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The Royal Air Force Bomber Command Memorial, Green Park, London

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The Royal Air Force Bomber Command Memorial is located in Green Park, London. It was built to commemorate the aircrews of the RAF Bomber Command who fought during World War II. It marks the sacrifice of the fifty five thousand, five hundred and seventy three men from Britain, Canada, Poland and other Commonwealth countries, as well as civilians of all nations killed during the bomb raids. The memorial was officially opened on 28th June 2013 by Queen Elizabeth II.

sculpture seven aircrew

The sculpture shows seven aircrew members returning from a mission.

History of the RAF Bomber Command

The RAF Bomber Command formed in 1936, despite there being reasonable doubt to whether a strong bomber force was a good idea, or whether it would simply encourage complete destruction. After the Nazi Blitzkrieg defeated France in 1940, Britain was left with no other choice than to fight on with the Bomber Command at the forefront of attacks. After much difficulty, the Bomber Command had to result to the problematic task of night bombing in order to reduce the number of casualties.

It was only in 1942 when the appointment of Air Marshal Arthur ‘Bomber’ Harris as Commander in Chief, started to turn things around for the Bomber Command. His strategy to destroy Germany’s industrial structure, along with improved air craft, better training, navigational aids and the ruthless will to win, was what enabled the RAF Bomber Command to achieve everything that they did for Britain.


The tactics employed by the RAF Bomber Command during the Second World War caused a lot of controversy. One of the most controversial attacks was the raid on Dresden in 1945, which killed thousands of civilians. This meant that the official memorial was delayed for many years. The memorial was eventually funded by a number of public figures as well as donations from the general public.

The sculpture and time capsule

The memorial features a sculpture of seven bomber aircrew members. It was designed by sculptor Philip Jackson who wanted the piece to look like the aircrew had just returned from one of their many missions. It was unveiled in a ceremony attended by the Queen, along with many veterans and relatives on Thursday 29th June 2013. The event drummed up so much interest that it was aired on a big screen opposite the memorial site, so that members of the public could be a part of it.

A time capsule was later placed in the memorial on the 7th November 2012. It holds messages of love and remembrance, as well as photographs, donated by friends, family and supporters of the RAF Bomber Command.

memorial green park london

The memorial is located in Green Park, London.

How to get to the memorial

The easiest way to visit the memorial is by tube, with the nearest station being Hyde Park Corner which runs on the Piccadilly line. If you come in from Green Park station on the Jubilee, Piccadilly or Victoria line you will find the memorial within short walking distance. Alternatively you can access the memorial by train. If this is your chosen method of transport you will need to get off at Victoria station and walk. It should take you no more than fifteen minutes! During the day time you can also catch a bus to the memorial. Routes 9, 14, 22, 38 and C2 all stop adjacent to the Memorial.

Preserving the memorial

Unfortunately the Bomber Command Memorial is not funded by the Government and therefore requires the help of the public in order to pay for its up keep.  Donations can be made directly from the RAF website or if you wish to you can leave a gift in your will. Many people also like to fundraise for the RAF Benevolent Fund by doing things like running marathons, throwing bake sales and beating world records!

Whether one of your relatives fought in World War II or you just wish to pay your respects to those that did, the RAF Bomber Command memorial is well worth visiting during your trip to London.


Image credits: Bryn Pinzgauer & Bryn Pinzgauer

The Courtauld Gallery, Somerset House, London

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A world-renowned small art gallery with a collection of famous and important art works from around the world and through the ages, the Courtauld Gallery is a wonderful place to visit to get a compact insight into art history and some of the finest works in a variety of media. Set in Somerset House, the glorious West London mansion, the Courtauld’s location gives it all the more reasons to pay a visit.

Ranked online as one of the top 20 attractions out of nearly 1,000 London sights, the Gallery is popular with visitors as well as those in the art world. Once you’ve visited, it’ll be easy to see why.

courtauld gallery

The Courtauld Gallery is almost as much of a masterpiece as some of the artworks they have on display

The history of the gallery

Somerset House has long been associated with fine art, and the cultural heritage is evident in the splendid décor of the gallery and its rooms and corridors. Somerset House was originally built to house a number of official departments learned societies, amongst which was the Royal Academy of Art. This heritage has been carried on to this day, and the Courtauld is only one part of a wide and on-going programme of cultural and artistic events and exhibitions that take place at Somerset House every year.

In recognition of the academic history, the gallery is a cornerstone of the Courtauld Institute of Art. The Institute is one of the world’s pre-eminent centres for the study of the history of art and its art historians and academics provide support to the curators of the gallery in collating collections for exhibition as well as offering teaching to students.

architecture stairs courtauld gallery

The architecture of the gallery makes it a pleasure to wander around, even outside the exhibition rooms

The Collections

As with most galleries, the Courtauld has a permanent collection as well as a range of visiting and temporary exhibitions that change on a regular basis. The permanent collection includes paintings by some of the most famous names in art history, including paintings by Van Gogh and Degas and sketches from the portfolios of da Vinci and Michelangelo.

