Six Hidden London Gems – Gay Star News

Author: , August 24th, 2017

London gems

Few cities have so many globally famous icons as London. Tower Bridge is one of the world’s top 10 most recognizable landmarks. Big Ben (or St Stephen’s Clock Tower for pedants) is also on the list.

But London is also a city of hidden gems. The nooks and crannies tucked away down secret medieval alleyways, overlooked by the throngs of commuters who pass them every day.

It’s a city where even lifelong Londoners can find something new every day. And, for fear that this London should be entirely overlooked in the summer hype, here are the Gay Star News team’s favorites:

Ceremony of the Keys, Tower of London

Thousands of tourists visit Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress every day. But few know they can, if they apply in advance in writing, also return in the evening to witness the world’s oldest military ceremony – for free.

The locking of the Tower secures the castle, where the Crown Jewels are kept, for the night. But it also symbolizes how the military is responsible for the security of the whole country.

It’s been done in the same way every day for around 700 years. The warder guarded by a troop of soldiers is challenged by a sentry. When he explains he is carrying ‘Queen Elizabeth’s Keys’ he is allowed to pass. It’s all over in 10 minutes but it’s one of those experiences you never forget.

By Gareth Johnson – Full Story at Gay Star News

London Gay Travel Resources

Meet Me at the Statue of Eros – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , April 10th, 2017

Statue of Eros - Alain

The statue of Eros at Piccadilly Circus in London has been a rendezvous for lovers, friends, drug dealers and paramours for a very long time. But make no mistake, Piccadilly’s famous lights has been existing for more than a century. It is London’s version of New York Times – or the other way around. Piccadilly is also a shopping paradise for luxury shoppers.

This is the statue of Eros, the Greek God of Love by Alfred Gilbert.

Piccadilly leads to many roads. Soho London and the famous landmarks of Westminster can be conveniently reached from here on foot.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

London Gay Travel Resources

National Gallery London’s Art Masterpieces – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , February 4th, 2017

National GalleryNational Gallery

First of all, National Gallery London is a grand place to see grand art. There’s no excuse you’d skip this attraction that is visited by thousands of art lovers around the world. Inside, you’ll find the world’s art masterpieces. Name the world’s most famous artists in their own discipline and they have them here. Expect to be dazzled by the works of Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Monet, Van Dyck, Titian, Michelangelo, Rafael, Caravaggio, Diego Velasquez, Leonardo Da Vinci, and many more.

And the best thing about all these? The National Gallery is free for all! However, no one can snap a photo of any thing inside. Sorry, but no art-related Instagram posts while inside. Inside, there are hundreds of portraits of historical figures and royal majesties.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

London Gay Travel Resources

Tate Modern London – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , January 30th, 2017

Tate Modern London - Alain

Tate Modern London is your place to go if you wanna see contemporary art. I must admit that the building’s facade itself is not of a contemporary design but a boring concrete that doesn’t scream modern. And the reason is that – it used to be a power plant and converted into an international venue of contemporary art pieces. As a friend said, “All that contemporary shit you’ve seen somewhere, they’ve all been here at Tate Modern first.” He could be right. 😉

And the best thing about being a tourist in London? The art galleries and museums are FREE! Yes, they’re free, except of course for few visiting exhibitions. I did save a lot of money as museums are exorbitantly charged anywhere in big cities around the world. I love free stuff. Therefore, I love London! 😀

Tate Modern London is your go-to gallery for contemporary art. It is Britain’s national museum of contemporary art where you see the works of big names in the art world.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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Britain’s Houses of Parliament – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , January 29th, 2017

Houses of Parliament

Behind the iconic Big Ben is the Houses of Parliament. This is where the House of Commons and the House of Lords sit down together to make laws. Yes, it’s here where laws are introduced and debated for the greater good of the British people. Visitors are actually allowed to go in here via a guided tour. It is advised to book ahead.

If you look at it from across River Thames, this neo-Gothic building has three towers. And the most famous of all is the Clock Tower where the famous bell, nicknamed as Big Ben, continues to ring.

