Escape the crowds over the summer!

Secret London, by Andrew DuncanWith the opening of the Olympic Games imminent, millions of visitors are expected to descend on London over the next couple of months. It’s an exciting time, the culmination of a summer of celebration. However, like any major event, the Games will have a heavy impact on life in the capital, and not least upon its transport system and public  spaces.

If you’d still like to sample life in the Capital during the Games but would like to avoid the crowds, look no further than the Archive Centre Book of the Month, Andrew Duncan’s Secret London.

The Clock Tower, Palace of Westminster (Big Ben) by night in 1935. Courtesy of David WellerIn Secret London, Duncan details eight walks across London, accessing unusual and hidden gems and revealing thirty unusual places to visit that are not included in more conventional guidebooks.

Each walk has its own detailed map plus full information on transport, refreshments and opening times. Fifteen full-page colour pictures illustrating the walks and an engaging commentary bring the routes to life.

Duncan reveals many exciting activities and attractions that most tourists aren’t even aware of. Rather than just admiring the view from Parliament Square, why not climb to the top of Big Ben? Alternatively, take a break from the tourist trail and find some peace and quiet in a hidden corner of the Westminster Abbey Gardens.

A view of the peaceful surroundings of Westminster Abbey, painted in 1819 by William Capon (Image property of Westminster City Archives)

A view of the peaceful surroundings of Westminster Abbey, painted in 1819 by William Capon (Image property of Westminster City Archives)

Another appealing space to escape the crowds if you find yourself in Central London during the Olympics is, of course, the Archives Centre itself. We welcome visitors to our purpose-built research space where you can explore the cultural and historical heritage of Westminster in comfortable surroundings, assisted by knowledgeable and friendly staff.

So, enjoy the Games and, if you have the chance, why not use the busy weeks ahead to discover one of the fascinating hidden and secret parts of London that the crowds will miss!

[Michelle]

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