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Tower of London Photos

The Tower of London

Trip Over to London

Indulging my passion for history and bringing back memories, I hadn’t been to visit the Tower of London since I went on a school excursion a very long, long time ago!! Not to mention my great fascination for standing in places where some historical figure stood centuries before me, albeit, Anne Boleyn was getting her head lopped off, and fortunately I wasn’t. Being in a building that was built 1000 years ago and learning all about what has gone on there in in the past thousand years is unbelievably interesting.

The White Tower, the main tall building that once dominated the London skyline, was built in 1078, by William the Conqueror and was extended and added to for the next few hundred years. Throughout its life it has been used as a palace, an armoury, a zoo, the Royal Mint, and a prison right up until 1952.

To get to the Tower catch the Circle or District tube lines to Tower Hill, then follow the signs to the Tower. As you leave the station you will see a huge chunk of the old city walls from the original Roman city of Londinium, built 2000 years ago. I love an old wall, and this is a serious wall, 3 metres thick, now being guarded by a bronze statue of the Emperor Trajan.

As you walk through the tunnel under the road there are modern art works depicting various London scenes, then you emerge on to the path that leads you around outside the Tower walls with many photo opportunities, then down the hill to the entrance at the West Gate. Having become a member of the Historic Royal Palaces, I was able to avoid the queues for tickets, but did have to join the bag checking queue. A sad reality of life these days, where a few lunatics have made it so these airport style safety checks are necessary everywhere.

Look for the meeting point for the Yeoman Warders Tours, we used to call these guys Beefeaters, no one knows exactly why – maybe they ate the beef??? Now they prefer to be called Yeoman Warders, except on their birthday when, I have heard, they are presented with a bottle of Beefeater Gin. Once you join the group, these tours are free and run every 30 minutes, they start by telling stories of the history of the Tower.

Our Warder was telling a very interesting story about a few chaps called Simon, who were all beheaded at the tower. Simon Sudbury, Archbishop of Canterbury, it took a rather gruesome, eight blows to his neck to get the job done in 1381. Then there was Simon Fraser, the 11th Lord Lovat, he was the last person to be beheaded at the Tower, beheaded for treason in 1747 at the Tower. There were so many people who came to view this beheading that the viewing platform collapsed killing 20 of them! The story was just getting to the part where it doesn’t pay to be called Simon in England, which I found very amusing as I have a good friend in England called Simon……………when the tour was suddenly called off…………

Tour tip – Don’t put your umbrella up!! While the Warder was in full flight telling fantastic stories there were a few drops of rain, people started getting their umbrellas ready, then there were a few more drops of rain and a few of us (yes, I was one of them…) put our umbrellas up. Straight away the Warder called off the tour, saying he always does that as soon as umbrellas start going up…..so we were on our own now……..everything is fairly well signposted, so you know what you are looking at and there is plenty of information telling you all about each section of the Tower, but the Yeoman Warders do add that extra touch with very animated stories.




The Yeoman Warders and their families live on site in rooms and houses in the walls of the Tower. They have their own pub, The Keys, which is not open to the public, only the Warders and their invited guests can go there. They have their own community within the Tower walls, but I believe some have houses elsewhere to go to, to get some time away from the never ending hordes of visitors to the Tower.

The queue to get in to see the Crown Jewels was huge, snaking around the queuing area and then going for a further 200 metres down the hill – nothing could make me join that queue. This is one of the advantages of becoming a member of the Historic Royal Palaces – members don’t pay to enter the Tower of London, so I decided to come back another day to see the Crown Jewels. But I can understand if you only have a one day ticket you want to make the most of it, maybe leave half your group in the queue while half goes off to see everything, then swap places……….or just forget it!! I went back the following week and there was no queue at all – the luck of the draw.

St John’s Chapel on the 3rd floor of the White Tower, is the oldest surviving chapel of the Norman era and they still hold services there on Sunday mornings. Henry lll had the Chapel redecorated in 1240 with the addition of stained glass windows. The Knights of Bath held an all-night vigil in the Chapel on the eve of Henry lV’s coronation, and this ceremony continued to be held until 1559 for the coronation of Elizabeth l.

There are various art installations around the Tower grounds. The Historic Royal Palaces commissioned artist, Kendra Haste, to create wire sculptures to commemorate some of the many animals gifted to the Tower – lions, a polar bear, baboons, even an elephant. These exotic animals made up London’s first zoo, from the 1200s to the 1800s. Any surviving animals were moved to what is now London’s Zoo in Regent’s Park.

