Picture London without the people

If you’ve ever had a chance to visit London, you know what a hive of activity the city can be. Huge red double decker buses rumble past your field of view, pedestrians stroll through Trafalgar Square and the pontificators mass at Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park.

Perhaps it’s a surprise then to see photos of these places, completely devoid of any human being. That’s exactly what Flickr user IanVisits has done in his recent photo project titled “Abandoned London.” Ian had the opportunity recently to capture images of London at its most desolate. On Christmas morning, as many Londoners remained curled up in bed or at home opening their holiday presents, Ian was riding his bike through the empty streets, capturing these eerie street scenes, frozen in time.

The normally bustling stairs in front of the National Gallery sit vacant, strangely forlorn. The pulsing neon of Picadilly Circus is dark, the advertisements yelling their goods to nothing but empty air. Hungerford Bridge anxiously awaits the stirrings of foot traffic.

Despite the absence of any Londoners, each image in Ian’s Abandoned London set seems to create its own sense of personality. It raises an interesting question – is a city defined by its people? Or is it an entity of its own, breathing, sleeping and existing as if it was alive? In any case, if you’re looking for a unique view of London you’ve probably never seen, make sure to check out his gallery.

Many thanks to Ian Mansfield for letting us use his photos!

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Trouble With Your Love Life? Visit the New Sexual Theme Park

As I’ve mentioned on a number of occasions, the sunny, temperate afternoons and lush green countryside make the UK a great pace to visit during the Spring and Summer. Ahhh.

Now there’s yet another reason for Britain-bound travelers to celebrate — a new sexual “theme park” is has opened in London.

In tourist-friendly Piccadilly Circus, you’ll find Amora, a “love and relationship academy” featuring exhibits that explore every aspect of sexuality, from flirting to fetishes.

After a jaunt though the erotic attraction, you can wander into nearby Soho — which not only is home to great bars, restaurants and jazz clubs, but also the city’s renowned red light district. And — while I wouldn’t normally admit this, but seeing as it’s pertinent — I can personally vouch for at least one of the district’s adult-themed stores. In what has been, as of yet, my only experience with a “sex shop,” I entered one of the Soho’s sleazier establishments at the tender age of 15, and…

Well, we’ll just say it was an eye-opener.

But, at least according to an Amora spokeswoman, sleaze is the last thing you’ll find at the new erotic museum, which aims to inform the more high-brow sexual connoisseur.

Seems worth a visit — as, by the sounds of it, you might even learn a thing or two.