Our book of the month for July is London Sketchbook: A City Observed, honouring this great city that so many people will flock to see this summer. In 2015 a record breaking 31.5 million people visited London, with 18.6 million coming from overseas and 12.9 million coming from within the UK. This book provides an excellent insight into why so many people come to see the sights that this city has to offer.

London Sketchbook

The book is comprised of beautiful sketches and watercolour pictures of London, drawn and painted by Graham Byfield.  Byfield is a Londoner who was born in Tooting and has always been fascinated by the architecture around him. His paintings are enhanced by the wonderful text provided by Marcus Binney, an architectural historian and author. Binney provides the history behind the London streets that we see before us, letting us know how they came into being, along with interesting anecdotes for when you visit.

The book is structured as a tour of London starting with a general overview of its history and some of the most iconic sites within it, such as Westminster Abbey. From here it takes your around the city, dividing it up into Central London, The City and East End, West London, North London and South of the River. The book finishes with a gazetteer which provides extra information on the landmarks and streets that have been depicted throughout the book, with page references so you can look back at them.

This book is appropriate for both visitors to, and residents of, London alike: it goes beyond the main tourist attractions and looks at many buildings which you may never have gone out of your way to find. With so many iconic buildings in London it can be easy to become blind to the wonderful architectural masterpieces that exist in more residential streets that you may not have cause to look up at. This book examines them in the same detail as the well-known sites like St Paul’s and the Gherkin.

To learn more about this great city and see our full collection of books about London, please click here.