30 September 2014

London's top 10 fabulous fountains

Wandering round London last week I was struck by how many fabulous fountains we have, so I thought I would take you on a little tour around my top 10 favourites.  I couldn't choose between them as each one is lovely in its own way, so they are not in any particular order. Have a look, see if you agree and let me know!

Trafalgar Square
This iconic square has some of the best known fountains in London with the backdrop of the National Gallery and when you next visit take a look at the less obvious figures spouting water inside the east fountain. 

The South Bank
This is a seasonal one and is very popular as this photo shows. It has 4 'rooms' separated by water and an outer square of water and they go up and down so you can hop between them. Lots of very wet people, some in swimming gear, others just jumping in fully dressed for the fun of it!

More London

Leicester Square
I have included this one as it has been under construction and then under repair for so long it was wonderful to see it emerge at last this summer.  William Shakespeare looks at home in the centre.

 Kensington Palace
It's easier to hear than see the fountains when you visit the sunken garden at Kensington Palace. The gardens are stunning and the gentle sound and sight of the central fountains give the area such a peaceful feel. 

This is an unusual fountain as for most of the time there is just a pool of quietly flowing water across the area and then every 15 minutes for just 15 seconds steam pours out from the base of the trees.Try to catch it at night when the lights in the pool are stunning.

Granary Square
The spouts in this square are on a complex pattern of changing heights and colours especially at night. During the day they brighten up a concrete square and have many visitors running up and down, including this Alsatian!

Somerset House
This is another fountain that is constantly changing its height and power. Being in the centre of London it is really popular and on a sunny day you will find families here with full beach gear settling in and watching the kids have a great time. 

 Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Another 'here it is and now it's gone' fountain as you will see in these photos. It's new this year and is certainly attracting the crowds who are now enjoying all kinds of entertainment is the former home of the London 2012 Olympics. 

 St James Park
I love the shape of this fountain in the green of the royal park just next to Buckingham Palace. Definitely not one for jumping in and enjoying!

What's your favourite London fountain - have I missed it out? Let me know.

Bye for now,

10 September 2014

Ships ahoy! The Tall Ships go sailing out of London

It was a glorious sunny day in Royal Greenwich for the last day of the Tall Ships Festival. I chose this day to visit as all the ships were due to assemble and sail past Greenwich's historic waterfront and head out to sea down the Thames. 

Royal Greenwich is packed full of top visitor site and is a UNESCO world heritage list. Time itself was invented here - well the Greenwich meridian was - there's the Maritime Museum with the coat Nelson was shot and died in, there's the Royal Observatory, the Painted Hall and so much more.  But yesterday was all about the tall ships. 

London was hosting a 4 day Tall Ships Regatta for the first time in 25 years and 50 ships gathered Greenwich at was the final port for the race from Falmouth on the south west coast of England, a race which started on 31st August.

The sail past itself was a magnificent sight as ships of so many shapes and sizes glided past serenely and off to sea and more unknown journeys and potential battles with the oceans. I loved the huge white Polish ship which had the massive groups gasping in amazement as it came close by, and the wonderful old style warships were evocative of how the Thames may have looked in the 16th century. 

Here is my selection: 

What a wonderful sail past, I hope you enjoyed it too.

Bye for now,