Christmas Markets in London 2014-2015

London at Christmas time is surely a delight; markets, ice-skating, winter fairs and markets.


I’ve compiled a list of a few markets you may enjoy.  Most are already well established with good cheer, food, fun and many marvellous gifts for the discerning shopper.

They are of course all free to visit and enjoy, so head on over and have a great time. Look out for the ice-rinks, some of which are nearby.

Southbank Centre Christmas Market till 4 January 2015 FREE to visit. for twitter updates follow @southbanklondon

Christmas Market till 21 December 2014 FREE to visit. for twitter updates follow @ScoopMoreLondon

A Christmas Market till Christmas Eve at Montgomery Square Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AB for twitter updates follow @yourcanarywharf

Barbican Christmas Market till 21 December 2014 Silk Street, London,EC2Y 8DS for twitter updates follow @barbicancentre

Visit the Greenwich Christmas Market till 24 December 2014 Greenwich SE10, London for twitter updates follow @shopgreenwich

Christmas Market at Tate Modern, Bankside, London, SE1 9TG till 24 December for twitter updates follow @Tate

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Canaletto, The Grand Canal Set - Royal Collection Trust: copyright Her majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Cumberland Art Gallery opens at Hampton Court Palace


Canaletto. The Grand Canal Set, Royal Collection Trust: copyright Her majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Canaletto. The Grand Canal Set, Royal Collection Trust: copyright Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

The Cumberland Art Gallery, a new gallery occupies the recently restored Georgian suite at the heart of the Baroque palace at Hampton Court Palace.

hampton court palace fountain court
Fountain Court – the Baroque Palace at Hampton Court Palace

On 20th November 2014, a stunning new art gallery opened at Hampton Court Palace, occupying the newly restored suite of rooms designed by William Kent for a Georgian prince. The Cumberland Suite – one of the earliest surviving examples of the Gothic Revival style – is situated at the heart of the palace, where Tudor meets Baroque, and will now house changing displays of artworks, principally from the Royal Collection, reflecting the palace’s long history as a destination for the work of renowned artists.

The rooms designed by William Kent for William Augustus, the Duke of Cumberland, the youngest son of King George II, were the last major royal commission undertaken at Hampton Court. They will become a fitting backdrop for a display of treasures from the other legacy of Hampton Court’s royal residents: the Royal Collection. This winter, to mark the opening of the gallery, visitors will discover a selection of the Collection’s finest paintings: masterpieces by Holbein, Van Dyck, Rembrandt, Caravaggio, Bassano and Gainsborough, and other artists who worked for, or were collected by, four centuries of royal patrons.

After two years of meticulous research, Kent’s Cumberland Suite has been returned as closely as possible to his original scheme. The great architect created a suite of rooms for a young prince which embraced the latest Palladian fashions, but also took inspiration from the palace’s Tudor past. One of the rooms, the Duke’s large light closet, will be opened to the public for the first time in 25 years, to display the 12 smaller ‘Grand Canal’ views of Venice painted by Canaletto at the zenith of his career.

Hampton Court Palace has a long history of displaying great works of art. Over the centuries, successive monarchs filled the state apartments with splendid works of art for the private enjoyment of the royal family, or as imposing statements of regal authority. Although the palace’s life as a royal residence came to an end in the eighteenth century, thousands of artworks, now part of the Royal Collection, are still in their original locations and form part of the story of the palace today.

Hampton Court Palace at night
Hampton Court Palace at night

The Cumberland Art Gallery is a new dedicated space for artworks from the Royal Collection, and will enable visitors to view and explore them in a gallery setting. The selection of paintings in our opening display broadly reflects the period of royal residency at Hampton Court, from the Tudor period to the middle years of the 1700s, when great royal collectors and connoisseurs, like King Charles I and Frederick Prince of Wales, assembled one of the largest and finest art collections of its kind in the world.
Historic Royal Palaces is the independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace and Kew Palace, helping everyone explore the story of how monarchs and people have shaped society, in some of the greatest palaces ever built. They raise all their own funds and depend on the support of visitors, members, donors, sponsors and volunteers. These palaces are owned by The Queen on behalf of the nation, and HRP manage them for the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. Registered charity number 1068852. For more information, visit

The Royal Collection is among the largest and most important art collections in the world, and one of the last great European royal collections to remain intact. It is held in trust by the Sovereign for her successors and the nation, and not owned by Her Majesty as a private individual. The administration, care and presentation of the Collection are undertaken by Royal Collection Trust, part of the Royal Household, without recourse to public funds.

