on August 27, 2010
(6) White TowerLeaving Crown Jewels and walking downwards, right in the centre of the Tower, there is a high stone building, well known as White Tower due the colour. It is one of the oldest remaining parts in the Tower and was built for William The Conqueror in 1100. That marks the start of the Tower of London’s history as both a palace and a fortress. Today it houses displays about the Royal Armouries’ collection and the Mint history. My observations: Different from other towers The White Tower is a massive construction with spacious halls. To many visitors the armour of Henry VIII probably is the most impressive, but to me a small armour for child was the most unforgettable one. There are a lot of interactive activities. I tried to take a weapon and found it very heavy. It’s also educative to discover the development of British currency. (7) The Medieval Palace and South Wall WalkOn the opposite site of the Bloody Tower there is an entrance to The Medieval Palace and South Wall Walk, which starts from St Thomas Tower. The Medieval Palace contained fabulous interiors used by medieval kings and queens during their frequent but short visits to their most important fortress. At the South Wall you can have a look at Thames river and the Tower bridge. At the end there is a diamond display exposing more details of coronation crowns. My observations: Walking through narrow corridors from one room to another I was surprised to see the rich colours and comfortable furnishings in Medieval times. The re-creating Edward’s dramatic bed was noticeable, but a small church inside was most appealing to me. I also enjoyed standing on the wall to watch a live show, performed by two actors in another tower.Above I mentioned the main sites I have seen. In fact I also visited the Royal Regimental Fusiliers’ museum and watched the famous ravens at the green land in front of White Tower. The daily event I came across was about the English Civil War. It was really fascinating to see how they cooked and how they fought 400 years ago. However due the time limit I didn’t come to the ceremony of the Keys that takes place every night at the Tower.Summary:I really enjoyed my visit to the Tower. It’s entertaining and informative. It gave me a big picture about British history. I would like visiting it again in future. I also would like to recommend anybody to the Tower if you do visit London. It is open daily. From Tuesday to Saturday it opens from 9:00 till 17:30. On Sunday and Monday it opens from 10:00 till 7:30. The entrance ticket is £17 for adult, £14.50 for full-time students and senior citizens, and £9.50 for children under 16, children under five free of charge. Tickets may be purchased at the Tower itself, at any London Underground station or online. To save time I booked my ticket on line, but found I just spent £16. I also booked my audio guide that is £4 for adult and £3 for concessions. To have a proper visit I highly recommend the audio guide, that is the best tour guide I have used so far. It’s very easy to get there: by bus, tube, taxi etc. Personally I bought Thames clippers daily ticket and got there by boat. There is a restaurant called New Armouries Restaurant that provides refreshments and full lunch. I had my lunch there and think it’s not bad. The food was priced reasonably and cooked freshly. The service was efficient and the dining room was big enough. However better take some snack with you because it’s really a tiring journey. I can’t remember how many steep stairs I up and down, but I was really excited to find a bench to have a break. There also a few shops for shopping. At last I would like to mention the staff that work at the Tower. Most of them were really friendly with visitors, but one small thing happened at the end changed a little bit my impression. When I finished my visit at the Jewel House, I attempted to go a toilet nearby, but was told it is closed and you can go to the one near the exit. However when I reached the exit I was told by another staff that this one is closed too. At the same time I saw similar things happened with other visitors. To be honest I feel embarrassed to mention the small thing, but I was really surprised with it. I have travelled a few places in China and the UK it is my first time to experience the situation. I suppose the daily huge visitors there make them want to close the Tower as soon as possible. So it’s no surprise I titled my article as The Tower of London------Kings, Queens and Queues.
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