Sunday, 25 July 2010

25 July 2010

Another Great Sunday in London

After a rather quiet Saturday I decided that I needed to get out and do something, which is exactly what I did. Here is how the day went; The Tower of London, Tate Modern and then the Monument.

The Tower of London

After getting off the tube at Tower Hill you walk through a subway and first thing you see is the Tower of London which would have been fantastic is it wasn’t covered in scaffolding. This ruined the photo opportunity but didn’t dampen my spirit. You walk around the tower to go buy your tickets which are not cheap, £17 for an adult, wish I was still a student.

They have fantastic guided tours with tour guides dressed in traditional guard dress. The tour guides speak loud and really jeer up the crowd. The first thing we heard was the story of James Scott who was the eldest illegitimate son of Charles II and was executed at the tower. He was executed by James Ketch who after consuming quite a few ales took 5 blows to severe the head of Scott. A lovely Disney story to start the day off. We didn’t stay with the tour for long but proceeded to visit the different towers. There was a fantastic exhibition on in the White Tower display 5 centuries of royal armour. It was impressive to see what they had to wear to battle and how little they could see out of their helmets. All displays were brilliant except for the Windsor display because all they had to show was a polo cap and some pads. I think Henry VIII would of kicked the shit out of Prince Charles.

Unfortunately the queue to see the crown jewels was ridiculously long so I didn’t get to see them but I did get to see some older crowns as well as Traitors Gate and various other interesting sites.

Tate Modern

From there I went off to the Tate Modern which is the modern art gallery. It has some pretty interesting pieces but doesn’t really float my boat. If you want to throw some clothes on the floor and call it art that is your thing but I just get told to clean it up. I did however get to see some pieces by Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein which was great. I really enjoyed the Warhol room. Another highlight was a display of photographs taken by Bruce Davidson. Definitely find them if you get the chance.


From there I went across Millennium Bridge to St. Pauls cathedral but it was closed so I didn’t go inside. Out of the corner of my eye I saw this large monument with a gold sculpture on top so I decided to walk towards it and check it out. As I got closer I realised that there were people on top of the monument and thought there must be some amazing views from up there so I investigated and it turns out that there were stairs going all the way up the middle of it.

It is called The Monument and was erected to represent the destruction and rebirth of London after the great fire in 1666. It was designed by Christopher Wren, who also designed St. Paul’s Cathedral. It stands 61 metres high, which is the exact distance from the bakery where the fire started in Pudding Lane to the monument. It cost me £3 to go to climb the 311 stairs and from the top there are so great panoramic views of the city. Unfortunately because Britain is a nanny state the viewing platform is covered in a protective net, making photography a little difficult.

Sorry about all the facts in this one but I learnt a lot today and thought I would share them with everyone.