Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Carnaby Street - Soho

If you're enjoying our StrollOn guide to Soho, towards the end you'll pass through Carnaby Street. This little road in London became famous in the 60s and was very much at the centre of the changes in youth, music and fashion that shook the period. It gained prominence when designers started to open small independent boutiques along the road. Mary Quant, Marion Foale and Sally Tuffin had shops here. Around the corner, on Wardour Street, a club called the Marquee Club opened and a series of underground music venues like the Roaring Twenties appeared on the street. The bands who played at these venues were soon to be legendary: The Who, The Rolling Stones, Small Faces and more. It meant that you could wander down Carnaby Street and never know how many stars you might run into.

Today the street is no less interesting, though you might not run into a musical legend quite so easily. It's home to some excellent fashion stores like Diesel and American Apparel as well as being home to some great restaurants liks Cha Cha Moon. If you're on our Soho walk make sure you take some time to have a look around some of the shops. They're great fun and you can pick up some wonderful souvenirs in some of the smaller, independent stores.

If you want to know a bit more about Soho, check out our walking tour of the area. It's an amazing part of London full of secrets and history and we explore it all in the guide.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Tate Modern

Following on from our posts on The Globe, I wanted to mention the brilliant Tate Modern on The Southbank. If you're on our Southbank walk you'll pass nearby. You can hardly miss the red brick building with it huge tower as it was once a power station. It was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott (his grandfather designed the St Pancras Station) and was built in two stages in 1947 and 1963. The power station was decommissioned in the 80s  and opened as an art gallery in 2000 to exhibit art from 1900 onwards.

There is a wonderful constantly shifting permanent collection at the Tate Modern including works by Picasso, Rothko, Warhol and many, many others. This part of the Tate is free to visit and it's a wonderful way to spend an afternoon or two. At the same time there are regular exhibitions though these aren't free. From October 6th you can see the Gerhard Richter: Panorama exhibition which will be well worth the visit. You can find out more about current and future exhibitions here.

And, lastly, If you want a quick bite to eat, try the restaurant on the top floor of the Tate. The food is excellent and the view is unsurpassed.

Friday, September 2, 2011

London In The Sunshine

Stop all the clocks; some one call the police; the sun - THE SUN - is shining in London and it looks like it will be all weekend! We'll all be as happy as the double rainbow guy above! 

Seriously though, it's great when the weather's like this and, believe it or not, we get a decent amount of sunshine every summer. But when it arrives it is still special so make the most of it and enjoy the weather this weekend. Now is the perfect time to enjoy some fun outdoors. Walking on one of our London audio tours is a great excuse to see the city at it's best in the sunshine. Here are a couple more ideas from out blog though.

The Parks

Summer in London's parks is a real treat. Green and lush, they are wonderful retreats to walk around, meet with friends or just simply lie in the sunshine. Here are some of our posts on London's wonderful parks.


You can find some amazing bargains stumbling around markets. And in the sunshine bargain hunting is so much more fun. Here's our post on The Portobello Road market. It's our favourite in the city.

The Pub

Sometimes, there's nothing you want more than to drink a cool pint of beer and feel the sun on your face. Here's our guide to some of London's loveliest pubs.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Globe

Shakespeare's Globe is without doubt one of my favourite parts of London. Located in Soutwark, on the Southbank, it's a few minutes walk from the Tate Modern and about 15 minutes from Waterloo.

This history of the building is fascinating. Firstly, it's not built on the site of Shakespeare's original globe but it's as close as it can be to that site. It took over a quarter of a century of fund-raising and research to see the current building open in 1997. It was the brainchild of American actor Sam Wannamaker who, unfortunately, died before the construction was completed.

The architects focused on constructing the globe using material and tools from the 16th Century - or as close as possible - so the roof is thatched and the lime plaster mix that coats the walls is made to a period recipe. Today you can enjoy the plays of Shakespeare in this wonderful setting. Each summer season the globe put on a selection of plays and you can either sit or stand to enjoy them. Standing will set you back around £5 and it will give you the most authentic experience. You can find out more about this years schedule here. You can also tour the Globe's exhibition which is packed full of information about the man who wrote such magnificent plays as well as Elizabethan theatre and modern theatre. In the winter, when the Globe itself is shut, it's a wonderful stop off.

If you're nearby to the Globe then, you might also enjoy our Southbank audio tour which will take you around the best sites in the area. You can find out a more on our website.

(Picture Nik Milner)

A World of Audio guides, Walks and iPods

About StrollOn

Hello and welcome to StrollOn, where we produce audio guides and audio tours of London, Paris and an ever-expanding list of major european cities. We have also developed our free city overviews and "Hot spots" (individual audio commentaries for individual sights and attractions). Whichever product interests you we simply ask that you select the relevant audio guide or audio tour on our website and download the mp3 files onto your iPod or other mp3 player, thereby turning your iPod into your "GuidePod".

As you will see from the this blog, we are a new company, providing recently developed products on our website. We've set up this blog so that we can tell you all about us as you join us from our infancy. And we are actively looking for feedback, both on the website and the blog. We don't want you to help us simply to become the biggest, but we do want you to help us become the best walking audio tours company.