Saturday, September 6, 2014

a Charles Dickens guided walk and inside the Tower of London

Hi, welcome back!  Just got home a while ago from a fabulous day in "that there London town" with my mate Lin - first we did a Charles Dickens guided walk round Borough/London Bridge and then we went to the Tower - sit back, take a seat, you may need a cup of tea (or something stronger) there are lots of photos...

 The tour met at Borough tube station (deep underground, needs a lift to get out of, so that's 2 well dones to Lin who hates both the tube and lifts!)
First stop is St George's, Borough - or Little Dorrit's church as it's know. The window on the left, is Little Dorrit's window, as she is depicted in the extreme bottom right of that window.

 the ceiling was fabulous!
 the tour guide was very good. Apparently 4 neighbouring boroughs all paid towards the cost of the church, except Bermondsey, so they have a black, unlit clock face in retribution!
 This wall is the only remaining wall of the Marshalsea prison where Dickens' father was imprisoned for debt, and where Charles also lived.

 these wall plaques feature art work from local schoolchildren in 2004 starring themselves as characters from Little Dorrit

 next stop was a pretty garden called the Red Cross garden, formed by Olivia Hill who was a contemporary philanthropist friend of Dickens, it's tucked away and a big secret!

She founded some early 'social housing' projects (and was a founder of the National Trust) some of which are still here in the garden
then we walked round the corner to The George - the final remaining galleried former coaching inn, left in London.

 quite a raucous audience on the balcony listening to the talk!
 a quick walk past Southwark Cathedral before the final stop at the river, where we saw
a couple more of the Book Benches - this depicts Great Expectations, quite appropriately

 and this Paddington Bear one!

on route to the only remaining arch of the original London Bridge (the rest of which was shipped to America - legend has it they thought they were buying Tower Bridge) These steps feature in Oliver Twist, and are known as Nancy's Steps as it was here she was betrayed to Bill Sykes.

This is where the tour finished, it was a fun couple of hours, despite the initial drizzle, which didn't last long luckily.  From here, Lin and I crossed the river and headed for the Tower...
past this blue glassed office block - wish there had been more sun for some better reflections..
 once we got inside the Tower entrance, you are much closer to the Poppy display - this is what, my 4th? visit, but Lin's first...
 so wonderful to be much closer
 we waited for our Yeoman Warder guide just by the poppies.

 He was absolutely superb - very very funny. Neither Lin or I can remember his name, sadly.  There are 37 Yeoman Warders (and their families) living in the Tower and they spend a lot of their time escorting visitors round the Tower.
We both recommend it, if you visit the Tower - it doesn't cost any more, and is a fun hour!!
 the famous Traitors Gate
 and a "prettified" cannon!
the White Tower -  the original, oldest part of the Tower, built by William I (the Conqueror)
great views from inside.
 Stunning walls inside the White Tower

Lin and I both wanted this ledger for journalling!!
 some brilliant displays!
 Lin up on the Tower Wall

 These Tudor buildings were started by Henry VIII for Anne Boleyn, sadly, she was beheaded before they were finished and only got to live in one small part of them.
 inside the medieval part of the Tower, from Edward I time, (late 1290's) love this wall and staircase!
 here we both are in the King's Bedchamber.....
 Don't you love the Tudor style wall decor?
 and Edward I private chapel - where he was murdered... bloodthirsty lot, these ancient Kings of England!!

 but just love all the stained glass!
 another view of Tower Bridge (mainly for Sam!)
 Lin again, with the White Tower behind
 along the Wall Walk, you keep meeting this fighting men!!
 spot the elephant...
 looking down to the Yeomen's homes, in the outer Tower wall.
 Trying on a fighting helmet for size!
better look at the Yeomen's homes

 on the way out now, chucking out time, lol at 5.30!!
 got back to the Moat to catch The Last Post being sounded.
 there's one of those fighting men up on the Tower Wall! Never spotted him before
 and a walk round the moat back towards Tower Hill, boy have those poppies spread, lol!
love this one with the Bridge behind.

Thanks for staying with me and I hope you've enjoyed your day in London as much as Lin and I did...


Lin said...

Brilliant post was a fabulous day!! all of it and a lot of fun. Loving all the piccies so will be pinching some lol!!

sam21ski said...

WOW Helen, fantastic photos as ever and thanks for the ones of Tower Bridge. Can't even begin to imagine how you remembered all that info to be able to write it down.

The photo of the glass building reminded me of a huge rubix cube!!

Can't believe how red the ground looks with all those poppies, they most certainly have grown since your first visit.

Sam xx

Sarah Dunkley said...

Fab post hunni. Love your photos! Looks like u 2 had a great day out. :)

Deborah Wainwright said...

Great photos Helen and the information was fun to read. Great post xx

PaperArtsy Rubber Stamps said...

Wow just all looks fabulous!! What a wonderful day!!!

massofhair said...

Fantastic pictures Helen, some stunning glass panels which have kept their colours very well, the craftsmanship of old is truly amazing.

Glad you and Lin both enjoyed the tours an
d that you had decent weather.

The poppies swathes are astounding, such a fantastic exhibition and one of the best tributes to our fallen i have ever seen.

Thank you for sharing your day:-) xxx

Kirsten Alicia Sheridan said...

I do love your London blog posts & this one is excellent. I must do that Dickens walk one day. The poppies are looking even more wonderful. I'm glad you & Lin had such a good day.

BJ said...

Brilliant, love the last about too. BJ

Carol said...

Brilliant Helen! I would love to see those poppies - just can't see me having time to get down to London, but dab to 'see them' through your eyes! Looks like it was an amazing day. X

Hazel Agnew said...

That was a fabulous tour Helen, thanks for that. Xx

snazzyoriginal said...

Ooooh amazing guided tour for us Helen. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful day xx

Dianne said...

Hello Helen, all those photo are FANTASTIC, I so enjoyed my arm chair traveling to London, thanks so much for sharing it with us, you rock...

Lynne said...

That looks like a brilliant day out and some great photos too.