Sunday, 31 July 2016

London Afternoon Tour followed by Jack The Ripper Tour - Save £28

Afternoon London Tour
  • Guided tour of St Paul's Cathedral
  • Guided tour of the Tower of London
  • See the magnificent Crown Jewels
  • Thames River Cruise (from 1 April 2016)
Jack the Ripper
  • Investigate London's darkest secrets with a world-renowned storyteller
  • See where Jack the Ripper found his victims
    Visit a Traditional London Pub
  • First class luxury motor coach and the services of a professional Tour Guide
  • Personal Audio Headset
Save £28 compared to booking the two tours separately.
Tower of London Night Long Shot
Full Details

St Paul's Cathedral

We take you on a guided tour of St Paul's Cathedral, Sir Christopher Wren's masterpiece with its magnificent dome. The Cathedral was rebuilt after the Great Fire of London in 1666. In recent years it has seen the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, to Lady Diana Spencer and, more recently, the thanksgiving services for both the Diamond Jubilee and 80th Birthday of Her Majesty the Queen.

The Tower of London and Crown Jewels

Founded by William the Conqueror in 1066-7 and enlarged by successive sovereigns, the Tower of London is one of the world's most famous and spectacular fortresses. Over the past 1000 years it has been a Royal Palace, an armoury and a place of imprisonment and execution. The Beefeaters who guard the Tower will regale you with stories of its past. We will visit the Crown Jewels, including the magnificent solid-gold crown used at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, the enormous Cullinan diamonds and the extraordinary Koh-I-Noor.

Thames River Cruise (from 1 April 2016)

City Cruises operate a regular service between the Tower of London and Westminster Pier. You have the choice to take the River Cruise and end your tour at Westminster Pier, or take the cruise on another day and go with your guide back to Victoria. River Cruise Tickets are one-way from Tower Pier to Westminster Pier (or vice versa).

Jack the Ripper

Our tour begins with a coach drive direct to the dark side of London. The Theatre Drury Lane, said to be the most haunted theatre in London, your guide will tell you why! We see the Old Bailey - the site of numerous public hangings, drive along Fleet Street, home of Sweeny Todd - the demon barber of Fleet Street - and his accomplice, Mrs Lovatt, who was said to have baked pies from the flesh of his victims, selling them to unsuspecting customers.
As the shadows lengthen, we approach London's East End, a hotbed of crime and vice in the 19th century. During the autumn of 1888, terror struck when Jack the Ripper came out of the fog and dimly lit alleys just long enough to stalk and butcher his five victims.
We leave the coach and walk his death trail inspecting the murder sites, deciphering the evidence and discussing the suspects. We will see the 10 Bells Pub, built in 1752 where many of Jack the Ripper's victims were said to have drunk. To this day the case remains unsolved.
Jack The Ripper

Saturday, 30 July 2016

The dinosaurs have arrived at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo


The dinosaurs have arrived at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo's brand new immersive exhibit, Zoorassic Park, is now open and is home to life-size animatronic dinosaurs. Don't miss the awe-inspiring dinosaurs and the chance to learn about the fascinating creatures that lived more than 65 million years ago. The dinosaurs will be only be on display until 4 September so book your tickets today.

New for this summer, you can enjoy a special evening at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo camping under the stars opposite our dinosaur exhibit in 'Snorassic Park'. Enjoy an exclusive after-hours tour of the Zoo but hurry, there are only a few places remaining this weekend and on select dates this Summer.


Keepers on cubwatch had a nice surprise at ZSL London Zoo when they captured the moment two new born Sumatran tiger cubs opened their eyes for the very first time. The as yet unsexed baby tigers have been outside exploring, lucky visitors might be able to catch a glimpse of the Critically Endangered cubs padding through the long grass of Tiger Territory.

