Intro to London 2016: To See a GOAT on Grass
American Airlines Business Class Chicago (ORD) to London (LHR)
Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire Leicester Square
The May Fair Hotel
Buckingham Palace and Changing of the Guard
St. Paul’s Cathedral
Tower of London and Tower Bridge
Dining in London
Brexit, London Street Scenes and Red bus tour
British Airways Business Class London (LHR) to Chicago (ORD)
Tower of London and Tower Bridge
We hopped off our RedBus tour to check out the Tower Bridge and Tower of London. Both attractions are pretty much directly next to each other. We first decided to check out the bridge.
The Tower Bridge was pretty busy with plenty of tourists walking across. There are some nice views of the Thames and the city of London.
There are some paid tours/exhibitions actually in the upper area of the tower portion of the bridge. The line was really long and we weren’t super interested so we decided to pass.
The Tower Bridge is such an interesting piece of architecture to me and so it was nice to see it up close and get to walk across.
After our Tower Bridge visit we checked out the Tower of London. This is one of the biggest attractions in all of London, primarily due to the crown jewels being kept there. We entered the tower and decided to wait around for 20 minutes or so for the free guided tour. At first there was just a few people but as it got closer to tour time there was over 50 people easy!
The tour was given by a tower attendant dressed up in a fancy formal uniform of sorts. They were all really entertaining and knowledgeable. The tour was about 1-1.5 hours and afterwards we were free to wander and explore the Tower on our own. The entrance fee was around 22-23 quid per person if I recall correctly.
The grounds were immaculate for a thousand year old complex. The queen keeps a home here we were told. In fact the tower attendants live on the premises. The tower was originally intended as a place to keep hostile citizens of London at bay. Queen Anne Boylen was beheaded here as well.
As part of the tour we got to enter the Royal Chapel, the Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula which is under direct jurisdiction of the Queen of England. The church is fairly small but is nice and intimate and I can see the church holds a lot of history. The guide told stories in the church for about 15 minutes or so and it was a nice spot to have a seat during the tour too.
In 2012 the Crown Jewel Exhibit opened at the Tower. There is a separate line for entrance to the crown jewels inside the tower. The line moved fast and your pretty much moved through the exhibit in a orderly line. Everything is obviously glassed in and secured. Pictures are generally not allowed. The exhibits are really interesting though. Once you get to the area with some of the amazingly fancy precious stones you are actually walking through super thick vault doors.
We walked around the rest of the grounds stopping in certain areas and entrances at our leisure. We also stopped in for lunch at one of the cafeteria’s. Some of the walkways around the perimeter allow for really nice views of the Thames River and Tower Bridge.
We enjoyed the Tower Bridge and the Tower of London even more so. Its nice to gain a bit of history and culture while on vacations. It is one of the reasons we enjoy taking trips; to explore and see new things.