It was one of those impromptu travels we decided on at the last minute. I had just returned from China, jetlagged and tired, we had plans to take the ferry to Ireland over October half term. But somehow we weren’t up for new destinations that required planning.
We go to London often, mostly to visit family and friends. We have done several of the free activities one can do in London with children, and there are PLENTY to chose from! From our favourite ones – visiting Natural History Museum and all the other free museums, to enjoying all the lovely parks – Hamstead Heath, Regents and Hyde Park again our favourites. Been to the Spitalfields market, Camden town, Brick lane, Notting Hill….we do enjoy our time in London a lot 🙂 One of these days, might write more on these destinations, but not today!
I was set on Harry Potter Tour but it was all booked. Then I started thinking where we have never been because it was expensive and Tower of London came to mind. The one year we lived in London, we were right by Tower Bridge, but had never visited Tower of London. The fact that the Sea of Poppies exhibition was here was an added bonus! The Tower of London had filled its iconic moat with thousands of ceramic poppies to mark the centenary of the First World War.You can see the installation of 888,246 poppies, honouring each British and Colonial soldier that died during the World War I.
I bought our tickets online, cost £55 for the four of us, quite dear! We got here and were immediately struck by the crowds..thousands of people everywhere! Next to the sea of poppies, all you could see was the sea of people…But despite the crowds, it truly was beautiful to see the poppies. Weather was amazing as well, 21 degrees end October.
Besides the memorable and poignant display of poppies, it was interesting to explore inside, take in all the history, seeing the 1000 year old development timelines and monarchs associated with each tower. There were several exhibitions and finally got to see the crown jewels after waiting in queue for more than an hour! It was amazing how great our kids were despite all the waiting around. I think that made it all the more enjoyable that we didn’t have to deal with whining about waiting in line for hours to see ‘historical stuff’ 🙂
After we were done with the Tower of London, we took a walk to St Katherine’s Docks, a place we had come to often when we lived in London. Besides all the different Yatchts and small boats, there the Royal row-barge Gloriana, on display next to a floating hippo in the water.
One of the highlights of the day was walking down memory lane, passing through the colourful murals on the walls before you get to the docks. As we get ready to leave for New Zealand in less than two months, I cannot help but feel nostalgic about our 10 years in England. This is where we got married, had our children, grew as a family. This will always be the children’s first home. We were excited about new adventures on the horizon, but in the meantime, lovely to see this snapshot of us in the same spot over the years 🙂