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Laura Porter

London Travel

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Citymapper London App Review

Tuesday April 22, 2014
Citymapper is all about making getting from A to B easy. While it can't physically move you between locations it can give you all the information you need to make an informed choice about your route.

Please read my Citymapper London App Review.

Happy Birthday Your Majesty!

Monday April 21, 2014
Queen Elizabeth II turns 88 today (21 April 2014) although she celebrates her official birthday on a Saturday in June with the annual Trooping the Colour. The Queen usually spends her actual birthday privately, but the occasion is marked publicly by gun salutes in central London at midday: a 41 gun salute in Hyde Park, a 21 gun salute in Windsor Great Park and a 62 gun salute at the Tower of London.

Divertimenti Cookery School - Growing Gourmets

Wednesday April 16, 2014
Encouraging children to enjoy cooking and to learn how their favorite meals are created is always a good thing. The Divertimenti Cookery School has a children's program called Growing Gourmets which has classes during the UK school holidays.

I took my daughter to an Easter cooking class and here's how we got on: Divertimenti Cookery School - Growing Gourmets Review. Image © Laura Porter | London Travel Blog

St George's Day 2014

Tuesday April 15, 2014
St. Patrick's Day is well celebrated in London but we'll also have St. George's Day celebrations, although on a much smaller scale.

St George's Day is on 23 April but there's a Feast of St George in Trafalgar Square on Monday 21 April 2014 with music, dancing and lots of eating. You can find out about other celebrations, including Morris dancing, at www.stgeorgesholiday.com. Image © Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images | London Travel Blog

Changing the Guard Tour Review

Monday April 14, 2014
Seeing the Changing the Guard ceremony is, for many, a real highlight of a trip to London but it is hard to know where to stand for the best views. I get asked lots of questions about the ceremony: Should I stay in the same place? Should I arrive super-early to get a good spot? How do I know whats going on? All are valid questions yet they don't all have simple answers. But from now on, I do have an answer: take the Changing the Guard Tour from Fun London Tours!

I tried this and was really impressed. We started the walk away from the crowds and found ourselves in the right place at the right time with the guidance of Matt who kept us moving when needed and made sure we all had fun. Find out more by reading my Changing the Guard Tour Review.

Carnaby Shopping Party

Thursday April 10, 2014
Carnaby's biggest fashion event is back and bigger than ever on Thursday 1 May, 5-9pm. Over 100 fashion brands, restaurants and bars are uniting to create the ultimate shopping experience, making it the biggest event of its kind in the UK.

There will be live music, DJs, and that all important 20% discount on new season collections. Plus, if you check-in on the Instagram lounge you'll receive a free style session and makeover.

You need to register for a free ticket but all ticket registrations are entered into a prize draw to win 500 to spend in Carnaby. And even if you don't win you everyone still gets a complimentary drink on the night.

Register for a free ticket at: www.carnaby.co.uk

London Harness Horse Parade 2014

Tuesday April 8, 2014
The London Harness Horse Parade is an annual event that takes place every Easter Monday (so, Monday 21 April is the 2014 date). It is a wonderful opportunity to see working horses such as the Friesian horses from Harrods.

The London Harness Horse Parade is actually held a short train ride south of London. Find out more.... Image: © beglib@morguefile.com | London Travel Blog

The Energy Show is Back

Sunday April 6, 2014
After fantastic reviews last summer, The Energy Show returns to the Science Museum before going on tour throughout England and Wales.

What's It All About?
There are two futuristic science students who need to prove their knowledge of energy. One loves to entertain and the other loves lists and order. Aided by Bernard, their mute lab assistant, and their virtual lab-assistant, i-nstein, and a steampunk workshop full of gadgets and chemicals, they explore, experiment and explode anything and everything they can find, live on stage in the IMAX theatre. Watch the trailer.

The show is produced by Science Museum in London, and is aimed at over 7 year olds but I've seen plenty of younger children enjoying the show although they may not understand the science explanations.

What Was It Like?
I saw the show with my seven year old daughter who also accompanied me to see it last year. We loved the wow moments such as when a bunch of flowers were shattered and the loud bangs were alright by us too.

There are even more references to Star Wars which seem to go down well with the kids and their parents.

The Energy Show is on from 3-11 April and 22 July - 3 August 2014. Adults: 13.50 and children: 9.50. Family tickets available. Booking and full info
Image: Bernard & Annabella perform an experiment with the Van de Graff generator © Benjamin Ealovega, Science Museum

Tyburn Convent

Thursday April 3, 2014
Near Marble Arch there was once the notorious Tyburn gallows where 50,000 public executions took place. The Tyburn Convent has a shrine to the Catholic martyrs who died there during the Reformation in the 16th century.

It's free to visit and there are regular guided tours with one of the Sisters to see the Shrine and some of the saved relics. Find out more about the Tyburn Convent.

There used to be an annual Tyburn Walk but it had to stop as it was affecting the busy Sunday shopping at Oxford Street. But this year there is a procession along Oxford Street organized by the Continuity Movement. The procession is on Sunday 22 June 2014, and still starts at Newgate and finishes at Tyburn with tea at the Convent. Image: © Laura Porter | London Travel Blog

Easter 2014 in London

Wednesday April 2, 2014
There's always plenty to do at Easter in London so I've put together this list of the best for 2014 from the church services at the major London landmark places of worship, such as Westminster Abbey or St Martin-in-the-Fields Church in Trafalgar Square, to where to buy the best Easter eggs, a Hot Cross Bun Ceremony, and rollerskating around Hyde Park dressed as the Easter Bunny.

The Bank Holiday weekend for Easter 2014 is Friday 18 April to Monday 21 April but activities often take place over two weeks. Find out more about things to do this Easter in London.
  • Hotel Chocolat Easter Eggs and Easter Gifts (Buy Direct)
Image: © Hotel Chocolat | London Travel Blog
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