Today we bring you links to some webcams in use in the UK in order to share interesting sites throughout Britain. Sit back, pour yourself a cuppa and enjoy a varied tour through the lens of these cameras.
Abbey Road (lots of silly beggars recreating the Beatles walk)
The Cobb, Lyme Regis, Dorset
Interior of barn, Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth, Devon
Ordsall Hall Ghost Cam
The beach at Bognor Regis
Market Square, Petersfield, Hampshire
Three webcams in Oxford
Inside the Arnside Chip Shop
Edinburgh Zoo panda cam
Whitby Harbour – 3 views
The Peregrines at Norwich Cathedral
Lake District National Park webcams
Dublin Zoo webcams
ST. JAMES’S STREET, LONDON
Kristine and Victoria have a very special day planned for Sunday, September 7th – a walking tour of the St. James’s area of London. Below you’ll find highlights of just a few of the places we’ll be visiting as we take a meandering walk, during which you’ll hear tales about gentlemen’s clubs and famed personalities who frequented the area. Hear tales of bawdy houses, royal chapels, and courtesans. Explore hidden alleys and tucked away streets. Discover their connections to duels, downfalls, and dandies before we quench our thirst at some of London’s most historic and atmospheric pubs. The day also includes time to stop for snacks, lunch, and a bit of shopping.
We’ll leave our hotel, the Grosvenor, at Victoria Station and walk up to Buckingham Palace
Arriving at St. James’s Street, we’ll steep ourselves in Georgian and Regency history as we stroll past the shopfronts of such venerable institutions as Lock’s Hatters and Berry Brothers and Rudd. We’ll pass the iconic and fabled gentlemen’s clubs – Brooks’s Club, Boodles and, of course, White’s, where we’ll stroll by the famous bow window, where Brummell held court.
At the top of the Street, we’ll arrive at Piccadilly, where we’ll have plenty of time to see the Royal Academy (formerly Burlington House) and explore Hatchard’s Bookstore (above) and Fortnum and Mason. We’ll stop for tea at Richoux Tea Rooms, a favourite haunt of Victoria and Kristine’s.
Afterwards, we’ll cross the street in order to see the Burlington Arcade, the longest covered shopping street in the world. The Burlington Arcade (above) was built from designs by Ware for Lord George Cavendish in 1815, and is ‘famous,’ as Leigh Hunt tells us, ‘for small shops and tall beadles.’ What’s a beadle, you ask? Click here to find out. For more on Piccadilly and it’s environs, see my prior post here. More soon!
No matter how many times I visit London, I always find new nuggets of historic trivia that are hugely interesting. I thought I’d do a bit of investigation recently in preparation for the St. James’s Walk Victoria and I will be leading during The Wellington Tour in September, when I discovered some interesting facts.
Firstly, I did some research into Devonshire House, London home to the Dukes of Devonshire since 1697, when the 1st Duke purchased the home, then known as Berkeley House, from Lord Berkeley. You can get an idea of it’s prime location on Piccadilly from Roque’s map below.
The house burned down in 1733 whilst undergoing renovations, allowing the Duke to rebuild in a contemporary style better suited to entertaining on a grand scale. The prime example of such an entertainment came over a hundred years on at The Duchess of Devonshire’s Ball, a fancy dress entertainment held in order to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee on 2 July in 1897. The Duchess encouraged guests to take their inspiration for fancy dress from history, literature and mythology. Thankfully, the Duchess hired photographer James Lauder of the Lafayette Company to be on hand to photograph the 200 costumed guests in front of different backdrops over the course of the evening.
The Duchess of Devonshire as Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra
The Ladies Churchill as Watteau shepherdesses.
Princess Henry of Pless as the Queen of Sheba
Unfortunately, Devonshire House (below in 1905) was demolished in 1920, when it was sold by the 9th Duke of Devonshire in order to pay death duties. Today, an office building stands on the site.
The new bit of trivia I learned is that the gates from Devonshire House were saved and moved to the entrance of Green Park off Piccadilly. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked past, and through, these gates, never realizing their history.
In case you’re feeling the need for a little luxury this holiday season, we’ve rounded up some gift ideas that might come in handy whether you’re on the giving or receiving end of things.
This year, Harrods, that venerable institution dedicated to conspicuous consumption, has chosen
the classic British steam train as the theme for their holiday windows.
Should you prefer your jewels to come complete with historic provenance, you may want to turn to one of London’s venerable auction houses. Here’s a little something we found from the Sotheby’s Fine Jewelry auction that took place on December 13th in London –
The festively attired elves have been sprinkled about the Oxford Street store to guide shoppers through departments, find the perfect gifts, gift wrap and carry packages and hail taxis.
Of course, you’ll need to put all of those pretty packages under a tree and for inspiration on that score we direct you to The Goring Hotel and it’s 2013 Luxury Christmas Tree Collection. This year, the trees have been created by iconic British brands including The Real Flower Company, Olivia Von Halle and Honeyjam. You can read more and see all of the trees here.
Once your shopping has been completed, reward yourself by booking in for Claridge’s Timeless Christmas offer that includes:
- A two night stay in Claridge’s
- Welcome bottle of champagne and festive treats in room on arrival
- Overnight stocking delivery filled with edible delights for the younger guests
- English breakfast on Christmas Day
- Horse-drawn carriage ride through Mayfair on Christmas morning with refreshments
- 5-course Christmas Day lunch in Claridge’s Ballroom
- Boxing Day breakfast
From £860 per room per night (including all taxes).