English Heritage added new 16 Tube stations to the 56 other stations already on the Listed Buildings register. Each is important in their own way, as three experts on the Tube’s history and heritage, some of the stations included might raise an eyebrow for two:

Brent Cross
Distinguishing features: Boasts double Doric columns on its facade, a telltale sign of architect Stanley Heap’s work. Named Brent until the opening of the nearby shopping centre in 1976.

Expert’s view: “A neat little Grecian building. Heaps gave things a classical style here. Its well mannered – it must have been an eye-opener in its day. It was really about taking civic architecture to the suburbs.”

Mike Ashworth, design and heritage manager, London Underground

Caledonian Road
Distinguishing features: Leslie Green’s Caledonian Road uses lifts to transport passengers straight to platform level. It is truly step-free.

Expert’s view: “All Green’s stations were floodlit at night to enhance the prominence of the new public transport system. The platforms are one of the few pairs with the original coloured, patterned tiling virtually intact. All 46 Green stations had a different tile pattern, said to aid recognition by regular passengers.”

Mike Horne, Tube writer and former TFL employee

Hendon Central

Distinguishing features: This 1924 station by Stanley Heaps was intended to kickstart the development of the area and is integrated into the shops either side of it.

Expert’s view: “Many of these stations show that good design is as much about function as it is about form. Subconsciously the average commuter probably enjoys the Doric columns – but consciously they definitely appreciate that the station’s wide entrance takes them quickly out on to four key roads as well.”

Gareth Edwards, London Reconnections blog

Chesham

Distinguishing features: The farthest station from Central London. It feels more like a rural halt – hence the water tower, signal box and gable station entrance.

Expert’s view: “The thing that amazes me is you half expect the village doctor to be outside on his horse. It’s so marvellous that we have these outlying rural services on the Underground. Our customers like that heritage. It’s part of the feeling of that market town and it means a lot to the people of Chesham.”

Mike Ashworth

Covent Garden

Distinguishing features: Another Leslie Green station, opened in 1906. A concrete block was added on top in the 1960s.

Expert’s view: “Green was the architect brought in to design all 46 stations for the new London Tube lines, opened in 1906-07. The scale of the job meant that the stations were all designed to a similar formula. The generic design relied on putting a distinctive cladding around a then-novel, steel-framed structure which allowed commercial premises to be built above.”

Mike Horne

You can see the full list here

The London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) today unveiled a prototype of the London 2012 Olympic Torch that will be carried by 8,000 inspirational Torchbearers on its journey across the UK next summer.

The Torch celebrates the best of British design, engineering and manufacturing talent and reflects the celebratory nature of the Olympic Torch Relay and the Olympic Games.

It has been designed by internationally-acclaimed designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, in partnership with Basildon-based product engineers Tecosim and Coventry-based manufacturers The Premier Group.

At 800mm high and weighing just 800g, the Torch is one of the most lightweight in the history of the Olympic Movement. Its gold-coloured form is perforated by 8,000 small cut-out circles, representing the 8,000 Torchbearers and their stories of personal achievement. The circles, which run the length of the Torch, will also offer a unique level of transparency – allowing people to see right into its heart – and help keep the Torch cool.

The triangular design has been inspired by the multiples of three identified across the vision and delivery of the Olympic Games. These include the three Olympic Values of respect, excellence and friendship; the fact the UK has hosted the Olympic Games three times; and the vision for the London 2012 Olympic Games to combine three strands of work – sport, education and culture.

Sebastian Coe, LOCOG Chair, said: ‘The Torch that carries the Olympic Flame during the Olympic Torch Relay is one of the most recognisable and significant symbols of an Olympic Games. Members of the public right across the UK are busy nominating inspiring people to be Torchbearers and I am thrilled we have a beautifully designed, engineered and crafted Torch for them to carry.

The Ritz is one of the poshest hotels in the world, it’s name is known by millions and is located in the prime London location of Piccadilly, hence the name the ‘Princess of Piccadilly’. The Ritz celebrated its centenary in 2006 after first opening its doors to the public on May 24th 1906.  It was Edward VII who created the hotel, and his vision of the ultimate hotel still remains alive and well to this day.  The hotel was designed by Charles Mewes and Arthur Davis who had already worked with Cesar Ritz on the Hotel Ritz in Paris and The Charlton in London. The Swedish engineer Sven Bylander designed the steel frame of the hotel, which was a very new concept in European building at the time, so it did not take long for the building to go up.  Since its opening it has been frequented by the rich and famous, amongst them Winston Churchill, Charles De Gaulle and President Eisenhower during World War II.

Service and etiquette is a huge part of the hotels image and each guest is greeted by name and has the attention of two members of staff. The restaurants and bars have a formal dress code and men must wear suits and ties.  The Ritz Restaurant has a reputation for the best service that you can receive in the world of fine dining, and the food is exceptional – expect sumptuous dishes that will make your mouth water – slow roast pork belly and sea scallops with garden peas suit your taste buds? It is not just the food that entices though, the restaurant has oft been described as one of the most beautiful dining rooms in Europe with opulent fabrics and rich colours, and when it was built they had to reinforce the ceiling to accommodate the enormous weight of the massive ornate chandeliers.  Every Friday and Saturday night sees a traditional dinner and dance take place in the Restaurant with a four-piece band.  The restaurant brings you back to a different era when manners, etiquette and opulence were centre-fold.

