Monday, 12 September 2011

Stealing Phoenix blogtour- author Joss Stirling's top ten places to visit in London

Hi everybody! As you know I LOVED with a capital L Stealing Phoenix the second book in the Finding Sky series it has the rather yummy Benedict brothers, tonnes of action and romance and the CREEPIEST baddies ever. My admittedly slightly fan girlie review of Stealing Phoenix is here.

If you haven't read Stealing Phoenix go buy it I think its one of the best YA series out there right now and is set in London which makes it even cooler in my eyes. Joss has kindly agreed to make My keeper shelf the first stop on her UK blog tour and tell us her top ten places to visit in London. Over to you Joss...

If you want to follow in the footsteps of the characters of Stealing Phoenix, you might like to check out some of my favourite places that inspired scenes in the book.

1. Olympic Park
Well, this has to be a no-brainer.  I failed to get tickets (did anyone get some??) but have looked through the fence at the development and watched the stadium go up (you get a good view on the trains out of Liverpool Street).

2. The London Eye
Another obvious choice.  I took a trip with my family on my son’s birthday and we had a fabulous time.  But be warned: the queues are really terrible even if you book online!  There are queues to join the queue – it is quite mad.  Phoenix’s power to freeze the ticket collectors would have been useful.

3. The Tate Modern
The exhibitions change but it is always worth a visit.  The spider display mentioned in the book was inspired by Louise Bourgeois’ giant metal one that was at the entrance when I visited.

4. The Barbican
It is as brutal as described in the book but I spent a lot of time there as a teenager.  I saw Les Miserables in the theatre when it first came to London, before the musical was famous (that’s going back a bit).  Also worth a visit is the Museum of London nearby.  The museum has a great App you can download that overlays pictures of old London on the modern view (all done by clever GPS).  You hold up your smartphone and see the two views merge.

5. St Pauls and the wobbly bridge 
A must see.  Enjoy the great cathedral then walk across that famous footbridge to the Tate Modern.

6. Waldorf Hotel and surrounding area. 
You are within easy walking distance of some of the best parts of the West End, including Covent Garden.  Phoenix would tell you it is a good spot for pickpockets so watch out!

7. National Portrait Gallery. 
I like looking at faces from the past and wondering about the sitter but it also has a fabulous restaurant on the top floor with views over London.  And I once got offered a contract for a book up there… ;-)

8. Soho Square. 
Now you have to be careful round here for obvious reasons, but I love the garden squares of London and this one is right near the imagined jazz club, The Knowledge, loosely based on Ronnie Scott’s.

9. Greenwich Park and the Planetarium. 
Greenwich has one of the best views of London, fascinating history of time keeping and exploration, as well as now housing the Planetarium with its show about life, the universe and everything! 

Being shot through the stars is like living in the mind of a Savant so enjoy!

10. Epping Forest
Not technically London, but on the end of the Central Line and the countryside haven for East Enders since Victorian times. 

I grew up round there and was aware of the macabre stories about the forest (bodies being buried there etc.) but really it is a beautiful place and I apologize for burying my fictional bodies there too.

I think I want to go on a sightseeing trip to London now ! A gigantic thanks to Joss for stopping by today and remember to head over to Susan K Mann tomorrow for the next stop on the Stealing Phoenix UK blog tour. 


  1. I'm a Londoner myself so I loved seeing some of my own favourite places in that list! The London Eye is fabulous and I love the view walking across Waterloo Bridge - the London Eye and Houses of Parliament in one direction and St Pauls and the Gherkin in the other. Oh, I want to go do some tourist stuff after work now! Great list - and knowing a book is set in London means I will check it out! :)

  2. Yay! I think you will like it Mel the London element really appealed to me too but the yummy Benedict brothers was what really won me over!

  3. omg! I've always been obsessed with London (UK in general but especially London). Read this is kind of torture LOL...I wish I could visit someday.

  4. What a great list. I have to say I'd add Highgate Cemetery to my list, I loved it when I was there. But this list are must see. x


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