The Royal Collection comprises almost all aspects of the fine and decorative arts, and is spread among some 13 royal residences and former residences across the UK, most of which are regularly open to the public. Around 15,500 works from the Collection are on long-term loan to over 150 institutions across the country. At The Queen’s Galleries in London and Edinburgh, aspects of the Collection are displayed in a programme of temporary exhibitions. Short-term loans are frequently made to exhibitions around the world as part of a commitment to public access and to show the Collection in new contexts. For more information, visit

The gallery is a permanent addition to the palace and will be a dedicated space for visitors who want to find out about the art on display in the State Apartments at Hampton Court in more depth.  The initial hang is a selection of master works from the Royal Collection, including pieces by Holbein, Van Dyck, Canaletto and Rembrandt.

All images used in this article are and remain copyright of “Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014”

Hampton Court Palace –

For all visiting details go to:

Opening times: Monday to Sunday 10:00 – 16:30

Last Admission: 15:30

Last Entry to the maze: 15:45

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Please note that all images and copy have been provided by HRP for use on this blog, and remain the copyright of HRP and “Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014” . Thank you.

Christmas in London

Ice Rinks in London 2014-2015

It’s winter in the Northern Hemisphere and London’s got her skates on!!!

Christmas in London
Winter in the Northern Hemisphere

Take a whirl or a twirl at one of the venues I’ve listed that may be of interest to you :) Many of these skating venues have lessons for beginners, equipment for kiddies and food outlets as well.

Christmas in London
get your skates on….

For your convenience I have hyper-linked each venue’s website so that you can check dates (many venues are closed on 25th & 26th December), times, prices and booking information. Some venues are already in full swing, some are still to open….check the dates.

Please note that 3 Days in London is not an affiliate for any of these venues and has no say in bookings or any other related issues, kindly consult the individual websites for further information.

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Alexandra Palace Ice Rink
1st December 2014 – 4 January 2015
Alexandra Palace Way, London, N22 7AY
enjoy a magical skate in the Victorian permanent Ice rink at Alexandra Palace

Broadgate Ice Rink
17 November 2014 to 26 February 2015
Broadgate Ice Rink, Exchange Square EC2A 2BQ
Skate in the heart of the City of London

Canary Wharf
1st November 2014 till 28th February 2015. The ice rink will be open everyday with the exception of Christmas Day.
Canada Square Park E14 5AX
Skate in London’s Financial Heart

Christmas in London
Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace
From 21 November 2014 to 4 January 2015
Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU
Skate in the grounds of Henry VIII’s fabulous Tudor Palace on the banks of the River Thames.

Jewish Cultural Centre
From 7 December 2014 to 11 January 2015
Jewish cultural centre JW3 this winter.
341-351 Finchley Road, London NW3 6ET
Skate on North West London’s winter ice rink, in the Piazza at JW3

Christmas in London
Skate at the London Eye

Eye Skate at the London Eye
From 15 November 2014 to 4 January 2015
The London Eye SE1 7PB
Frostival at the London Eye on the world famous South Bank


Christmas in London
Skate at the Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum
From 30 October 2014 to 4 January 2015
Natural History Museum Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7 5BD
Skate around the Christmas tree next to one of London’s most beautiful museum.


Christmas in London
Skate at Somerset House

Somerset House
From 11 November 2014 to 11 January 2015
The Strand, London,WC2R 1LA
Take a whirl on your skates in the City of Westminster


Strawberry Hill House
Saturday 6th December 2014 to Sunday 25th January 2015
Strawberry Hill, 268 Waldegrave Road, Twickenham, TW1 4ST
Skate in the magical atmosphere of Walpole’s Gothic Castle….”the prettiest bauble you ever saw”.

Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens
From 21 November 2014 to 4 January 2015
Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens SE11 5HL
Originally a Victorian Pleasure Garden, now open for your pleasure.

Victoria Park
From 2 December 2014 to 1 January 2015
The town of Winterville is based in Victoria Park, East London, E3 5TB
Scenes of the east in one of London’s most historic areas.

Wembley Park
From 14 November 2014 to 4 January 2015
London Designer Outlet HA9 0PA
Skate in this world famous arena

Westfield London Ice Rink
From 20 November 2014 to 4 January 2015
Westfield London W12 7GF
Combine shopping and skating!!

Christmas in London
Winter Wonderland Hyde Park

Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park
From 21 November 2014 to 4 January 2015
Hyde Park W2 2UH
Take a twirl in what was once the Royal hunting grounds of Hyde Park

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Have a great time! And happy skating.
Plan your journey:

Have your ordered your 2015 London calendar yet?

