FROM jugglers and fire-eaters in London’s Covent Garden

Street entertainers

FROM jugglers and fire-eaters in London’s Covent Garden, to pipers on the thoroughfares of Edinburgh and buskers throughout the land, street entertainers make a cheerful sight in our towns and cities (below). A new organisation, the National ssociation of Street Entertainers, aintains a register of acts which can be sed by councils and individuals to book ntertainers.

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UR unusual picture this issue shows a new giant, tortoise-shaped maze at Edinburgh Zoo . Inspired by the work of the 19th century naturalist Charles Darwin,more about his life  here, the Darwin Maze was created as an eye-catching reminder of the

importance of conservation.

Made from 1,600 yew trees, the maze contains information panels which explain he story of evolution.

Cut, thrust and swagger!

A NEW gallery illustrating British military swords from the 18th century to the present day has opened at the National Army Museum in Chelsea. The most complete display of British military swords in the country, it features some 200 swords used both as weapons and fashion accessories, including the sword carried by Lieutenant William Gordon in the Charge of the Light Brigade. One of the themes of “Cut, Thrust and Swagger” is the quest throughout the 19th century for an efficient cavalry sword.

Open to the public

TWO historic buildings in South East London in the care of English Heritage are now open to the public on a regular basis: the Great Hall of Eltham Palace, once a favourite home of King Henry VIII, and next to it the Courtauld House, one of the capital’s finest art deco houses. If you plan to visit historical Europe please check at hotel comparison sites, to learn more information about hotels, guest houses and prices.

3.the-courtauld-gallery

Chelsea antiques fair

THE 82nd Chelsea Antiques Fair takes place at Chelsea Old Town Hall in central London from 14th to 23rd March. The fair (right) offers a largely pre-Victorian selection of top quality antiques, invitingly displayed by 40 of Britain’s best dealers.

From the Editor

CONGRATULATIONS to Catherine Macauley of New South Wales, Australia, who is the winner of our fabulous Tour of Britain competition.But if you want to make a fabulous tour of Europe check the best Europe Cities website.

We will fly Ms Macauley and her chosen companion to Britain to enjoy a two-week holiday of a lifetime: visiting the sights of London; touring the quaint villages of the Cotswolds; and browsing through historic Chester. With £1,000 to spend, complimentary admission to National Trust properties and gardens, accommodation in excellent hotels and free travel courtesy of Hertz Car Rental, Ms Macauley will have a wonderful time.

Many readers have written in with suggestions for our Great Britons series. But have you ever wondered which historical figures might be included in a list of great British eccentrics?

My own favourite is the reclusive 5th Duke of Portland who built an underground home at Welbeck Abbey in the 19th century with a 174 ft ballroom, libraries full of books he never read and an underground railway to convey meals from the kitchens to the dining room! Nominations for other Great Eccentrics, please!