Wellington Arch

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My sister and I met in London for the day at Victoria Station and used our Bus Passes on a bus along to Hyde Park Corner. We certainly couldn't miss the Wellington Arch, crowned by an enormous bronze sculpture of a four-horsed chariot. As we both belong to English Heritage we were able to visit it free of charge but the concession charge is only £3.60.

We were welcomed in and noticed lots of interesting books about London before catching the lift. On the 1st floor there were panels explaining the history of the Arch and how its design – and siting – have changed since it was erected in 1828. There was lots of information about the bronze sculpture that we'd noticed on top of it. Apparently it depicts the Angel of Peace descending on the four-horsed chariot, "Quadriga", of War. To show just how enormous the sculptures are, there were same size models of a few of them in the room

The lift goes up to floor 3 from where visitors are allowed out onto a balcony and we had marvellous views over the Royal Parks and out to the Houses of Parliament, Shard and London Eye, as well as plenty of traffic of course! Inside there was a small but fascinating exhibition called Carscapes: How the Motor Car Reshaped England and we sat and watched a short video about the building of the M25 and how it changed the landscape.

There were old road signs, traffic lights, petrol pumps and all manner of memorabilia including belisha beacon pencils, beko-built toy garages, photos of car manufacturing plants – even postcards of Motorway Service Stations, that early car drivers had bought as proof of their visit!

We left the Arch and crossed the road to stroll along Parliament Hill so we could watch the Household Cavalrwho were riding along from Horse Guards Parade. I pushed the button for the traffic lights and was amazed to notice the special one showing a person on a horse.

It was a really good visit.

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