Welcome to Peter's Place 
UK Tourism & Travel Page 
Hints and tips for travellers to Britain

"The four stages of man are infancy, childhood, adolescence and obsolescence"
(Art Linkletter)



Starting with  LONDON

Main London Tourist site - London Town

The Official Internet Site for London has a useful 'London month by month' diary page

For a quick tour of London try an open topped double decker bus from - Big Bus

Hop on and off using one ticket, as bus follows circular route.

Panoramic views from numerous
viewpoints around centre of London

The London Pass - access to attractions as well as free use of transport

What's On in London from Time Out


The official on-line guide to England

The latest attraction in London is Somerset House in The Strand. Described as, "One of Britain's greatest architectural treasures"

If you visit it tour the outside first and try to imagine the waters of the River Thames lapping against its walls.  Now it is separated from the river by the Embankment road.

Lots of museums and exhibitions to see in this building so best visit their web site here.

The large courtyard used to be a car park for civil servants cars, which have now been banished, to be replaced by a wide open space and musical fountains.

If you are in London in June look out for the main ceremonial event of the year, Trooping the Colour on the Queen's official birthday in Horseguards Parade

Failing that the other great state ceremonial event
is when the Queen performs the State Opening of Parliament in October or November each year
 

For even more useful information about London go to Net London

The 'Millennium Observation Wheel' better known as the 'London Eye' recently erected opposite Parliament, on South Bank of the River Thames. Spectacular views for many miles.  Can get long queues in the summer. Handy cafe nearby.

The National Maritime Museum at Greenwich - well worth a visit - site here

Close by is the old Royal Observatory set on a hill in a park, overlooking the Thames, Canary Wharf and The Dome.  If you are interested in navigation then you will know that this is the home of the famous Harrison Clocks that helped solved the 'longitude' problem.

You can reach Greenwich, downstream from Westminster, in central London, by a very interesting ferry boat ride along the Thames or via the new Jubilee underground and the Docklands Light Railway.



It often amazes me the amount of material some people post on the web - for free. Some examples must have taken them months to research the necessary information. This site is a good example - it lists the numerous alleys and courts of central London (and some pubs)  in great detail and could give people many hours of pleasure exploring these quiet byways, knowing the history, gained from viewing this site -

A Guide to London Alleys, Courts, Passageways and Yards

by Ivor Hoole



Visit this very useful site -
  UK Street Maps

The maps are of high quality and the site now shows stunning aerial photographs of London so that you can almost see people walking the streets

UK 24 hour entertainment guide


Next most useful site -

UK Railway Timetable - online Enquiry Service

Even handier -thetrainline.com
Order rail tickets online, choose the cheapest type here.

Unofficlal National Rail Enquiries route planner

Favourite ticket to get when travelling into central London is the 'one day Travelcard' which can be used on trains, buses and underground.  No need to search for small change each time.

Free UK Telephone numbers search here


The English Spring/Summer Sporting & Social Calendar

March
The University Boat Race on the River Thames at Putney
Great free event for spectators especially if viewed from riverside pubs

April
The Grand National Steeple Chase at Aintree, Liverpool
London Marathon

May
Badminton Horse Trials Glos.
Football Association Cup Final, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Chelsea Flower Show, London

June
Royal Ascot - horse racing on the flat

The Championships Wimbledon at London SW19
The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club

August
Cowes Week on the Isle of Wight


To help with planning your UK holiday, take a look at this list of historic houses and beautiful landscapes and the unique holiday accommodation available for rent, all owned by -

THE NATIONAL TRUST

If you are ever in London and I'm not around to give you a guided tour, then you could always try the professionals -

"The Original London Walks Company"

They have walks every day of the year, led by experts, for a small fee of £5.00. (2000 price)

Visit them at London Walks


Why not enliven your visit to the British Isles with a study of its history here.

This is a very comprehensive site, which includes full text of Mediaeval documents like Magna Carta (1215), which starts:-

"John, by the grace of God King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and Count of Anjou, to his archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls, barons, justices, foresters, sheriffs, stewards, servants, and to all his officials and loyal subjects, greeting..."


Many tourists visit this main museum:

The Museum of London

Nearby is the famous St Paul's Cathedral with its magnificent dome

There are in fact two domes, one inside the other, with a cavity and stair-case in between. At the top of the stairs you can kneel down and peer through an inspection panel, in the centre of the dome, at the mosaic floor below, covered with ant like people.

If you can tear yourself away from this incredible view, then the stairs lead out onto two viewing balconies on the outside of the dome. Both views are well worth the £6 fee (includes Cathedral entrance fee). Closes at 1615 hrs (last tickets) - Mon. to Sat.

