Tower of London with Vanessa and Nathan in the foreground

As I mentioned in my previous blog post about traveling to London England, there are a handful of places we want to see while we are here. And in this blog post I’ll be going over a couple of the first places we visited.

First off, let me say that if you plan on doing any traveling in London but are unsure of where you’re going, I highly recommend using an app called Citymapper. That’s what we’ve been using and it works like a charm. It basically holds your hand and tells you the shortest routes, what buses or trains you need to take and how much it should cost you.

Riding in the London above ground train

Don’t these two just look so adorable? It was a smooth and enjoyable ride on the above ground train as we headed towards the London Bridge Station.

We used that app to navigate our way from where we were staying in Croydon to the London Bridge Station. Well to be honest, I think we’re in Thornton Heath, which if I understand correctly is part of Croydon which is part of London?

If anyone could correct me in the comments below, please do so because I really don’t want to be giving out bad information to anyone reading this.

Tower of London from second level

One of our first full views of the Tower Bridge. This is where you really start getting the feeling that you’re actually in London.

So our first stop was the Tower Bridge and it was even more striking in person than what you might have seen in the pictures. To me it was fascinating walking across the bridge watching all the people bustling around.

Tower of London with Vanessa and Nathan in the foreground

Double decker buses gingerly made there way though traffic as taxis, bicyclists, and scooters whizzed by. A surprising amount of joggers made their way past us jogging on uneven brick paths as well. Vanessa and I looked at each other and wondered what the sprained ankle rate was here in London.

Close up of the Tower Bridge

Just over the bridge was the tower of London which is situated to the northwest. If you are in the area and making your way around the tower (on the public path outside), you might stop and check out the chunk of old wall from the Roman times.

Nathan standing in front of the Tower of London

Nathan standing in front of the Tower of London. This isn’t the old wall. The old section of wall can be found close to here, in a cut out section of the walkway on ground level.

We had purchased our tickets online prior to arriving at the Tower of London, and that saved us a few pounds. So yeah, that was cool.

Crown Jewels

Nathan pointing the way to the world famous Crown Jewels.

Once inside, I quickly realized that there was so much more history that happened in the Tower of London than I had ever imagined. I believe it stretches back seven or eight hundred years. Very neat.

We chose to tag along on the 2:00 tour which was led by none other than one of the Yeomen Warders; also popularly known as Beefeaters which are ceremonial guardians of the Tower of London.

We got to see where the manchild Henry the VIII kept his wives before having them beheaded. Seriously that’s pretty messed up right?

The tour was a blast and although it was cut short because that day was particularly windy, we left with so much more knowledge than we had before arriving at the Tower of London.

After the tour, we walked around checking out a number of fascinating areas around the tower, including the crown jewels (talk about extravagant) and the White Tower which houses the Royal Armouries.

There was also a chapel located inside the White Tower. It was very reminiscent of a certain video game franchise I particularly enjoy. I’m not going to say what that franchise is, but please feel free to make any guesses in the comment section below.

A very cool looking chapel built in the White Tower. It makes you feel like you were actually there hundreds of years ago – just standing around while people chanted and did whatever it is they did during service.

The White Tower was particularly interesting due to the fact that there was so much armor and weaponry housed there. There were many pieces of armor on display specifically designed for famous people throughout history, a wall of breastplates, and loads of horse sculptures in armor as well.

Horses and armor in the White Tower

I for one didn’t actually realize how large the lances were that they used for jousting. It was insane. Figuratively, not literally.

In fact, we spent most of our day at the Tower of London and we didn’t even get around to seeing everything. Specifically, we didn’t get to see the area where much of the torture took place during that time period. I know that sounds a bit messed up, but it was part of the history nonetheless.

Old section of the original Tower of London

If I understand correctly, this was an original piece of the wall that is much older than most of the other sections which have been reconstructed fairly recently.

If you plan on visiting the Tower of London, I would plan on staying there for at least 4 hours if you want to see everything there is to see. Actually, you might want to plan on making that even longer. You’ll be surprised how quickly time goes by.

So now that we’ve done those two sites, our next destination will hopefully be Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. Until next time, feel free to share any great stories you have of your travels in the comments below!

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