There is also Palm Court where the Ritz’s two famous sittings of afternoon tea is served – offering 17 different types of tea, fresh scones with all sorts of jams and clotted cream, sandwiches and pastries.

Each bedroom at the Ritz is decorated with antique furnishings and even since its complete overhaul remains true to the original style and concept of the hotel.  All the rooms use gold leaf and are a combination of blue, pink, peach and yellow.  Every room has internet access, a mini-bar, fax point, bathrobes, slippers, luxury toiletries, pillow menu and there are extra services available such as help with packing and unpacking your luggage and a turndown service!

During a stay at the Ritz you receive temporary membership for ‘Ritz Club’, which offers The Club’s Restaurant, Bar and Gaming Room.

 

If you are visiting London then you really should visit the West End.  The West End can be taken to mean a few different things – some refer to the area around Convent Garden and Leicester Square, while others consider it to be Oxford Street, Bond Street and Regent Street.  Some people when talking about the West End are referring to the whole part of central London which lies to the west of the city.

The area does hold the financial base of the city and the government aspect of Westminister, but the most important characteristic (as far as we are concerned!) of the West End is entertainment and the theatres.  Theatres include: Adelphi Theatre, Aldwych Theatre, Apollo Theatre, the Victoria, Arts Theatre, Cambridge Theatre, Comedy Theatre, Coliseum, The Criterion, The Dominian, the Theatre Royal, Duchess Theatre, the Duke of York, the Fortune Theatre, Garrick Theatre, the London Palladium, the National, the Novello, the Noel Coward, The Old Vic, the Playhouse, Wyndhams Theatre….. and the list could go on and on even further!

It is due to the sheer numbers of theatres and tourist attractions that the name ‘West End’ has become synonymous with London theatre. You could say truthfully that it ‘all goes on’ in the West End!

The City of West was built in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries and was built for the rich to include palaces, expensive shops, the grandest of houses and lots of entertainment.  It is thought that the rich took up residence because it was upwind of the smoke that drifted from the City.   Originally places such as Convent Garden, Seven Dials and Halborn, even though they are much closer to the City, were where the poorer folks lived until the areas were regenerated in the 19th century.

Every musical you could ever think of has been performed at the West End.  Andrew Lloyd Webber’s roller-skating extravaganza Starlight Express was seen by more than eight million people over 17 years at the West End, notched up over 7,000 performances, and took in over £140 million.

Other famous productions include Oliver, Cats, Mamma Mia, Les Miserables, Billy Elliot, Dirty Dancing, the Lion King, Chicago, Hairspray, Blood Brothers, Sister Act and Grease, to name but a few.

As well as being able to go and see a show you can also get a backstage tour, go on a guided walk – for example the Shakespeare City Walk which brings you on a 90 minute tour of little known monuments and locations in the City of London with connections to Shakespeare’s life , his friends, and his work.  Another interesting walk is the Theatreland Walking Tour which spans a wide and varied area covering the history of some of the West End’s best loved theatres including The London Palladium, The Theatre Royal Haymarket and the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.  Along the way you will hear stories of controversial playwrights, variety artistes, theatre ghosts, the first theatrical knight and a royal mistress or two!

The West End really is a great place to go visit when in London – both to go to the theatre, and see the sights.

 

Ever wanted to learn about history in an interesting and blood-curdling manner?  Well now you can at the London Dungeon where history is brought to life and you can delve into the past in a way that your teachers never wanted you to!  The Dungeons involve live actors, hair raising rides, and shows with special effects that will bring you back to when times were black, bleak and scary!

Chilling tales, unscrupulous characters, torturous methods and re-enactment provide eerie spine-chilling fun for everyone who dares to enter the world of the Dungeons!

Attractions at the Dungeon include ‘Surgery: Blood and Guts’ where you will have to hold on to your stomach when you enter the makeshift operating room of Tooley Street’s butcher surgeon.  Here is where history’s most horrific surgery is performed in graphic detail on the most unwilling of patients!

Another attraction is Jack the Ripper.  In 1888 Jack the Rippers Whitechapel is where the horror of his terrible crimes are revealed in bloody detail.  You not only enter the location but get to come face to face with Jack the Ripper himself!

You can also have a close shave with Sweeney Todd – you’ll have to keep your wits about you to make sure you don’t end up as filling for one of Mrs Lovett’s famous pies!

This Christmas the Dungeons are home to ‘Christmas Cromwell-ed’, where you will be transported back to 1647 when in a fit of Puritanism, Oliver Cromwell banned Christmas.  Doesn’t sound like much fun does it!?  If you’re brave enough to venture in be prepared to be greeted by Cromwell’s henchmen – and will be surrounded by burnt Christmas trees, smashed decorations, severed heads choking on their last mince pies and robins on spears.

