London Lantern

Putting the Spotlight on London

This month in the Lantern

Why You Should Still Go to London

“I refuse to give up London,” my friend on the East Coast wrote in her e-mail to me in response to recent disturbing headlines featuring our favorite city. I could sense the emotion behind her words - the frustration and anger that this was happening to London. I felt the same way. Would we stop traveling to London? No! I could no more do that...

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The Faces of London

There is much to be admired about London: the beautiful architecture of its buildings, bridges and churches; its elegant parks, gardens and squares; and its spectacular ceremonies, pageantry and traditions. But what particularly draws me to London, I believe, are its faces: the faces on its monuments and memorials, in its museums and galleries,...

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Our First Trip To London - Second Part

On Day 2 of our first trip, we visited the Tower of London in the morning, gripping our open umbrellas as we braced ourselves against gusty winds and pelting rain and moved from tower to tower. It looked quite different a few years later when we stood solemnly inside the Tower walls after dark to watch the 700-year-old Ceremony of the Keys, the...

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Royal London 2003 - Part Two

We left the Gallery and spent some time studying the front of the Palace and watching the Guards on duty, attired in the dark gray coats signifying their winter gear. The Changing of the Guard at the Palace only occurs on alternate days in winter, and as luck would have it, was scheduled the following day, so we were, sadly, unable to catch the...

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Royal London - 2003 - Part One

The Mall in London - that grand boulevard created as a ceremonial route in the early 20th century - runs between Buckingham Palace at the western end through Admiralty Arch at the east, gracefully drawn alongside the path laid out during the reign of Charles II and which became London’s most fashionable promenade in the 1600s. It was no wonder...

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Jane Austen's House and Bath

The world of Jane Austen: stately ancestral homes, horse-drawn carriages, and country lanes; the furtive glance, the lowered gaze, the fleeting smile – all the nuances of upper-class society in Regency England. A keen observer of people, this accomplished author wrote not of faraway places, but of the life she knew. Through her works (of which...

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7 More Tips For A Great Time In London

You are planning a trip to London – even the very words evoke a thrill! Recently, in attempting to put together some ideas for our upcoming trip to London, it occurred to me that I may have a few more tips to offer in addition to those previously provided. So, for those of you with travel to London in your future, in between ordering your My Fair...

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Recently Discovered Treasures In London

We have thrilled at the sight of St. Paul’s Cathedral in all its magnificence; but why did we so enjoy the subdued splendor, both inside and out, of Southwark Cathedral, Shakespeare’s church, tucked unobtrusively in a little corner south of the River Thames? We have enjoyed the finest of dinners at the elegant restaurant Rules; but why is it that...

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A Day Trip To Canterbury

One of the best things London has to offer the tourist is the opportunity to venture off for a day to one of the many alluring towns on its outskirts. I knew that Original London Walks offers, as part of their Explorer Day series, weekend trips outside of London. When my husband Jack and I discovered that Canterbury was the destination on our...

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10 Downing Street (and Beyond): British Prime Ministers

I will never forget my first glimpse of No. 10 Downing Street - and just a glimpse it truly was, as I pressed my face against the security gate and strained to see the famous black-brick building near the end of the street. It was thrilling indeed to see the site of so many world-important pronouncements, where contrasting moments of jubilation or...

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Covent Garden Memories

When Charles Dickens moved with his family to London at the age of ten, Covent Garden was the first place he wished to see, having read about this bustling and fascinating place, attracted to it much like Pinocchio, though a fictional character over a hundred years later, to Pleasure Island. Once the garden spot of the monks of Westminster Abbey,...

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Backstage At The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane

We love attending the theatre in London – the elegant buildings, the exceptional performances, the excitement in the air – the enchantment of it all. Emerging from the crush of the crowds, we burrow deep into our seats in places with unfamiliar names, the “stalls” or “dress circle,” distracted only by the sweet anticipation of the ice cream at the...

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Greenwich: Impressions in Time

Designated as the place where “east meets west,” colorful Greenwich is, like so much of Britain, a crossroads where the past meets the present. Rich in maritime history, events in this village, which has its roots back in early Roman times, played a major role in launching Britain toward naval supremacy. This was accomplished through the...

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A Tapestry of Memories - From London and Britain

I suppose it could be said that memories are what we retain of life’s experiences – brightly colored threads woven together to create a tapestry of one’s life. Some of these resonate with an exceptional poignancy, and such are these memories of mine of trips to Britain. They mostly represent brief moments, moments when the emotions were so strong...

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A Perfect Day In London

We woke up that morning to find London a sparkling, wintry wonderland, on this, our very special and long-awaited day. It was snowing, a rare happening in London; the city was expecting its first big snowfall in ten years. It was a fairytale place, a place where dreams come true. The day, though drab in appearance, was bright with promise and...

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The Royal Borough of Kensington

At the beginning of the 20th century, Kensington was a place of "hugely handsome buildings and vistas and distances, a London of gardens and labyrinthine tall museums, of old trees and remote palaces and artificial waters." So said the science fiction writer HG Wells – and this remains true today. Attaining royal status for its distinction as the...

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A New Year's Day In London - St Paul's Cathedral

We had planned to attend Evensong at St. Paul’s Cathedral, so we headed over that way hoping to find a place to eat beforehand. This was somewhat worrisome as we were discovering that nearly all restaurants and pubs seemed to be closed. Emerging from St. Paul’s Tube Stop, we heard the pealing of the bells of St. Paul’s, the same bells that had...

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A New Year's Day In London - Part 1 - The New Year's Day Parade

The American novelist Henry James once described London as “magnificent, the complete compendium of the world.” Agreeing completely, my husband and I felt that any day spent in London is a fine day indeed, but New Year’s Day, our arrival date, seemed to promise a particular wealth of pleasures. The holiday season still in full swing, it would be a...

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10 Tips For A Great Time In London

Everyone planning a trip to London is familiar with all the popular tourist attractions: Big Ben, the Tower of London, the Changing of the Guard, West End Theater. But what else is there to see and do? What makes a trip unique and truly one’s own? I will attempt to pass along a bit of advice on some of the things my husband and I have discovered...

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A Walk In The City (And Beyond) - The Continuation

Not quite yet wishing to say goodbye to the City, we walked to Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, where we had the first of what was to be several meals over the next few weeks in the candle-lit Chop Room. Afterwards, we walked down Fleet Street, following the many signs pointing the way to “Dr. Johnson’s House.” Dr. Samuel Johnson wrote the first...

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A Walk In The City (And Beyond)

To experience the City of London, that old part of London consisting of one square mile, is to travel through layers of time. Now the financial centre of the world, it is a contrast of the old and the new - a vast array of skyscrapers set among historic landmarks that have somehow survived against all odds: The Great Fire and the Blitz being two...

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An American View Of The Houses Of Parliament

To someone with a love for British politics, a visit to Parliament is the jewel in the crown of a trip to London. But a love for politics is not required in order to enjoy the majestic Palace of Westminster -- the home of the Houses of Parliament, a place of unique architectural design and tremendous historical significance.

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Strange Goings-On At The Old Bailey

The Old Bailey - to an American, this most famous of criminal courts conjures up images of characters straight out of Charles Dickens: from judges and barristers in their wigs and robes right down to defiant defendants in the dock. Located on the site of the old Newgate Prison, the place of many public executions, the Central Criminal Court gets...

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Extolling The Joy Of January In London

We love London! My husband and I have started going to London (from the U.S.) in January when the crowds are sparse and the weather is fine and the grass is green and some flowers still bloom.

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