Wednesday, 17 March 2010

The Tower of London

Anyone who’s read my posts on past visits to London knows that I like visiting royal palaces in the area. One that I’d never been to until yesterday was the Tower of London. And it was absolutely amazing!

I reached Waterloo about 9am and decided that as my walking would be cut short by the theatre visit in the afternoon I would walk along the river to the Tower. It was another gorgeous morning, with quite a few people on the Thames Path again.

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I got in at 10 am and found a group just inside the entrance listening to a Yeoman Warder (Beefeater) giving a guided tour. They happen hourly, on the hour, and last 60 mins; and they’re free once you’ve paid for entry, so I joined the group. He was brilliant! He had amazing recall of all the facts and figures, names and dates; he had good delivery, loud enough for everyone to hear, and a willingness to make fun of the corny jokes he was obviously telling for the 10,00,000th time!

Here he is in the village green:

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A lot of the Tower doesn’t allow photos and other bits were just too narrow to get a good shot. Here’s a summary of my favourite pictures

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The picture above is the Queen’s House. Henry the Eighth commissioned it as a wedding present for Anne Boleyn – but she had been beheaded before it was even finished! We couldn’t go in there but it looked lovely from across the green, and was last used to house hold Rudolf Hess at the end of WWII.

I did see the Crown Jewels, but wasn’t tempted to try to nick anything! They’re a bit garish and heavy for my taste, and a lot of the gems have been replaced by imitation stones.

By noon I was starving, not having had a snack, and went out of the Tower to find some food. I then walked from Tower Hill to High Holborn, where I worked for about 7 months years ago, and wandered along the road making notes of the things that had changed – and the ones that stayed the same, like this little shop that really awakened my love for sushi:

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I ate here nearly every day for 6 months!

Then I caught the tube at Chancery Lane to Leicester Square. It felt very lazy, but my legs were tired and I had some yoghurt warming up in my bag that I wanted to eat in Leicester Square Garden, so I did it anyway!

I wandered around the area until it was time to go to the theatre, then headed in to find my seat for the matinee performance.

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