More Information - Buy Tickets

Chelsea Flower Show plants rescued for 'floating garden'

Farmopolis "floating" gardenImage copyrightJAMES WICK
Image captionThe organisers adopted 15,000 plants from the Chelsea Flower Show
Tens of thousands of plants and flowers salvaged from this year's Chelsea Flower Show have been used to create a "floating garden" in south-east London.
Farmopolis has been made using about 15,000 plants adopted from the RHS show in May which have been planted on a derelict jetty on Greenwich Peninsula.
Those behind the project said they wanted to create a "hub centred around farming" above the Thames.
The garden, which has no entrance fee, will open to the public on 30 July.
It has been developed through a partnership between event organiser Secret Productions, arts and architecture practice Wayward, and landowners Greenwich Peninsula.
Farmopolis Image copyrightJAMES WICK
Image captionFarmopolis has a capacity of up to 500 people
Flowers at Chelsea Flower ShowImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionThousands of plants, as seen here at this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show...
Flowers in Farmopolis
Image caption... can now be found on the jetty in Greenwich Peninsula
Jo Vidler, director of Secret Productions, said part of the difficulty had been keeping flowers that had been grown specially for Chelsea alive, as many are out of season.
"The gardeners are really enjoying the challenge I think," she said.
Organisers also said they hoped to develop the area into a working urban farm.
"We have a lot of ambition around food growing, but we're starting with plants and flowers," Wayward's Heather Ring said.
People visiting FarmopolisImage copyrightJAMES WICK
Image captionEvents like an edible hat making workshop will be held over summer
Plants in Image copyrightJAMES WICK
Image captionGardeners and volunteers will look after the space
View of FarmopolisImage copyrightJAMES WICK
Image captionFarmopolis is based near to the O2 arena and Emirates cable car
The garden will be open between 10:00 and 22:00 BST, Monday to Friday.
At the weekend, visitors can see the flowers between 10:00 and 0:00 on Saturday, and 10:00 and 11:00 on Sunday.

Friday, 29 July 2016

Elizabeth I Armada portrait saved with help of 8,000 donors

The Armada portrait of Elizabeth IImage copyrightART FUND
Image captionThe portrait was originally owned and possibly commissioned by Sir Francis Drake
A portrait of Elizabeth I has become public property, after an appeal helped raise £10.3m to buy it.
The Armada portrait, thought to have been painted in 1590, was being sold by descendants of Sir Francis Drake.
An Art Fund appeal generated £1.5m from 8,000 donations. The Heritage Lottery Fund gave £7.4m; the Art Fund and Royal Museums Greenwich were major donors.
The picture will go on show at the Queen's House in Greenwich, near the site of Elizabeth's birth, in October.

'Inspiring female leadership'

The painting, considered to be a masterpiece of the English Renaissance, commemorates one of the most famous moments of Elizabeth's reign, the failed invasion of England by the Spanish Armada in 1588.
Sir Francis was the vice admiral of the English fleet at the time and it is believed he may even have commissioned the painting, which is unusual for its large size - 3ft 7ins by 4ft 1in (1.1m by 1.25m) - and horizontal format.
The Art Fund donated £1m to the cost of the painting, while Royal Museums Greenwich supplied £400,000.
The remaining funds came from the Linbury Trust, the Garfield Weston Foundation and the Headley Trust.
The Queen's House in GreenwichImage copyrightNMM
Image captionThe painting will be hung at The Queen's House in Greenwich in October
Stephen Deuchar, director of The Art Fund, said the campaign to save the painting had been "a triumph of popular will".
"Record numbers of donors, large and small, stepped forward with determination and generosity, creating an irresistible momentum that has brought this great work into public ownership at last," he said.
HLF chairman Sir Peter Luff said the painting was "a compelling historic icon, illustrating as it does a decisive conflict, inspiring female leadership, maritime power and the emergence of the Elizabethan 'Golden Age'".
"This image has shaped our understanding of the Virgin Queen for over 400 years and I am delighted that it will now have such an appropriate permanent home in Greenwich," he added.
The painting will be the centrepiece for the reopening of the Queen's House on 11 October.
It will then undergo a conservation process to "restore its fragile painted surfaces" before becoming part of an exhibition and outreach programme, an Art Fund spokeswoman said.
Elizabeth I cupcake and letterImage copyrightART FUND
Image captionThe Elizabeth I cupcakes came complete with a letter explaining why the painting was important
Among those who donated to the appeal were a seven-year-old Wakefield girl, who sold Elizabeth I cupcakes whilst dressed in a costume inspired by the painting, and pupils at St Paul's Girl School in London, who held a bake sale to raise funds.
St Paul's history teacher Blanche Girouard said the girls "study the portrait when we teach Elizabeth I and the Armada, so [they were] very keen to help save it for the nation".

