Our first full day. This was one of our combined days. A day where we all pretty much wanted to do the same things, or at least be in the same area. It was quite well thought out. We were going to spend the day at the Tower of London, London Bridge and the Sky Garden.
The Tower of London is fairly self explanatory. Crown Jewels, Beef-eaters and all that. We decided not to go in, but to walk around the walls, spend time on the river front and soak in the atmosphere. Also, Marcus is unpredictable on guided tours. Actually just wandering about the walls was very impressive. It is very well looked after. The whole area stands out as impressive history and when you step back a bit you can see it surrounded by modern sky scrapers and iconic bridges.
We opted to walk to St. Katherine’s Dock. Its only a few minutes away from the Tower along the river. But given the drastic difference in crowds, appears to be a place that not many people know about. Its nothing amazing, but a very pleasant place to wander. A small marina with shops and restaurants around the outside.
After lunch we headed to Tower Bridge. We had pre-booked tickets to get onto the glass viewing platform. The tickets can only be used once, but last the year so its very flexible. My Dad opted not to come up so we decided to leave the buggy with him. The bridge is quite accessible, but we had done it before and knew that Marcus would manage most of it and could be carried the rest of the way.
Check the website for the Bridge as it lists when its going to be raised. We managed to get in just in time. It was very busy but you got a clear view of what was going on. As soon as the bridge raised and lowered, the crowds dispersed and you could stand, handstand, lie down – do whatever you fancied on the glass floor. Its quite impressive and nerve racking all at the same time. And even funnier to watch those who don’t want to stand on it, inch themselves round the edge.
Having all met up again we did a little bit of shopping round the area, stumbled across Leadenhall Market and a few other interesting sights.
We were really just killing a bit of time before we headed up the Sky Garden. You have to book tickets to get in, but its free. Its a public garden at the top of the Walkie Talkie building. That’s the one where the sun reflected off it and started to melt cars on the street down below.
For your free ticket you get one hour in the gardens. It about the right amount of time. Security is very tight. Think airport. There is an amazing view of the Shard from the open air balcony. And through the glass walls all around you get a pretty good view of all the surrounding area. It was a highlight of the holiday.
Happy with our first day, some opted to get the tube home. We walked it so we could soak in more of the atmosphere. It was about an hour, but its London – there is always something interesting to see…and it allowed us to catch up with the latest gossip from my Brother.