Piccadilly’s Bomber Command Memorial

Just along Green Park at Hyde Park Corner, lies one of the most evocative of London’s war memorials in honour of Bomber Command – the Royal Air Force. I have passed this spot at least a hundred times since it was unveiled on 28th June 2012 by Her Majesty The Queen however I have never, until very…

With a name like Lowry, Manchester is my kinda town

With a name like mine, the most common question is – are you related to LS Lowry.  Sadly, I am not.  We do however share a great love of the arts and an admiration for urban grit so why oh why didn’t I visit the magnificent city of Manchester before now? When I did so,…

London’s Triumphal Arch

If you have ever wandered over onto the roundabout at Hyde Park Corner, you will have seen an arch, but it never occurred to me until reading more about it, that this was to celebrate Wellington’s victory over Napoleon so follows in fact from the Roman tradition of triumphal arches.  Today it is known as…

Queen Victoria’s Holiday Home

I have long wanted to visit Osborne House, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s Tuscan styled holiday home on the Isle of Wight so it was with great pleasure that I finally fulfilled this ambition. The House itself is in a beautiful position, with views across landscaped gardens down to a  distant sea. The shame of…

A ticket to Ryde

I first heard about the Grade II listed Ryde Pier when I listened to the well known Beatles song of a similar name if not spelling.  Apparently John Lennon and Paul McCartney visited the island in the ’60’s to visit Paul’s cousin and inspired this well known ditty.  It wasn’t until recently however – and funnily enough,…

An open-air museum of historic buildings

This is one of the most intriguing of museums – effectively an open-air museum of historic buildings.  The Weald & Downland Open Air Museum in the Lavant Valley displays 50 traditional buildings in a rural landscape of 50-acres, telling the story of the men, women and children who lived and worked in them over a…

Venerable Ruins – Cowdray

On leaving Cowdray ruins this past May I asked my husband, what he thought and all he could say was “sad”. I asked why, and the response was “…this house should still be great” and I have to agree. Cowdray is one of England’s most important early Tudor houses and was visited by Queen Elizabeth I…

When a dream became a reality: Zaha Hadid at Vitra

One of the many highlights of the architectural tour of the Vitra Campus just outside Basel in Weil am Rhein, Germany, (a bus ride from Basel) is the chance to view the first building ever constructed by noted architectect, Zaha Hadid. Vitra, being the design centric company that it is, took the innovative decision to collaborate with key…

Shard-View – Western Europe’s tallest skyscraper

It seems that The Shard London is a Marmite skyscraper – do you know that expression?  Very strangely in my opinion, people either seem to like it or loathe it, with equal passion. For those of you familiar with this blog, you will immediately know that I love both Marmite and I am a definite…

Venerable Ruins: Wolvesey Castle, Winchester

If you have the time when you are in Winchester, pop around the back of the cathedral along College Street and take the trail to see the regal remains of what was once the domicile of the most powerful Bishops in the land: The Bishops of Winchester. The Bishop of Winchester once lived as part…