The White Tower

I have returned safely from The Tower! This years London trip ran a lot more smoothly that last years trip to London. On arrival we headed straight to the Tower of London. On the advice of the Tower of London website we avoiding using Tower Hill tube station, this meant we had a 10 minute walk from the tube station to The Tower. We picked up our prepaid tickets and admired the poppies in the moat whilst making our way to the drawbridge entry to to The Tower.

When we got inside we walked on the walls, looking out over London and glimpsing poppies through some of the windows. After the walk we took a break for lunch before continuing our tour of things that The Tower of London has to offer.  We gave the Crown Jewels a miss, the queue was extremely long due to increased visitors there for remembrance weekend and to see the poppies in the moat. We did join the shorter faster moving queue to visit the White Tower which is the oldest part of the Tower. It houses the Royal Armories collection.

Poppies in the Moat

After our visit to The Tower we continued walking around the moat so we could see more of the poppies in the moat. It was fascinating to see how much the poppy installation had grown since our visit in August. Due to the sheer numbers of people it took us quite a while to make our way around the moat. We got to one of the corners at the front of  The Tower as dusk turned this meant that we were able to witness the Roll of Honour being read. This was followed by a trumpeter playing The Last Post which is always moving to hear.

As the crowds slowly started to disperse we made our way to the other corner at the front of The Tower to see the wave of poppies cascading over the side of the drawbridge. Just as we arrived the heavens opened, it was just like someone had turned on a tap!!. We beat a hasty retreat and made our way towards the tube station whilst trying to locate a cab. We had no luck with a cab due to the sheer numbers of people. On the way back to the tube we experienced rivers of water flowing across the footpaths as the gutters deposited water to the downspouts. Water was also cascading down the steps in the underpasses. By the time we got to the tube station we were absolutely drenched.

We set off on our journey back to Marble Arch where the coach had dropped us off. The journey was beset with delays. At one point we queued inside the underground for thirty minutes before we could get onto the platform. At one point I felt most uncomfortable, there was a mass of people with no exit in site if something should suddenly go wrong. Of course nothing went wrong and every few minutes the crowd surged forward as people got on the tube that had arrived at the platform and more people surged to fill the gap they had left on the platform. We eventually got back to Marble Arch, grabbing as sandwich to eat on the coach as we made our way to the pick up point.  We arrived with moments to spare. A few others were late due to them experiencing similar transport problems. The coach was also a little late due to roads being congested. The coach slowly made its way out of London but as someone pointed out, it was not as slow as it was on last years trip.

The driver of the coach we travelled on last year informed us that it spent six weeks in the Volvo garage where it was found that two pistons had broken through the engine block at a cost of £24.000 to replace!!  OUCH!!

8 Comments CherryPie on Nov 9th 2014

8 Responses to “London 2014”

  1. james higham says:

    You’re really living at the moment, Cherie. In my case, I think I’ve gone beyond the queuing and inconvenience stage and shudder at travelling [except by boat of course].

  2. I do hate crowds but if I am prepared and it a once in a lifetime for me I can handle it. This would be but I am glad you had a pleasant visit.

    • CherryPie says:

      I think you would have been fine by the poppies. The crowd was organised into lines with easy exit routes if you had had enough so it didn’t really feel like a crowd there.

      The tube however was an entirely different matter.

      • Bernard says:

        “The tube however was an entirely different matter.”
        Oh, CherryPie, I am sorry to hear this but – I suffered the tube for seven years and on retiring, swore never, ever to venture into London again. I remember someone writing in one of the papers – “Treat London as a prison. Go in, do your time and then get out.”
        Nothing would entice me back there, not even ‘the poppies in the moat’.
        You said something about a prepaid ticket? Heavens, I had no idea that they were charging people to see them.
        I’m glad to hear that this London trip ran more smoothly than your previous ones – and of course – more smoothly than my one thousand, five hundred previous tube trips! (5 days a week for 7 years!) ;-(
        Happy Days – Not.
        As always – mind how you go.
        B xx

        • CherryPie says:

          Hi Bernard, nice to see you :-)

          I have never been a fan of the tube, but it gets from A to B. This particular journey stuck in the underground was bordering on scary. Luckily I am quite a calm person, but it was the sort of situation that could have led to someone having a panic attack.

          You don’t have to pay to see the poppies they are entirely free. The ticket was to go inside The Tower of London which is not free. As we wanted to see the poppies (again) we thought we would go into The Tower as well to save rushing around London to do something else in addition. I had it half in mind that we might get to see the ceremony at dusk. The plan worked ;-)

          I couldn’t live and work in London, just a few days of London journeys and London hectic are enough for me…

  3. ....peter:) says:

    Your visit to the Tower of London sounded like a great adventure Cherie…
    i would have gone there just to see all of the ceramic poppies in the moat…
    you took a wonderful picture of them… and thank you….peter:)

    • CherryPie says:

      They were wonderful, I sight not to be missed. I am so glad I was able to visit them twice. I left still wanting more…

      But it is right that they should not remain after Armistice day, for them to remain would miss the point.