Visit London Blog » military history Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 22 May 2015 17:44:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Wellington Arch and Apsley House Wed, 09 Mar 2011 13:00:58 +0000

Did you know the Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner is open to the public? I’ve passed the arch a million times on the bus, but this week I decided to stop and visit.

Inside the arch, there are three floors of exhibition space exploring the history of the building. The Wellington Arch was built to create an impressive western entrance to London and has also served as London’s smallest police station.

The Quadriga on the top is the largest bronze sculpture in Europe and replaced a sculpture of the Duke of Wellington which was mercilessly ridiculed for being enormously out of proportion to the Arch.

From the balconies at the top of the Wellington Arch, you can enjoy a fantastic view of Apsley House, the entrance to Hyde Park, Green Park and Constitution Hill.

Apsley House, to the right of the photo, is often known as Number One London and was home to the Duke of Wellington in the 1820s after his victory at Waterloo. The current Duke of Wellington still uses Apsley House as his London base.

The house is very grand, with an impressive collection of paintings, including some from Napoleon’s collection. It’s a must see for anyone interested in military history.

The ticket price includes an enjoyable audio guide for Apsley House packed with facts about banquets and balls, ducal disagreements about the colour of the wallpaper and the current duke’s childhood enthusiasm for sliding down the bannisters.

Book a joint ticket for the Wellington Arch and Apsley House – adult £7.40, child £3.70, concession £6.30

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Photo of the Week: Pigeon at Eltham Palace Fri, 18 Jun 2010 08:00:37 +0000

A rather bizarre photo this week, a parachuting pigeon who will be demonstrating his unusual hobby as part of the Etham at War! weekend at Eltham Palace.

On Saturday and Sunday, the palace grounds will commemorate Eltham Palace’s role during WWII, with military vehicles, war-time music and dancing, fun activities for kids and a look into the wartime role of animals – dogs who can rescue survivors from rubble and falcons who intercepted carrier pigeons like this little chap in the picture.

It’s a perfect day out for Father’s Day!

If you pop along, don’t forget to share your photos with the Visit London Flickr Pool.

Eltham at War, 19-20 June, 10:00 – 17:00, adult £6-£12, child £3-£10.20.

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Doctor Who, Winston Churchill and the Cabinet War Rooms Thu, 22 Apr 2010 15:32:47 +0000
If you watched Doctor Who, Victory of the Daleks on Saturday, you’ll know the episode was set in the Churchill War Rooms in Whitehall, the underground bunker from which Winston Churchill, the cabinet and military command ran the country during the Second World War.

The Churchill War Rooms are open to the public so you can go along and experience history for yourself. The bunker is almost exactly as it was left after the war, including the amazing map room. It’s incredible to think that so many people lived and worked here.

If you’re over 18, you can even sleepover in May for Museums at Night! I think the fear of seeing Daleks might keep me awake, despite the fact I definitely didn’t see any on my last visit!

If you’re brave enough to want to see a Dalek, check out our Doctor Who in London feature.

Although the episode wasn’t actually filmed in Churchill’s War Rooms, Mark Gatiss who wrote the episode (and played the Spitfire pilot) visited the museum for inspiration. Watch Mark’s visit in the behind-the-scenes show Doctor Who Confidential. We love the bit where Mark says:

“I would urge anybody who can to come and visit this place, it’s a museum but it’s an amazingly authentic experience. I would be very very happy if people who watched it and enjoyed the episode would then come here to find out more about it, because I think it’s a testament to an extraordinary group of people and an extraordinary time.”

Churchill War Rooms are open daily 9:00 – 18:00. Adults £14.95, concessions £7.50 – £12, under 16s free.

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