In addition to the paintings on display, the gallery also houses a number of important sculptural artworks. Its collection of pieces in the decorative arts includes Islamic metalwork, Italian renaissance furniture and Spanish ceramics.

What’s on?

The programme at the Courtauld includes a regular change in temporary exhibitions and a series of talks for those interested in the background to the collections and art history in general.

Each Monday and Friday, visitors can enjoy a 15 minute lunchtime talk at 1.15pm which are delivered by researchers and students from the Courtauld Institute and cover a range of topics arising from the work of the gallery. On the first Wednesday of every month, one of the gallery’s curators takes to the podium to give a talk on their recent work.

The current temporary exhibition brings together art and science in a collection that looks at the technology and craft behind the creation of fine filigree glassware. Visitors have the chance to see some beautiful examples of decorative glass ranging from Venetian goblets from the 16th century through to English glasses from the late 18th century and learn about their structure and chemical composition that helps make them the attractive pieces that they are.


Lovers of art will love a visit to the Courtauld Gallery. Its artworks provide plenty to enthral and interest those with a keen eye for beauty while the setting gives visitors a chance to experience the majestic and elegant Somerset House. Entry to the gallery is £6, £5 for concessions, and is open daily from 10am-6pm except Christmas Day and Boxing Day.


Image Credits: ALH1 and Dunleavy Family

Ronnie Scott’s World Famous Jazz Club, Soho, London

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Saxophonist Ronnie Scott first opened the doors to his basement club back in 1959 as a place where local musicians could meet together to play music and jam.

atmospheric basement club

The atmospheric basement club

Over the years, the club has gone from strength to strength, with a programme that’s seen some of the biggest names and best musicians on the jazz music scene pass through its doors and onto the stage throughout its lifetime. Often choosing to shun some of the bigger venues and concert halls in favour of the intimacy and atmosphere of Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, jazz royalty have played in the basement and entertained crowds of music fans for over 50 years.

Ronnie’s Bar

In addition to the basement club, Ronnie Scott’s has a stylish cocktail bar upstairs from the main venue. With plush décor and easy listening music including live performances on many evenings, the bar is a relaxed place to step out of the hustle and bustle of the Soho streets.

The cocktail menu boasts an extensive list of drinks from traditional aperitifs and old favourites alongside the bar’s own inventions from their resident mixologists. With a champagne list and range of whiskies from the common to the rare, there’ll be something for every palate to enjoy while kicking back and enjoying the vibe.

Jazz… and so much more

The club offers a full programme of jazz entertainment on the bill seven days a week. With doors open every day from 6pm for the evening show and Late Late shows on each Friday and Saturday from 12.45pm, there’s plenty of opportunities to hear the latest sounds.


Musicians jam in the spirit of Ronnie’s legacy

In addition to the evening programme, Ronnie Scott’s offers a Sunday jazz lunch where three courses are served alongside two hours of some of the best relaxed jazz in the city.

The menu options don’t stop at lunch, and Ronnie Scott’s Bar upstairs from the club offers a selection of snacks and meals, including a range of caviar and champagnes, from opening until late.

Growing new talent

From its speakeasy beginnings, the club has gone on to offer opportunities for musicians and music fans of all ages. Ronnie Scott’s Big Band in a Day is a popular free programme that has seen the bringing together of young musicians between 12 and 17 years of age for a day of playing, tuition and fun that culminates in a two-number gig on the main stage at the end of the day.

Taking place on the first Sunday of every month, musicians playing saxophones, trumpets and trombones, basses and piano amongst other jazz instruments join the popular programme to offer the next generation of new musicians the chance to find their feet and experience the thrill of performance in the footsteps of some of the world’s jazz greats. Parents and guardians have the chance to watch their kids take to the stage at the evening performance and see future jazz stars born in the basement.

Book early

If you’re a true jazz aficionado, you can check the Club’s website to see a full list of the upcoming artists and book for the show of your choice. Priority tickets for the club are £55 and put you right in the heart of the action. If you’re looking for a somewhat more relaxed experience, entry to Ronnie’s Bar is often free and for live sessions cost as little as £5 for top-flight acts in this intimate, relaxed venue.


Ronnie Scott’s is one of the most famous venues in London and has a reputation around the world for its jazz. Fewer people know that it is also a relaxed venue with great food on offer that gives visitors to Soho a chilled-out place to escape the crush of Soho.


Image Credits: Mark Hillary and Nina Yasmine

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