WELCOME TO THE JULY LIST
Firstly, please permit me to apologise for the non-appearance of the June list. The honest truth is, June was so busy I just didn't get a moment to compile it. So I hope the July suggestions will make up for it!
I am now including many more suggestions on the Facebook and Twitter, along with daily facts on London and its history so, if you've not joined those social channels, it really is worth it, as you'll get the most up to date suggestions, not to mention little snippets of information that will be both fun and fascinating.
Well, summer is well and truly upon us and, to celebrate, I am including a few outdoor venues on this month's list.
Chief amongst them is the new beach that is appearing at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park which, instinct tells me, will be one of these things you will either love or loathe.
I've also included the London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Lambeth Palace, the garden of which is now open on a regular basis.
Other inclusions are quite varied. There's the Institute of Sexology; there's a 19th century Ice Well; there's the chance to enjoy a brush with the Great Plague of 1665; and, if all these don t get your feet clocking to race out and partake, then how about the chance to admire the veins and nervous systems of bygone folk at the museum of the Royal College of Physicians?
So, all in all, there are some great locations to get out and about to in London and, as per usual, they're all free, so enjoy.
Just to remind you that I also post updates and additional venues on our Facebook page, so you might like to join us and like us (as in Facebook likes!) to ensure you're kept fully up to date on what's happening in London during the weeks ahead.
As ever, if something changes in the weeks ahead I will put the update on the Facebook Page, in order not to bombard you with emails.
So, without further ado, here is my July list of ten things to do in London.
10 THINGS TO DO IN LONDON JULY 2015
HEAD EAST TO THE BEACH
BEACHEAST @ QUEEN ELIZABETH OLYMPIC PARK
Stratford Waterfront, next to Westfield, E15 2DU
OPENING HOURS DAILY 10AM to 10PM
The Nearest Underground Station is Stratford
Promising us "Britain's Copacabana this summer" BeachEast will see a thousand tons of sand transform the Stratford Waterfront into the UK's largest urban beach.
There'll be a huge kids paddling pool, funfair rides, two beach bars, not to mention sporting events and other activities. In the words of the Beatles "a splendid time is guaranteed for all."
VISIT LAMBETH PALACE GARDENS
ENJOY THE HOLY HEDGEROWS
Lambeth Palace, SE1 7JU
OPENING HOURS THE FIRST WEDNESDAY OF THE MONTH FROM 12PM TO 3PM.
The Nearest Underground Station is Westminster. You can then cross over Westminster Bridge and walk right along the riverside to reach Lambeth Palace.
This is one to plan ahead for as there are currently 3 more open days left this year.
The garden at Lambeth Palace has the distinction of being London's oldest continuously cultivated garden with roots that stretch back to the 12th century.
This year, for the first time in its 800-year history, The current Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has expressed a desire for the general public to be able to enjoy his unique 11-acre garden, and as of March this year, the garden will be open regularly for anyone who wished to visit.
MERTON PRIORY CHAPTER HOUSE OPEN DAY
Watermill Way, London SW19 2RD
Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th July 2015 10am to 5pm
The Nearest Underground Station is Colliers Wood
Located beneath a road the remains of Merton Priory, which was established in 1117, are not open to the public that often, so any chance to view them is worth jumping at, or, to be more accurate, descending down to.
Thomas Becket was educated at Merton Priory and, in 1235. King Henry 111 signed the Statute of Merton here, so its place in history is most certainly assured.
Would I make a special journey to visit... probably not. But since you have some other intriguing attractions in the vicinity, such as Merton Abbey Mills, to justify a day out and the remains are not open that often, then go for it!
LONDON's COOLEST HISTORY
THE ICE WELLS
London Canal Museum
12-13 New Wharf Road
Sun 19th July 2015 10am to 4.30pm
Adult £4, Child £2 (children cannot descend into the well), Senior, Student, or unemployed £3. Admission charge includes the rest of the museum.
The Nearest Underground Station is King's Cross.
I don't know about you, but I've been wilting somewhat in the recent hot weather and any chance to cool down has been more than welcomed. So news of "Ice Sunday" was welcome news indeed and I could almost feel the cold blasts of artic air blowing in from the frozen wastes of King's Cross.
In case you didn't know - and I have to confess that I didn't - the ice wells are "a unique piece of industrial archaeology" dating from the mid 19th century to store imported ice from Norway.
Fit adults and older teenagers (no under 13's), who are suitably shod in "robust footwear that cannot fall off" - so positively no sandals or flip-flops allowed - will be able to climb down ladders in small groups and explore this subterranean world
Although booking is not required it is advisable to arrive early to avoid having to wait too long.
POP ALONG TO A POP UP MUSEUM
100 MINORIES MAKING HISTORY
Grange City Hotel Piazza
8-14 Cooper's Row
Friday 17th July and Saturday 18th July
The Nearest Underground Station is Tower Hill
I honestly cannot remember a time when so much building work was going on around London. It seems that you can't turn a corner without encountering scaffolding, cranes, or just great big holes in the ground that appear to have opened up without warning.
