Days Out from London – Lewes in Sussex

For all of London’s considerable charms, lockdown has made many Londoners a bit stir crazy and looking to explore pastures new. In our new series of Days Out from London, we have decided to take to the open road and explore many of the travel delights within easy travelling distance from London.

After considerable research, we decided to to try to explore the small East Sussex town of Lewes.

Why ? It is only a one hours train ride from London, it is a gateway to many walks in the South Downs and we had never been there before.

Many Londoners would have taken the Lewes train before because it stops at Gatwick but we stayed on board and enjoyed the rolling hills and rural landscape of Sussex.

Arriving at the attractive small station, it is only a short walk to Cliffe High Street which is a good starting point to explore Lewes. From the small bridge you have a good view of Harvey’s Brewery, if you want to sample some of the famous beers, there is a Harvey’s shop nearby.

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. Arriving at the attractive small station, it is only a short walk to Cliffe High Street which is a good starting point to explore Lewes. From the small bridge you have a good view of Harvey’s Brewery, if you want to sample some of the famous beers, there is a Harvey’s shop nearby.

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Lewes is surrounded by the hills of the south downs and the town itself is surprisingly hilly, from Cliffe High Street to the main High Street is straightforward except the street rises up and down with the roads as undulating as some of the buildings.

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The quirkiness adds a lot to Lewes charm and makes it extremely very photogenic, its olde worlde charm is highlighted by the often bizarre architectural landscape, half timbered building often leaning alarmingly with wonky window and doors providing plenty of amusement. A great example is the 15th century bookshop.

After passing the war memorial, the High Street comes into its own with The White Hart Hotel dating back to 1840 but previously a coaching inn.

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On the right is Barbican House which is a museum that leads to Castlegate which takes you to the 11th century Norman castle. Lewes Castle, was the work of William de Warenne, who was given the land by William I after the Conquest. Although a single wall remains of the Norman gateway today; you can still the Barbican built in the early fourteenth century.

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It is worth walking to the top of the hill to get the wonderful views over Lewes and beyond, an information board provides details about the Battle of Lewes which took place in 1264. The battle was the bloody clash between Henry III and a rebel army of barons under Simon de Montfort.

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Back on the High street, you will not be able to miss, Reeves established in 1858 and Bull House in which Tom Paine, radical politician lived between 1768 and 1774 before emigrating to America, where he wrote Common Sense, and became the “Father of the American Revolution” .

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On either side of the High Street, there are narrow lanes called “twittens”, one of the steepest is near the bookshop. The cobbled Keere Street is not for the fainthearted but is useful if you want to explore Southover part of the town.

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Southover features the Southover Grange Gardens, the Priory’s remains, and Anne of Cleves House. Despite the name, Anne of Cleves never actually lived in the house: it was one of the Sussex properties given to her in 1540.

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The north of Lewes has rather different attractions, the Pells is a lovely spot to feed the ducks or if you are very brave have a swim in the outdoor pool. You can also take a walk down the River Ouse that takes you back to Cliffe.

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From the high ground in the north there are wonderful views over the downs and a reminder that Lewes is a good base to explore many of the interesting walks around the area.

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Lewes has a lot to attract the casual traveller, quirky but full of interesting buildings and shops, there are plenty of pubs, restaurants and cafes. The coast is only a short 20 mins train rise away, you can enjoy the full on attractions of Brighton or the more sedate Newhaven and Seaford. If you are travelling from London, Lewes is only around one hour’s train ride away.

In the post pandemic world, many people will explore destinations closer to home and our visit to Lewes was a reminder that there are plenty of hidden gems waiting to be discovered.

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits at the National Maritime Museum from 28 May – 31 October 2021

© Thomas Struth, 2011

Royal Museums Greenwich, in collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery, London, presents Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits at the National Maritime Museum, a major art exhibition exploring the changing nature of the British monarchy and royal portraiture over 500 years.