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Wellcome Collection - What's On in August

Wellcome Collection, A Free Destination for the incurably curious. What's On
Booking for events opens at 11.00 on Friday 29 July.
You can book online by following the links below, or you can call us on 020 7611 2222.
This August, Wellcome Café and the Reading Room are hosting artist Dora García's project 'The Hearing Voices Café', a meeting place for voice-hearers, their friends and coincidental guests.

From Socrates and Saint Teresa of Avila to avant-garde writer Hannah Weiner, philosophers, believers and artists have long regarded voice-hearing as a special gift. Others, such as Virginia Woolf, have had less positive experiences. Either way, voice-hearing has played a significant role in human experience historically and continues to do so today - as highlighted by the International Hearing Voices Movement, a social movement challenging narrow understandings of voice-hearing.

Join us at the café for drop-in discussions and events produced in collaboration with different communities related to voice-hearing, to share, explore and learn about diverse perspectives and experiences.

Event timings and details will be available online from 1 August.

› The Hearing Voice Cafe - find out more
This exhibition explores how the unique grain of our voice locates us socially, geographically and psychologically and how the voice is utterly flexible and can be altered with treatment and training.
Designed as an acoustic journey, the spotlight is cast on the meaning and emotions conveyed through the patterns of rhythm, stress and intonation.
Non-verbal forms of communication are emphasised, revealing the power of the voice before and beyond words.

All our exhibitions are free. Find out about entry at busy times.

Exploring phenomena such as somnambulism, synaesthesia, and disorders of memory and consciousness, the exhibition examines ideas around the nature of consciousness, and in particular what can happen when our typical conscious experience is interrupted, damaged or undermined.
'States of Mind: Tracing the edges of consciousness' will feature a series of changing installations.The final one is 'Time Present' by Shona Illingsworth, from 19 July until 16 October. Find out more about this installation.
The exhibition also features work by artists Carla MacKinnon, Louise K Wilson, A R Hopwood, Mary Kelly and Aya Ben Ron.
All our exhibitions are free. Find out about entry at busy times.

19 AUG 2016 - 8 JAN 2017
'Skeletons: Our Buried Bones' is going on tour across the country, with a first stop in Glasgow. Based on a show originally at Wellcome Collection in 2008, the exhibition is a collaboration with the Museum of London, touring to the Hunterian Art Gallery, M Shed in Bristol and Leeds City Museum over 2016-18.

SATURDAYS, 11.00-14.45

'The Quiet Volume' is a whispered, self-generated and ‘automatic’ performance for two visitors at a time, exploiting the particular tension common to any library: the combination of silence and concentration within which different people’s experiences of reading and listening unfold.
You are invited to participate in pairs, sitting side by side in the Wellcome Library. Taking cues from both written and whispered sources, you will find yourselves burrowing an unlikely path through a pile of books.
SATURDAY 5 NOV, 19.00-21.00
Head to Bethlem Gallery and Museum of the Mind in Beckenham to explore the site of this world-famous hospital through historical and contemporary artistic perspectives. This is a collaboration between Wellcome Collection and Bethlem Gallery in celebration of our 'Bedlam' exhibition and Bethlem’s 'Reclaiming Asylum' exhibition.
RRP £14.99
A practical toolkit of 99 step-by-step vocal exercises devised by renowned vocal coaches to help speakers and singers of all abilities transform the quality of their voice. Bursting with advice – and with a foreword by Cerys Matthews – it covers everything from warm-ups, breathing, pacing and projection to techniques for speaking with confidence and singing jazz, pop, opera and even beatboxing with style. 'This is a Voice' will ensure that you make yourself heard.

