Our London series gives you all the background you need to make the most of your trip. Find out who was crowned at Westminster, buried in St Paul’s or beheaded at the Tower and hear the stories behind these events. Discover the history of Shakespeare’s Globe and the London of Charles Dickens. Learn about the royals and their palaces and take informed trips to Hampton Court and Windsor. We’ll tell you what to look out for in London’s museums and galleries and help you discover the city’s parks, theatres, shops and markets.  In short, we’ve done all the research you would do yourself if only you had the time!

There’s a podcast for each episode and we are adding more written information to each post as fast as we can.  So, let’s go.


Paddington, London

Episode 1: Introduction to London

Last Updated on June 23, 2023 by Ctybr67k Welcome to our introduction to London, a global city-break favourite. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) knew why: ‘He who is tired of London is tired of life, for there … Read more
London St Pauls

Episode 2: St Paul’s Cathedral, London

Last Updated on June 23, 2023 by Ctybr67k St Paul’s Cathedral is THE building which Londoners see as the symbol of their city and it has been the venue for dozens of important national events … Read more
City of London Sign

Episode 3: The City of London

Last Updated on July 3, 2024 by Marian Jones The City of London, also known as the square mile (among the 600 square miles of today’s London!) is where it all began. This post gives … Read more
Jewel Tower, Tower of London

Episode 4: The Tower of London

Last Updated on June 26, 2023 by Ctybr67k This post tells some of the dramatic history of the Tower of London – think imprisoned kings, beheaded queens, murdered children and a World War II spy … Read more
Westminster Abbey

Episode 5: London’s Westminster Abbey

Last Updated on September 2, 2023 by Ctybr67k Westminster Abbey: a thousand years of British history. Of course, it’s first and foremost a place of worship – Holy Communion and evensong are offered every day … Read more
Big Ben, London

Episode 6: The Houses of Parliament in London

Last Updated on September 7, 2023 by Ctybr67k The Houses of Parliament in London might be a stunning Victorian gothic pile, but its history goes much, much further back than that. This post outlines a … Read more
Trafalgar Square, London

Episode 7: Central London’s Whitehall and Trafalgar Square

Last Updated on September 13, 2023 by Ctybr67k Whitehall and Trafalgar Square are quintessential ‘central London’. This post takes you first on a10 minute wander, from Parliament Square to Trafalgar Square, in which you’ll pass … Read more
Buckingham Palace, London

Episode 8: Buckingham Palace, London’s Best Known Royal Residence

Last Updated on December 11, 2023 by Marian Jones What visit to London could miss out Buckingham Palace? This post starts with a little history and some tales from the famous balcony. Then we explain … Read more
Inns of Court, London

Episode 9: The Inns of Court, London

Last Updated on December 15, 2023 by Marian Jones This post takes you on a wander round the Inns of Court, that most peaceful haven just off some of London’s busiest streets. We explore the … Read more
London Fleet Street

Episode 10: Fleet Street, London’s Street of Ink

Last Updated on December 16, 2023 by Marian Jones Fleet Street has been a focal point for writers, publishers and journalists since the Middle Ages. This post explores a little of its history during the … Read more
Piccadilly, London

Episode 11: The Strand and Piccadilly

Last Updated on February 17, 2024 by Marian Jones In this episode it’s all about London as a centre of entertainment. We’re going along the Strand, round Covent Garden, popping into the Royal Opera House … Read more
© VisitBritain/Jason Hawkes Royal Albert Hall, London

Episode 12: Victoria and Albert’s London

Last Updated on February 18, 2024 by Marian Jones Victoria and Albert’s London centres on Kensington. Surely no two people left a greater mark on ‘their’ corner of London, than Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. … Read more
Globe Theatre, London Shakespeare

Episode 13: Chaucer and Shakespeare’s London

Last Updated on February 19, 2024 by Marian Jones Britain’s two greatest authors, Chaucer and Shakespeare, both lived and worked in London for most of their lives. This post covers a little about them and … Read more
London Dickesn House

Episode 14: London and Charles Dickens

Last Updated on March 13, 2024 by Marian Jones London certainly pops up frequently in the novels of England’s best-known 19th century author, Charles Dickens, and traces of him can be found all over the … Read more
Bedford Square London

Episode 15: Bloomsbury, London’s Literary Heartland

Last Updated on March 16, 2024 by Marian Jones Bloomsbury, London’s literary and academic heartland, is full of pretty garden squares and the place to find some of the country’s top museums, bookshops and libraries. … Read more
Museum of London Docklands