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Tudors to Windsors will feature over 150 works, including famous paintings, miniatures, sculpture, photographs, medals and stamps spanning five royal dynasties: Tudors, Stuarts, Georgians, Victorians and Windsors. Visitors will come face-to-face with the kings, queens, heirs, consorts and favourites who have shaped British royal history and portraits by some of the most important artists to have worked in Britain, often under the direct patronage of the Royal Family, from Sir Peter Lely and Sir Godfrey Kneller to Andy Warhol, Cecil Beaton and Annie Leibovitz.

© National Portrait Gallery, London

The majority of the artworks are drawn from the outstanding collection of the National Portrait Gallery. The loans will be on display alongside works from private lenders and pieces from the National Maritime Museum’s own collection.

© National Maritime Museum, London

Beginning with the famous and infamous kings and queens of the Tudor dynasty, a period that coincides with the foundations of portrait painting in England, the exhibition will explore the development of the royal portrait as statements of wealth, power, continuity and tradition and how this was impacted by both the personalities of individual monarchs and wider historical change.

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Highlights on display include the earliest known portrait of Henry VII – the oldest artwork in the exhibition – painted in 1505 by an unknown artist, as well as the famous ‘Ditchley Portrait’ of Elizabeth I by Flemish artist Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger. Regal portraits of Charles II and his mistresses will feature alongside early 19th century domestic photographs of Queen Victoria and her family. A selection of paintings and photographs of Queen Elizabeth II by Cecil Beaton and Annie Leibovitz will be displayed, alongside portraits of other members of the current Royal Family.

© National Portrait Gallery, London

It is appropriate that the location for the exhibition is the historic setting of Greenwich, one of London’s key royal sites as the location of the principal Tudor palace, the birthplace of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, and the location of the Queen’s House, commissioned by James I’s consort Anne of Denmark.

For more information , visit the Royal Museums Greenwich website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Review: Bow Street Police Museum in London

With many small museums facing an uncertain future, it is with some delight that we can report a new museum opening that explores one of London’s most famous police stations near to Covent Garden. Bow Street Police Station was one of London’s first police stations and has become the country’s newest independent museum. Bow Street Police Museum sits inside no. 28 Bow Street, home of Bow Street Police Station and Magistrates’ Court for over a century. The ground floor cells and offices have been turned into galleries, telling the story of the Bow Street Runners, the country’s first organised force, and how the Metropolitan Police officers who walked the streets of Covent Garden became an important part of the area.

Bow Street Police Museum is based within the new NoMad London Hotel, which now occupies the entire newly-restored building. The Museum will operate as an independent charity supported initially by the owners of the building, the Sydell Group, but eventually will becoming self-sufficient.

The Museum tells many of the stories of investigations, arrests and justice from 18th century crime fighting to the moment the police station closed its doors in 1992, followed by the court in 2006. The museum explores Bow Street’s unique role in police, law and social history and the workings of the first Metropolitan Police station. And as well as telling the stories of the historic, sometimes infamous, trials heard at Bow Street Magistrates’ Court, the Museum also considers aspects of police history, modern policing and social justice.

Among the collections to be displayed will be the original dock from Court no. 2;

early equipment used by the Bow Street Runners on patrol, including an original cutlass, a specially-made replica Runners uniform (featuring blue double-breasted coat, blue trousers, black felt hat, black boots and the red waistcoat that earned early officers the nickname ‘robin red breasts’);

a beautiful reproduction of a collection of sketches by court artist William Hartley;

and personal effects from former officers, including beat books, truncheons and items from their time on duty at Bow Street.

Visitors can also spend time in ‘the tank’, the large cell that was often the destination for men arrested for drunken behaviour in public.

Covent Garden was a thriving hub and market when in 1881, a new police station and courthouse opened in Covent Garden. For the next century and beyond, the building and Metropolitan Police officers was a reassuring presence in the area.

People arrested by police officers at Bow Street were held overnight and tried at the Magistrates’ Court next door. The Court held a unique status that enabled it to deal with extradition proceedings, terrorist offences and cases related to the Official Secrets Act. This brought a string of notable cases to Bow Street, including IRA terrorist cases and the extradition cases against the former dictator of Chile, General Augusto Pinochet. The Museum shares some of the tales of many of those who found themselves up before Bow Street’s judges, including the Kray Twins, Dr Crippen, Oscar Wilde and suffragettes Sylvia and Christabel Pankhurst and Mrs Drummond.

