London Springtime: Part Four

From the rainy environs of Greater London, we now move to the (still-rainy) area of central London. Tower Bridge was our destination, and it is an attraction, not simply a landmark. One can take a trip inside the bridge’s distinctive neo-Gothic towers, and even across the walkways which are suspended 143 feet above the Thames at high tide. Touring Tower Bridge is a fabulous experience, and I would recommend it to anyone (who isn’t afraid of heights, that is)!

Tower of London Rain

Exit from Tower Hill Tube station, with the Tower of London situated imposingly across the road

Shard and Tower

The 800 year old Tower of London juxtaposed against the futuristic and brand-new Shard building

I love the area around the Tower of London and Tower Bridge- it’s close to the River, so there’s always a beautiful view, and the architecture is steeped in history. For example, All Hallows-by-the-Tower is a nearby church; the crypt of which contains fragments of an ancient Roman building. As well, just outside Tower Hill station is a surprisingly large part of a Roman wall which used to surround the town of Londinium.

Although the day of our visit was quite foggy and rainy, with a bunch of low cloud and no shortage of wind, we enjoyed visiting the Tower Bridge area very much. The colourless sky made the crenellated façade and bright blue spans of Tower Bridge stand out wonderfully, and the view from the Bridge’s pedestrian walkways was dreamy and amazing.

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge, with its distinctive blue accents

Butler's Wharf

Butler’s Wharf, home to posh flats and restaurants, from the top of Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge Walkway

View across to Tower Bridge’s second pedestrian walkway

The sky-high walkways of Tower Bridge are now home to part of the Tower Bridge Exhibition, which tells about the bridge’s construction, purpose, and history. Thus, there are many films, plaques, and photographs telling of fascinating facts from the bridge’s past.

Shard and Belfast in rain

The bulbous exterior of London City Hall, the towering Shard, and the WWII-era light cruiser the HMS Belfast

St Paul's in rain

The dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral just visible in the fog

The Gherkin and Tower in rain

The Gherkin and the White Tower of the Tower of London

 

Tower Bridge Mechanism

Giant wheels, part of the bridge’s mechanism

Tower Bridge Mechanism

Part of the massive steam engine housed in Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge Counterweight

One of Tower Bridge’s giant vertical counterweights

After such a chilly and rainy morning, we were hungry- not to mention tired, from climbing the stairs in the towers of Tower Bridge! So what better way to fuel up and warm up, than with a good plate of fish and chips? The Golden Hind in Marylebone was our place of choice, as we had heard rave reviews of its fish and chips. It did not disappoint, with delicious fish, thick cut chips, and perfect mushy peas. The owner was also very friendly and welcoming, asking us where we were from and making sure our meal was enjoyed.

The Golden Hind

The Golden Hind, home to some of London’s best fish and chips

In what was a nice surprise, our next (and final) day in London was sunny and pleasant. But don’t underestimate the comfort of some pub grub and indoor sightseeing on a rainy London day!

 

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