Our first activity of the day was a visit to the Tower of London. The Tower of London is a historic castle located along the River Thames. In the past, the Tower played a prominent role in English history and was home to a wide array of institutions including the Royal Mint, the Royal Armouries and even a zoo. In present times, the Tower is the protector of the Crown Jewels and receives over 3 million visitors every year.
We managed to make the 10:00am Yeoman Warder Tour, which is a tour that takes place every 30 minutes and offers a fantastic history lesson about the Tower. If you can, I would recommend arriving at the Tower at opening time and making a beeline for the Crown Jewels. Lines for the Jewels can be quite lengthy the later in the day.
You can actually see the Tower Bridge from within the Tower walls.
Walking along the River Thames will give you a fantastic view as well.
For an even better view, walk across the London Bridge and look left.
Lunch for the day was at Borough Market, a food market just across the Thames. They are open Monday to Saturday, but run a limited market Monday to Tuesday. Even though it was a limited market, it was still full of delicious vendors. We met up with X’s aunt, T, for lunch.
If you’re at Borough Market, you must stop at Bread Ahead and have one of their doughnuts. I fell in love with this gorgeous doughnut with vanilla cream.
After Borough Market, we headed to the Tate Modern, with T giving us little snippets of info about the neighborhood as we walked. The Tate Modern is Britain’s national gallery of international modern art. It is located in the former Bankside Power Station, which you can tell when you around the large building. The Tate Modern is completely free for its collections, but special exhibits require purchasing tickets.
We went straight to the observatory in the new addition to the museum. You get a wonderful 360° view of London. You can see St. Paul’s Cathedral as well as Millennium Bridge.
The Tate Modern also has a ton of interesting modern art within its walls.