The Museum also considers the life and times of Covent Garden, exploring how the market, theatreland, shops, bars, restaurants presented unique problems to Bow Street Police Station and the police officers.

The new museum is quite small and is well located opposite the Royal Opera House and near to Covent Garden itself. Many of the old Police stations in London have been sold and are now redeveloped therefore this is a rare opportunity to visit one of the most famous police stations in London. The museum is well designed and uses the cells to tell the various stories related to the police station and the people who worked there. Bow Street Police Museum is a welcome addition to the large number of small museums in London and once visitors start making their way to Covent Garden, hopefully it will attract plenty of visitors.

VISITOR INFORMATION

Venue: Bow Street Police Museum, 28 Bow Street, London WC2E 7AW
Admission: Entrance: £6.00; Concessions: £4.50 / £3.00; Children under 12 and carers: free
Opening: For the first six months the museum will operate three days a week Fri- Sun, 11.00 – 16.30

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in  2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Exhibition Review – Nero: the man behind the myth at the British Museum from 27 May to 24 October 2021

The British Museum presents the first major exhibition in the UK on Nero, one of the most notorious ancient Roman emperors. The exhibition entitled Nero: the man behind the myth explores the true story of Rome’s fifth emperor informed by new research and archaeological evidence from the time, challenging the often biased historical accounts written after Nero’s death that have shaped his legacy.

This major exhibition features over 200 objects, charting the young emperor’s rise to power and examining his actions during a period of profound social change in regions from Armenia in the Near East, to Britain, and across mainland Europe.

The objects in the exhibition are drawn from the British Museum’s collection alongside rare loans from Europe, most never seen in the UK before, the exhibition includes graffiti next to grand sculpture, precious manuscripts, objects destroyed in the fire of Rome, priceless jewellery and slave chains from Wales, providing context to understand Nero’s reign.

Nero (r. AD 54–68), the last male descendant of Rome’s first emperor Augustus, succeeded to the throne aged only sixteen. During his reign of nearly fourteen years, he had his own mother killed, his first wife, and allegedly his second wife. Written accounts even claimed that Nero himself started the Great Fire of Rome in AD 64.

In June AD 68, when confronted with rebellions by insubordinate military officials, Nero was forced to commit suicide. The Roman senate immediately excised his memory from official records, and in many ways his name was vilified to legitimise the new ruling elite.

The image of Nero as a tyrant has passed into history relying on the works of historians Tacitus, Suetonius, and Cassius Dio. This exhibition challenges traditional preconceptions and explores Nero’s relationship with the Roman populace.

Nero was the first Roman emperor to act on stage and compete in public games as a charioteer. Chariot racing, gladiatorial combats and theatre were incredibly popular in the Roman world, and the exhibition features fascinating objects such as gladiatorial weapons from Pompeii on loan from the Louvre, stunning frescoes depicting actors and theatrical masks lend by Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli.

Statues of Nero were erected throughout the empire, yet very few survive due to the official suppression of his image. A star piece in the exhibition is a bronze head of Nero, long-mistaken as Claudius, which was found in the River Alde in Suffolk in 1907. The head was part of a statue that probably stood in Camulodunum (Colchester) before being torn down during the Boudica-led rebellion. A small bronze figure of Nero, lent by Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Venezia and seen in the UK for the first time, gives a rare sense of a complete sculpture.

The Fenwick Hoard is shown as part of a major exhibition for the first time since it was discovered in 2014 beneath the floor of a shop on Colchester’s High Street. The treasure was buried for safekeeping by settlers fleeing for their lives during Boudica’s attack. Among the items are Roman republican and imperial coins, military armlets and fashionable jewellery very similar to finds from Pompeii and Herculaneum.

One of the defining moments of Nero’s reign was the Great Fire of Rome in AD 64, which burned for nine days and laid waste to large parts of the city. Excavations in recent years have revealed the true extent of the ferocity and impact of the fire. A warped iron window grating, discovered near the Circus Maximus, will be displayed in the UK for the first time.

