Off to the Tower!

Hello again – I’m back! That’s a nasty bug Babess has been sharing around, but I seem to have collected the worst of it. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. But I’m on the mend again now, and ready to write up some more of our adventures.

Let’s wind the clock back to Thursday, when The Dad fell ill early in the morning, poor love.  I hustled the children out of the room as quickly and quietly as I could after breakfast, and left him to rest and sleep it off while we visited the Tower of London.

I’d never really thought about it very hard, and must never have seen pictures, because in my mind the Tower of London was one tower.  I knew the Crown Jewels were there, and some ravens were around it, but I suppose I thought you could do the whole thing in an hour or two.

Wrong.  It’s well worth a full-day trip.  It’s a whole castle complex, with lots of different towers and a mediaeval palace as well.


For some reason I hadn't expected to see an elephant either! (This one's made of wire mesh).

For some reason I hadn’t expected to see an elephant either! (This one’s made of wire mesh).


Ever since he heard we were going to London and he did some reading, Fainjin has wanted to see the ravens at the Tower.  He was well rewarded for his patience in waiting most of our week there, as the ravens were hopping around and very much in evidence.

We had stopped at the Welcome Centre and been given three badges – an “Apprentice Knight” and two “Practising Princess”es, three matching pencils, and three different activity trail books, so we were well set up for a few hours exploring.

First of all we had to see the ravens, so we went straight to their “patch” in the middle of the Tower.  Well satisfied that they were indeed in residence and the Tower was safe for another day, we carried on.  Next was the Mediaeval Palace trail, which had us looking for shield decorations in the King’s bedroom and walking along the castle wall.

The Crown Jewels trail was a little hard to follow in the book, because it was crowded and dimly-lit so we couldn’t keep stopping to read questions or write answers, but we got to see lots of gold and diamonds and regalia.

Finally we enjoyed the “VIP – very important prisoners” trail, which involved hunting for particular pictures in the graffiti left by Tudor prisoners in the Beauchamp Tower.

I could certainly have stayed longer, but the children were reaching the end of their energy, so we stopped in the Ravens gift shop – where we were excellently helped by a wonderful assistant despite the shop being overwhelmed with school groups every few minutes – then headed home.

Just as well, too, because we got caught in a thunderstorm & downpour just 100m from our hostel and were able to sprint for the door without getting too terribly wet!

© UpsideBackwards 2014.

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