19 April 2013

Tower of London (29 June 2008)

On our last full day in London we decided to visit the Tower of London.  A few months before the trip to London I read Philippa Gregory’s books about the Tudors.  With the stories and history in my head we headed to the Tower.
We walked to Holborn station but there are a lot of delays and we decide to take another route.  We went from Holborn to Leicester Square to Embankment and finally Tower Hill.  We arrive before the gates open and had to wait in the row until opening at 10:00.

Tower of London
Byward Tower

Tower of London
Bell Tower

We entered the Tower of London and wanted to start exploring. The Yeoman Wardens gives free tours of the tower. The first tour started at 10:25 and we decide to wait to learn more about the buildings and the history of the Tower.  Our guide was Chris and he told us some interesting stories about history, prisoners and executions.
Tower of London












We learned where Anne Boyleyn was held, where the her and other execution took place and saw the Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula where her body was buried.  We could not enter the chapel because a service is taking place but we did sneak in with a later tour group to see the inside.  We heard stories about the nine-day queen (Jane Grey) and The Princes in the Tower.

Tower of London
Waterloo Block

The tour ended after about 90 minutes and we started do our own exploring. First we walked to the Waterloo Block to see the Crown Jewels. The crowns are amazing with huge diamonds and a lot of gold.  There are also a lot of other beautiful items on display like items used for the coronation and gold plates etc.     
Tower of London

Next we visited the White Tower.  Inside there are exhibits of armour, weapons and paintings.  There is also the beautiful Chapel Royal of St John. It was about 13:30 when we left the white Tower and we were getting hungry. We went to the New Amouries Café for some food to rest our feet for a bit.
Tower of London
Tower of London












We still had a lot left to see.  We visited the Medieval Palace, the bloody tower, the torture in the tower exhibit, the Beauchamp Tower, Cradle Tower and Salt Tower.  We walk pass the Traitors Gate and Tower Green. 

Tower of London
Scaffold Site and Waterloo Block

It was almost 17:00 when we left the Tower.  We had an amazing day.  There were so many things to see and every tower or building has some another story to tell.  We stopped at some of the shops inside to buy a few souverners and books about the history of the tower and the crown jewels.

Tower of London
Tower Green and Queen's House

This was another expensive outing but worth every bit.  We spend almost the entire day exploring.  And if I get to visit London again I will definitely go again. I did not include detail about the Tower’s 1 000 years of history but you can read more on their interesting website or read some books by Philippa Gregory or Alison Wier or other great writers.

Read more of the trip to Europe in 2008:
14.              Day 11: Notre Dame Paris France
15.              Day 12: End of Contiki Tour
16.              Day 13: Wimbledon
17.             Day 14: Changing of the Guards
18.             Day 14: London
19.             Day 15: Wesminster Abbey

1 comment:

  1. I'm sad to say that my visit to London in 2008 was so brief that I just had the opportunity to walk by this and not go in.

    ReplyDelete

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