Nero, who was in the nearby city of Antium rather than in his palace watching the inferno, led the relief and reconstruction efforts. A new palace, the Domus Aurea, rose from the ashes. Stunning frescoes and wall decorations give visitors a taste of Nero’s opulent residence.

This fascinating exhibition gives context to Nero’s reign and provides some insight into a Roman world which was enjoying the spoils of empire. Nero was its figurehead and he enjoyed his imperial status, however even if his tyranny was exaggerated by a ruling elite, there was little doubt that power corrupted the young ruler that led to his early demise.

For more information and tickets, visit the British Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

The new £50 note at the Bank of England Museum

To mark the launch of a new £50 note, there is a special, free online event from the Bank of England Museum, marking the imminent arrival of the newest banknote.

On 23 June, the Bank of England will issue a new polymer £50 note featuring the pioneer of modern computer science, Bletchley Park hero, Alan Turing. A work of art in itself, the new note is packed with beautiful little designs and nods to the great mathematician’s life and achievements, some of which double up as ingenious security features.

To mark the release of the new note, the Bank of England Museum will present a special online event, which will explore the £50 in detail, from the first half-a-ton to the latest bullseye.

Curator Kirsty Parsons will trace the £50 note through time, bringing historical examples from the Bank’s vast collections to look at what has changed over time and why.


Chief cashier, Sarah John, will examine the newest note, which, of course, includes her signature alongside all sorts of significant numbers, letters, dots, ultraviolet figures, symbols, foil patches and windows. The banknote is a complex piece of art in its own right and this event will show just how much is packed into this valuable piece of polymer.

EVENT INFORMATIONThe £50 note: old and new
Date: Thursday 27 May
Time: 6pm to 7pm
To book, please visit here before 26 May: www.bankofengland.co.uk/museum/online-talks

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Exhibition Review – Thomas Becket: murder and the making of a saint at the British Museum from 20 May to 22 August 2021

The British Museum presents the first ever major UK exhibition on the life, death and legacy of Thomas Becket, whose brutal murder inside Canterbury Cathedral in 1170 had enormous repercussions for England and Europe.

The exhibition entitled Thomas Becket: murder and the making of a saint covers over 500 years of history, from Thomas Becket’s remarkable rise from ordinary beginnings to one of the most powerful figures in England, through to his enduring legacy in the centuries after his death. The story is told through over 100 rare objects brought together for the first time.

The exhibition begins by looking at the rise of Thomas Becket from his birth to a London merchant to his rise to power aided by King Henry II. It was the power dynamic between the two men that would lead to the tragic death of Becket.

It is over 850 years since the former Archbishop of Canterbury was killed on 29 December 1170 in his own cathedral. The murder involved his bitter rival and former friend King Henry II and Becket’s gruesome death was considered one of the most scandalous acts of sacrilege in English history.

A large animation in the exhibition provides overview of the murder and its consequences.

If Henry II and his knights thought that killing Becket would be an end to their problems, they were soon to learn that they had created a martyr. Within days of the death, miracles were being attributed to Becket, many connected to the healing power of his spilt blood, which would eventually lead to his canonisation as a saint by the Pope.

Becket’s story created a mini industry with Canterbury the main focus for pilgrimages for centuries, the exhibition includes precious reliquaries, jewellery, pilgrims’ badges and sculpture from the British Museum collection.

Other objects include items which may have been owned by Becket himself, such as manuscripts from Trinity College and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge that he is thought to have commissioned or was given. There will also be a single surviving wax impression made from Becket’s personal seal matrix.

An illustrated manuscript containing John of Salisbury’s Life of St Thomas Becket from the British Library, shows visitors one of the earliest known representations of the murder.

The exhibition’s centrepiece will be the extraordinary loan of an entire medieval stained-glass window from Canterbury Cathedral. It is one of the surviving famed Miracle Windows which were made in the early 1200s to surround Becket’s now-lost shrine in the Cathedral’s Trinity Chapel. This is the first time one of these windows has ever been lent, and the first time the glass has ever left the Cathedral, since their creation 800 years ago.

