On your marks, get set… spectate! We know a 26-mile run through London possibly dressed as a banana is not an easy task, but cheering and applauding is. We understand if you’re not up for the London Marathon challenge this year, but make sure you head to the hotspots throughout the capital to show your support for those braving it. For this week’s blog, we’re giving you some top tips on where is best to get a good view of the action on Sunday 24th April and perhaps sneak in some nearby bars/pubs to celebrate the occasion.
Until next time Bank Holiday! We hope you’ve made the most of the four day weekend with some ‘egg-celent’ plans spent with family, friends or loved one discovering more than just eggs in the buzzing capital. Did you know that London attracts over 30 million visitors from around the globe every year? For this reason and that your well-deserved weekend is coming up, we’re dedicating this blog to tell you why London has always been one of the greatest places to visit.
For a hotel close to Big Ben, Georgian House Hotel is ideal, located only 15-20min walk away. Known also as The Clock Tower, Big Ben is the world’s largest four-faced chiming clock and one of London’s most iconic landmarks.
What is Big Ben?
Big Ben is a huge clock tower, known by the name of its largest bell that dominates the northern end of the building. The height of Big Ben towers is 316 feet.
There are two unproven theories about the name Big Ben. One plausible story is that the name is drawn from Sir Benjamin Hall, chief commissioner of works at the time Big Ben’s was hung in 1858.
Big Ben is the largest clock in Britain, with four dials that are each twenty-four feet in diameter; the minute hands are fourteen feet long. Big Ben is actually the second 13-ton bell made for the clock; the first cracked during testing.
Big Ben’s clock is lit at night. A second lamp above the face is illuminated anytime Parliament is in session
Why is the clock called Big Ben?
Most visitors and many Londoners call St. Stephen’s Tower of the Houses of Parliament “Big Ben”, but the title is actually specifically applied to the largest of five bells hung within the 320-foot-tall tower that rises over the Houses of Parliament: it chimes on the hour, while four smaller ones sound on the quarter hour.
The History of Big Ben
The next 114 years of the clock’s history were relatively serene and Big Ben soon developed a reputation for great accuracy. In 1906, the Big Ben’s gas lighting of the dials was replaced by electric lighting. Electric winding of Big Ben was introduced in 1912.
Londoners set their watches by the chimes of Big Ben, which are broadcast around the globe by the BBC World Service.
The first radio broadcast of Big Ben was made by the BBC at midnight on the 31st December 1923 to welcome in the New Year. Shortly afterwards, a permanent microphone installation enabled regular broadcasts of the chimes and the bell of Big Ben to function effectively as a time signal. The broadcasting of the bells of Big Ben on the BBC World Service assumed particular importance during the Second World War, when the sounds were a source of comfort and hope to those hoping that Britain would not be overcome.
Big Ben today
Big Ben is still broadcast today on BBC Radio 4 at certain times.
The sounds of Big Ben have traditionally been the focus of the entry of the New Year. In December 1999 they were of particular significance, marking the beginning of the new Millennium. The sounds of the chimes of Big Ben were relayed on television and radio broadcasts and to the crowd assembled in the Millennium Dome. For the first time also, cameras were located in the belfry of Big Ben, so that viewers could see as well as hear the chimes and twelve o’clock being struck on bells.
Accommodation near Big Ben
If you like to see, how all these mechanisms work, to hear the chiming and the beautiful lights at night, please come to visit Big Ben.
The Georgian House Hotel makes a great place to stay when you plan a trip to see Big Ben. The hotel is relatively close, easy to reach by bus or underground and offers a variety of rooms, facilities and prices. Many people enjoy our Full English breakfast and recommend it to friends.
For more information visit www.parliament.uk
From the hotel you can take Buckingham Palace Road to Buckingham Palace, then cross beautiful St. James Park and you are right in front of Big Ben. From Big Ben you can take a different way back passing Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral and the well-known House of Fraser on Victoria Street. You can book online or email to make a reservation on email@example.com, or telephone on 0044(0)207 834 1438
Planet Hollywood’s glamorous cocktails, irresistible American menu and incredible cinema memorabilia makes it a dining experience to remember. Its central location makes it a great place to visit before the theatre or after a long day of sightseeing.
Top tip: You can’t go to Planet Hollywood and not have one of their amazing desserts! Try their delicious sundaes.
Fun fact: The first Planet Hollywood was launched in New York in 1991 and was backed by Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Demi Moore.
This week, we’ve been checking out the hottest art exhibitions happening in the capital this season for the creative minds out there that like to let their imagination loose. London is one of the top art destinations of the world and you simply cannot go wrong with any of the popular galleries or exhibitions scattered around the city that are guaranteed to intrigue you. Be inspired this spring with some of the latest art shows exclusively showcasing the incredible talent of an artist’s mind, or gaze upon the wonderful masterpieces sitting pretty in some of London’s famous galleries.
Just when you thought the stress of showering loved ones with gifts, hugs and kisses for Christmas was over, it’s time to do it again. It’s the day that all couples must co-operate to keep each other sweet and the day that singles simply pretend doesn’t exist (understandably). So to get to the point, if the thought of Valentine’s Day makes you cringe a little inside, look away now. If you’re totally loved up and in need of some inspiration that will sweep your partner off their feet, read on. London is ready for you to board the love train this Feb 14th, so here’s how you can spoil your partner with a gift they deserve!