For our first full day in London we did two Free Walking Tours (or pay what you like tours). Basically there is no charge to take the tour and you just tip the tour guide at the end. The first was a Westminster tour where we got to see Buckingham Palace, the Changing of the Guard, the Household Cavalry Changing of the Guard, the Prime Minister’s House, and Big Ben.
The second tour was of the City of London (which apparently is only 1 square mile) and it included the Memorial of the Great Fire of London, the original Twinings Tea House, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower Bridge and the London Bridge and ends at the Tower of London. These tours were not only a great way to hear the history of London at a great price we also were able to get the layout of the city and decided what we wanted to see! The best part about the tours was that I only lost Andrew 3 times! However the best part of the day was meeting up with Natalie and John – we met them in Shoreditch and had a great time talking, laughing, and eating – thanks for meeting up with us guys!
We spent our second full day in London exploring both Westminster Abby and the Tower of London. Since we have a love of visiting old churches we had to go to Westminster Abby but it was definitely more of a treat than we were expecting – there were so many famous kings, queens, writers, poets, and musicians buried there (Darwin, Isaac Newton, Queen Mary of Scots, Queen Elizabeth I, just to name a few) – it was quite amazing. Even though we’ve visited other churches where people are buried in the floor we still find it odd to walk over people’s tombs! I especially enjoyed viewing the church where William and Kate were married as I was definitely one of the millions of people watching their wedding. On a side note – if you’ve watched ‘The Crown’ then you’ll be happy to know that the coronation is actually quite accurate!
The Tower of London was definitely the best attraction we’ve seen thus far. We went on a brief tour done by a Yeoman Warder (or Beefeater as the world knows them) and he injected a lot of humor into his historical information. In addition to seeing the areas of the Tower where they tortured prisoners, kept Anne Boleyn prisoner, and beheaded several of King Henry VIII wives we also saw the Crown Jewels (unfortunately we couldn’t take any pictures in there but don’t worry Drew said he’d get me a crown just like the one used for coronations). The last thing we toured at the Tower was the White Tower which houses a ton of historical suites of armor. My favorite part was seeing the various suites of King Henry VIII – you can definitely see how large he became after his leg injury- in fact apparently every part of him got larger including his codpiece! A little girl actually asked her dad what it was while we were there – he was quick witted and said it was for riding horses.
All in all it was a beautiful spring day in London with tulips blooming everywhere. We ended the day by going to the local pub to watch a football game – Chelsea verses Tottenham and since we are staying in Chelsea we rooted for the Blues – they won! Sorry Natalie!!!