In this article, I take readers on a walk around the Pool of London and describe some of the significant landmarks and history of the region.
London is, quite literally, the centre of the world. It sits at the point where east meets west, the prime meridian, and all other places on the globe are measured in relation to it. London definitely lives up to its prime location; it is a bustling cosmopolitan city steeped in history, decorated by glorious architecture, and full of cultural treasures. For a tourist on foot, London is the perfect city to explore. Join me on a short walk around the Pool of London; you’ll be amazed at how much history you can explore in just 90 minutes.
The London Bridge – From Dungeons to Skyscrapers
The London Bridge was an historical workhorse throughout the centuries. It was built in the first century by the Romans and spans the River Thames. The first stone bridge was built in the 1100s and lasted over 600 years. Throughout history, about 30 heads have been displayed on pikes atop the bridge, the first being William Wallace, executed in 1305 by King Edward Longshanks. Today, the London Bridge is a popular tourist destination, featuring museums, The Dungeon of London, The London Tombs, and wonderful shops and restaurants. It is also the site of The Shard, a stunning glass skyscraper, which is the tallest building in the EU. Everyone in the family will find something to enjoy in the London Bridge area.
The Tower of London – The Castle, the Jewels, and the Prison
This iconic structure is the oldest Norman castle in England, built by William the Conqueror at the end of the 11th century. The castle served as the royal residence for British monarchs. It also served as the one of the most infamous prisons in history, known for gruesome acts of torture and murder. Queen Elizabeth I was briefly kept there, and Ann Boleyn, wife of Henry VIII, was executed on the Tower Green. The Tower also housed the important documents of state, the Armory, and the Crown Jewels, which are still kept there under armed guard. You can see an amazing display of these priceless jewels, as well as an exhibit dedicated to the Royal Mint and coins of the realm, among the many fascinating events at the Tower of London
The Tower Bridge – A Spectacular View of London
One of the most easily recognised landmarks in the world, the Tower Bridge frames the border of the Pool of London. This beautiful suspension bridge and its spectacular drawbridge is one of the most popular attractions in London, with approximately 40,000 people crossing its walkway every day. The covered walkway, linking the two towers, offer incredible views of the city, and house an exhibit dedicated to the history of the bridge. Despite its immense size, the bridge can be opened in under five minutes. This is an amazing sight that never fails to thrill children. You can find a schedule of daily opening times and plan your visit so you won’t miss the spectacle.
London is one of my favourite cities to visit; it’s easy to navigate on foot, and no matter where you walk, you’ll find history, culture, and excellent food. It’s a great family destination, with something to interest people of every age.