I’m finally posting about my trip to London with my client Larry Taunton and Fixed Point Foundation, right before Christmas last year. You can see images from our trip to France last summer here. Traveling with Larry is a treat because he is so knowledgeable and it’s always a fascinating history lesson. Larry’s assistant, Mary Laura, and my friend and assistant, Emily traveled with us.
We walked miles and miles all over London, day and night. We worked a lot, and in our spare time we ate, shopped and went to shows. I LOVED London, even more than I thought I would. It’s beautiful, bustling, interesting and full of history.
My favorite highlights from this trip? Seeing Les Miserables for the first time ever on the London Stage, High Tea at Fortnum & Mason, climbing 528 spiral steps to the top of Saint Paul’s Cathedral for a 360 degree view of London, walking around Oxford University and taking in its amazing architecture, Portobello Road Market in Notting Hill and Covent Garden (as mentioned above), shopping at Harrods, experiencing debates at Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park, and watching the SEC Championship game and eating London’s version of BBQ (not bad AT ALL) in a sports bar near Tower Bridge.
I hope you enjoy the images! And, if you are interested in taking a tour of England or a European tour with Larry (which I highly recommend), be sure to contact Fixed Point Foundation to find out more about the tour experiences they offer.
We rode the train to spend a day in Oxford. Larry was meeting with his friend, author and Oxford professor, John Lennox. He also spoke to a group of Lennox’s students. Oxford was one of my favorite days on our trip. There’s so much history and tradition and the architecture is incredible. And, there are lots and lots of bicycles…some of them turquoise with baskets. I spent the end of the day there walking around by myself, camera in hand as the sun went down. Later than night we all gathered for dinner. It was perfect.
This archway was my very favorite spot in Oxford…the light, the shadows, the coats of arms on the ceiling, and peeking through were the bicycles leaning on the fence of the famous round, domed Radcliffe Camera building. So, I kept coming back to it different times of the day to shoot it in different light, from different angles. One of these will be framed in my house.
The Eagle and Child is the famous pub where “The Inklings” writers group, including C.S. Lewis, R. Tolkien, Charles Williams and Hugo Dyson would gather to read and discuss manuscripts. At one of those gatherings in June 1950 is when C.S. Lewis distributed the proofs for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
Mary Laura, Emily and I ate there for lunch. They could have probably hung out with those writers back in the day, since they are well read, smarty pants. I was just there for the food.
Above: Photo above by Emily Kicklighter
Above: Authors Larry Taunton and John LennoxAbove: Author and Oxford Professor, John LennoxAbove: Author and Oxford Professor, John Lennox
The Oxford Museum of Natural History
This beautiful museum was founded in 1860 and has quite the display of dinosaurs under its roof. On June 30, 1860, this building hosted the “Great Debate” of Creation vs. Evolution between Henry Huxley (Pro Evolution) and Samuel Wilberforce (Pro Creation).
Westminster Bridge, Thames River, Big Ben &
The London Eye
The view from the Westminster Bridge is just stunning. Definitely one of the best vantage points in the city. Our soundtrack for the day came from a bagpiper playing on the bridge. It was incredible.
Westminster Abbey & Parliament Square
The famous Abbey where William and Kate were married, was incredibly beautiful and ornate. I stood and stared at it a while…and imagined photographing a wedding there…maybe even a royal wedding. A girl can dream!
I also enjoyed seeing all of the statues in Parliament Square, especially Winston Churchill’s statue. It is the only statue that has an electric current running through it so that birds will not perch on it and leave their deposits.
One of my favorite movies is Notting Hill, which also happened to be my very favorite area of London. We only spent an afternoon there, but I certainly could have spent at least a full day shopping Portobello Road Market. Vendors lined the streets selling vintage cameras, vintage furs, vintage silver, vinyl records, fresh flowers and so much more. Also lining the streets were picturesque colorful buildings and flats. There truly wasn’t enough time for me to take it all in, which means I have to go back!
My favorite movie is The Holiday, so traveling to London, brought some of that movie to life for me. Remember Iris’ (Kate Winslett) line about finding that book for Jasper in “that little place in Covent Garden”? We went to that quaint and charming spot.
It pretty much blew my mind. That’s all I have to say. You absolutely must have this shopping experience if you are in London and you must make a purchase there. My purchase was a wallet. Merry Christmas to me!
Picadilly Circus & Trafalgar Square
These areas of London were bustling all day and night with locals and tourists, and boasted the best Christmas decorations in the city. Angels, ornaments, and stars were lit up at night and hung over the streets. This year, the enormous Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square was a gift that traveled all the way from Norway. Surprisingly, Buckingham Palace wasn’t decorated for Christmas at all…maybe a politically correct statement? I was disappointed.