Ravens’ new home at the Tower

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The ravens’ new home at the Tower.

Bespoke enclosures have been built to house the legendary ravens at the Tower of London.

Commissioned by Historic Royal Palaces, the new accommodation offers more night-time space for the seven ‘Guardians of the Tower’, which roam the attraction’s grounds during the day.

New display boards with information on the myths and legends surrounding the ravens have also been introduced.

Special rates are available at the Tower for groups of 15 people or more.

For further information telephone 0844 482 7770

Royal London tour for York National Trust

The York Association of the National Trust enjoyed its fourth tour for its 900-plus members in 2011 last month, booked through Brightwater Holidays of Cupar in Scotland.

Enjoying champagne on the terrace at Buckingham Palace.

Enjoying champagne on the terrace at Buckingham Palace.

Brian Knowlman, who took over the role of Tours Organiser in 1996 and has arranged over a hundred holidays for the York Association since then, comments. “The three-day break had a royal theme – appropriate in the year when Prince William and Catherine Middleton were married. The highlights were special behind-the-scenes private visits to Clarence House and Buckingham Palace, where the group were shown round by members of the royal staff.”

Based at the four-star Crowne Plaza hotel in London’s Buckingham Gate, the trip also featured a morning coach tour of London, led by Ian Godfrey, one of Brightwater’s many freelance tour leaders and a London Blue Badge guide.
Brian says, “After our private visit to Clarence House on day one, our second day included a visit to the Tower of London, with lunch, after which the group had some hours free for individual sightseeing before going to Buckingham Palace. Our visit here terminated with a glass of champagne on the terrace, with the group then transported off the Palace grounds in a series of royal buggies, passing through the famous gates which were thronged with sightseers.”

The final day allowed more free time when members could do their own sightseeing or meet up with friends, but about half the group opted for a tour of Westminster Abbey, where Ian is also a voluntary guide. “The 23 people on the tour – slightly less than the Association’s normal average of 30 – thoroughly enjoyed their visit to Royal London,” states Brian.” Originally I undertook all the work arranging trips myself, but some five years ago the detailed organising for our tours was handed over to Brightwater Holidays, the specialist group operator with whom we enjoy outstandingly good relations”.

Hotel offers walking tours of local area

Leadenhall Market is one of the stops on the walking tour. © visitlondonimages/britainonview/Pawel Libera

Leadenhall Market is one of the stops on the walking tour. © visitlondonimages/britainonview/Pawel Libera

GUESTS at the Mint Hotel – Tower of London can now explore the history of the City of London by taking a walking tour with a qualified local guide.

The tour, guided by Geoff Boyd, takes groups to buildings and locations that reflect life in the City over the past 2,000 years and talks about the historical figures who helped shape it.
Highlights of the 90-minute tour include a visit to All Hallows by the Tower, the oldest church in the City of London. According to records, Samuel Pepys climbed the tower of the church to survey the damage caused by the Great Fire of London.
Boyd also leads guests to the old headquarters of the Port of London, Leadenhall Market, which was used as a location in the Harry Potter films and London’s first coffee house, built in the 17th century.
Prices vary according to the size of the group.

For further information

Telephone 020 7709 1000