RRP £9.99
Understanding the nature of consciousness continues to challenge even the leading experts in the field. This collection of literature, science and art delves into the mysteries of consciousness and features an introduction by Mark Haddon.

RRP £16.99
We all hear voices. In this book, Charles Fernyhough takes a wide-ranging look at the voices in our heads, examining how we think and what it means for our lives and sense of self. Published to coincide with Wellcome Collection’s 'This is a Voice’ exhibition.

RRP £14.99
The story of the Indian people, in sickness and in health; a unique perspective on the most diverse and fascinating country in the world.Written by Aarath Prasad and inspired by Wellcome Collection’s 2016 Mumbai exhibition.

15 SEP 2016 - 15 JAN 2017
Opening this September, ‘Bedlam: the asylum and beyond’ traces the rise and fall of the mental asylum and the present-day landscape that has succeeded it, through the lens of one such institution, Bethlem Royal Hospital in London, known in popular slang as Bedlam. 
The exhibition focuses on the diverse perspectives and lived experiences of individuals that inhabited the asylum or created alternatives to it – their voices have shaped the meaning of mental illness and the current landscape of mental health care.

Young people from our ‘Minds in Motion’ Hip Hop dance project will be performing their newly choreographed work, inspired by our ‘States of Mind’ exhibition. This project has been led by dancers from ZooNation Dance Company and  was organised in partnership with Camden Summer University.

Image: ZooNation Dance Company


Prolific and accomplished British electronic musician Matthew Herbert is renowned for manipulating everyday sounds and bodily experiences to produce electronic music. Chorusasks visitors to sing a single note within a professional recording booth in the This is a Voice exhibition, following a set of instructions. The visitors’ voices are then automatically added to a chorus of voices, including performers and staff from the Royal Opera House.

Seven young voice hearers collaborated with artist Hannah Hull to create a significant body of artwork that aims to evoke and challenge the viewer’s expectations of a voice hearer. Hannah tells us more about it and considers the ethics of such an artwork inHearing Voices: On Curiosity.

Producing trailers for Wellcome Collection often involves hunting around for that perfect music track to convey the mood of the show. Find out how we created the soundtrack for the 'THIS IS A VOICE' trailer.

We invited artists to programme or perform live vocalisations in the ‘THIS IS A VOICE‘ gallery space. These daily events offered an intimate, behind-the-scenes glimpse into the mechanics of voice production and vocal exercises. We reflect on this unorthodox programme of events,Voicings.
3 AUG - 29 AUG
Outside In and Unlimited presents three Japanese visual artists showing their work in UK for the first time: intuitive musical scores, ‘Makoot’ dolls and colourful drawings, including some that challenge gender representation, will all be exhibited.

Submit your images now for the 2017 Wellcome Image Awards for your chance to win up to £5,000. Winning images will be displayed in galleries and science centres across the UK and around the world.

› Wellcome Image Awards – find out more
17 JUN - 21 AUG
The Museum of Brands is exhibiting the spectacular dresses from fashion designer and Kumiko Tani’s ‘Re-cycle Style’ collection exploring consumer culture and fashion.

10 JUN - 4 SEP
Curated by Pablo León de la Barra this exhibition brings together highlights from the Guggenheim’s collection of recently acquired Latin American works, spanning installation, painting, performance, photography, sculpture, and video.

› Under the Same Sun:Art from Latin America Today – find out more