The exhibition makes the important point that Becket’s martyrdom had a profound impact on the power dynamics between Church and State for hundreds of years, culminating in King Henry VIII ordering the obliteration of Becket’s legacy in 1538.

This fascinating exhibition provides plenty of evidence that the violent death of Thomas Becket is considered shocking even today. Although it is often considered that Henry II did not mean to order his murder, the outcome would create a schism between the church and crown for centuries to come. It was the ultimate power struggle between the power of those on earth and those looking for solace in the afterlife. If you are interested in this real life drama, this exhibition does not disappoint.

For more information and tickets, visit the British Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Museums, Art Galleries and Attractions in London reopening May 2021

Following the latest lockdown, many of London’s attractions, art galleries and museums are reopening in May 2021. Here is a limited list but remember that restrictions may apply and visit websites for latest information.

British Library,
exhibitions reopen 17 May

British Museum,
Reopens 17 May

Charles Dickens Museum,
Reopens 19 May

Imperial War Museum,
Reopens 19 May

Museum of London,
Reopen 19 May

Museum of London Docklands,
Reopen: 19 May

National Gallery,
Reopening 17 May

National Army Museum,
Reopening 19 May

National Maritime Museum,
reopen 17 May

Natural History Museum,
Reopen 17 May

Queen’s Gallery,
reopen 17 May

Royal Academy, reopen 17 May

Tate Britain,
reopen 17 May

Tate Modern,
reopen May 17

Postal Museum,
Reopen: 20 May

Victoria and Albert Museum,
reopens 19 May

Whitechapel Gallery,
reopen 19 May

Emirates Air Line Cable Car
Open Now!

Kew Gardens
Open Now!

Climb the O2 Arena
Open Now!

Harry Potter Studio Tour
From 17 May 2021

Buckingham Palace Gardens Summer 2021!
Book Now

Tower of London
Open from 19 May

Cutty Sark & Royal Observatory Greenwich
Open from 17 May

The London Eye
From 17 May 2021

Westminster Abbey
Open from 21 May

St Paul’s Cathedral
Open from 17 May

Windsor Castle
From 17 May 2021

Churchill War Rooms
Reopening 17 May 2021

Madame Tussauds London
From 17 May 2021

Sea Life London
From 17 May 2021

The View from The Shard
From 19 May 2021

Shrek’s Adventure
From 17 May 2021

Hampton Court Palace & Gardens
Opening Soon

London Dungeon
Open from 17 May

Kensington Palace
Opening Soon

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Nero: the man behind the myth at the British Museum from 27 May to 24 October 2021

Marble bust of Nero. Italy, around AD 55. Photo by Francesco Piras. With permission of the Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali e per il Turismo ̶ Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Cagliari.

The British Museum will present the first major exhibition in the UK on Nero, one of the most notorious ancient Roman emperors. The exhibition entitled Nero: the man behind the myth explores the true story of Rome’s fifth emperor informed by new research and archaeological evidence from the time, challenging the often biased historical accounts written after Nero’s death that have shaped his legacy.

Recent discoveries relating to Nero’s fourteen-year rule reveal a more accurate picture. Treasures hidden during the destruction of Colchester in AD 60-61 during Boudica’s Iceni rebellion, burned artifacts from the Fire of Rome in AD 64, and evidence from the destruction of Pompeii uncover a new understanding of Nero’s turbulent and misconceived reign.

Terracotta relief showing a chariot-race, Italy, AD 40–70. © The Trustees of
the British Museum.

This major exhibition will feature over 200 objects, charting the young emperor’s rise to power and examining his actions during a period of profound social change in regions from Armenia in the Near East, to Britain, and across mainland Europe. Drawn from the British Museum’s collection alongside rare loans from Europe, most never seen in the UK before, the exhibition includes graffiti next to grand sculpture, precious manuscripts, objects destroyed in the fire of Rome, priceless jewellery and slave chains from Wales, telling the story of rich and poor alike.

