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Must See Buildings in London

Must See Buildings in London

Buildings to visit in London

Yesterday evening I went to see the Lumiere Light Festival.  Although I was really disappointed at the standard this year, what I did love was walking and discovering new parts of London.  It got me thinking.  I was born and bread in the capital and I still live here, but I don’t take full advantage of this privilege.  So, today, I set about finding architectural and interior gems that I haven’t heard of and that I aim to explore by the spring.

If you have more suggestions of buildings in London to visit (or elsewhere), let us know in the comments section.  We’d love to hear. 

 

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir

Neasden

So many Londoners, and visitors to the capital, have absolutely no idea that there is a spectacular Hindu Temple in Neasden.  Completed in 1995, Shri Swaminarayan Mandir (also known as the Neasden Temple), was the first traditional Hindu temple to be built in the Western world.  It is a breath-taking architectural masterpiece.  The design and construction had to conform with India’s ancient architectural texts, the Vastu and Shastras.  It took just two-and-a-half years to complete. 

 

Shri Swaminarayan MandirImage taken from Shri Swaminarayan Mandir website

Shri Swaminarayan MandirImage taken from Shri Swaminarayan Mandir website

Shri Swaminarayan MandirImage taken from Shri Swaminarayan Mandir website

Shri Swaminarayan MandirImage taken from Shri Swaminarayan Mandir website

Image taken from Shri Swaminarayan Mandir website

 

Wilton’s Music Hall

Whitechapel

If you’re fed up with nesting at home, and are ready to get back out there now you’ve recovered from the festive season, get down to Wilton’s Music Hall.  It is one of the few surviving music halls in the country and still boasts many of its original 18th century features.  Grade II listed, Wilton’s Music Hall is a multi-arts performance space; theatre, sing-a-longs, art exhibitions, and music gigs are a-plenty here.  You can also drop by for a drink and a bite to eat in their bar and soak up the Victorian interior over a cocktail or five.

Wilton's Music Hall

Image taken from popupvintagefairs.co.uk

Wilton's Music Hall

Auditorium | Image taken from Wilton’s Music Hall website

Wilton's Music Hall

Mahogany Bar | Image taken from Wilton’s Music Hall website

 

St-Dunstan-in-the-East

EC3R 5DD

Put a few layers on, take a good book and a hot drink, and have a bit of time out at St Dunstan-in-the-East.  This Church of England parish church was largely destroyed during the Blitz and the ruins are now a public garden.  It is a much  needed sanctuary in this glorious but occasionally soul-destroying city.

St Dunstan's in the East

Image taken from Maybe It’s Because website

St Dunstan's in the East

Image taken from Gareth, Flickr

St Dunstan's in the East

Image taken from Visit London blog

 

Strawberry Hill House

Twickenham, TW1 4ST

Visit the house that inspired The Castle of Otranto, the first gothic novel.  Strawberry Hill House is one of the most brilliant examples of Georgian Gothic Revival architecture in Britain.   This ‘little Gothic castle’ was conceived by Horace Walpole (author of The Castle of Otranto) in 1747.  Leave yourself plenty of time to amble through the numerous rooms and beautiful gardens. You’ll no doubt leave blown away and inspired. 

Strawberry Hill House

Image taken from Trip Advisor

Strawberry Hill House

Image taken from Pooky blog

Strawberry Hill House

Image taken from Strawberry Hill Fields Facebook page

Strawberry Hill House

Image taken from an interior website

Strawberry Hill House

Image taken from Strawberry Hill Fields Facebook page

Strawberry Hill House

Image taken from Strawberry Hill Fields Facebook page

Two Temple Place

Victoria Embankment

Two Temple Place is easy to miss.  Closed to the public for much of the year, it is only open during their exhibition season, which starts in 2018 on the 27 January and ends on the 22 April.

This late Victorian mansion is a visual feast.  It was built by architect, John Loughborough Pearson for William Waldorf Astor, who was perhaps the richest man in the world at the time.  The interior is just as ornate as the exterior, featuring mahogany carvings, friezes and silver gilt panels.  

Their exhibition this is year is Rhythm and Reaction: The Age of Jazz in Britain.  Entry is free.

Image taken from Historic Houses Association

Image taken from 1zoom.me

Image taken from Google

Two Temple PlaceImage taken from Wikimedia

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