Good luck to those who dare to utter the words ‘Merry Christmas’, or who smell of Christmas cake, as they have been condemned by Oliver Cromwell as illegal demons of Catholic decadence, and Cromwell’s henchman do not take kindly to those who break the law.  It sounds strange but after Cromwell banned mince pies, the law was never rescinded, so it is still illegal to eat them on Christmas Day!

You know that eating mince pies is something you are well and truly guilty of so be prepared to venture through the Dungeons room 101 of all things festive gone horribly wrong and prepare to defend yourself in the Dungeons anti-Christmas courtroom.  The Judge Mental will be making visitors quake in their boots as he singles them out for their Christmas crimes, so beware of any of you who have been wrapping presenting, sipping sherry or writing letters to Santa Claus!

But this is probably the lesser of your worries, as after your courtroom trial and punishment you will still have to venture out into the rest of the Dungeon.  Will your nerves be able to cope with the blood, gore and spine-tingling voyage on board a boat to hell?   Or the ride on Extremis where you will be plummeted screaming into the darkness below?

 

We all remember that classic table top football Subbuteo, hours of fun flicking little plastic men around a green cloth that would never stay still! Well, know you can indulge your nostagla at the website www.super-subs.co.uk.

SuperSubs has recreated the best moments from the last 50 years of football with those little plastic Subbuteo men. Guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. Especially when you see the mini Zidane doing the head butt! Click Here to see them.

FoxyBingo is the online bingo site that rewards your first deposit with a 100% cash match bonus, plus you’ll also get a 50% match on all future deposits up to a maximum value of £50.

One of the best features of Foxy Bingo is ‘Team Bingo’ games – you choose three other players online and team up with them over the month. The team who scores the highest number of wins also claims the team bingo jackpot. That could be worth up to £2000.

Foxy is a great place to play bingo online – join today and start enjoying the benefits of playing free bingo online in your own home.

Mecca Bingo is one of the UK’s most beloved Bingo operators and now you can play in big bingo games from the comfort of your own home. If you join Mecca bingo online you’ll be able to play in big jackpot games 24/7.

If you would like to open a MeccaBingo online account. Joining is simply and only takes a few minutes. The bingo games play just like the ones in your local bingo club, but they cost less! cards can be purchased for just 25p but some of the special games have them for as low as 10p. The game cards are exactly like traditional 90 ball bingo. You must get one line, two lines or full house to win.

Scratch cards are hardly a new phenomenon, but until recently the only place you could get them was in your local newsagents or supermarket. Now the magic of the internet has made playing scratch cards online a reality.

Now don’t be mistaken, you don’t have to scratch your computer screen with a coin to see if you’ve won! It’s all virtual nowadays. You use a virtual coin to reveal the panels and see you prize.

There are a number of online sites offering cards and the choice can be a little bewildering, so www.scratchcards.me.uk has reviews all the best online providers and offers to give you a one stop solution to choosing the right site to play at.

But wait, how would you like to play totally free scratch card games? Definitely because you can win cash payouts without spending anything adds to the appeal of the experience. There are several suggestions that will help win free scratch off games. You can easily try your luck at websites on the internet. You can easily surf the net utilizing your favorite search engine for websites offering free games. What websites like these require is for you to take part in their survey. After performing the survey, you can take advantage of free scratch cards which provide cool gifts.

With so many online bingo sites it’s hard to know which one is the very best! Well now you can find out which bingo operator runs the best online site for UK bingo players.

BestBingo.me.uk has reviewed all the leading bingo sites and comes up with the answer! Did you think we were going to tell you? hell no! you’ll have to visit Best Bingo to find out for yourself.

You can also get great tips on playing bingo games and advice on join internet bingo sites and playing other cash games online. Not only can you play great multipler bingo games but you can also enjoy some awesome fruit macines and slots. Jackpots are giant and one lucky player won over £1.5 million on the deal or no deal game (so unfair – it should have been me!)

Coral Betting or Gala Coral Group Ltd as it is also known is Britains third largest bookmaker. In October 2005 Coral Bookmakers merged with Eurobet for £2.18 billion. The acquisition made it the UK’s third largest bookmaker and largest bingo operator. It also owns over 30 casinos.

As you’d expect from a large UK bookmaker they operate a web site which is full of betting opportunities from the International Rugby, APT Tennis to betting on TV shows like big brother.

If you are interested in betting on events like the Cheltenham Festival or the Grand National then Coral covers all those events in detail.

If you’ve ever thought about learning to play poker on the internet then there is a new website which can teach you the skills needed to play poker online.

www.internet-poker.me.uk has a wealth of information for new poker players and for those who already have an understanding of playing internet poker. The site includes guides on which hands to play and which not to play, plus reviews of all the leading poker rooms online.

It’s a great site and you can also download some really cool images and poker wallpapers to jazz up your computer themes.