Note - well over 500 steps to the top with a short narrow tunnel to negotiate! Tip: Award winning toilets in the Crypt!

A good view point to view the Cathedral from a distance, is from the south side of the river at Bankside, Southwark. There the new Shakespeare's Globe theatre there has a panoramic view from the cafe and restaurant overlooking the City and St Paul's - highly recommended.

More details about Shakespeare's Globe can be found here. I can recommend the cafe and restaurant, alongside this theatre, as having some of finest views in London, looking out across the River Thames towards the City of London.

If you want to go to the theatre then here is the place to view the UK Theatre Guide.


You've done the tour of the White House, now you can visit the home of the British Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street This will also guide you to all the UK government web sites.


No visit to London would be complete without a tour of the Tower of London. For virtual tour with superb photographs.

Tip: Allow a whole day for a visit to the Tower - so much to see.
The Tower has a long history, starting as a castle built by the Norman's and was then used as an armoury, treasury and Royal prison.  It still houses the Crown Jewels today.  Well worth a day long visit  - so much to see.

You can visit the Official Site of the 'British Monarchy' here

If you go to Buckingham Palace then be sure to visit the Royal Mews, on the south west side. Inside this area is an oasis of calm, in this busy part of London.

Tip: De Luxe toilets here!
There you will see the luxurious stables as well as the horses and tack rooms. Also available for close inspection are coaches from the gold State Coach downwards.

Changing the Guard
at
Buckingham Palace

11.30 am on alternate days between July and April
Check dates - tel: 09064 123411
Route starts at Wellington Barracks

The Queen's Life Guard leave Hyde Park Barracks at 10.28 am from
Monday to Saturdays
(9.28 am Sundays)
to ride to
Horse Guards Parade
in Whitehall

The Guards on duty used to patrol outside the gates of Buckingham Palace but the pressure from tourists became so great they had to 'retreat' inside the courtyard. They now perform their duties by the walls of the Palace.

Tip:  If you want to see a Guardsman close-up then they still stand guard outside St James's Palace in a quiet side street nearby.


More excellent UK/London street maps and aerial photos: Multimap

If you are interested in staying in Bed and Breakfast accommodation, then try this site
Bed & Breakfasts UK
nicely laid out with easy search. Includes Guest Houses and small Hotels.

If you like the quiet life avoid all pubs with a 'bouncy castle' in the front garden or with large signs outside saying "Fun Palace." Unless, that is, you have your own children with you.
 

For more details take a look at the extensive British Tourist Authority Web page here

For London pub guide or visit this web site for information about the great British Pub



If you are spending any time in London then most people pay a visit to:

The British Museum where the famous round Reading Room has been revamped and the public are now allowed inside.  At the same time the courtyard around it has been opened up and cleared of temporary buildings to be enjoyed. A spectacular glass dome covers courtyard known as the the Great Court.

The British Library has now moved to Euston.

Also the Natural History Museum. Latest attraction here is a life like, active, near full sized Tyrannosaurs Rex.

UK & Europe Route planning from Michelin

The country's newest Museum at Priddy's Hard, Gosport, Hampshire.  The Royal Navy's 18th century armaments depot now redundant and opened to the public, called - Explosion!


A detailed London guide site is run by the Evening Standard Online here. If you need more information about travel in London with maps of tube etc., visit this comprehensive site - London Transport


This is a good time to give a mention to potential
tourist of my home county of Hampshire

Pub Walks in Hampshire thanks to Geo.Gale & Company

New Portsmouth Harbour web site, view the historic ships collection

Portsmouth Cathedral site

Hampshire Cam

Highly recommended photographic site

For high quality photographs added to weekly


For the Hampshire Genealogists:

Memorials & Monuments
In Portsmouth 

Hampshire Genealogical Society

For the curious - Portsdown Tunnels

Hampshire Family History

Knightroots - Friendly Online resources for Hampshire Genealogists

Parish Register Transcription Society

Hampshire Constabulary History Society

Free BMD
http://freebmd.rootsweb.com/

FreeCen a census search for free http://freecen.rootsweb.com/

Archive CD Books http://www.archivecdbooks.com/

UK Society of Genealogist  http://www.sog.org.uk/index.html

Search the Records of the Old Bailey, London's Central Criminal Court Online

This BBC site is the most popular web site in Europe
Here you can view the nightly  BBC television news via live.

UK national daily newspapers - samples:
The Daily Telegraph - has useful archive as has The Independent

Regional Newspapers:
The News - Portsmouth & south east Hampshire
The Journal - Newcastle and the North East

Motorcycling
Family
UK Travel

Comments welcome: email

Revised and being updated - March 2003

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