As you walk around the battlements you will come across metal sculptures of Guards defending the Tower with various weapons – not to mention a few actors dressed up ready to re-enact some of the goings on at the Tower.

In 2006 a memorial to those who lost their heads at Tower Green was unveiled near the execution site, designed by British artist, Brian Catling, a circular piece of glass with a glass pillow in the centre. A peaceful place to reflect on what a brutal society we once were……..

The Armoury in the White Tower houses a gleaming display of armour and weaponry. It seemed quite a laborious task to get both man and horse were kitted out for battle. There is an enormous dragon sculpture there made from all manner of bits and pieces from the armoury, shields, helmets, guns, ammunition, etc.

When you have had enough of the torture and violence, head over to St Thomas’s Tower and see the far more relaxing recreation of Edward l’s bedchamber.

Last, but by no means least – The jet black ravens that live at the Tower are, according to legend, holding the whole thing together. The legend being that if the ravens every leave the Tower and the Kingdom will fall, so by Royal Decree there must be a minimum of six ravens on site, but the Raven Keeper does have a few extras, just in case! Seems to be working, so far……

While in London you might like to take a walk from Camden Town along Regent’s Canal, or if you are in London at the right time of year, visiting the Chelsea Flower Show or Kew Gardens is very inspirational, even for a non-gardener like me!

If you feel like a long walk through London’s History or for aleisurely day out, catch a boat up the Thames to Hampton Court

Read the PostCards I wrote on my recent Trip Over to London, shorter stories and pictures of places I visited.

Book a tour on your Trip Over to London

Itinerary for my Trip Over to London

Flew from Sydney to London Heathrow via Singapore, with Qantas on QF1, then QF2 to come home.

Stayed at the Royal Overseas League in St James’s.

Picked up at Heathrow by Naz from Black Lane Limos.

Travelled around London using a Visitor Oyster Card.

