london calling

my english capital city collection

journey profile

Where: London. United Kingdom, Europe.
What: Tower Bridge, Climbing the Millennium Dome, Greenwich Meridian Line, London Eye, The Shard, Thames Clipper, St Paul’s Cathedral, Houses of Parliament, The Gherkin, Lloyds of London, Camden Lock, The South Bank, Tate Modern, GLA Armadillo, Banksy Graffiti, Big Ben.
When: 1978-present

 

 

 When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life;
for there is in London all that life can afford.

...goes Samuel Johnson's famous maxim and, indeed, he is not wrong. Having been to some of the key international cities now, including Cairo,New York, Moscow, Tokyo, Berlin, Istanbul, Toronto and Paris, it is only now that I can really appreciate London and its international significance. I have been to some forty five other, lesser-known, capital cities and, whilst many of them have something to offer, and whilst I have enjoyed all of them, there is, to plagiarise an Alice in Wonderland line, no place like London. There is no place like London. I grew up on London's eastern fringes and so you could reasonably assert that I would say that, wouldn't I? However, even accounting for my biased starting point, there really is no place like London.

London has life and a diversity in culture; it has monarchy and poverty rubbing shoulders; it has a place for everyone and it has an almost unsurpassed sense of history. Every cobble and stone has something or someone of import connected with it. It has a calibre of iconic buildings and world renowned attractions that other capitals can only dream of. London is both cutting edge modernity and an historical touchstone at the same time. It is an international city in every sense of the word - and it is crammed full of people. Everywhere. Despite being from this neck of the woods I could never live here. The pace is too fast, there are too many people and it is just too frantic. Living here day to day is one long hassle. But it's a great place to visit. This is just as well really, as I could never afford to live in London anyway. So, the place I grew up is now the place I visit for a weekend away - it's an international city break in my own country and one I repeat as often as I can. Of course, I take my camera when London comes Calling. Here is London through the agmtraveller lens.

 

The iconic St Paul's seen from the observation level of The Shard.

 

The unrivalled glory of the River Thames at night with its Millennium Bridge (of 'wobbliness' fame), The London Eye, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. London is, without doubt, the most beautiful city in the world.

 

The wonderful South Bank. On the far left you can see the old London Weekend Television tower, now ITV Studios, and more centrally with its neon blue is the Royal Festival Hall and South Bank Centre.

 

A sleek and unique tower, The Shard is the latest addition to the World Federation of Great Towers' list. Its interlocking shards take their inspiration from the spires of London churches and the sails of boats which used the Thames of yesteryear.  

 

The view of London out towards the east and Canary Wharf as seen from London's newest building - The Shard. Foregrounded is the GLA Armadillo building and Tower Bridge. I love the way the Thames meanders into the distance in this shot.

 

The view of St Paul's on the north bank of the Thames seen from the South Bank.

 

The Millennium Dome foregrounding a spectacular Canary Wharf as seen from the new Thames cable car. 

 

The Houses of Parliament and the Big Ben clock tower in the City of Westminster. 

 

The panoramic shot of the top of a London icon: the Millennium Dome aka The O2 with Canary Wharf in the centre background. Yes, that's me on the right caught red-handed with my camera. 

 

Tower Bridge and the GLA framed by a swerving set of steps.

 

Trellick Tower in Kensington and Chelsea, Timeline London: on the line from which all international time is set - GMT, A vintage trip to London in my younger, flare-toting days in front of St Paul's. 

 

The majestic Tower Bridge.

 

In front of London's iconic Underground ('Tube') signage at Canary Wharf which has been copied (but never rivalled) around the world and, right, the London Eye - initially envisioned as a temporary structure to celebrate the millennium but now a permanent fixture along London's South Bank.

 

 

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