Tag Archives: London

Watch Mark – Past Mistakes & Redemption in London – England Your England Short Film

Mark from the England Your England short film series tells the story of Mark who spent over a decade behind bars after being convicted for drug dealing. While it has been a difficult road, Mark has managed to find redemption by working as a counsellor for other people from similar backgrounds.

Mark's chosen charity is User Voice, which is based on the idea that only offenders can stop re-offending. You can learn more about the film from the England Your England website.

Watch Patrick – Ageing & Independent Living In London – England Your England Short Film

Patrick, part of the England Your England short film series, is about 81 year old Patrick who continues to live an independent life in central London and helps those around him. It touches on ageing in the city and the feeling of alienation that sometimes results.

Each film in the series is helping to raise money for charity, with Age UK Camden being the chosen one for this movie. You can learn more about the making of the film and see other stills on the England Your England website.

Bakerloo Line Walk – From Harrow & Wealdstone to Elephant & Castle

This post is part of my Randomly London v. The Tube Challenge. Get the latest about challenge updates here. Donate to Bowel Cancer UK here.

Red Telephone Box at Queen's Park
Red Telephone Box Seen at Queen's Park

My overall impression of the Bakerloo line was not altogether favourable when I visited the stations, and initially, walking it does little to improve this. However, this is due as much to mistakes on my part as anything else.

I'm walking the Bakerloo line from Harrow & Wealdstone in far north-west London to Elephant & Castle in the south-east. It's a cool, overcast day in October when I begin – the perfect weather for walking. Nevertheless, things begin to go wrong almost immediately.

A Shaky Beginning

First of all, I'm sleepy because I stayed out late at a work party the night before, which means I am slightly hungover as well. Far worse is the realisation that the internet on my phone is no longer working. For most experienced and/or prepared walkers this wouldn't be a problem, but for me it is.

While I don't have the best phone, it's perfectly sufficient to run Google Maps. Within a very short period of time, I've become wholly dependent on it to navigate London's streets. Why use an A to Z when you have a map with GPS right in your pocket?

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Watch The London Perambulator – Walking In London Documentary

The London Perambulator is a wonderful short documentary about walking in London's fringes. Although it was made in 2009, I've only just come across it. Directed and shot by John Rogers it focuses on Nick Papadimitriou and his walks on the edges of London.

It includes interviews with Will Self, Iain Sinclair and bizarrely Russell Brand. A lot of the discussion focuses on the psychogeography and deep topography of London; two terms I've never heard of before, but something I can certainly relate to on my tube walks.

I won't spoil any more of it here, you'll just have to watch it.

For more visit The London Perambulator website.

£1,000 A Night? London’s Most Expensive Hotels Aren’t What You Think

Most of us who live in London know that hotel room prices aren't cheap. However, since your average Londoner will never stay in a London hotel, most probably couldn't tell you how much an average one costs per night. At £1,000 a night the following hotels may come as a bit of a shock as they're probably not what you'd expect:

Abbey Hotel Sheperds Bush London

Abbey Hotel London

Photos:

abbey-3 Abbey-1 Abbey-2

Located in Shepherds Bush, the hotel is just a 10 minute walk to the BBC Television Centre - perfect for all your big name celebrities. Features include:

  • Air conditioned rooms
  • Cable/Satellite Channels
  • Private bathroom
  • TV
  • Telephone and closets in room

And you better be quick about booking a room, seems there's only 2 left and one was booked just a minute ago. The hotel gets a solid 6.0/10.0 rating meaning it's OK. To find out more about the Abbey Hotel Sheperds Bush London please click here.

Annexe Rooms

Annexe Rooms Hotel London

Photos:

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Located in Ealing, it's not too difficult to get to the Earls Court Exhibition Centre and/or Turnham Green. And when you see the amenities I think you'll agree it's something special:

  • Shared Bathroom
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Non-Smoking Rooms
  • Squash courts
  • Microwave

Again you better be quick about booking a room as there's just one left at £1,000 a night. Unfortunately, there don't seem to be any reviews of the hotel, but I'm sure you expect top notch service at that price. To find out more about the Annexe Rooms please click here.