Episode 16: The East End And The Docks

Last Updated on June 19, 2023 by Ctybr67k The Historical And The Hipster A tour of East London, in search of the Old East End and the area’s Jewish and multi-ethnic roots. A little history, … Read more
Hampstead, London

Episode 17: Hampstead and Highgate

Last Updated on May 23, 2024 by Marian Jones A two-stop tour of north London. Firstly, pretty Hampstead, where Virginia Woolf thought ‘it is always spring’: lanes and cottages, cafes, antique shops and museums, including … Read more
Royal Naval College, Greenwich

Episode 18: The Royal Borough of Greenwich

Last Updated on May 26, 2024 by Marian Jones Greenwich is real day out territory from central London, except that one day won’t be enough for all there is to see! Unusually, this post covers … Read more
© VisitBritain/Tareq Mooradun Greenwich Park, London

Episode 19: London’s Royal Parks

Last Updated on June 2, 2024 by Marian Jones This post takes you on a tour of the five Royal Parks in central London, Regent’s Park in the north of the city and the 4 … Read more
© VisitBritain/George Johnson Tower Bridge, London

Episode 20: The River Thames Through London

Last Updated on June 20, 2024 by Marian Jones The River Thames has been the lifeblood of the city of London for two millennia, So much of the city’s past is tied up with its … Read more
Hampton Court Artwork

Episode 21: Hampton Court Palace

Last Updated on June 8, 2024 by Marian Jones This post takes you to Hampton Court Palace, explaining what there is to see there and giving a little background history, majoring on Henry VIII and … Read more
Kew Gardens

Episode 22: Kew And Richmond

Last Updated on June 6, 2024 by Marian Jones Kew and Richmond – two classy areas a little way outside central London – make great day trips, either separately or combined. Both sit on the … Read more
Windsor Castle and St George's Chapel

Episode 23: Windsor And Eton

Last Updated on July 9, 2024 by Marian Jones The number one day trip from central London Visiting Windsor and the next-door village of Eton is one of the easiest day trips from London, taking … Read more
Souvenir Shopping in London

Episode 24: London Shops And Markets

Last Updated on July 11, 2024 by Marian Jones This post starts with the most famous London shops and shopping streets, then covers other kinds of shopping visitors to the city are likely to want … Read more
Cover: The Diary of Samuel Pepys London

Episode 25: London Diarists And Travel Writers

Last Updated on July 17, 2024 by Marian Jones This post looks first at the musings of London diarists and other writers who have penned interesting thoughts on visiting the city. The quotations included span … Read more
Sherlock Holmes, London

Episode 26: Literary London

Last Updated on July 18, 2024 by Marian Jones London through prose, poetry and literary walking tours This episode collects together information on Literary London, beginning with a list of reading ideas and continuing with … Read more


Useful websites for tourists
Visit London 
Visit England London City Information Centre
Visit Britain (London Section) 

4 comprehensive guidebooks
Lonely Planet Pocket London
Rough Guide to London
Eyewitness London
Fodor’s London Guide

5 niche guidebooks

London A Guide for Curious Wanderers by Jack Chesher
London’s Secret Walks by Graeme Chesters
London Walks, London Stories Edited by David Tucker
London by Tube (Walks near tube stations) by Christopher Winn
London’s Houses by Vicky Wilson

6 histories of London
Elizabeth’s London by Liza Picard
Restoration London by Liza Picard
Dr Johnson’s London by Liza Picard
Victorian London by Liza Picard
Johnson’s Life of London by Boris Johnson
City of London (the history of London as a financial centre) by David Kynaston

5 books on London’s Literary figures
Chaucer by Peter Ackroyd
Globe Life: Life in Shakespeare’s London by Catherine Arnold
Inside Dickens’ London by Michael Paterson
Living in Squares, Loving in Triangles (on the Bloomsbury Group) by Amy Licence
Fictional London: A Guide to the Capital’s Literary Landmarks by Stephen Halliday

3 London anthologies
City Lit London edited by Heather Reyes
Blue Guide Literary Companion to London compiled by Robin Saikai
London: An Illustrated Companion compiled by Rosemary Gray

4 Novels set in London
At Bertram’s Hotel by Agatha Christie
Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Brick Lane by Monica Ali
Salaam Brick Lane by Tarquin Hall
Capital by John Lanchester