Monday, 18 November 2013

To The Tower!

I’ve visited many tourist attractions over the years, a number of which I have blogged during the past year or so, but somewhere that I had never got round to visiting was The Tower of London.

But now I’m back fresh from a visit to said tower, full of enthusiasm and information about my day.

As with all the London attractions that I visit, I tend to go on a Sunday, when there is no congestion charge and parking can be found cheaply or even free. When there are several of us going together it is cheaper and more convenient than using the train.

For our visit to The Tower we parked in The Minories Car Park, details here, a multi-storey just a few minutes walk from the attraction, which costs £2 per hour during the week, but on a Sunday costs just £2 for the whole visit.

Arriving by 10.30 we found that there were no ticket queues (on this particular Sunday at least) and instead of paying the admission fee of £19.50 for adults and £9.75 for children (higher rates if you include the voluntary donation) we exchanged Tesco Clubcard Days Out Vouchers for tickets.

Once in the grounds I was pleased to find plenty of benches to pause and picnic on, several blocks of well-kept toilets and a restaurant providing drinks, meals and snacks at quite average prices, as opposed to the more inflated ones found at some attractions. We paid just over £9 for a Latte, an Americano, a bottle of 7Up and three delicious pieces of shortbread.

I loved seeing The Crown Jewels, especially the dainty coronet sported by Queen Victoria and thought the moving walkway system past the main jewels a clever way of keeping visitors moving.

Other highlights included St Thomas’s Tower above Traitor’s Gate complete with bedchamber and small chapel with a lovely stained-glass window, The Coins and Kings Exhibition with fun interactive displays and the small monument at the Scaffold site.

The White Tower is full of armoury, which I confess to becoming a little tired of by the end, and whilst the climb up was not bad, ascending one floor at a time largely via reasonable staircases, the climb down was by way of one long spiral staircase leading to a cellar before depositing us in the gift shop.

There are plenty of other exhibits to see and a great view of Tower Bridge, the Yeoman Warders were helpful and informative and the ravens a powerful presence. We had a really great day.

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