Nero (r. AD 54–68), the last male descendant of Rome’s first emperor Augustus, succeeded to the throne aged only sixteen. Britain had been under Roman rule for just eleven years. During his reign of nearly fourteen years, he had his own mother killed, his first wife, and allegedly his second wife. Written accounts even claim that Nero himself started the Great Fire of Rome in AD 64. In June AD 68, when confronted with rebellions by insubordinate military officials, Nero was forced to commit suicide. The Roman senate immediately excised his memory from official records, and his name was vilified to legitimise the new ruling elite.

The image of Nero as a tyrant created 50 years after his death by the historians Tacitus and Suetonius, and written about more than another century later by Cassius Dio, is a story that has been repeated for centuries. This exhibition challenges traditional preconceptions and explores what the ancient elite narrative on Nero tells us about the inner conflicts of Roman society.

Miniature bronze bust of Caligula, AD 37–41. © Colchester Museums

Statues of Nero were erected throughout the empire, yet very few survive due to the official suppression of his image. A star piece in the exhibition is a bronze head of Nero, long-mistaken as Claudius, which was found in the River Alde in Suffolk in 1907. The head was part of a statue that probably stood in Camulodunum (Colchester) before being torn down during the Boudica-led rebellion. A small bronze figure of Nero, lent by Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Venezia and seen in the UK for the first time, gives a rare sense of a complete sculpture.

The Fenwick Hoard, England, AD 60–61. © Colchester Museums.

The Fenwick Hoard will be shown as part of a major exhibition for the first time since it was discovered in 2014 beneath the floor of a shop on Colchester’s High Street. The treasure was buried for safekeeping by settlers fleeing for their lives during Boudica’s attack. Among the items are Roman republican and imperial coins, military armlets and fashionable jewellery very similar to finds from Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Bronze gladiator’s helmet, Pompeii, 1st century AD. © The Trustees of the
British Museum.

Famously, Nero was the first Roman emperor to act on stage and compete in public games as a charioteer. Chariot racing, gladiatorial combats and theatre were incredibly popular in the Roman world, as shown by fascinating objects such as gladiatorial weapons from Pompeii on loan from the Louvre, stunning frescoes depicting actors and theatrical masks lend by Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli.

One of the defining moments of Nero’s reign was the Great Fire of Rome in AD 64, which burned for nine days and laid waste to large parts of the city. Excavations in recent years have revealed the true extent of the ferocity and impact of the fire. A warped iron window grating, discovered near the Circus Maximus, will be displayed in the UK for the first time, as testament to the intensity of the flames and destruction.

Nero, who was in the nearby city of Antium rather than in his palace watching the inferno, led the relief and reconstruction efforts. A new palace, the Domus Aurea, rose from the ashes. Stunning frescoes and wall decorations will give visitors a taste of Nero’s opulent residence.

Visitors may ask themselves, who was Nero? A young ruler reconciling contrasting demands in a time of great change, or a merciless, matricidal maniac?

Tickets are available to book today for Nero: the man behind the myth opening 27 May, as well as tickets to the special exhibition Thomas Becket: murder and the making of a saint, opening 20 May. The Museum plans to reopen on 17 May and free tickets to visit the permanent collection are also available to book now.

For more information and tickets, visit the British Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Royal Museums Greenwich Reopening on 17 May 2021

Royal Museums Greenwich has announce the reopening of the National Maritime Museum, Queen’s House, Cutty Sark and Royal Observatory Greenwich on 17 May 2021.

The National Maritime Museum and Queen’s House grounds, the Parkside café and shop have been open to public since 12 April 2021 and from 7 May 2021 visitors will get the chance to dine in the Queen’s House Dining Domes.

During lockdown, the museum carried out various restoration works across the sites and developed a one-way system and some restrictions will initially be in place to ensure the safety of all visitors and staff. Protective screens in the ticket hall and gift shop will be in place. Sanitiser stations will also be available throughout the sites, although to ensure we meet safety guidelines, some interactives will not be accessible.

Tickets must be purchased in advance to ensure social distancing can be maintained on site. Pre-booked time slots ensure that visits are spread throughout the day and sites don’t exceed their capacity.

