So I’ve been to the Tower of London several times since I’ve been in London, but had never actually gone inside. The closest I got to going inside was when I volunteered at the poppy deinstallation, where I got to go into the moat. Otherwise, I had only passed by, either with family or with friends and just to take pictures of the exterior. That is, until Thursday, when my friend Siobhan and I finally found a good day to go!
We walked over from our residence, about a half hour stroll through the freezing cold wind and sleet/snow which was not a fun way to begin the day as I was basically perpetually numb until I went to bed that night, but I got in some good exercise since I was sore from the gym the day before.
We got there about 30 minutes after it opened and I am so glad we did because it was practically empty. We started off at the Crown Jewels, which we basically got to enjoy alone. Pictures weren’t allowed inside unfortunately because everything was so gorgeous. I’ve never seen so many jewels in my life. Diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, gold. You name it, it was in the crowns and scepters and diadems and dining ware. Absolutely incredible. And the way they glimmered in the light as we moved past them was magical.
After we left the crown jewels, we headed up to the Bloody Tower, where Richard III imprisoned the two rightful heirs to the throne, Edward V and Richard Duke of York in 1483. Shortly after their imprisonment, Richard III had them killed so he could claim the throne. In 1674, while workmen were refurbishing the staircase leading to the White Tower, the remains of two young boys were discovered. Their remains were reburied in Westminster but the tower is said to remain haunted. It was a really haunting small room that had an odd animated video that depicted what supposedly happened. It just felt really weird standing in there… On the floor below, Sir Walter Raleigh was imprisoned by James I, during which time he wrote his History of the World, four years before he was beheaded.
|Thomas Peverel, 1570|
|A medieval toilet-the hole just drops straight down…|
|I love those doors|
|The last remaining Norman arch|
|Love the old wartime posters|
|Such a beautiful illustrated wartime journal!|
|This Bible saved a man’s life|
After we finally finished at the Tower of London, we were exhausted and starving. Spending three hours walking up and down steep spiral staircases on very minimal breakfasts can be rather tiring so we hurried over to St. Catherine’s Docks for a delicious lunch at The Slug and Lettuce. It was my first time there and I had a sandwich and, since they do two for one desserts we couldn’t resist getting them! I had a sticky toffee pudding. So good and it definitely helped warm me up!
Tips for visiting the Tower of London:
- Arrive as close to opening time as possible (and perhaps earlier if you’re here during the summer) so you beat the crowds and school groups!
- Purchase your tickets online beforehand so you can head straight to the group ticket counter and pick up the tickets! All you’ll need is your credit card and the booking number.
- Head to the Crown Jewels first so you can see them without the crowds/screaming children!
- We spent about 3 hours there and probably could have stayed longer were we not exhausted and starving!
|French in London!|