A statue of Robert Wagnet in Piazza Doria in La Spezia, Italy. Wagner was inspired to write some of his music after spending some time in this town. . . . #laspeziaitaly #laspezia #laspeziaharbourside #laspeziacentro #robertwagner #robertwagnerlaspezia #sculpture #artinpublicplaces #piazzadoria #solotravelinitaly #solotravel #solotrip #solotravelingisfun #italytrip #madeinitaly #sculpture #traveladdict #traveltheworldworldwithme #travelinitaly #seekandyoushallfind #seeeverythingdoeverything
Another reptile looking over a rock to check out the surf at Manly Beach in Sydney. . . . #lizardonarock #lizardofinstagram #lizardlife #reptile #manlybeachaustralia #manlybeach #sydneybeaches #sydneybythesea #sydneyweekend #sydneylocal #myhometown #seekandyoushallfind #seetheworldthroughmylens #traveltheworldwithme #neverstopexploring #sydneylife #sydneyaustralia #sydneywalks #sydneynative
The foot bridge to the Marina in La Spezia makes for a lovely walk in the afternoon, there are a few bars and restaurants out there too 🥂!! I am so pleased I chose to stay in La Spezia and visit Cinque Terre, and other towns in the area, from there, it's a lovely town and my hotel @hotelfirenzelaspezia up near the station, was fantastic. . . #laspeziaitaly #pontethaondirevel #laspeziaharbourside #solotravelinitaly #solotravel #italytrip #seetheworldthroughmyeyes #neverstopexploring #traveltheworldwithme #traveladdict #laspezia #reflectiononwaterisbeautiful #yachts #outonthewater #beautifullaspezia #italytravel #madeinitaly
Castello San Giorgio in La Spezia has been protecting this part of Italy since 1262, it now houses a museum and a fabulous view from the top. There is a lift up from the town area, then cross the road and jump on to the funicular to get up to the castle, or if you're feel fit, there are steps, many, many of them!! La Spezia is just south of Cinque Terre, therefore an excellent base to see this area from. . . #laspezia #laspeziaitaly #castellosangiorgio #castellosangiorgiolaspezia #solotravelinitaly #solotrip #italianhistory #seeeverythingdoeverything #seetheworldthroughmyeyes #traveladdict #travelinitaly #oldbuildingsmakemehappy #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #solotravel #neverstopexploring #medievalitaly
Look at all those steps!! Fortunately, just down the road there is a lift and funicular to get you up to where the castle is. But I suppose if you live half way up, you wouldn't want to forget the milk!! . . #laspeziaitaly #laspezia #laspeziacentro #solotravelinitaly #neverstopexploring #seeeverythingdoeverything #seetheworldthroughmyeyes #traveltheworldwithme #neverstoptravelling #solotrip #steps #manymanysteps #manymanystepstoclimb #solotravel #italytrip #madeinitaly #exploringlaspezia
The very ornate doors to Florence Cathedral, imagine the number of hours it took to carve these, and this is not the only set of doors, there are many, all equally detailed - it's a lost art, or is just too expensive to have beautiful things these days?? . . #florence #florenceitaly #florenceduomo #firenzecityitaly #firenzeduomo #florencecathedral #duomodifirenze #italytravel #italytrip #italianhistory #madeinitaly #solotravel #solotravelinitaly #neverstopexploring #oldbuildingsmakemehappy #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #carveddoors #duomodoors #italianarchitecture #seetheworldthroughmyeyes #seekandyoushallfind
In the courtyard inside Palazzo Pubblico, Siena's Town Hall. Construction of this medieval Gothic building began in 1297 as the seat of the government. I don't imagine anything built today will still be standing in 700 years, let alone still be a beautiful functioning building!! . . #palazzopubblico #palazzopubblicodisiena #piazzadelcamposiena #medievalitaliancity #medievalitaly #gothicitaly #italianarchitecture #siena #sienaitaly #italytrip #italianhistory #italytravel #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #oldbuildingsmakemehappy #solotravel #solotravelinitaly #neverstopexploring #neverstoptravelling #solotrip #seetheworldthroughmyeyes
Looking over Piazza dei Miracoli at Pisa Duomo, from the upper level of the Baptistery, with the Leaning Tower peaking out behind it. The Cathedral was completed in 1092!! Then it took a further 300 years to complete the bell tower, that became more famous because of it's lean. . . #pisaduomo #pisaitaly #pisatrip #pisaduomopiazzadeimiracoli #pisa #pisatower #leaningtowerofpisa #torredelpendente #piazzadeimiracoli #solotravel #solotravelinitaly #solotrip #oldbuildingsmakemehappy #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #medievalitaly #italianarchitecture #italianhistory #italytrip #madeinitaly #neverstopexploring #neverstoptravelling #seetheworldthroughmyeyes
A couple of Lorikeets having a morning catch up on a tree at Cremorne Point on Sydney's North Shore. . . . #lorikeetsofinstagram #lorikeets #cremornepoint #cremornepointwalk #sydneylocal #sydney #sydneywalks #seetheworldthroughmyeyes #traveltheworldwithme #myhometown #travellerau #sydneyharbourwalks #sydneynatives #borntofly #walkinthepark #sydneyweekend #sydneynorthshore #sydneyparks
Like most Italian cities, Siena has many churches. This is Basilica Cateriniana San Domenico, still going strong after opening it's doors in 1226!!! . . . #siena #sienatrip #sienahistory #sienaitaly #sienatravel #sienaitalia #basilicacaterinianadisandomenico #solotravelinitaly #solotravel #neverstopexporing #traveltheworldwithme #traveladdict #travelinitaly #oldbuildingsmakemehappy #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #medievalitaly #medievalitaliancity #historicitaly #madeinitaly
