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SvenskaSarah

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« on: May 22, 2021, 05:48:27 PM »

Following the discussion in a thread about recommended museums and places to visit in London, I thought it may be nice to have a thread dedicated solely to places we recommend fellow dishers to visit when on our travels  Smiley

I always find local knowledge goes further than reading travel guides or visiting tourist websites!
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jolene

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« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2021, 06:06:31 PM »

A museum I loved visiting a couple of years ago is the Wallace Collection: https://www.wallacecollection.org/

Admission is free and it looks like they are reopening June 3 this year.
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Celia

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« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2021, 06:09:58 PM »

Eltham Palace is gorgeous.  It looks like a set from a Noel Coward play, with a medieval Great Hall attached.  The gardens are pretty, too.  I was able to attend a noon-time communion service at Westminster Abbey once.  Very meaningful, in spite of the crowds milling about.  I'd like to visit the Royal Needlework School some day and pick up a few kits.  I don't know if they have a "museum" room or not, though.
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Elissa

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« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2021, 08:00:49 PM »

If you like classical music: Attend one of the Concerts by Candlelight at St Martin In the Fields. These only take place during summertime.

One of my best memories of London.

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Future Crayon

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« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2021, 11:02:01 PM »

A museum I loved visiting a couple of years ago is the Wallace Collection: https://www.wallacecollection.org/

Admission is free and it looks like they are reopening June 3 this year.

The Wallace Collection is an absolute hidden gem, well worth a visit.

I would pick Salisbury Cathedral, the National Museum of Wales, the Fashion Museum and Assembly Rooms in Bath, the SS Great Britain in Bristol and a trip to Avebury (not Stonehenge - its prettier and you can hug the stones. Also its about 10 minutes away from Casa del Future Crayon so I'm totes biased)
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luvcharles

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« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2021, 03:46:41 AM »

Museums/Churches I recommend in London (from the Kate thread but expanded here). All of these are free.

1. The British Museum - has some of the 'great items' of history e.g. the Rosetta Stone but one a lot of people don't know is there is the Cyrus Cylinder - often regarded by historians as the first statement of 'human rights' - although all it really does is guarantee Babylonians the right to follow their own religion but it was still radical in its day for even allowing that. The Persians, contrary to the way they are portrayed in western movies such as that travesty called '300' were a very tolerant, multicultural society. The museum also has the Oxus Treasure which is a magnificent of Persian gold working (when I say Persian I am talking about 550 - 330 BC). There is a lot more of course - Roman, Anglo-Saxon, Norman, medieval, Tudor, Stuart, Georgian, Victorian and right down to the modern day. I believe you could visit every day for a year and still find things that you haven't seen ...

2. The National Art Gallery - a full range of art works from the ancient to the present with some great medieval works as well as Turners, Constables etc.

3. The National Portrait Gallery - as it says 'portraits'. Many of the great portraits of the monarchs are here. I am down to the Stuarts having seen and spent some time looking at the great portraits of the earlier monarchs. One thing I love (and hopefully with refurbishment) is that the art works are set up chronologically.

4. The Imperial War Museum - great museum of the British military but acknowledging the contribution of the Empire and Commonwealth. It is one of the few places where I have seen one of the famous taxis that transported the French army from the German border to The Marne in 1914 (there is another in Les Invalides in Paris of course). It brought home to me just how desperate those days were for France to realise that they used such vehicles to get the army into the right place to stop the Germans in sight of Paris.

5. St Martins-in-the-Field - also in Trafalgar Square so works in well with a visit to the Portrait or National Galleries - lovely church, the parish church for the royals when in residence in BP. Queen Mary was a regular worshipper there. They usually have a lunch time communion service and evensong at night. They also have a crypt in which you can get a meal. Personally I prefer the Italian restaurant just around the corner but that is me.

6. Around St Paul's there are many churches, often open during the day with an 'honesty' box if you want to take a postcard and chance to also make a donation. Many of them were also designed by Wren after the Great Fire. One 'day' I love when I go to London is my visit to St Paul's and then a walk around the streets before heading down to the Tower and either getting the tube home, or using the river to cruise back up to Westminster (I usually stay either at Royal Horseguards, within walking distance of Westminster or near Kensington Gardens - so within walking distance). On a really pleasant day I might even cross the river and walk along the other side of the river - the Queen's Silver Jubilee Walkway is along there - to reach 'home'.

7. Another church worth visiting, but it is only open for services if my memory serves, is the Queen's Chapel at St James'. The Chaplain who takes the service will be one of The Queen's chaplains and anyone can attend. You may find a royal in attendance but if it is one of the very senior royals then you will have to have a full security check, unless you are a regular (or that is what I was told when I went there - by accident).