Don’t miss out; limited prints to keep it unique

Buy your copy here

2015 london calendar

3 Days in London 2015 London Calendar

Very excited to have created the first 3 Days in London calendar.

2015 london calendar
When a man is tired of London……

Kicking off with a 2015 calendar I have included scenes of London, photos of many of the places I have visited over the years and added quotes from literary giants; people who have loved and lived in London over the years…some of which I am sure you will recognise.

Here is a compilation of the 13 images I used….hope you like them…I’d love to get some feedback, so please do leave a comment. I look forward to hearing from you

2015 london calendar
scenes of London.

I have included as many of the annual London events that take place over the year, some of which you may be familiar with, some you may not.   Some of my favourite events are the many races that take place on the River Thames each year.

Order your copy here:

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The 3 Days in London App contains info on London Events, Locations, places for Afternoon Tea, Embassies & much more

Richmond 7

World Rivers Day 28 September

I discovered yesterday via twitter that today is World Rivers Day.  London (England), to my mind, boasts one of the loveliest rivers in the world: the River Thames.

world rivers day - river thames london
The Thames is liquid history – John Burns

The River Thames;  centuries old and first identified as a discrete drainage line as early as 58 million years ago, has seen invaders, pirates, wars and plague, the Great Fire of 1666 and many others besides, been part of Naval celebrations and seen both military and pleasure craft sail into the Pool of London and moor alongside her banks from source to sea.

world rivers day - river thames london
HMS Enterprise

The longest river entirely in England, from a tiny stream in the Cotswolds to the vast stretches of the Thames Estuary between Essex and Kent, the River Thames, at approximately 215 miles, flows through many famous villages, towns and cities; Oxford, Henley-on-Thames, Reading, Windsor and of course lovely London.

world rivers day - river thames london
QRB – Gloriana

She has carried Saxons, Romans, Kings and Queens, statesmen, architects, poets both up and downstream, as well as the Queen’s 2012 Diamond Jubilee Flotilla and the 2012 Olympic torch along her reaches.

world rivers day - river thames london
The Olympic Rings on Tower Bridge; London 2012

The River Thames contains over 80 islands ranging from large esturial marshlands; Isle of Sheppey and Canvey Island to small tree-covered islets like Rose Isle in Oxfordshire and Headpile Eyot in Berkshire.
Islands are found all the way from the Isle of Sheppey in Kent to Fiddler’s Island in Oxfordshire.
Some of the largest inland islands, for example Formosa Island near Cookham and Andersey Island at Abingdon, were created naturally when the course of the river divided into separate streams, while Desborough Island, Ham Island at Old Windsor, and Penton Hook Island were artificially created by lock cuts and navigation channels.   In the Oxford area the river splits into several streams across the floodplain; Seacourt Stream, Castle Mill Stream, Bulstake Stream and others, creating several islands like Fiddler’s Island and Osney.

world rivers day - river thames london
one of the many islands in the Thames, scene in Richmond

Historically interesting islands include Magna Carta Island at Runnymede, Fry’s Island at Reading, Pharaoh’s Island near Shepperton while Chiswick Eyot is a familiar landmark on the Boat Race course, and Glover’s Island forms the centrepiece of the spectacular view from Richmond Hill….a protected view. More recently Platts Eyot at Hampton was the place where MTBs were built, Tagg’s Island near Molesey was associated with the impresario Fred Karno, and Eel Pie Island at Twickenham was the birthplace of the South East’s R&B music scene.

world rivers day - river thames london
a foggy day on the river; mid-stream is Eel Pie Island

Historically famous Westminster Abbey, the Royal Church and the Palace of Westminster (commonly known today as the Houses of Parliament) were all built on what was known as Thorney Island, which used to be an eyot, and the London Stone at Staines, built in 1285 marked the customs limit of the Thames and the City of London’s jurisdiction.

world rivers day - river thames london
Palace of Wsstminster & Big Ben built on an area once known as Thorney Island

The River Thames has historically frozen over on many occasions ( link to a website with dates).  Frost fairs were held at London on the tideway of the River Thames when the river froze over during some winters between the 17th and early 19th century; a period known as the Little Ice Age. During that time the river was wider and slower, impeded by Old London Bridge and British winters more severe than now, one of the earliest accounts of the Thames freezing comes from AD 250, when it was frozen solid for nine weeks.

world rivers day - river thames london
Behold the liquid Thames now frozen ore…

The River Thames is managed by the Port of London Authority, covering 95 miles of the River Thames between Teddington Lock and the Estuary.