Siena's Torre del Mangia as seen from the dome of Siena Duomo, with the beautiful Tuscan countryside rolling out past the Siena city walls. . . #siena #sienatravel #sienaitaly #sienaduomo #sienatrip #sienaitalia #torredelmangia #solotravelinitaly #solotravel #italytrip #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #oldbuildingsmakemehappy #seetheworldthroughmyeyes #traveltheworldwithme #medievalitaliancity #medievalitaly #italianarchitecture #madeinitaly #viewfromthedome
Inside Siena Duomo, the black and white marble soaring up to the ceiling, I can't imagine how they built this way back in the 1200s. You can go up to the upper level and look down into the Cathedral from the little windows in the top right of my photo. . . #siena #sienaitalia #sienaduomobellissimagiornata #sienaduomo #sienatravel #sienatrip #sienatrip #sienahistory #blackandwitemarble #medievalitaliancity #gothicitaly #solotravelinitaly #solotravel #italytrip #seetheworldthroughmyeyes #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #oldbuildingsmakemehappy #seekandyoushallfind
One of the loveliest medieval Italian cities, exploring centuries of tradition. The people are all so nice, and all helped by the beautiful boutique hotel I stayed in @relaisdegliangeli my beautiful home for not long enough 🥺 I will have to go back one day. . . #siena #sienaitaly #sienahistory #italytravel #italytrip #madeinitaly #solotravel #solotravelinitaly #neverstopexploring #seeeverythingdoeverything #seetheworldthroughmyeyes #traveltheworldwithme #traveladdict #medievalitaly
The bronze sculpture of il Porcellino at Mercato Nuovo in Florence, rubbing the boars snout ensures you will return to Florence - it works!! This was my second visit, I rubbed his snout again......so looks like I'll be back again 🥰🥂!! . . #ilporcellino #ilporcellinofirenze #florencewalk #mercatonuovofirenze #florencetrip #florencetravel #florence #florenceitaly #italianhistory #italytravel #italytrip #italy #seetheworldthroughmyeyes #traveltheworldwithme #neverstoptravelling #solotravelinitaly #solotrip #solotravel #solotravelingisfun #traveladdict
The Uffizi Gallery in Florence, this is taken from Piazzale degli Uffizi looking towards the river, the top floor is the Vasari passage that goes from here across Ponte Vecchio to Pitti Palace, so the Medici didn't have to walk amongst the peasants, or deal with smell from the butchers shops on their way between the office and the Palace. When I was here in 2013, Vasari Passage had never been open to the public, then I was very excited to hear that had changed, then I knew they closed it again to do some maintenance work and should have been open in time for my recent visit. They must have heard I was coming back and decided to delay the re-opening 🥺 Oh well, maybe next time.... . #florence #florenceitaly #florencetrip #florencetravel #italytrip #solotravel #solotravelinitaly #oldbuildingsmakemehappy #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #uffizigallery #vasaripassage #italianarchitecture #seetheworldthroughmyeyes #traveltheworldwithme #seekandyoushallfind #throughthearchway
Siena's Torre del Mangia can be seen between buildings all over this magnificent medieval city. . . . #siena #sienatravel #solotravelinitaly #sienatravel #seekandyoushallfind #sienaitalia #seeeverythingdoeverything #sienaitaly #sienahistory #sienatrip #torredelmangia #medievalitaliancity #medievalitaly #italianarchitecture #oldbuildingsmakemehappy #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #solotravel #neverstopexporing
This whatever it is reptile was just standing on a rock happily watching everyone walking by at Cremorne Point in Sydney. Lizards things are not my favourites, but hey, I was visiting their home. Hopefully they understand, I am not returning the favour!! . . #reptilesofinstagram #reptile #lizardofinstagram #lizardonarock #sydneynatives #sydneywildlife #cremornepointwalk #cremornepoint #watchingyou #sydneylocal #sydneywalks #sydneyweekend #sydneynorthshore #sydneybythesea #sydneylife #sydneyharbourwalks #sydneyaustralia #myhometown #seeeverythingdoeverything #seetheworldthroughmylens #neverstopexploring
Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo with its spiral staircase was built in 1499, sadly it was closed for a private function when I was there.....apparently the view from the top is amazing!! Oh well, maybe next time..... . . #scalacontarinidelbovolo #scalacontarini #palazzocontarinidelbovolo #palazzocontarinidelbovolovenezia #historicvenice #oldbuildingsmakemehappy #veniceitaly #venice #venicetrip #italytravel #italytrip #solotravelinitaly #solotravel #solotrip #italianhistory #seeeverythingdoeverything #seetheworldthroughmyeyes #traveltheworldwithme
There she is....quite amazing really, just leaning there for over 1000 years, next to Pisa Duomo. The tower is actually the bell tower for the Cathedral. I love the way these beautiful buildings are surrounded by lawns that you are not allowed to walk on. This keeps everyone at a distance so everyone can see, not just the people leaning on the monument. . . #leaningtowerofpisa #leaningtower #fieldofmiracles #pisa #pisaitaly #pisaduomo #pisaduomopiazzadeimiracoli #piazzadelmiracoli #pisatrip #italytrip #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #oldbuildingsmakemehappy #seetheworldthroughmyeyes #traveltheworldwithme #traveladdict #neverstopexploring #solotravelinitaly #solotravel #solotrip #italianhistory