A Case in point is the area around Tower Hill and Minories close to the Tower of London. But, whereas many other developments go on behind hoardings that keep them well out of the view of all but the most determined on-looker, the site at 100 Minories is happy to show off the discoveries that have been made during excavation work.
As part of the Festival of Archaeology, LP Archaeology will be holding its very own "Pop Up Museum" at the 100 Minories site, and visitors will be able to view and handle artefacts from the site, take part in one-on-one tours with the archaeologists, enjoy interactive displays, as well as get the chance to sample authentic historic food. Should be fun.
THE INSTITUTE OF OF SEXOLOGY
183 Euston Road
Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 6pm (till 10pm on Thursdays) and Sundays 11am to 6pm
TILL THE 20TH SEPTEMBER 2015
The Nearest Underground Stations are Euston Square or Warren Street
"The Institute of Sexology" promises visitors a "candid exploration of the most publicly discussed of private acts." and invites you to "undress your mind and join us to investigate human sexuality."
Featuring over 200 objects spanning art, rare archival material, erotica, film and photography, this is the first UK exhibition to bring together the pioneers of the study of sex, "The Institute of Sexology" investigates how the practice of sex research has shaped our ever-evolving attitudes towards sexual behaviour and identity.
I cannot do better than the exhibitions own website when it comes to describing what visitors can look forward to. So:-
"Moving between pathologies of perversion and contested ideas of normality, it shows how sex has been observed, analysed and questioned from the late 19th century to the present day."
Luckily, the Ice Wells are located just down the road!
GET TO KNOW CHURCHILL'S SCIENTISTS
CIGARS AND CYPHERS
The Scence Museum
Exhibition Road in South Kensington
7 days a week 10am to 6pm. Until 1st March 2016
The Nearest Underground Station is South Kensington
An intriguing exhibition which looks at the little-known story of how Winston Churchill's fascination with science brought about scientific achievements that helped Britain win the Second World War.
The exhibition features a number of personal objects belonging to Churchill, such as the cigar he was smoking in 1951 on the day he learned he'd been re-elected as Prime Minister, and his green velvet "siren suit" – a one-piece outfit devised by him and designed to be put on in a hurry during air raids.
ROYAL COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS MUSEUM
WHAT LIES WITHIN?
Royal College of Physicians
11 St Andrews Place
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm excluding public holidays
The Nearest Underground Stations are Regent's Park and Great Portland Street
The Royal College of Physicians in Regent's Park is England's oldest medical college and visitors to their museum can explore 500 years of medical history and art in what has been described as "London's most extraordinary modernist building."
The many curiosities on display includes a rare set of six anatomical tables. that can be viewed in the 2nd floor gallery, and which display human veins, nerves and arteries dissected at Padua's famous anatomy theatre in the 17th century. Skillfully arranged on varnished wooden panels they are, to say the least, spectacular.
VISIT THE BRIXTON WINDMILL
BAT WALKS AND MILL TOURS
West end of Blenheim Gardens
Off Brixton Hill
OPENING HOURS BAT WALK THURSDAY 16TH JULY 2015 AT 9.10PM. WINDMILL TOURS VARIOUS DATES IN AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER. SEE WEBSITE.
The Nearest Underground Station is Brixton then take bus 45, 59, 109, 118, 133, 159, 250 or 333. Disembark at Blenheim Gardens, the 3rd stop from the tube station.
The origins of the Brixton Windmill go back to 1816 and, for over a hundred years, it was leased by the Ashby family, millers who produced stoneground wholemeal flour here. As a result it became known as Ashby's Mill and remained so until 1934 when Joshua-John Ashby, the last miller, died. The mill subsequently closed and became derelict before being restored in 1964 and opening to the public in 1968.
Following a further major refurbishment, the windmill reopened to the public in 2011 and since then, volunteers from Friends of Windmill Gardens have opened the mill for guided tours at least once a month during the summer, and have initiated an education programme for local school children.
ENJOY A DREADFUL VISITATION
THE GREAT PLAGUE OF 1665
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: 9.30am to 5pm
Wednesday: 9.30am to 7.30pm
The Nearest Underground Stations are St Paul's, Bank or Mansion House
A cheery note to round off on!
The Great Plague of 1665 devastated the populace of the City of London and killed almost 100,000 people.
It mattered not whether its victims were young or old, male or female, saint or sinner, the dreadful visitation killed without prejudice and changed the face of London forever.
This fascinating exhibition at the Guildhall Library displays books and broadsheets that deal with this truly devastating and epoch-making period in the City's history.
I hope you find the July list useful and that you get to enjoy at least some of the things that I have suggested.
If you require further directions to any of the places suggested could you ask it via the Facebook page as that then enables me to answer quickly and, should it be something that everybody wants to know, it becomes useful to everyone.
All the best. Richard