Dawson House Hotel London

Dawson-House-Hotel

Photos:

Dawson-1 Dawson-2 Dawson-3

The hotel is located about a 10 minute walk from either West Hampstead Tube station or South Hampstead Railway Station. Features include:

  • Restaurant
  • Private Bathroom
  • Coffee/Tea Maker
  • Hair Dryer
  • TV

Overall this hotel looks like the nicest of the bunch. However, is it really worth £999 a night? Consider you can stay at the Savoy the same night for only £383? To find out more about the Dawson House Hotel London click here.

Olympic's B&B

Olympics-BB

Photos:

Olympic-BB-1 Olympic-BB-2 Olympic-BB-3

This bed & breakfast is situated within a 10 minute walk from Maryland Railway Station (where?). It includes the following features:

  • CD Player
  • Shared Bathroom
  • Non-Smoking Rooms
  • Hair Dryer
  • Family Room

Another feature of the hotel is that London Biggin Hill Airport (BQH) is under a 40-minute drive from the Olympic's B&B. This is handy if you plan to fly in by private jet. To find out more about the Olympic's B&B please click here.

What's going on?

First, I just want to make it clear that I'm not criticising any of the hotels listed above. I'm sure they're lovely places to stay, but realistically the pricing does seem a tad high. Nevertheless, I'm only trying to point out a bizarre pricing error, not have fun at anyone else's expense.

Your first though may be that I've photoshopped the booking pages above. I can assure you I haven't. If I did try to photoshop the prices it would look something like this:

photoshop-hotel

Instead I assume this is just an algorithm bug, somewhat similar to this one that was discovered on Amazon. This is reinforced by the fact that there are only 1 or 2 rooms left for each of these listings. Moreover, only one provider is listed as offering the rooms.

Methodology

Really not much to it. I'm always been a little curious about which London hotels are the most expensive. So I used Hotels Combined, my favourite hotel comparison site. It claims to compare the prices of hotels using hundreds of travel sites, but the actual number I've seen on any given search is usually much smaller (in the ones above only 1).

However, when I did a search for a one night stay between August 1, 2013 and August 2, 2013 - I got the strange results you see above. I did the search in early morning of January 30, 2013 and I expect the listings may no longer be there by the time you read this. If anyone can shed any more light on what's going on please leave a comment below.

Disclaimer: The links above to Hotels Combined are affiliate links. This means they will pay me a commission BUT only if you choose to book a room. I figure if anyone is crazy enough to book a £1,000 a night hotel room from here, I want a cut. Bandwidth isn't free. If you object to this please don't click the links.

Is Christmas Time – Another Amazing Mattia Bicchi London Timelapse Film

Is Xmas Time - A London Time Lapse film from Mattia Bicchi Photography on Vimeo.

Unfortunately, most of us had to go back to work yesterday after a long Christmas holiday. Is Christmas Time (or Is X-mas Time) is an another amazing timelapse film by Mattia Bicchi. I think it helps remind us of how wonderful London looked during the holidays.

While the film includes a few of what we can call standard London timelapse shots (e.g. Thames & London Eye), it also includes some incredible panning/moving/zooming ones. Apparently according to Mattia, he "used a monopod and shot for each step, and then stabilized in post-production." Watch to see what I mean.

Locations include: The South Bank, Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square, Oxford Circus, Regents Street, Natural History Museum, Winter Wonderland (in Hyde Park), and Harrods, among others. Where was your favourite London spot for Christmas 2012?

Happy 2013 – A Look Back At Randomly London In 2012

New Years 2013 London Eye Fireworks

New Years Eve 2013 Fireworks from @MPSinthesky - Original Source.

Well the past year has been nothing short of amazing for Randomly London. Although I registered the domain name back in December 2011, I didn't get around to writing my first post until March 24, 2012.

In that very short period of time, I've played around with a few different content ideas and London related topics. The overall response has been great, especially for my Tube challenge related posts.

