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London panorama from atop St Paul’s Cathedral

Today, I visited a couple of important historical and architectural sites in London, England.

Unfortunately, photography has been restricted and inhibited by a combination of poor weather conditions and restrictions at the two sites visited. However, all was not lost because I was able to obtain a selection of a aerial views of London city and the Thames from atop St Paul’s Cathedral. Grey clouds and rain featured throughout most of the day.

St Paul’s Cathedral

This was first call. This building was designed by famous English architect, Sir Christopher Wren and completed in 1711. Christian places of worship have stood on the same site since 604 AD. The design deliberately departed from the traditional Roman Catholic style to emphasise England’s switch to Protestantism (Anglican). There are few burials and memorials other than those to such famous Britons as Sir Winston Churchill, Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington.

St Paul’s is built in the shape of a cross with a large dome crowning the intersection of its arms. At 111.3 metres high it ranks as one of the world’s largest cathedral domes and weighs approximately 65,000 tons. Visitors can climb the 528 steps to the dome and benefit from superb ‘helicopter’ views over London.

The banning of visitor photography is, perhaps, a blessing in disguise as the interior lighting presents challenges and expensive wide-angle lenses would be required to do justice to the elaborate and richly decorated features incorporated within the restrained Baroque style.

St Paul’s Cathedral

St Paul’s Cathedral.

River Thames from atop St Paul’s.

River Thames from atop St Paul’s

London’s business district from atop St Paul’s

Private House in Chelsea

Chelsea is one of England’s wealthiest locations where properties attract astronomic valuations.

Here, by appointment, I joined a small group tour of an extremely well presented and preserved property which has links to artists and collectors of art dating back to the turn of the 20th century. This tour was arranged through auspices of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society. Mackintosh made his mark in Glasgow, Scotland in the early 20th century but his style of architecture and design fell out of favour prompting him to move and England and then France. Mackintosh was involved in design work for the subject property and lived close by for a while.

King’s Road, Chelsea, London at night.

Bourton-on-the-Water, Cotswolds, England.

This evening, I am posting information on Bourton-on-the-Water, a quaint and popular visitor site in the English Cotswolds, about 83 miles N.W. of London and 25 miles south of Stratford-upon-Avon.

Bourton has a population of about 3300 and is located in Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The village straddles the River Windrush which is spanned by a series of low bridges. Many of the houses are traditional honey-coloured sourced from local Jurassic limestone.

There is a record of the village in AD 714. ‘Bourton’ indicates a fortified place, probably connected to the nearby hill-fort. The affix obviously refers to the River Windrush.

Bourton is well endowed with hotels, tourist accommodation, eateries and unique visitor attractions which include:

  • Birdland.
  • Model Village Exhibition.
  • Model Railway Exhibition.
  • Motor Museum and Toy Collection.
  • Dragonfly Maze.
  • Greystones Farm Nature Reserve.

Here is a link to a Cotswolds tour which includes Bourton-on-the-Water.

Riparian scene

Kingsbridge Inn

Bridge over the River Windrush

River Windrush flowing through Bourton-on-the-Water

Village scene

Beach at Troon

This evening, I am reporting on today’s small group hike along the Ayrshire Coast Path in S.W. Scotland.

Distance was about seven miles. The route was characterised by extensive sandy beaches. Golfing enthusiasts will be well aware of two famous golf courses: Royal Troon and Prestwick, both of which being classified as links courses with Prestwick being birthplace of the Open Championship.

Although the group benefited from bright sunshine the sharp angle of the sun at these latitudes militates against photography.

Troon War Memorial

Beach at Troon

Holiday Park near Ayr

Prestwick

Prestwick Golf Club

Coastal Path

Ayr with Town Hall steeple (1827).

River Ayr at Ayr