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Discover London

Duration: 9 x 44'

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Featuring interviews with local historians, this series not only gives you an insight into one of the world’s greatest cities but also into areas and landmarks of key historical significance.

London is the most fascinating city in the world, with 2,000 years of dramatic history. Led by one of the famous London taxi drivers we meet historians, local people and visit enchanting cultural centres.

Throughout each episode we see how the Capital successfully combines its traditional architecture with modern infrastructure, highlighting and uncovering hidden gems such as London’s oldest market, the first bridge across the river Thames, the ‘Home of Time’, a lost river in a Royal borough and modern icons . With almost every London street having a story behind it, there are surprising revelations along the way.

We stop by the famous celebrity shopping areas of Covent Garden, Mayfair, Kensington and Chelsea, before a trip to the Royal Court Theatre and Cadogan Hall.

We explore London’s vibrant East End and try Pie and Mash at the London Docklands before returning to the tranquility of Hampstead Heath where we visit the home of Sigmund Freud. We visit historic Kings Cross where we admire some of the local architecture and learn more about the famous St Pancras station.

And that's just some of the stops on this fun and informative travel series which explores alternative areas of the capital, learning more about the cultural history of one of the world’s greatest cities.

Series 1 (6 x 30')

Episode 1
Clerkenwell, is former monastic settlement located between the city of London and kings cross with a very diverse history. In this episode we visit Museum of the order of st John whose history dates back to the 12 century. Explore Smithfield to reveal Clerkenwell’s fascinating history and, we uncover the worlds first flyover!

Episode 2
Covent Garden, is an area of London buzzing with excitement. We interview our local historian in The Royal Opera House, feature the Savoy hotel with an exclusive interview with the butler, visit the home of Benjamin Franklin, and explore the wonders and history of the National Portrait gallery which first opened in 1856.

Episode 3
Holborn & Bloomsbury, has a history that dates back over 700 years. We visit 48 Doughty Street the home of Charles Dickens from 1837 and 1839 and call into the London Silver Vaults the largest stockist of silver in the world. We discover the colourful history of the Foundling museum (Britain’s first home for abandoned children) dating back over 250 years. Lastly to tempt your taste buds we visit Le Cordon Bleu one of the UK’s leading schools in culinary arts.

Episode 4
Marylebone, is an area adjacent to London’s Oxford Street. Be amazed by the Wallace collection which houses one of the greatest collections of art in the world. We explore the collections of paintings, porcelains, furniture and princely arms and armour. We visit Wigmore Hall a leading international recital venue that specialises in performances of chamber music and song. We feature an interview with the head concierge at the Hyatt hotel in their famous Churchill bar. This was designed with the young Winston Churchill and his beloved wife Clementine in mind.

Episode 5
Mayfair, is one of the most exclusive areas of London which houses the largest concentration of five star hotels in the capital. We explore the history of Mayfair from the 1600’s to today. We begin in Browns Hotel where Rudyard Kipling wrote Jungle book. Leaving the hotel we set off for St George’s church in Hanover square where Theodore Roosevelt and many other famous people married. We also visit the home of Handel and Jimi Hendrix and discover the Royal Institute where Michael Faraday’s discoveries have helped shape the modern world.

Episode 6
Southwark, forms one of the oldest parts of London and fronts the River Thames to the north. We visit Southwark Cathedral where it is said there had been a church on the site since AD606 and is the oldest cathedral in London. We explore one of the Capital’s oldest and most unusual museums, the Old Operating Theatre. We delve into Borough market highlighting the diverse selection of speciality food that it is famous for today. We tour the Golden Hinde, a full sized replica of the 16th century ship that Sir Frances Drake used to circumnavigate the globe between 1577 and 1580.

Series 2 (6 x 44')

Episode 1
Kensington and Chelsea, famous for shopping and celebrity residents, we find has far more cultural hidden depths. We visit The Chelsea Physic Garden, the Royal Court Theatre and Cadogan Hall. We even find time for lesson in the art of flower arranging!

Episode 2
East London is an under explored expanse of London rich in ethnic and social diversity. We visit the Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood, overflowing with childhood toys dating as far back as the 1600’s. Dennis Severs’ House, a historical recreation or ‘still life drama’ of how the 18th century previous occupants lived and this is followed by a visit to The Royal London Hospital Archives.

Episode 3
The London Docklands has played a key part in the city’s growth and wealth. We discover the history of the docks and the incredible manpower that went into creating them. We also encounter ‘The Good Hotel’ an extraordinary converted barge that now provides it’s guests with a unique experience. Along the way we refuel in the traditional East End manner by visiting a Pie and Mash shop. Then we stopover in The Geffrye Museum, with exhibitions of individual rooms from the home from throughout the years.

Episode 4
Hampstead uncovers some real hidden gems such as the Freud Museum, home of the controversial psychoanalyst, Sigmund Freud and Kenwood House a 17th century mansion on a lush green backdrop. We explore the Heath and Golders Hill Park to learn how the area still maintains its village atmosphere today.

Episode 5
Kings Cross is famous for St. Pancras station with its unique architecture. We meet the station managers to understand why it is the only station in London that is raised above ground level. Just down the road from the station we visit a historian in the striking St. Pancras Old Church. The Victorian building stands on what is believed to be one of the oldest sites of Christian worship in England. The area is also home to the renowned British library boasting over 150 million items from all over the world.

Additional Episode
We finish the series at the Museum of London which guides us from the prehistoric past to the present day. The museum has nine permanent galleries displaying ancient artefacts and items from the bronze age all the way through to today. The museum regularly hosts a special exhibition and this episode features a look into the great fire of London. We meet the Museums curators to understand how each layer of history has contributed to this amazing place we call London.

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