London is One of the Finest Capital Cities to be Found Anywhere

London is One of the Finest Capital Cities to be Found Anywhere

London is one of the finest capital cities to be found anywhere. Contrary to popular belief this is not some feeble attempt at plagiarising advertising copy from other major cities in the world.

 

Bad times and good, I have lived and worked in London through them all.

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A Look at London’s Hyde Park

A Look at London’s Hyde Park

Hyde Park is one of London’s finest historic landscapes covering an area of 350 acres. There is something for everyone in Hyde Park. With over 4,000 trees, a lake, a meadow, horse rides and more one can naturally forget that he/she is in the middle of London. Hyde Park lies between the Bayswater Road in the north and Knightsbridge in the south. Park Lane lies to the east and Kensington Gardens to the west.  At the junction of Edgware Road and Bayswater Road just outside the Park, is a triangular plaque set in the road which marks the site of Tyburn Gallows, where public executions took place until 1783. These were supposed to act as a deterrent, but instead became a public entertainment.

The iron railings surrounding Hyde Park were removed during World War II when there was a big drive to collect iron, steel and aluminum to make war weapons. At Hyde Park corner, which is a very busy junction just outside the south east corner of the Park, is Wellington Arch which has a war memorial statue on top of it. Visitors are welcome at Wellington Arch and viewing galleries and exhibitions have been created inside the Arch.

Aspley House which was the home of the first Duke of Wellington (1769-1852) hero of Waterloo and later Prime Minister, is situated at 149 Piccadilly, at Hyde Park corner. The house now contains a museum which is open to public. Along Knightsbridge from Hyde Park Corner is The Albert Memorial which is a large statue of Prince Albert. Prince Albert was married to Queen Victoria and the memorial was erected at a cost of £120,000. An Exhibition was held in The Crystal Palace which is a large glass gallery in Hyde Park. In this exhibition in addition to the catalogue the memorial contains 169 portraits of poets, architects and painters. At each corner is an illustration of Europe, America, Asia and Africa, whilst figures represent Commerce, Engineering, Manufacture and Agriculture.

The Hyde Park is place for people of all ages. There are a few special sites which one must see when going to Hyde Park. One of these landmarks is the Serpentine, a large artificial lake, which separates the Hyde Park from neighboring Kensington Gardens. It is a popular place for boating and swimming. Another famous landmark is et the south end of Hyde park known as Rotten Row, a famous bridle path. The road is almost four miles long and is used as a horse riding, cycling, rollerblading and jogging route. The term ‘Rotten Row’ is derived from the French ‘route du roi’ or King’s road. Speaker’s Corner is place which was established to create a venue where people would be allowed to speak freely. Here, every Sunday people stand on a soap box and proclaim their views on political, religious or other items, sometimes interrupted and challenged by their audience. The Marble Arch is just outside Hyde Park, at the north-east corner. The design by John Nash was based on the Arch of Constantine in Rome. Another arch, the Wellington Arch, can be found on the south-east corner of the park, connecting Hyde Park with Green Park. Inside the arch are exhibitions and galleries open to visitors. Have a enjoyable day.

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London is Full of History

London is Full of History

London is a great place. Contrary to popular belief this is not some feeble attempt at plagiarising advertising copy from other major cities in the world.

Bad times and good, I have lived and worked in London through them all.

From the bad old days and the darkest hours of the terrorist bombing campaigns of the Provisional IRA in the 70’s and 80’s to the good times when the announcement was made that London had been awarded the 2012 Olympics and the Queens Jubilee. London has had the experience and gravity to treat both with equal respect.

I remember travelling through London to return home to Northern Ireland where I now live on the day the news broke that Princess Diana had tragically been killed in a car accident in Paris. The sense of grief and shock were overwhelming as total strangers just blindly made their way to Kensington Palace to lay flowers at the people’s memorial. Then at the other end of the spectrum you have London the day of the “Live 8” Festival in Hyde Park where the city centre was brought to a standstill with blaring rock music belting out across the entire City Centre.

London is full of History. History that it would appear that most Londoners take for granted.

The changing of the guard is a perfect example of this sort of thing.Betty and Phil insist that this happens daily at their place at the end of the mall. OK I should be slightly less flippant. I am of course referring to Buckingham Palace, home of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh found at the end of the Mall. Tradition is such that occasionally it gets altered and none more so than when after the awful events of 911 the band of the guards performed the Star-Spangled Banner in front of visiting American tourists instead off the traditional God Save the Queen.

Perhaps the significance of this passed most of the on looking tourist by but it was a first in living memory that any other national anthem other than the United Kingdoms own God Save the Queen had been performed at the Changing of the Guards ceremony.

Perhaps it is little incidences like these that sum up exactly what a rich cornucopia of the historic and modern, the city of London actually is. Unlike other major international capital cities, London may lack perhaps the historic grandeur of the Parthenon in Athens or the Coliseum in Rome but through out London you will find examples of perhaps a more modern architecture (though no less splendid and impressive) such as the mother of all parliaments, the Houses of Parliament in Westminster or the serenity of St Paul’s Cathedral a survivor of many centuries and in many ways every bit as impressive now as in the days of its design under the architect Sir Christopher Wren.

If nothing else the building of St Paul’s Cathedral is a testament to survival itself having both survived the Great Fire of London in the 16th Century and then four hundred years later the Blitz in World War II.

Perhaps this encompasses the overall appeal of London, the historic blend of the old and the new.

There is absolutely no way a visit to London will disappoint

Scott James writes on a great many issues on the Internet and more about the above can be found at London Serviced Apartments , Serviced Apartments London and http://www.homefromhome.co.uk/site/servicedapartments

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