Straight after check in and handling over my suitcases to the concierge off I go to the Tower of London, it is actually located quite far from Westminster area, where most tourists would be staying at, however the famed Tower of London has its own Tube Station which provide easy access for all visitors. Tower of London is huge and located near the City of London area overlooking the River Thames and also the gleaming gorgeous Tower Bridge. This is an attraction that can’t be missed for all visitors. Full of culture and laden with history, this castle is also an UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the dream of my travels would be to visit all the UNESCO Sites in the world, I would say that it will be tough, but I will definitely strive towards it. Being labelled a UNESCO World Heritage Sites isn’t easy at all, and I am so glad that Singapore finally has one, the Botanical Gardens, time to visit us, tourists.
Getting to the Tower of London is easy, given the Tube access, although old but the Tube is an highly efficient transport system to Londoners and tourist, I just can’t imagine how will it be like on the day where there are strikes. Located on the Circle Line is Tower Hill Station, the nearest one to Tower of London and a short walk to the Tower Bridge, from the station it is easy to follow the direction while admiring the awesomeness of the castle. From my hotel the is the start point of circle line, say about that, it is a direct ride taking about 35 mins. The circle line is one of the slowest tube in London, but thankfully the trains are newer and nothing beats a direct Tube ride with seats. Coming from a guy that stays in Pasir Ris I must say. At Edgware Station, which was the one opposite my hotel, the station is beautiful in a way, allowing me to see how things are like in the past. It is worth nothing that the Tube is the oldest metro system in the world, with some of the lines and or stations built in 1863, although frequently upgraded and refurbished it is still worth noting that not every time you could find lifts and escalators, it fall back to the basic stairs. While typing this articles, I keep thinking, what makes a 150 year old system more reliable one than the one we have in Singapore, where at most it is only 30-40 years, come on, I think this is a questions that we need to shoot ourselves in the head and ask Sir Stanford Raffles.
With the oyster card tapping out, I was instantly impressed by the Tower of London, it is just that impressive, seeing a medieval castle that was built to defend the city in the past, I always find it so amazing from seeing something magnificent with my naked eyes for the very first time, especially after years of looking it through a TV screens or thru pictures. Hoping that you guys would have the chance to do so soon, but first here are some of the pictures. Doesn’t the skies just make you drool?
You should probably see the crowd and the queue, travel 101 always recommend to follow the crowd if you are lost or looking for a nice restaurant but Seeing The World In Steps always tells you to digress. With a ticket, you can walk straight in into the attraction. Disclaimer first, the Tower of London is huge and you can easily spend the whole day here. I will recommend allocating at least 4-5 hours at this area, you could certainly burn more time sitting at one of the bench admiring the architecture and the gorgeous blue skies, with the birds flying pass you some times. You could also do this outside Tower of London also, there is this gorgeous area where you can sit down, enjoy the cold breeze and stare at the Tower bridge all day long, there is also the River Thames. The tickets to the Tower of London could be bought online, which is so much easier and efficient, allowing you to skip the long queues, furthermore it is cheaper online. The tickets will also be mailed to you, International or London, it isn’t an issue. The tickets cost 23.10 pounds for adults and for students it will be 17.60. A little costly but definitely worth so much, since there is so much to be seen.
Tower of London is huge and gorgeous inside, the garden, the buildings and even the ceremonial guards are pretty. Perfect place for lots and lots of postcard pictures. The must see and foremost place to charge to is definitely the crowns jewels attractions. This is the most popular and obviously the longest queue to enter. But it is well maintained and move orderly, you will get to see real actual crown jewels being use by the royal family currently. It is also sort of a history lesson into the Kings and Queens of Great Britain. You will get to know the meaning of each and every piece of jewellery. There are also videos being played inside. One huge one was actually the coronation of the current queen, Elizabeth II. You will also see and learn more about Princess Diana and one interesting piece to see would be the basin that was recently used by Prince George for his christening. Being a Singaporean this is evidently interesting to me, after all the royal family of UK use to rule us in the past. There is really lots to be seen and be awed by the gold and silver. I will pass on to the pictures to continue the amazement. Being priceless due to the actual precious metals prices and the significance of it, you are actually walking through a gigantic safe. As mentioned previously that such pieces are used currently, so sometimes pieces will be taken off the display and be transported in special boxes, these boxes are also on display, with each boxes fitting to the exact precision of each pieces. They are then transport under heavy security to the royal family. So sorry for not having any pictures of it since photos are not allowed. Hope this makes up for it?
Another place of interest would also be the torture tower, this is a small tower and the stairs are really small and narrow, I didn’t really enjoy it but the view at the top of the tower was pretty amazing.
Another nice place to burn some time would be the Fusilier Museum, this is one of my favourite actually, I swear by this time you legs are tired already. You will be able to learn about the British Army, their history and seeing some of the equipment from the past till now. The Fusilier Guards are a group of elite infantry that were formed at the Tower of London in the past and charged with defending it. Up till today besides it’s ceremonial duties at the Tower of London they are also active soldiers fighting in combat for the UK most recently in the world wars. Here are some of the pictures of it.
Last but not least for my visit will be one of the main attraction in Tower of London will be the White Tower, this is a huge place, walk a lot but also see a lot. The exterior of the building was also gorgeous. Actually my favourite part of the Tower of London are the lawns, they are just so green and gorgeous, super inviting for me the lie on them. First and foremost will be the Lines of Kings exhibition, where you will get to see historical armour being used close to 300 years ago and also knights, available are also the magnificent royal armours of Henry VIII, Charles I and James II. It is worth noting that there are lots of stairs to be climbed visiting this place. Be prepared. Then you will also get to see an exhibition where foreign royal gifts are shown, these precious gifts are given by other countries whom have strong relations with the United Kingdom, there are also pieces given from past colony and ruled places. The British empire are just huge. Then lastly you will get to see the Royal Mint exhibition, seeing how does the precious sterling pounds changed from the past and still so valuable today. Then you take the stairs down to a sort of gift shop, hey, told you, plenty of exercise today.
There are still many amazing places that I left out in Tower of London, I decided to call it quit and admired some of the beautiful scenery instead. Sat on a chair and looking at the beautiful place through my shades is just a dream come true for me. Of course I can’t leave this area without taking some of the most gorgeous pictures in the world. And there is the Tower Bridge too, doesn’t it look amazing, can I have this view out of my house balcony every day?
Hope you guys enjoyed this and I am off to exploring the rest of City of London area and to Bread Street, stay tuned for my review of Gordon Ramsey Bread Street Kitchen and St Paul Cathedral ! Do you guys love London as I do?