December 11, 2011

0 London Break: London Tower

We hadn't been to the Tower of London yet, and it was on my "must-see London" list, so it became a priority of this short break.  I found a great deal for a very nice hotel on Tower Hill, but we actually went to the National Gallery first to try to get tickets to the Leonardo da Vinci exhibit.  When that didn't pan out, we headed back to the Tower. 
There was an ice skating rink set up in the moat for the season.

Artist Kendra Haste has created these metal sculpted animals scattered around the castle grounds to represent the famous royal menagerie once housed at the Tower.

The Middle Tower, originally built in the 1200s. 

Our Yeoman Warder guide.  He was an excellent orator, and had jokes corny enough for crowds but clever enough to elicit sincere laughs.  One thing he told us that I didn't know is that the Yeomen actually live at the Tower- they have flats in certain areas, some even on the Tower Green.  I am so jealous of that address!! 

Waterloo Barracks, now home to the crown jewels.

The White Tower, first begun in 1075, with Tower Bridge visible in the background.

Some armor that appears to leave little (cough, cough) to the imagination.

A horse armor headplate.

I was trying to show just how long this jousting spear is- I am standing as near to the handle as possible.  This spear is believed to have been a show-spear, as it is very lightweight and wouldn't have survived an actual joust, belonging to Charles Brandon, one of Henry VIII's closest frienemies. 

Believed to be the world's tallest armor standing next to armor made for a young boy.  


The Tower Bridge, as seen from the castle grounds.

Traitor's Gate!  If you'd like the view from outside, it's shown in my April 2010 post.

Yeah, I'm a tourist!

Byward Tower, as seen from Water Lane.  The Tower of London is definitely worth the tour- we didn't get to go into the Chapel, as a service was going on, but we thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the Tower!

The Tower of London at night.

Tower Bridge at night.

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