Here are 10 interesting facts I learned about the Houses of Parliament in London

1. It’s also called Palace of Westminster. Well, obviously, it is a palace!

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

London Gay Travel Resources

London’s Tower Bridge – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , January 23rd, 2017

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge is not The London Bridge We Learned in Nursery School.

Remember that nursery rhyme we used to sing when we were young – London Bridge is Falling Down? Well, I thought that the bridge the song is talking about is the one below – the Tower Bridge. Why? Because it’s the most iconic bridge in London and I couldn’t imagine any other bridge to be worthy of the famed nursery song. 😀

Obviously, I was so naive to believe that for ages. You see, if I hadn’t gone to this marvellous city, I wouldn’t have known that. And no one have corrected me. I blame my British friends.

And yes, there’s a London Bridge but it’s not grand in scale and style. It looks just like any other bridge in the world.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

London Gay Travel Resources

London’s Millennium Bridge – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , January 22nd, 2017

Millennium Bridge

The Millennium Bridge is right in front of Tate Modern. Yes, it’s a just bridge. But if you’re into photographing gorgeous places in London at night, don’t skip this. Millennium Bridge is a photogenic place to be – even if you only have a point and shoot camera. It’s all about the right angle to capture the bridge in all its perfect moment and light.

I’d suggest to go there after 8 in the evening. If you go there before that, there’ll be a lot people passing by and your shots won’t be as dramatic as mine below.

For the locals, the Millennium Bridge is also known as the “Wobbly Bridge” because pedestrians felt the swaying motion.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

London Gay Travel Resources

Delightful Hampton Court Palace Gardens

Author: , January 19th, 2017

Hampton Court Palace - Alain

The delightful Hampton Court Palace gardens are a must-see to explore. This place is huge and it might take a day to wander around the palace and the gardens. The kids would love the maze garden and the adults would love the plants and flowers surrounding the palace. The gardens are lovely and photogenic on a beautiful blue sky day.

The only disadvantage is that – in some gardens there are no shades at all. Be prepared when visiting here because summer in London can be really scorching hot. Don’t forget to bring your bottled water or your sun lotion.

The delightful Hampton Court Palace Gardens are worth a trip to the south of London. Perhaps, of all the gardens here, the Pond Gardens are the most beautiful.

Buckingham Palace, But No Queen – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , January 16th, 2017

Buckingham Palace

The Queen was nowhere when I visited her residence, The Buckingham Palace in London. It’s either she was busy or just didn’t want to meet a fellow queen – that’s me. Or probably she was babysitting the adorable Prince George playing with her adorable corgis. But, whatever her reasons are, it’s not acceptable to snub me. Hahahahahaha!

Right after we finished watching the Changing of the Guards, we headed out to Buckingham Palace which was once called as Buckingham House. The gardens and the park surrounding the palace are well-kept, thus, selfie sticks are flying up in the air for best photographic angles.

The Buckingham Palace is the centre and residence of the British Monarchy since 1837. The palace has 775 rooms! Yes, that’s really huge, eh? Fifty two of these are Royal and guest rooms.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

London Gay Travel Resources

The British Museum – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , January 13th, 2017

The British Museum

The British Museum is huge. It can be overwhelming for tourists who have no idea on what to see and where to start. With 8 million objects as collections, you can’t see them all in a day. But if you could, you’d be extremely exhausted at the end of your visit. There’s a chance that you won’t remember a thing or two if you intend to see too many objects in a short trip here. So, be like me – see only the things you’re interested to see. But, this doesn’t mean that you’ve got to be so focused on the objects you resolved to see. You’ve got to stop and see the things that capture your curiosity.

Here’s my top 10 things to see at the British Museum. This list can help you plan ahead on what to expect inside, especially if you’re on a short visit.

1. Look up and go around the Great Court

This is the largest covered public square in Europe. At the centre is the world-renowned Reading Room. Fail not to check it out.

LINK” target=”_blank”>By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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