Here are just a few numbers that sum up 2012:

Number of posts: 155
Unique Visitors: 7,592
Unique Pageviews: 11,392

Top 10 Posts By Unique Pageviews:

  1. Victoria Line Underground Stations – Facts, Trivia And Impressions - 2,032 pageviews
  2. Why Are London’s Property And Rental Prices So High? Hint: It’s Not Greed - 1,129 pageviews
  3. Victoria Line Walk – From Walthamstow Central to Brixton - 1,024 pageviews
  4. Bakerloo Line Underground Stations – Facts, Trivia And Impressions - 914 pageviews
  5. Randomly London v. The Tube – My Personal London Underground Challenge - 718 pageviews
  6. The Various Faces Of The King's Cross Canopy Before Demolition - 565 pageviews
  7. Is There Any Doubt We Are In Drought - 224 pageviews
  8. Tube Challenge Status - 221 pageviews
  9. Waterloo & City Line – Walk And Tube Station Visits - 192 pageviews
  10. What A Difference 5 Years Makes – City of London 2007 vs 2012 - 128 pageviews

Top 5 Sources Of Traffic

  1. Reddit – 4,426 visits - By far my biggest source of traffic. A huge thank you to everyone who's upvoted and commented on my various posts.
  2. Google Search – 937 visits - I'm deliberately not trying to target search traffic, so it's interesting to see it being my number 2 traffic source.
  3. Stumbleupon – 622 visits - Lots of visitors, most of whom don't stay very long.
  4. Twitter - 420 visits - A huge thank you to everyone who follows, and retweets my posts on Twitter. You can follow me @RandomlyLondon
  5. Facebook - 311 visits - Also thanks to everyone who's liked my Facebook page.

So overall a fantastic 2012 and here's hoping 2013 will be even better. You can expect a whole bunch more tube related posts as I continue my tube challenge along with some other surprises too.

Bakerloo Line Underground Stations – Facts, Trivia And Impressions

This post is part of my Randomly London v. The Tube Challenge. Get the latest about challenge updates here. Donate to Bowel Cancer UK here.

Closed Assistance and tickets booth at South Kenton
Closed Assistance and ticket office at South Kenton. Miles away from Oxford Circus.

The Bakerloo line is the third London Underground line I'm tackling as part of my Randomly London V. The Tube Challenge. Heading from south of the Thames at Elephant & Castle to the suburban edges of north-west London up at Harrow & Wealdstone, the line - like almost all Underground lines - connects some very diverse parts of London together.

However, the line feels like the forgotten middle child of the London Underground. It doesn't go the furthest north or south and it isn't the newest or oldest, longest or shortest. In fact, it's the third least used line it terms of total passenger volume, although if you look at passengers per mile of track, it's actually the fourth most used.

The line even went into massive retreat between 1979 and 1982 when it lost the Stanmore branch to the Jubilee line and had services withdrawn so Stonebridge Park became the line's northern terminus. Nevertheless, the forgotten middle child of lines has come back a bit since then and has some interesting stations.

Here's a brief summary of my impressions of each of the 25 stations that currently make up the Bakerloo Line.

Elephant & Castle

Elephant & Castle Bakerloo Exit a classic Leslie Green station
Elephant & Castle Bakerloo line exit - classic Leslie Green.

Impressions: Elephant & Castle is one of those parts of London that will never look good, no matter what scheme the council, developers or mayor's office devise. The roundabout is designed only for cars and pedestrians are left as an afterthought.

Once you accept these facts, then the area isn't so bad. Murals in the subways brighten up what would otherwise be very drab concrete walls. The Strata building is interesting and impressive.

And, the Bakerloo platforms are best accessed through a classic Leslie Green red brick entrance. Thus, if you're a glass half-full kind of person there are some good points to the area that go at least partly mitigate the glaring negatives.

Random Fact: In 1924, the first recorded birth on the London Underground occurred at Elephant & Castle. There has been only 1 other since then. Tweet This

Tube Nerd Fact: The furthest south of Leslie Green's Tube stations. Tweet This

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