Horse Garden, PM House, Westminster & Big Ben

Horse Garden

  • To be honest I was too distracted by the horses to hear whether there were any interesting stories on this particular area… oh well!!
  • Once again the fur seen on the saddle blankets are real bear though ūüė¶

Prime Minister House

  • We got some interesting stories about this area…one of which involved the placement of where the Prime Minister lived… it is directly across from a park that has quite the reputation¬†to be able to solicit¬†prostitutes at night… so needless to say, many a rumor flew that the reason he picked that house was so he would have close and more discreet access to the ladies of the park
  • Another interesting story:¬†The large yard in front of the house was actually ear marked to have the equestrian events during the Olympics.¬† However, not wanting his view soiled by the look of hundreds of horses and the smell of them to boot , the venue for the equestrian events was moved to another location and tons upon tons of sand was brought in to that location so that the Prime Ministers view could be that of… Women’s beach volleyball… Obviously he had only the best intentions for the horses when choosing a different venue for them…
  • See the pictures of the Horse Guard Palace to see where the equestrian events were supposed to be (and where the women’s volleyball competition did happen).¬† It is all just in front of the Prime Ministers house
  • By the way, I can’t say exactly which of the Prime Ministers were the ones involved in the above activities… I can’t say mainly just because I can’t remember, lol!!

Westminster Abbey

  • Most recently famous for being the site of Prince William and Princess Kate’s marriage
  • Housed the Stone of Destiny for many years until taken back and returned to Scotland (more on this story in the Edinburgh castle section)

Big Ben

  • Big Ben is actually the name of the bell, not the tower.¬† There are several bells that are up in the tower, 4 small ones if memory serves and one large bell: Big ben
  • Big ben actually has a hole in it from being struck so many times.¬† It now makes somewhat of a dull ‘gong’ sound that it never used to
  • The actual tower is called simply Queen Elizabeth (if memory serves, lol!!)

Ok, now I know that for many of these areas there are a ton of more interesting facts about each place, but if I gave everything away there wouldn’t be any reason for any readers to either want to find out more or go on a tour themselves when in London!¬† Also, it is quite difficult to recall EVERYTHING from the tour, especially toward the end as my mind and body were getting quite tired!!

On to Areas Not Covered

Back to London Walking Tour

Back to United Kingdom

Trafalgar Square

Here we come to another fun little story…¬† The man on the top of the column in Trafalgar square is indeed a man named Nelson, NOT Napoleon…¬† However Nelson was responsible for winning one of the battles against Napoleon.¬† Sadly, he also lost his life in that particular battle.¬† The location of the battle, as you may¬†know (it was news to me!!)¬†took place in Trafalgar, Egypt.

So the story goes (as told by my tour guide) that Nelson fought bravely and valiantly, and with the Royal Navy at his command was able to defeat Napoleon in the battle at Trafalgar.  When Nelson lost his life in the battle, the soldiers, well really all of the United Kingdom wanted to honor his brave acts and his victory on his behalf.  So they decided to bring his body back to England so that it could be properly buried.

However, there was one little issue… The body was on a ship in the waters near Egypt, and it would take several days to actually get back to England… So preserving the body became an interesting challenge.¬† No worries however, they had several barrels of whisky on board!!¬† And what is the best way to preserve a body??¬† Well, dunk it in whiskey!¬† So they opened a barrel of whiskey (they had 5 or 6 in all) and placed Nelson’s body inside.¬† They replaced the cap of the barrel and marked it so that they would know which barrel had his body inside, and which were just full of whiskey…

When the ship got back to London,¬†they cracked the barrel labeled with Nelson’s body inside and found it to be curiously only half full of whiskey… hmmm… What happened to the other half???¬† I thought perhaps the body simply absorbed the whiskey up and the body would therefore be a bloated yucky mess.¬† However, this was not the case.¬† What apparently happened instead was that the crew, having been so happy at their victory decided to celebrate all the way back to London.¬† Along the journey they managed to run out of all the whisky (they drank up 4 or 5 barrels of whiskey on their own!!)…

So… what else were they to do after running out of whiskey yet still wanting more??¬† Yup, they started to drink out of the whiskey barrel with Nelson’s body inside!!¬† They¬†apparently felt the best way perhaps to really honor Nelson was to literally drink from him… “eeeewwwwwwww!!!!!”¬†¬†is all I have to say!!!¬† And, as my guide noted, it certainly gives a new meaning to the term “full bodied” when describing imbibes!!!

On to Horse Garden, PM House, Westminster & Big Ben

Back to London Walking Tour

Back to United Kingdom

Red Coats & Gentlemen’s Club

Red Coat Soldiers:

  • The hats are made of real bear fur (poor bears)
  • The soldiers are actual real trained soldiers with skills (one was awarded the longest shot in recorded history- something like 200 meters and he made the target!!) and the weapons are loaded
  • Their coats are red because it was an easier color to spot in the smoke of¬†battlefield¬†gunfire¬†(could tell friend from foe easily) and because it was harder to see if one was injured (a little bit of ego there…)
  • Changed positions every 5 (or was it 10?) minutes to keep skills sharp and their muscles from atrophy
  • There is now a rope and guards between tourists and the soldiers… No more being able to get right in their faces and do silly things to try and make them laugh or break their concentration!!

Gentlemen’s Club:

  • Some of the most expensive real estate properties in all of London
  • True gentlemen’s club, i.e. no ladies allowed ever, or anywhere in the building- this included workers!
  • To join you also had to be filthy rich (in addition to being male) and in some cases had to wait upwards of 20 years to get in!
  • The clubs have nothing to do with strippers or other female entertainment.¬† Simply a club where the good ol’ boys could get together, drink their liquor, smoke cigars and talk about the affairs of the world… sounds sinister to me if you ask me…

Random comment: Golf (the game) was first invented in Scotland as it’s own “gentlemen’s club” in a way… apparently it’s an acronym (GOLF) that stands for Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden!¬† who knew…

On to Trafalgar Square

Back to London Walking Tour

Back to United Kingdom