I’m not a practical man: simple DIY tasks fox me, I don’t enjoy ladders, electricity makes me jumpy. I’ll call for technical help when my printer runs low on toner. I have a handyman on speed-dial, a capable wife, and a nearby younger brother for whom these tasks hold no terrors. But for all this I find that one science, or sort of science, Geography, is my friend. It’s not all Geography – specifically it’s a sense of place. My sense of direction, if not exactly unerring, is well attuned to the compass points. I know where I am, and mostly, where I’m going. I love Ordnance Survey maps, whatever their scale, not only for their solid reliable practicality, but for the way they situate me so completely in any landscape, and for their often remarked-upon beauty. I can spread a map on the floor and pore over it for hours, bum aloft, tracing footpaths and rivers, marvelling over contour lines marking hills and steep sided valleys, wondering over derivations of village names, imagining the lost settlements marked in that ghostly gothic script. In short, I know my way around, and I am glad of it.
We asked Robert Fleming, the Templer Study Centre Manager at the National Army Museum to give us a few tasters of some of the fascinating collections related to survey and cartography held at the museum. Read More A cartographic taster from the National Army Museum
This winter come along to the Royal Geographical Society and hear the experts with the Society’s spring programme of events. With a wide range of talks and exhibitions at venues across the UK, there is something for everyone with an interest in geography. Read More Events this winter at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
If you are looking for your post-Christmas lunch or Boxing Day board game, come and meet Peter the inventor of ‘Where is Moldova?’ who is hosting a live demonstration day in our London store on Tuesday 19th December. Learn how to play this fabulous family board game and ask Peter why he named his game after a land-locked country in south east Europe. Read More Where is Moldova? The family board game demo day
The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures are perhaps best known for the noisy, messy physics and chemistry experiments, performed to demonstrate aspects of cutting edge-science in front of an eager, young audience. In years when the lecturer’s chosen subject is biology – in particular the science of the natural world – these demonstrations often take on a distinctly wilder tone, as menageries of living animals are welcomed into the RI’s world famous lecture theatre.
I delved into the last century of the RI’s biological Christmas Lectures for my book 11 Explorations into Life on Earth, and here’s my pick of the most delightful, intriguing and tricky animal assistants. Read More 5 top animal guests on the Royal Institution’s Christmas Lectures, by Helen Scales
What better way to explore the city than through its canopy of trees? Jack Cook, author of The Tree Climber’s Guide tells us why we should leave terra firma every now and then and take to the trees: Read More Five reasons to climb trees by Jack Cooke
Can you believe it’s been 20 years since Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s came out?
If you’ve read the books and seen the films, you might want to go on a tour of London looking for the Central London locations featured in the films. Read More Mappy Monday: Harry Potter’s London
This summer, come along to the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) and find out about, Slavery in the 21st century, Antarctica’s ice shelves, the making of Planet Earth II and much, much more. Read More Events this summer at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
To coincide with the release of his new book How to Read London: A crash course in London architecture Chris Rogers has selected some local significant sights near our Long Acre store that all feature in the book. Read More 5 Reasons why Covent Garden is important in London’s architectural development, by Chris Rogers