I first set eyes on this fabulous old lady in 2012 from the back of a taxi cab as we drove across Lambeth Bridge from Victoria to New Cross Gate on my very first day in London!  The second time I saw this wonderful river was from the ramparts of London Bridge when I ventured into the city on my own for the very first time.  I was immediately entranced.

world rivers day - river thames london
the River Thames as seen from London Bridge looking downstream

EARTH has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth like a garment wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour valley, rock, or hill;
Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!

William Wordsworth

I have since enjoyed many a happy hour either walking, strolling or meandering along her banks, sailing up and downstream on a tall ship,

world rivers day - river thames london
Tall Ships 2014

kayaked from Chelsea Harbour to Westminster Bridge and back again, taken a lunch cruise with City Cruises, sailed across the river via the Hammerton’s Ferry, the Emirates Cable car and walked beneath the river via the Greenwich Tunnel, seen in a New Year from the decks of a boat in 2011, followed the QRB Gloriana during the Tudor Pull in 2013 and 2014, watched the Great River Race, Admiral of the Port’s Challenge, Thames Barge Driving Challenge, The Doggetts’s Coat & Badge Race and the X-Changing Boat Race, seen the Gloriana sail majestically beneath Tower Bridge during the Lord Mayor’s Show in 2012 & 2013, and the cherry on top; I have travelled from St Katherine Docks to Bankside in the ever so delightful Trinity Tide (ever grateful thanks to @rowjoelane ).

I have visited a number of towns and locks along the Thames, Moseley Lock, Teddington Lock and Richmond Lock

watched the tide come in and go out from numerous points, watched high tide swamp the banks at Greenwich, Richmond, Twickenham and Hampton Court filling the moat of Hampton Court Palace in early 2014,

walked along the beaches at Gabriel’s Wharf, Tower of London, beneath Cannon Street Bridge and viewed the river from all the bridges from Hampton Court Palace to Tower Bridge, chased the sunset across each bridge from Tower Bridge to Westminster Bridge and saw in the first day of the New Year’s 2014 by walking across each bridge from Tower Bridge to Westminster Bridge between 7am and 11am.

I have viewed the river from the top of St Paul’s Cathedral, The Monument, Tower Bridge walkways, Tate Modern, the O2, the London Eye, and The Shard and watched ships sail through the Thames Barrier.

Wherever you go in London you are in one way or the other in contact with the river and the lifeblood of the City depends on this river and has done since Roman times and before.  London Bridge, although not the oldest bridge across the Thames is located in most certainly the oldest river crossing and the subject of an age old nursery rhyme: London Bridge is falling down.

world rivers day - river thames london
London Bridge

London Bridge is falling down,
Falling down, falling down,
London Bridge is falling down,
My fair Lady.

Build it up with wood and clay,
Wood and clay, wood and clay,
Build it up with wood and clay,
My fair Lady.

Wood and clay will wash away,
Wash away, wash away,
Wood and clay will wash away,
My fair Lady.

Build it up with bricks and mortar,
Bricks and mortar, bricks and mortar,
Build it up with bricks and mortar,
My fair Lady.

Bricks and mortar will not stay,
Will not stay, will not stay,
Bricks and mortar will not stay,
My fair Lady.

Build it up with iron and steel,
Iron and steel, iron and steel,
Build it up with iron and steel,
My fair Lady.

Iron and steel will bend and bow,
Bend and bow, bend and bow,
Iron and steel will bend and bow,
My fair Lady.

Build it up with silver and gold,
Silver and gold, silver and gold,
Build it up with silver and gold,
My fair Lady.

Silver and gold will be stolen away,
Stolen away, stolen away,
Silver and gold will be stolen away,
My fair Lady.

Set a man to watch all nigh,
Watch all night, watch all night,
Set a man to watch all night,
My fair Lady.

Suppose the man should fall asleep,
Fall asleep, fall asleep,
Suppose the man should fall asleep?
My fair Lady.

Give him a pipe to smoke all night,
Smoke all night, smoke all night,
Give him a pipe to smoke all night,
My fair Lady.

A great number of organisations are connected to and linked to the River Thames; The Worshipful Company of Watermen, Thames Alive, Port of London Authority, RNLI (who rescued 372 people in 2013 – enough to fill four of London’s double decker buses), Totally Thames (an annual series of events in September), Thames21, Thames Traditional Rowing Ass, Trinity House (located on Tower Hill) and many more.

For more information about World Rivers Day.

world rivers day - river thames london
The River Thames London


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