To the Tower

Perfect weather for a full day’s walking tour with Sophie Campbell, who has 25 years experience writing for the Telegraph, Times, Guardian, and Condé Nast Traveller.

Here is the emperor Trajan giving me the finger as I inspected one of the best surviving pieces of the London Wall.

Around the Tower of London looking at the variety of architectural forms. So much information – quite fascinating. I do love English history.

It was my first time onto Tower Bridge. I must get back and arrange an engineering tour to see its inner workings.

The Shard – not my favourite building.

St Magnus the Martyr church whose entry once adjoined the road over London Bridge – now squashed in against an adjoining building following the re-routing of the bridge and approaches.

Lots of new information on the great fire of London and the loss of the then St Paul’s Cathedral.

Very interesting information about St Paul’s construction by Wren and interior ‘redecoration’ during the Victorian times. Above we see the symbol of a Phoenix rising from the ashes, just as the new St Paul’s did after the Great Fire of London.

Oops, I took a photo inside.

The statue of Nelson on his column is three times taller than his actual height. I didn’t realise he lived in a ménage à trois, The things you learn while walking the streets.

Then on to the Palace of Westminster.

Parliament was largely sheathed in scaffolding and plastic due to renovations, but

I still leaned a lot, particularly about the gunpowder plot.

And the irony of St Charles the Martyr (on the east wall of Westminster Abbey) whose head is forever distilled to look across at Oliver Cromwell on a horse.

And the impressive new lift up to the recently opened Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries. Superbly designed and hidden.

And the recently dedicated capability Brown fountain.

Wow, that is some lawn mowing skill.

I do love the chapel left from Edward the Confessor’s original abbey, and Henry VIi’s chapel (below), largely intact internally because he was Edward VI’s grandfather. Shame the Puritans damaged so many other wonderful works.

Then on towards Buckingham Palace.

Great great day with perfect weather.

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