London Walking Tour – Part II

This is part 2/3 of our walking tour of London. For a live map, click here.

 

This post is a continuation of our London walking tour, featured in red in the map above. If you would like to start at Part I, click here.

Stop 6: 10 Downing Street

10 Downing Street is the headquarters of the UK government and where the Prime Minister lives. I had visions of spying on the building I knew and loved from watching Love Actually on loop from 2003-2007. Unfortunately, we were disappointed. The road was gated and guarded with by heavily armed men and there wasn't much to be seen.
10 Downing Street is the headquarters of the UK government and where the Prime Minister lives. I had visions of spying on the building I knew and loved from watching Love Actually on loop from 2003-2007. Unfortunately, we were disappointed. The road was gated and guarded with by heavily armed men and there wasn’t much to be seen.

 

Stop 7: Women of WWII Memorial

The Women of WWII monument features clothing from roles that women played during the war, including military uniforms, a nursing cape, and a welding mask. Josh and I puzzled over why these women were represented with empty clothes. Fortunately, Baroness Boothroyd, patron of the Women of WWII trust (who donated the money she won on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire to build this monument), and former Speaker of the House of Commons, had an answer: "This monument is dedicated to all the women who served our country and to the cause of freedom, in uniform and on the home front. I hope that future generations who pass this way will ask themselves: 'what sort of women were they?' and look at our history for the answer." (Wikipedia). Fun fact: 5 different types of helicopters did flybys during the dedication ceremony for this memorial, all piloted by women.
The Women of WWII monument features clothing from roles that women played during the war, including military uniforms, a nursing cape, and a welding mask. Josh and I puzzled over why these women were represented with empty clothes. Fortunately, Baroness Boothroyd, patron of the Women of WWII trust (who donated the money she won on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire to build this monument), and former Speaker of the House of Commons, had an answer: “This monument is dedicated to all the women who served our country and to the cause of freedom, in uniform and on the home front. I hope that future generations who pass this way will ask themselves: ‘what sort of women were they?’ and look at our history for the answer.” (Wikipedia). Fun fact: 5 different types of helicopters did flybys during the dedication ceremony for this memorial, all piloted by women.

 

Stop 8: Cavalry Museum and Horse Guards

This is a member of the Queen's ceremonial guard. We didn't take any funny photos... just look at this guy! He had a sword! Ironically, (and nonsenically), he was much scarier-looking than the guy just down the street with an automatic rifle.
This is a member of the Queen’s ceremonial guard. We didn’t take any funny photos… just look at this guy! He had a sword! Ironically, (and nonsenically), he was much scarier-looking than the guy just down the street with an automatic rifle.

 

We happened to be in the right place at the right time (Horse Parade Ground at 11am) to catch the changing of the Queen's Life Guard. It was one of those "I wonder what those people are looking at?" moments that really paid off! Enjoy the video of a piece of the ceremony.
We happened to be in the right place at the right time (Horse Parade Ground at 11am) to catch the changing of the Queen’s Life Guard. It was one of those “I wonder what those people are looking at?” moments that really paid off! Enjoy the video of a piece of the ceremony.

 

Stop 9: Obligatory touristy photo with a telephone booth

London has this way of gracefully blending the modern with the historical. For example, many of these telephone booths are now wifi hotspots. When we were taking this photo, a local yelled "Call the queen!". But I just laughed and waved because I don't know Bey's number.
London has this way of gracefully blending the modern with the historical. For example, many of these telephone booths are now wifi hotspots. When we were taking this photo, a local yelled “Call the queen!”. But I just laughed and waved because I don’t know Bey’s number.

 

Stop 10: Walking Down Parliament Street

We captured these videos just to give you a feel for what walking down this street is like on an average Sunday morning in January. Nothing particularly special is happening in either of these. One thing you may notice is that it is very grey. I spent most of this trip singing “The sun will come out… in April! Bet your bottom dollar that in April…” It pretty much held true.


Stop 11: Admiralty Arch and Equestrian Statue of Charles I

The Admiralty Arch is the entrance to a beautiful tree-lined mall that runs straight to Buckingham Palace, and is truly impressive in its own right.
The Admiralty Arch is the entrance to a beautiful tree-lined mall that runs straight to Buckingham Palace, and is truly impressive in its own right.

 

Stop 12: Trafalgar Square

Art, history and architecture all meet at Trafalgar square, making it a must-see for anyone considering a visit to London. It is named after a naval battle won against Napoleon. (This is a theme; the British will find any excuse to talk about beating Napoleon).
Art, history and architecture all meet at Trafalgar square, making it a must-see for anyone considering a visit to London. It is named after a naval battle won against Napoleon. (This is a theme; the British will find any excuse to talk about beating Napoleon).

 

Josh did a great job of capturing a small piece of the Trafalgar fountain in this shot.
Josh did a great job of capturing a small piece of the Trafalgar fountain in this shot.

 

Thumbs way up! You've made it to the end of Part II of our walking tour! Next stop: The National Gallery.
Thumbs way up! You’ve made it to the end of Part II of our walking tour! Next stop: The National Gallery.

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