Went into the city today on the train and spent the dayat the Tower of London. I had bought a ticket online the night before which I’m so glad I did as it meant that I only had to wait in the 5 min pick up ticket line rather than stand in the extremely long purchase ticket line.
The first thing I did was hear one of the Yeomen Warden tours which was so good as it gave a brief intro to all the different things you could see and do as well as bring all the stories to life. Our warden was really funny and it was a really interesting 45 mins.
Then I branched out on my own and decided to see the crown jewels first. I’m so glad I did it early in the morning as by lunch time the line had tripled in size! Once I got into the main building there were lots of rooms which gave info about all history of the crown jewels – like who wore what, how they were designed, what things were used for, info on the type of gemstones etc … it made the inside part of the line part of the exhibit. I wasn’t allowed to take photos inside which was a shame but I could see why they wanted to keep security high! I couldn’t believe how big some of the stones were in the crowns, or just the sheer number of diamonds in each! There was one of the largest diamonds in the world (Cullinan I aka the Great Star of Africa) in the Sovereign’s Sceptre. It was gigantic and so sparkly! I loved seeing the different styles of crowns and how they had subtly changed over the years and the Imperial State Crown which the Queen uses the most was amazing! The crown section of the exhibit was made up of glass cabinets in a row in the middle of the room. There were flat travellators on either side which meant you had to keep moving. But you were allowed to go back and walk past them again as much as you like.
All through the Tower of London the Yeomen Wardens were there acting as guides and security and would answer any questions. They all wore their uniforms which looked really striking but must have been hot!
I then went in the White Tower which holds all the armory displays. It showed how it had changed over the years and gave insight to how big or small the kings were! They also had displays of the gifts the royal fmaily had been given which was quite crazy! It also had lots of weapons on display ranging from swords to muskets to cannons.
I sat outside in the sun and had lunch then went into some of the prison towers – The Bloody Tower and the Beuchamp Tower. They had loads of ingraved graffiti from old prisoners and they had protected it by placing sheets of glass over it and each one was identified and had info about who it was,why they were in etc.
I did a wall gate walk which almost went the whole way around – gave some brilliant views of the Thames and London Bridge.