The Royal Academy of Arts is based in Burlington House, a 17th century mansion. Construction began in 1664; the plot of land had been given to Sir John Denham, Charles II’s Surveyor of the Office of Works, as thanks for his loyalty to the King. Renovations to the exterior and interior took place over the years with the third Earl of Burlington in particular inspired by Italian architecture.
St James’ Church, Piccadilly is one of the churches designed and built by Christopher Wren, the foundation stone being laid on 3 April 1676. It was paid for by the Earl of St Albans who owned the land and probably selected Wren personally for the job.
The V&A is one of my favourite London museums. When I’m in the area I always pop in, visiting the fashion collection and then wandering up to the top floors. If you hit the right time – late afternoon on a weekday – you can pretty much guarantee to come across maybe only two other people and it feels like you have the whole place to yourself.
The Cock and Hoop is a a Grade II listed pub in the Lace Market area of Nottingham. A house stood on the site in 1832 but from 1833 it was the County Tavern public house which conveniently had rooms set up so patrons could watch the public hangings taking place on the steps of what was then the County Gaol and is now the National Justice Museum. It became the Cock and Hoop in the early 2000s and is now part of the Lace Market Hotel.
I’ve been to the Natural History Museum lots of times before but on this trip I wanted to pay particular attention to the building’s architecture, and of course to see the whale skeleton that replaced Dippy the diplodocus.
I visited Billingsgate Roman House and Baths as part of Open House London. There was a small queue to get in, as numbers down to the remains have to be restricted but it passed quickly and we were given an interesting talk about the remains while we waited. First discovered in 1848, outside of the arrangements for Open House London they can be visited at only certain times between April and November, so do check their website before making a visit.
I hadn’t planned on visiting Custom House for Open House London but as I’d been wandering taking photos nearby anyway I thought I’d pop in to see what it was all about. It doesn’t look like a very impressive building from this side – it’s the southern part of the building that looks out to the river and therefore the approaching ships which is more ornate.
A few weeks ago I decided to head to Birmingham and visit the Sea Life Centre. I hadn’t been there for a good ten years or so and it’s still a nice place to visit, but very expensive even when booking online in advance. Not all of the creatures photographed particularly well and the lovely seals the Centre recently fostered from a coastal sea hospital (they have medical conditions that will prevent them ever being returned to the wild) were particularly active and difficult to capture, but you can find a few of my favourites below.
St Mary-at-Hill was one of those churches I decided to pop in and visit while I was wandering around the Billingsgate area of London. The entrance is hidden away down a narrow street, handily marked by the sign below, and is far bigger inside than I’d been expecting.