8. The Museum of London is exactly that - a museum that covers the history of London from pre-history to the present. It is in the heart of what was Roman London and really tells the story of the city. It is specific of course to the city.

9. If you get a chance try the Guildhall Art Gallery as underneath is the Roman amphitheatre and the way it was set up in 2002 (and I assume still is ... I haven't had a chance to get back) was so that when you entered you felt like you were there. They have used CGI to build on the surviving parts of the amphitheatre to show what it would have been like. I have an interesting visit in 2002 as I went into the art gallery as they had a display called 'The Queen and the City' which was a series of photos, paintings etc of the Queen and her visits to the City of London from George V's Jubilee to many of her own visits. To get to that exhibition I had to pass the statue of Margaret Thatcher and she looked so lifelike with even her handbag. I went past her to the exhibition and then down to the amphitheatre and by the time I came out the police were in attendance. The person who entered after me had managed to somehow smuggle in a cricket bat which, when there was no one around, they had used to remove Maggie's head. I was probably the last person, besides this person, to see that statue as it had originally been carved. https://www.theguardian.c...02/jul/04/artsnews.redbox The perpetrator was sent to prison for 3 months.
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fairy

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« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2021, 01:22:38 PM »

I remember when I lived in England during my uni days, I spent many a day at one of the museums. Not only where they incredibly interesting and entertained me for hours, but also they were free of charge (which was immensely helpful for someone who had to pinch pennies) and it was something I could do ( is actually best done) alone, without feeling lonely in a strange city...
I loved the portrrait galery and I too loved St. Martin in the Fields (though wrong religion for me, but the atmosphere was/is breathtaking).
I had the great luck to meet someone who worked at the V&A, a young historian and he showed me some backroom-treasures, that were stunning. Mind you that was during those old times in which museums looked nothing like today: I remember rows and rows of glass cabinets full of treasures with very little explanations and lots of dust...
Anyway, I adore good museums, and I have always taken my girls on rainy days to see them. There is so much to learn and admire...
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SvenskaSarah

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« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2021, 03:51:49 PM »

Just reposting my sentiments from the Kate thread:

May I recommend the Museum of London and the Museum of London Docklands for you to consider for your next visit/s to the city? Both are free museums and are owned by the same organisation. There is less 'royal' history in both, but they do give a fascinating education of the history of London, from prehistoric times to the present. At the Museum of London, which is near the Barbican, you can also see the Roman City Walls from windows inside the museum. The Docklands' Museum is a bit more niche, so will be a must if you are interested in mercantile history or London's economical development but less so if you are not too fussed about that. However, it does have a very nice restaurant and a very broad collection of rums to sample. My only criticism of the London Docklands' Museum is that more attention could be paid towards the role of slavery in London's economic and mercantile development.

Also, if you venture out towards Twickenham, there is Strawberry Hill House which is a delightful neo-gothic mansion designed and lived in by Horace Walpole. The architecture and the interiors are breathtaking, and there is a collection of drawings of Tudor figures as well as items on display such as Walpole's books and artefacts he collected. It is not free to enter, but I really recommend it as a 'hidden gem'.

I'm so looking forward to seeing what other places people suggest, I need to up my travel game once restrictions allow!
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SvenskaSarah

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« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2021, 08:50:20 PM »

Last week I was very fortunate to visit the V&A in London. I'm not ashamed to admit that I nearly cried when I saw the sapphire tiara that once belonged to Queen Victoria, and the bracelet to match.
There is also the Manchester tiara, and two Swedish bridal coronets, along with so many other pieces, I really thought I'd died and gone to heaven!
Here is a link for you to browse:
https://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/jewellery

On reflection, I liked the idea of the sapphire tiara for Beatrice to wear at her wedding, but having seen it in person, I was so amazed at how small it is! It would have been a lovely sentiment to 'loan' the tiara from the museum, but I think any veil or floral design or even a lot of back-combing would have diverted attention away from the beautiful tiara.
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anneboleyn

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« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2021, 08:53:07 PM »

I cannot wait for this pandemic to be over so I can travel! I long to visit England so badly!
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Cordelia Fitzgerald

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« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2021, 12:03:52 AM »

Svenska Sarah, I'm so glad you got to see it in real life! I love that experience of seeing something in person that you've dreamed about, and I think it's fantastic that it made you teary-eyed! 

Here's to more travel dreams coming true...for you, anne boleyn...all of us!  Champagne
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