England, London, United Kingdom 13

Sea of Poppies, Tower of London, and walking down memory lane

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.

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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.

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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.

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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’ 🙂


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No pictures allowed inside

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It was actually a hot day, she was just happy as had bought these ‘royal’ ear muffs!

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.


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Hippo in water, not sure why?

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 🙂


St Katherine Docks, Mural of fish, over the years we have come here 🙂

This is posted as part of #WeekendWanderlust hosted by A Brit and A Southerner, Travel Inspiration hosted by Reflections Enroute, Our World Tuesday and Ruby Tuesday



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  • DiningTraveler says: November 7, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    Gorgeous photos! I remember doing the Harry Potter tour back in 2007, I don’t remember much but it was pretty fun! How long will you be going to New Zealand? That’s one of my dream destinations.

    • samselim says: November 7, 2014 at 10:39 pm

      one year in New Zealand, and then want to take 6 months and travel around Australia…hope to do several shorter trips while we are in New Zealand. Very excited as have never been to that part of the world 🙂

  • Fairlie says: November 8, 2014 at 12:08 am

    What an amazing sight that Sea of Poppies is! It looks like you struck a lovely day weather-wise for it too – the contrast of the red with blue skies makes for great photos.

  • Katie@From Shores to Skylines says: November 8, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    The sea of poppies pics look amazing!! A little expensive it seems, and I had no idea how many people were there! Still a once in a lifetime experience. 🙂

    • samselim says: November 8, 2014 at 5:45 pm

      I am glad we did go, it was once in a lifetime experience, and thanks to the lovely weather, we managed to really enjoy the day despite the crowds!

  • Rachel says: November 8, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    Love the snapshots of you and your family over time – don’t forget to keep going back!

    • samselim says: November 8, 2014 at 5:44 pm

      Thank you 🙂 It would be fun to go back over the years and try and take same shot at that mural!

  • Tim says: November 8, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    I remember fondly visiting the Tower back in the 80’s when I lived in London and can also understand the feeling of nostalgia as you get set to leave again. Bit NZ is an amazing place. The country of my birth. In fact I am heading back in a few weeks myself for a family reunion. I love reading of your family’s journey and wish you all the best. I look forward to hearing about your adventures in NZ.

    • samselim says: November 8, 2014 at 5:44 pm

      Thank you 🙂 We are really excited about New Zealand and all our travels the next one year! That’s great to know that you were local there. Have to check out your website for any insiders posts!

  • ladyfi says: November 12, 2014 at 4:27 am

    Gorgeous shots – especially of those poppies.

  • bettyl - NZ says: November 12, 2014 at 7:52 am

    These are great shots of England and the poppies are just wonderful to see. I do look forward to seeing what you like about New Zealand. I’ve been here for over 8 years and I’m still taking lots of pictures!

    • samselim says: November 12, 2014 at 11:35 am

      Thanks 🙂 That’s great you are still clicking away 8 years on! What part of New Zealand are you at? We are moving to AUckland, but am sure we will be travelling all over!

  • Molly says: November 12, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    It is an amazing memorial.


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