At more than one thousand years old the Tower of London is a top tourist attraction for todays visitors. While living in London
I took a day exploring the former Royal Palace, mint, prison, and zoo. Today its mostly a museum where you can get a close glimpse of the Crown Jewels and the White Tower led by a Beefeater. My advice is go at an odd hour if you prefer your Beefeater tour with less than 40 people. What is a Beefeater?
They are given a fancy name for working as glorified prison guards. Today they just work as tour guides. Apparently the royaly used to compensate them with beef rations, which explains the strange name. No matter how irrelevant they are today, the Beafeaters know how to give a great tour. We began the tour with their exaggerated stories but eventually wandered off on our own.
A highlight of the Tower of London is the famous White Tower itself. The White Tower contains an intriguing variation of armoury, weapons and even torture instruments.
Even in 2011 the Beefeaters are still tutoring prisoners. Even little children.
While certainly fascinating, the Tower of London is still a museum. As such, I had to refuel at one of the couple of cafe’s on the grounds of the Tower of London. The coffee went well with the brisk May London weather. On a side note it was a wise move packing my winter coat for the London “summer”. London would have a really great chance of living up to it’s top reputation if it was built in say, any other climate.
Hey ladies. If you are still looking for a Knight in Shining Armour it can be found at the White Tower. Check it out!
History Lesson Time:
What’s an article about the Tower London worth without explaining a bit of its history?
The Tower of London has been continually modified and added to by different monarchs since its initial construction in 1078. Since then it has added proximately twenty towers to its grounds. Hence why we call it the Tower of London. In one of these towers, the Bloody Tower, it was discovered that two adolescents bones were buried here during Charles II’s time in power.Besides killing children they have also executed some pretty famous figures like Lady Jane Grey and Thomas More. Sir Walter Raleigh wrote his History of the World while serving his sentence here. History lesson over.
Often not mentioned is some sort of military museum they have going on there. They added lots of interactive elements like being able to carry the weight of the average soldier’s backpack during a modern war, or try on funny hats.
I wonder what this guy is guarding?
But careful where you wander during your time inside the Tower of London, or what secrets you try to uncover. You could wind up like this guy.