Summertime is synonymous with summer travel. Where will you be going?
I can only dream of traveling to London, however, through books, I am able to travel anywhere! London is next on the list!
Please meet author Jessica Cale. She’s sharing about her traveling adventures.
Jessica Cale’s Favorite Places in London
I am so happy to be here today to talk to you about my favorite city in the world. My new series, The Southwark Saga, is set in seventeenth century London and Southwark, which was an independent village on the other side of the Thames at the time.
You might be thinking that’s a weirdly specific setting for an author from Minnesota, but I went to university in Wales and ended up living there for nearly ten years. Wales is absolutely beautiful and I loved it. I could get to London in about three hours from where I was living, and me and my now husband, John, went about as often as we could. John grew up in south London and he knows it so well that he has a Tube map imprinted in his brain (he seriously never has to look at a map), and I got to know it pretty well, too.
London is colossal and it’s home to more than twelve million people. There’s enough to see and do to keep you well occupied for the rest of your life, but here are a few of my favorites to get you started:
The Museum of London: A peek at the city in every period of its history through fascinating artifacts of every size and age, from ancient hairpins to a complete seventeenth century bedroom. Most of the Cheapside Hoard is kept here so prepare to be dazzled by Elizabethan jewels. This is my favorite museum anywhere.
The Victoria and Albert Museum: Coming in at a close second, the V&A is home to textiles, furniture, sculpture, and decorative art from the middle ages to the present. There’s a room of seventeenth century furniture in the basement that should not be missed, though the post-plague death imagery might linger in your nightmares. See real eighteenth century and Regency dresses, buy a fashion history book or two from their gift shop, and be sure to have tea in their phenomenal tea room.
Westminster Abbey: This beautiful medieval abbey is right next to the Houses of Parliament, so you have no excuse to miss it, and you wouldn’t want to: most of the British monarchy from the eleventh century to present is buried inside. I actually walked over one of my ancestors a few times as I was looking for him; his twelfth century tombstone had been worn almost completely smooth over time. (Hi, Grandpa…)
Hyde Park and Tyburn: The serenity of this huge, oddly calm park in the heart of London might be ruined for you when you find out there’s a plague pit beneath it so big that they couldn’t built a Tube tunnel through it. In the northeast corner near the Marble Arch is where the Tyburn Gallows stood from the twelfth century until the end of the eighteenth when they were moved to Newgate. There’s a small plaque in the pavement marking the approximate location. You can read all about it in the first book of The Southwark Saga, Tyburn.
Trafalgar Square: Trafalgar Square is a good central place to pause and get yourself used to where everything is. The square itself is home to Nelson’s Column (you really can’t miss it), The National Gallery, and the National Portrait Gallery, two of my favorite museums. From there you can see The Houses of Parliament and the London Eye, with Downing Street and Horse Guards Parade on the way. Down Pall Mall is Buckingham Palace. Off to the side is a small monument to Oscar Wilde that I love. It has his quote: “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
Thank you for reading!
Tyburn and Virtue’s Lady are out now. You can find them both here:
Social Media links:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaCale @JessicaCale
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9819997.Jessica_Cale