Trafalgar Square (Photo: Lorella Brocklesby)
London’s historic places from medieval to modern and from famous to less well known, including rarities, splendors, and city surprises, are explored by London-born historian Lorella Brocklesby.
Follow her route that begins in the ancient City of London to explore the Tower, Guildhall and the legal quarter with its Knights Templar connection. Then to Covent Garden, the impressive Georgian architectural treasures along the Strand, and Whitehall with its royal connections, all within London’s adjoining City of Westminster. She concludes with the breathtaking Thameside splendors of naval Greenwich.
Brocklesby is an adjunct professor at the Center for Applied Liberal Arts, New York University.
10–11:15 a.m. The Ancient City
Explore the area near the Tower of London; the historic medieval Guildhall and the nearby City Art Gallery (under which are the remnants of an old Roman amphitheater); the sumptuous Mansion House, 18th-century home of the Lord Mayor; Charterhouse, once an important priory with a spectacular 16th-century Great Hall; Sir Christopher Wren’s magnificent Baroque St Paul’s Cathedral; and the Millennium Bridge.
11:30 a.m.–12:45 p.m. Knights Templar to Trafalgar Square
Travel to the historic legal area of the Temple and 12th-century church with Templar tombs; Somerset House, a great Georgian enclave that includes a major art gallery with Thameside views; the medieval chapel behind the Savoy Hotel; Covent Garden, famed for its theaters, scandals, and street entertainment; the nearby surviving houses of 18th-century architect Robert Adam; and the Victorian Charing Cross Station.
12:45–1:15 p.m. Break
1:15 to 2:30 p.m. Whitehall to Westminster
Journey to the Opera Arcade, a Regency-era shopping destination; Whitehall and the Banqueting House, used for 17th- century royal theatricals; view exquisite architecture by Inigo Jones, and opposite, the entrance to the 18th-century Horse Guards Parade; beautiful St James’ Park renowned for its floral displays and ancient history; Churchill’s War Rooms; and historic Westminster Hall, which is still used for state and royal occasions.
2:454 p.m. Thameside and to Greenwich
A visit to Southwark includes its famed cathedral; the Globe Theatre; the historic George Inn and Anchor Pub (frequented by Pepys and Dr. Johnson); and London Bridge Station, a modern renovation. Eastward to Greenwich, where visitors find the Queen’s House, an exquisite royal place in the Italianate style; the Royal Naval College, with renowned 17th- and 18th-century interiors; Wren’s Royal Observatory; and Trafalgar Tavern where Dickens dined.