Footloose in London II
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A QUIRKY SECOND VISIT TO OUR WONDERFUL CAPITAL
Footloose in London II
~ Eight chapters on one DVD
Chapter 1 ~ Introduction & Fleet Street
This is a lively walk through time seeking out the history of print...and the famous pubs where literary luminaries frequented!
You can trace Fleet Street back to Roman times and amazingly the street pattern still resembles the time when it was rebuilt after the Great Fire of London in 1666. Hidden alleyways, known as 'courts', invite you to explore: one of them, Magpie Alley, showcases the street's amazing history of printing and the press with wall tiles. Evidence of the newspaper giants which once dominated Fleet Street are to be found on evocative stone panels laid into the pavement.
2 ~ Novelty Automation and Mail Rail
We're walking in the Bloomsbury district of London starting out at Holborn tube station...
Our first stop is at Novelty Automation, a bizzarre and hilarious arcade full of home-made machines by cartoonist and engineer,Tim Hunkin. You can take a micro-break or test your nerve with a Rottweiler. A ten minute stroll through Georgian London past the Dickens Museum, will get you to the fascinating Postal Museum. Here you can climb aboard the Mail Rail train and take an underground journey past secret mail platforms with amazing visual projections.
3 ~ Three East End Markets
Liverpool Street station marks the start of our Sunday market trail in the East End of London. Only a few hundred yards away is lively Petticoat Lane, full of clothing and fashion at knock down prices. Heading north through the streets where Jack the Ripper stalked his victims we arrive at gentrified Spitalfields Market, now famous for interesting designer goods and eating out. Fom here we stroll through historic streets to 'Banglatown' at the bottom end of Brick lane. Heading past no less than 45 curry houses and some amazing street art,we end up at the amazing Brick Lane market. Much of it is held in and around the old Truman brewery. We meet Doreen and John, a Pearly Queen and King who tell some of the East End's history, then they give Debra a lesson in Cockney rhyming slang.
4 ~ St James's
Just round the corner from Buckingham palace you can find some of London's most exclusive and historic shops. Wine merchants, hat and shoe establishments line St James's Street. You can find the smallest square in London here and discover where the Texas Embassy once was. A statue of perhaps the first 'dandy', Beau Brummell, surveys Jermyn Street and the Piccadilly Arcade, checking on today's male high fashion.
5 ~ Rotherhithe and Wapping
Two historic Docklands areas with a fascinating history. We set out from Canada Water tube station and head for Rotherhithe street. From right here in 1620, the 'Mayflower' began its eventful journey to America.
An atmospheric pub of the same name marks this historic spot on the Thames foreshore where we step down to at low tide. Only yards away is the Brunel museum, celebrating the world's eighth wonder: the first ever tunnel built under a major river. 175 years on, a train still travels through, and this transports us to Wapping on the north shore of the Thames. Once a busy docklands town, most of the remaining warehouses have been skilfully remodelled into apartments and business premises. Several pubs remain intact, each with a gruesome dockland tale to tell.
Watch the 3 minute trailer for our surprising adventures
in a different kind of London -
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6 ~ Hampstead
The underground station at Hampstead is the deepest in London, and it marks the start of our grand day out in the city's exquisite Georgian Spa. Many rich artistic and famous personalities have made their homes here, and the sheer number of plaques on the exclusive houses bear this out. We walk a four mile round trip up through the town onto Hampstead Heath and its health ponds. The Iron-rich water which surfaced here was considered to have major health benefits in Georgian times. Amongst the historic houses are curiosities and properties open to the public, notably the amazing Pergola Garden. Altogether it's a privileged and protected society, in fact it's known as the 'original urban village' less than 5 miles from central London.
7 ~ Twinings
Now this is a curiosity not to be missed. Thomas Twining introduced tea to what was then a coffee-drinking London three hundred years ago. This tiny premises on the Strand has belonged to the family for 12 generations, still selling its famous brand of tea to the nation. Debra talks to 'Senior Ambassador' Julia, about the shop's fascinating history and then learns how to taste Britain's favourite drink in the traditional manner.
8 ~ The Sky Garden
To round off our undiscovered and unusual visit to London, we visit what will become one of the city's best free attractions, located at the top of the Walkie-Talkie building at 20 Fenchurch Street.
On the 35th floor of this curvy construction, is an amazing roof garden with bars and restaurants overlooking the magnificent river Thames. You can get your entry pass online, on a Monday morning, but hurry, tourists coming to London snap them up fast!
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Climate ~ London
The Londonist New ideas and weekly information on new places to visit
www.VisitLondon.com Main website for the city
LondonWalks Recommended walking tours for London
Brick Lane Market
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