Inside the Baptistery next to Pisa Duomo in Piazza dei Miracoli, it seems black and white marble was all the go 1000 years ago, one of my favourites now!! . . #pisaitaly #pisafieldofmiracles #pisabaptisteryofstjohn #pisatrip #pisabaptistery #battisterodisangiovanni #pulpit #pisafieldofmiracles #italianhistory #madeinitaly #medievalitaly #oldbuildingsmakemehappy #blackandwhitemarble #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #solotravelinitaly #solotravel #italytrip #seetheworldthroughmyeyes
The statue standing in Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence, is rather unfortunately named The Rape of the Sabine Women, or The Abduction of the Sabine Women, both equally bad, depicting the way women were treated in Roman times. Made from marble in the 1500s by Giambologna for Cosimo Medici. . . . #rapeofsabinewomen #abductionofsabinewomen #loggiadeilanzi #loggiadeilanziinthepiazzadellasignoria #marblestatue #giambolognasculpture #italianart #artinpublicplaces #florence #florenceitaly #florencetrip #florencewalk #florencetravel #solotravelinitaly #solotravelingisfun #traveladdict #solotravel #neverstopexploring #seetheworldthroughmyeyes
Bronze sculpture of Perseus proudly displaying Medusa's head that he had just lopped off, by Benvenuto Cellini, the sculpture was finished in 1554. It stands in Loggia dei Lanzi in Piazza della Signoria, in the centre of Florence. . . #perseus #perseusfirenze #medusa #perseusandmedusa #bronzesculpture #artinpublicplaces #sculpture_gallery #loggiadeilanzi #loggiadeilanziinthepiazzadellasignoria #florence #florenceitaly #florencetrip #florencetravel #italytrip #solotravelinitaly #solotravel #solotrip #seetheworldthroughmyeyes #traveltheworldworldwithme
It was really hard taking photos of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the temptation to line it up straight in the lens is something I struggled with, having it next to a straight building helps!!! . . . #leaningtower #leaningtowerofpisa #torredelpendente #pisaitaly #piazzadelmiracoli #pisaduomo #pisatrip #pisaduomopiazzadeimiracoli #pisa #pisaitaly #italianarchitecture #italianhistory #madeinitaly #solotravel #solotravelinitaly #neverstopexploring #medievalitaliancity #historicitaly #italytrip #oldbuildingsmakemehappy #historicbuildingsenrichourlives
And all of this, along with everything in the previous pic all needs to fit into this suitcase.....hmmm!!! . . #packing #tripovertoitaly #tripovertolondon #neverstoptravelling #solotrip #howwillitallfit #howwillitallfitinmycase #traveladdict
Inside the 1000 year old Pisa Duomo, they knew how to create beautiful buildings back then, and they last forever!!! Similar black and white marble to that used in the much bigger Siena Duomo some 150 years later. . . #pisaitaly #pisaduomo #pisatrip #pisaduomopiazzadeimiracoli #pisa #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #oldbuildingsmakemehappy #blackandwhitemarble #insidetheduomo #italianarchitecture #italianhistory #italytravel #italytrip #madeinitaly #medievalitaly #traveltheworldwithme #traveladdict #neverstopexploring #seeeverythingdoeverything #solotravelinitaly #solotravel #solotrip
The elephant sculptures by Gillie and Marc at Spitalfields Market in London, The Herd of Hope is raising awareness of the plight the elephants face due to poaching and habitat destruction. Go to my website to read more about them, see more pictures and read about my long walk in London. Link in the bio. . . #herdofhope #herdofhopelondon #spitalfields #spitalfieldsmarket #gillieandmarcart #gillieandmarc #artinthestreets #artinpublicplaces #sculptureart #sculptureoftheday #elephantsofinstagram #elephantfamily #londontrip #londontravel #londonwalks #selfguidedwalk #solotravelinlondon #explorelondon #london #traveladdict
This is Musiara, an orphaned elephant rescued after poachers attacked her mum. There are 21 bronze sculptures created by Gillie and Marc now located in Spitalfields, London. I have a new post about them that you can read by clicking the link to my website, in the bio. . . #musiara #herdofhope #herdofhopelondon #bronzeelephants #londontravel #londonwalks #seekandyoushallfind #spitalfields #spitalfieldsmarket #london #gillieandmarcart #artinpublicplaces #bronzeelephantsculptures #sculptureoftheday #sculptureinthecity #londontrip #londonlife #solotravelerstories #solotravelinlondon #traveltheworldwithme #traveladdict
The Baptistery in Pisa, Battistero di San Giovanni, in the Piazza dei Miracoli along with Pisa Duomo and it's bell tower, the Leaning Tower. No, the Baptistery is not leaning, I lost the ability to take a straight photo in Pisa🤣!! . . . #pisabaptistery #pisabaptisteryofstjohn #battisterodisangiovanni #piazzadeimiracoli #pisa #pisaitaly #italianarchitecture #italianhistory #madeinitaly #solotravel #solotravelinitaly #neverstopexploring #oldbuildingsmakemehappy #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #historicitaly #italiantrip #seetheworldthroughmyeyes #traveltheworldwithme #traveladdict #neverstoptravelling

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