-vaulted ceiling made of plaster painted to look like timber and is a fine setting for the splendid collection of family portraits. Other rooms have richly coloured wallpaper, decorated plaster ceilings and wood paneling. There are magnificent pieces of furniture and fine works of art, including a contemporary painting of Queen Elizabeth I. Inside there are the official rooms like the dining room, library and entrance hall:
Sir Thomas Lucy & Family - picture on the western wall of the Great Hall:
the Great Hall the southern wall - Casandra (was in love with Appolo) and fall of Troy:
The Great Hall leads to the Billiard Room:
Queen Elizabeth I stayed in the room that is now the drawing room with the harp:
Ebony Bedroom. So called after the grand ebony-wood bed which dominates the room:
Ebony Dressing Room:
Marvellous Teak Cabinet:
The Library. All are original books including copies of Shakespeare plays. The large library has a beautiful view out into the garden and down to the river:
The dining room is set out ready for an important visitor:
Even the traditional kitchens are open with cooks making period cakes.
No “upstairs downstairs” here – servants at Charlecote used to live in outbuildings next to the house and the laundry, brew-house and tackroom provide a real sense of the physical hard work undertaken employees in years gone by:
Behind the house there is not-so-big area of formal gardens and terraces. The gardens include a formal parterre and colourful herbaceous plantings:
The Parterre. Mary Elizabeth’s presence still influences the gardens. Her formal riverside Parterre was carefully reinstated twenty years ago and twice a year the estate's gardeners co-ordinate a new design and organise the back-breaking planting of thousands of new bulbs and bedding plants. The summer scheme is planted in mid-June and is in full colour by early July:
In the south-west side of the estate flows the river Avon:
The south-west side of Charlecote estate:
Deer in front of the south-west side of the estate:
Beyond the gardens and the house there is a large deer park designed by Capability Brown, where a herd of deer still roam. The woodland walk and the wider parkland (inspired by ‘Capability’ Brown), offer miles of walks and views across the River Avon. A herd of fallow deer has been in the park since Tudor times. The deer walks, surprisingly, are very close to human walkers. A rare opportunity to catch splendid photos with these noble animals:
Opposite the Charlcete Park there is family-run Charlecote Plant and Shrub Centre:
Finally, there is an extensive West Park. It is closed, every year during October-November weeks to allow for the deer not to be disturbed during the rut. But the West Park is mainly inhabited by Sheep, rams and breeding ewes. The lambing period starts in early April. The ewes girls are painted in red, green or blue. If there is no warning or restriction of public entry - OPEN THE GATE YOURSELF !
The West park is far more extensive than the Deer Park. If not closed or restricted - you'll spend more than one hour exploring its splendid landscape and animals:
Do not miss the Lime Avenue. These ancient lime trees – two distinct varieties, totalling 133 trees in all - are badly in need of arborial restoration and conservation work. Funds had been raised for continuing their existence:
Charlecote House from West Park: