Sunday, 16 March 2008

Airing Clean Washing

My Tower of London experience over, here are my conclusions and suggestions to make your visit even more enjoyable. I also tie up a few loose ends!

When I returned home that night, I thought I would do a little more research on the beardless Beefeater, “Susan”, who was so unaccommodating. It transpires that the singular female Beefeater is, in fact, called Moira Cameron and looks nothing like “Susan” who I am now assuming was a just a Tower of London guide! This will teach me to take proper notice of uniforms in future – I don’t want to get Policemen and Traffic Wardens confused just because they wear similar(ish) uniforms! I am quite relieved that “Susan” wasn’t the elusive female Yeoman Warder but disappointed that I didn’t get to see her, take a photo or ask a few questions.

After that little bit of post-daytrip research (yes I know I’m supposed to research before going somewhere!) I uploaded my photos onto the computer. As I worked my way through- deleting the total duds and patching up the others- I came across a couple of photos I’d taken over a high wall between the Salt and Broad Arrow Towers. The first one looks like a bit of a wasted pic but the second one unveils the other side of the Tower of London – the private side. Take a look at that laundry drying in the wind – its pink! To be more precise it’s pink playboy bunny sheets, pink tops and what appears to be an itsy bitsy pink skirt! Could I have found the “Yeowoman” Warder’s rooftop washing line? I may not have met the lady herself, but they say you can tell a lot about a person from their laundry… I wonder where she got that bed linen from?!

If you are interested in seeing all of my Tower of London photos (including ones not uploaded onto this blog) you can find them at:

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not the world’s best photographer but every picture tells a story!

In retrospect I wish I’d bought the audio guide which is discounted with a London Pass, then I may have had more enthusiasm for the smaller, less famous towers. Having abandoned the Beefeater tour after making my unfunny joke, this would have made my visit more structured and informative.

Of the 22 towers I visited 8 and climbed 957 stairs in total… yes, 957!

I suggest wearing comfortable shoes or trainers when visiting the Tower of London as climbing small, sometimes spiral or uneven staircases would be pretty dangerous work in high heels! The cobbled pathways may also be a bit troublesome if you’re not steady on your feet.

I arrived at the Tower around midday and noticed a lot of school groups just leaving so I guess the mornings are busier. Also, if you have the option, then avoid weekends as the tourist hot spots are always busy then. At least if you have the London Pass you can skip the entrance queues and remember that you don’t use the regular entrance. Walk around past Traitors Gate to the Middle Drawbridge Entrance and they swipe your London Pass and let you straight in.

The Tower of London is really a fabulous place to visit and, potentially, you could spend a whole day exploring. But as I’ve said I’m not mad keen on history and, while I appreciate the value of this amazing tourist attraction, I wouldn’t want to spend a whole day there. The beauty of the London Pass is that you don’t feel obliged to spend hours there because you won’t be wasting money on the ticket! Just see what you want to see and go on to the next place.

I saw plenty more that day using my London Pass and will share my experiences and dodgy photos with you just as quickly as I can write and upload!


Descartes said...

Ah the Tower of London is one of my favorite London sights. This is about the time of year I went as well.
Keep having fun, read you later.

Sparkly Songbird said...

I will and thanks for stopping by- I love your London Thoughts blog but am disturbed to know you are a pro photographer!!! Think of my photos as ironic!
Best Sparkly Wishes xxx