At the National Maritime Museum, visitors will be able to see images of the cosmos from the world-renowned astrophotography competition Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2020.

Another fascinating exhibition reopening its doors at the National Maritime Museum is the Exposure: Lives at Sea. Bringing together photography taken around the world by those in the maritime sector, this exhibition shines a light on the forgotten but integral work of seafarers.

In collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery, Royal Museums Greenwich will host a major exhibition exploring royal portraiture, opening on 28 May 2021. Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits will give visitors the opportunity to come face-to-face with the kings, queens and their heirs who have shaped British history and were so central to Greenwich. The exhibition will include over 150 works covering five royal dynasties. These are mainly drawn from the unparalleled collection of the National Portrait Gallery, and feature some of the most important artists to have worked in Britain, from Sir Peter Lely and Sir Godfrey Kneller to Cecil Beaton and Annie Leibovitz.

On 17 May 2021 the Queen’s House will be ready to welcome back the public and showcase its incredible artwork collection including works by Reynolds and Canaletto, and the display Faces of a Queen: The Armada Portraits of Elizabeth I. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the three surviving Armada portraits; Royal Museums Greenwich’s portrait, and versions from the National Portrait Gallery and Woburn Abbey, side by side in Greenwich.

Also in the Queen’s House, visitors will have the unprecedented opportunity to access for free the Woburn Treasures, the outstanding private art collection of The Duke and Duchess of Bedford, whilst Woburn Abbey is closed for refurbishment. The exhibition includes works by distinguished artists such as Van Dyck, Reynolds, Gainsborough, Poussin and Canaletto.

Cutty Sark, the last-surviving tea clipper in the world, will open its doors once again and the visitors will explore its remarkable history as the fastest, record-breaking ship of its era. Just in time for the half-term, there will be tours to learn the lesser-known extraordinary stories of the Cutty Sark. There is also a brand new exciting experience starting June 2021, ‘Cutty Sark Rig Climb Experience’, where visitors will be able to climb from the main deck up the ship’s rigging to experience the heights the crew would have had to scare on a daily basis when out at sea.

Additionally, the Royal Observatory Greenwich, the historic home of time and space, will open the North side, which includes the Prime Meridian line, the Flamsteed House, the Camera Obscura and the Great Equatorial Telescope. Visitors will be able to see the magnificent craftmanship of John Harrison’s marine timekeepers, the apartments of the Royal Astronomers and learn about their work and lives at the observatory and step on the historic Prime Meridian line that divides the Eastern and Western hemispheres of the Earth.

For more information , visit the Royal Museums Greenwich website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

London Zoo reopened on Monday 12 April 2021

Photographs (c) ZSL London Zoo

The ZSL London Zoo reopened on Monday 12 April, three months after it closed to the public for the third national lockdown.

Photographs (c) ZSL London Zoo

Eager visitors who secured one of the limited sold-out tickets to the reopening formed a socially-distanced queue to enter the iconic 36-acre park, before safely following one of three carefully mapped out nature routes laid out across the site and enjoying the spring sunshine.

Photographs (c) ZSL London Zoo

The Zoo is limiting visitors to ensure social distancing and are accepting pre-booked tickets only. A one-way system is in place, with three prescribed routes ensuring guests remain socially-distanced while exploring. Catering outlets are takeaway only, and all payments will be contactless. Indoor exhibits, including the Reptile House and Rainforest Life will remain closed for now.

Photographs (c) ZSL London Zoo

ZSL London Zoo Social Distancing Measures

All visitors must book tickets in advance 

Contactless entry 

Limited visitors per day, split into morning and afternoon slots 

Takeaway food only available 

2m distancing markers in place around the zoo 

Three one-way trails to keep visitors flowing in the same direction 

Handwashing facilities and sanitiser available throughout the zoo 

Outdoor benches and tables meticulously cleaned throughout the day 

Animal talks have been suspended to avoid gathering crowds 

Indoor and walkthrough exhibits such as the Reptile House will not yet be accessible to the public. 

For more information or book tickets, visit the London Zoo website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

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