Those who have followed our blog know that we’re big fans of architecture. Whether classical or contemporary, religious or residential, we search out interesting buildings in our travels.
And frequently, they end up as the subject of a blog post.
So given this predilection, it’s no surprise that we make contact with other folks with similar tastes such as travel blogger and architect extraordinaire Virginia Duran, author of the London Architectour Guide.
For years we’ve gleaned architectural insights and travel tips from Virginia’s informative blog, but most recently we’ve been poring over her fabulous compendium on the architecture of London – it’s the ultimate urban explorer’s companion.
From Roman ruins to the latest cutting edge high-rise, London’s architecture is a depository of its history and culture. When it comes to architecture, London is no normal city, and this is no normal travel guide.
This comprehensive guide describes almost 300 buildings in detail, and each entry has a dedicated page with an original pen and ink drawing. Virginia’s description says it best:
“From Brutalist architecture to glass skyscrapers, religious architecture to five-star hotels, known museums and monuments to hidden gems and a handful of inspiring places for content creators.”
In addition, there’s a brief summary of each building’s important architectural and historical aspects, a map with other points of interest in the area, as well as practical visitor information such as hours, transport, and even the best angles for taking photos.
Many of London’s popular tourist attractions like Westminster Cathedral and Tower Bridge are covered, so this book will appeal to first-time visitors. But, there’s so much detail that experienced travelers will be enthralled. We lived in London for many years so we know our way around, and it’s the kind of resource we’d use to search out the unusual and unknown, and for exploring the nooks and crannies of this historical crossroads.
The London Architectour Guide is truly an exceptional book, and while it’s a marvelous travel resource, it should also appeal to any Anglophile with an interest in London history as seen through its buildings. It’s beautifully bound and presented, always a plus in our house, and it looks lovely on your coffee table or bookshelf. We also love Virginia’s amazing blog that will keep you up to date on architecture in London.
It’s hard to imagine the amount of energy and attention to detail that went into this impressive guide, and our hats are off to Virginia for her efforts. It’s perfect for that special traveler in your life … or just keep it for yourself.
James & Terri
Photo Credits: All photos by Virginia Duran
This tour guide looks fabulous. I checked out Virginia’s blog as well. Very nice. Wishing both of you a very Merry Christmas wherever you plan to spend it. xo
Darlene, calling this a book about architecture is really selling it short. It has so much useful and interesting information; it’s truly exceptional. And Terri and I hope that you have a wonderful, and relaxing Christmas as well. Feliz Navidad. ~James
Could there still be time for Santa to get this book and put it into my stocking? It sounds delightful! Thanks for making me aware of its publication — now, I guess I just need another trip to London!!!
Rusha, everyone needs another trip to London – especially at Christmas time. And if you go, this guide will certainly enhance the experience. Merry Christmas to you and Bert. ~James
Thanks for the info! If you are into architecture do you know about this outfit? https://open-city.org.uk/public/ You should definitely plan your next visit to London for Open House London in September, and consider their walking/boat tours. I did the King’s Cross Renaissance tour and enjoyed it.
You might also find this blog interesting: https://alondoninheritance.com/
Best wishes for 2020!
Thanks for the links Kathy. These are the types of organizations that sometimes go unnoticed unless you seek them out, and they can provide such valuable information. London has such an incredible collection of architectural types as well as history, and is arguably one of the finest cities in the world to study architecture. Thanks for dropping by and have a Happy Holiday. ~James
Lovely book James and Terri, the architecture of London is outstanding.
Best of the season to you both.
Leslie, starting with the Romans, London has had a dynamic architectural profile. Every type of building imaginable has been represented there, and other than fires and war, much of it still stands for study. We hope you have a relaxing and Happy Holiday. ~James
It looks like great info.
In addition to great info, there’s lots of it as well. It’s truly exceptional and worth a look. ~James
This book would certainly make a great Christmas present, will have to start dropping some hints for my husband. Merry Christmas to you both 🙂
Gilda, if your husband is like me, he’ll take all the help he can get when it comes to buying gifts. And since he’s a serious traveler as well, it will be win-win for both of you. It really is an exceptional book. All the best for a relaxing, happy, and fun holiday. ~James
What a great resource for London visitors. I love that it includes the obvious and the obscure. Well done Virginia!
Laura, when you look closely at the book, you can see that it was a labor of love. All the detail on popular sights as well as trivia about unknown places is wonderful. ~James
You made me curious to find out if there are examples of Arte Nouveau architecture in London. It turned out to be a rather silly question!
Does she feature this style of architecture in her book? (No doubt another silly question.)
Here’s to a peaceful, healthy, happy 2020.
Yvonne, thanks for the link to the Art Nouveau walking tour. In our quest for Art Nouveau we’ve found that London didn’t really seem to adopt the style quite as much as architects on the Continent did, particularly those in Eastern Europe. This may be why Virginia has the buildings included, but not under a separate category. Thanks for dropping by and all the best for a happy holiday and a super 2020. ~James
I’d pick up the book just for the drawings!
Lexie, the drawings are wonderful and add an unusual touch for a book of this type. This many drawings must have take a lot of effort. All the best to you for a travel-filled 2020. ~Jamees
This also looks like an excellent book for the person who can’t travel to London but would like to learn about its architecture! Hope your new year is off to a great start with fun adventures ahead!
Marilyn, you’re exactly right. This book suits the arm-chair traveler just as well. In addition to an extensive knowledge of architecture, Virginia ties in history and other tidbits of trivia that make the book truly comprehensive. ~James
Dear James & Terri, thanks so much for your lovely words – this is one of the best reviews of my work I’ve read so far. Thanks for appreciating and being part of this project. Currently on book too and very excited about the future.
Sending you both lots of love from London!
Hey Virginia. We were sincere in our praise for your informative and attractive book. You’ve created an exceptional book of which you can be very proud. Best of luck on the next book, and best wishes for an exciting 2020. ~James & Terri
Thanks dear friends, likewise. I hope 2020 brings much health and happiness 🤩