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Sunday, 14 October 2012

London old and new - and a glimpse of a secret nuclear bunker

This amazing view of London is my souvenir of a  helicopter sightseeing trip over London. On a sunny autumn morning, we took off from Essex in EC130 G-SASY (right), and headed along the Thames, in one unforgettable half-hour passing iconic landmarks such as Tower Bridge, the Monument to the 1666 Great Fire of London, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Post Office Tower, and later the London Eye, Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace. Some of these buildings have dominated the capital's skyline for centuries but from the air, alongside new developments such as the Shard skyscraper (seen left, at 309.6m tall, the highest completed building in Europe), they looked like children's models.  
The helicopter tour was a Christmas present which came via a voucher. More details:

A bonus was the location of the helicopter landing field – just across the road from the site of the  Kelvedon Hatch secret nuclear bunker. This unassuming bungalow, shrouded by  trees (left),  is the portal to an underground world of reinforced tunnels and rooms where up to 600 military and civilian personnel, possibly even the Prime Minister, would have headed survival operations in the advent of a nuclear war. It was decomissioned in 1992, and is now owned and looked after privately. I didn’t have time to go in, but tours are available. There's even a cafeteria.   See

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