Living in London definitely has its perks, one being that family members and friends are usually eager to come visit (meaning that us London dwellers don’t have to be bothered to leave). The downside to receiving guests is having to become a last minute tour guide. Why would they need to go on a guided tour when we are there to show them the real London? How many times must we visit the Crown Jewels, explain who Christopher Wren was, or direct a group of highly energetic cousins towards the Imperial War Museum?
Here’s a new website that offers an interactive audio guide mashed up with a Google map of London, which may prove useful to your guests. The website provides audio information for many of the major tourist sites within Zone 1 and a few outside of it. The audio content is well done and is free to listen to online. Files can also be purchased and downloaded at the website.
The audio content provides historical as well as current information for places such as Hyde Park, Shoreditch and Temple Church. The section about Shakespeare’s Globe seems to give as much as, if not more, information than an actual tour of the theatre. An overly inquisitive mum might appreciate the movie trivia and market tidbits about Portobello Road, and your history loving friends will enjoy learning about Southwark and the Royal Observatory. The use of the map also helps anyone new to London familiarize themselves with where the major tourist sites, parks, and neighbourhoods are. Of course, any Londoners actually wishing to impress their guests can also use the website to brush up on their London knowledge. As the website is still quite new, we can hope that more locations will be added in the future.
By Caroline Dickie