Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Tower, a day out in London

Having signed up for a membership of the Historic Royal Palaces when I was at Hampton Court earlier this week, I was keen to go back to the Tower and experience another Yeoman Warder tour, and headed for the city this morning.

Little things like engineering works on the tube didn't deter me (just made me walk further!) and I arrived at the Tower soon after opening at 10.. settle back for the tour, ladies!
 it being London in holiday season, there were already lots of people about

and there was a steady stream entering the Tower

 as I've got lots of pictures from my last visit (when it looked so different with all the poppies in the moat, now the grass is growing back and it all looks very green)
I decided to try and concentrate on odd angles and juxtapositions of the old and the new...
 they've got the builders in, lol!
 lovely to see blue skies, and it was very warm
the Yeomen Warder tour starts in the moat - a large crowd was gathering
 Our guide for today, Simon! This is the third tour I've been on, I started out a little disappointed, but by the end, I think he was one of the best!
 outside the White Tower, the original castle, dating from 1078. More signs of the builders!

 he's in full flow now!
 home to the Crown Jewels

 as you can see, the Yeomen Warder tours are very popular! this was the next one, after I'd made my way after ours finished
 Tower Bridge in the background
the Armouries museum, situated in the White Tower,

 one of Henry VIII's suits of armour. Glad I don't have to a) wear a full suit of armour and b) wear it sitting on horseback!

 despite wanting to concentrate on odd angles I still want this old ledger containing an inventory of  items held in the Armouries from from 1676-1679.  914 pages ready for altering...

 part of the oldest wall

 along the Wall Walks, in and out of the towers, fascinating little exhibitions in each of them
 the Wakefield Tower, one of the oldest parts of the medieval palace, built around 1220, home to Henry III

 complete with little chapel

 still on the walls,

 after lunch in one of the cafes I decided to head along the river, I had it in mind to visit the London Eye... owing to the tube works, I couldn't take the most direct route, so walked...

 past modern buildings...
 and older ones..
 this mosaic is new, opened in 2014, and is a mosaic potted history of England. Fascinating.. will visit again (if I can find it!) and study it further..

 I crossed to the south side of the river on the Millennium Bridge,  with St Paul's Cathedral in the background. The south side, not only being the "right" side for the Eye, is also the inner curve of the river at this point so a shorter walk.
love the views from this bridge, Tower Bridge in the distance and all the modern new architecture, with the Shard

 think this is Waterloo bridge, love the chimney like structures.
 and fabulous lamp posts, love this almost sillhouette with the sun behind it
 HMS President, a WWI warship, given a temporary face life, "Dazzle Britain" a ploy used during the first world war to create optical illusions

 another modern bridge structure.

I'd made it to the Eye... however, the queues to buy tickets, never mind to get on the Eye, were so long, I decided not to bother!!
Shame, as it was a lovely clear day and the view would have been spectacular - I've done it several times before, but not for ages.

 Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, from Westminster Bridge.
 the Eye from the bridge
and a garden at County Hall on the bridge.

Time to head home! I jumped on a bus - no way was I walking back to Victoria, it's not far, but far enough and the sun was beating down on me, and I'd nearly finished my water!!


Sally H said...

Wow! Thanks for the tour, Helen! I haven't been down to London in quite a while, and the last time I visited the Tower was in 1987 with 103 children! The visit with you was much more pleasant! Wonderful photos x

Claire said...

Lovely photos Helen, I've never visited the Tower but I think I should next time I'm down there X

Kirsten Alicia Sheridan said...

Fantastic photos, I love the Tower of London.

Lesley Ebdon said...

Wonderful photos and a lovely tour, thanks Helen.

Lesley Xx