Using the London Pass


Contents

    The London Pass is a great way to see the attractions of London. Buying online you can get a digital pass on your phone that is scanned for a ticket.

    With 80 plus attractions on the one card you will never be able to see everything but it is value for money if you see as much as you can.

    The pass can be purchased as a 1,2,3,6 or 10-day pass. All you need to do be is organised, know what you want to do when you want to do it and be prepared for queues to get your tickets.

    These are the attractions I did.

    THE TOWER OF LONDON

    The Tower of London is one of the most iconic places to visit in London. A fortress, a palace, and a prison are what the Tower has been over the years but that is only the beginning of the tales that have come out of this attraction.

    A guided tour is a must and you’ll have a Yeoman Warder tell you history and stories from the past. The tours are regular, but the crowds are big so try to keep as close to the front to hear him or her as you can. You have four points that you stop and hear about the area, out the front, the Traitor’s Gate, halfway up the stairs into Towers centre and in front of the execution site and Queen’s house.

    The story we're told is the house was built for Anne Boleyn, but unfortunately she was executed before its completion.

    The story we're told is the house was built for Anne Boleyn, but unfortunately she was executed before its completion.

    After the tour, you’re free to wander through the buildings including the Chapel, Bloody Tower, the White Tower, the Fusiliers Museum and of course the Crown Jewels.

    The White Tower is the first building erected by William the Conqueror, the top floors becoming a Royal Residence

    The White Tower is the first building erected by William the Conqueror, the top floors becoming a Royal Residence

    ROYAL MEWS

    The Royal Mews is home to the Carriages, Coaches and horses that pull them it also now houses the cars that are used by the Royal Family.

    You can see and read up on the different carriages and the part they have played in Royal life. Meet the horses that draw the carriages and have a photo taken in an open-top carriage or you can dress as a footman. Your kids can even practise harnessing a horse.

    A highlight is at the end and is the Gold Coach.

    The Gold Coach on display pulled by four horses

    The Gold Coach on display pulled by four horses

    The Gold Coach was used to carry the Queen on her coronation and was last used as part of the Queen's Golden Jubilee celebrations.

    THE GLOBE THEATRE

    The Globe as seen from the River Thames

    The Globe as seen from the River Thames

    Whether you're a fan a Shakespeare or not, the Globle Theatre is a great place to visit.

    Although not the original building, it is a great replica even down to the thatched roof which had to be allowed as thatched roofs had been banned since the Great Fire of 1666.

    Inside the Globe looking at the stage

    Inside the Globe looking at the stage

    The theatre has an open roof and would perform up to 10 shows in two weeks. It would hold 1500 people crammed in not only the seats but standing in front of the stage. People would also listen outside doubling those attending the performance.

    The tour lasts about 45 minutes and gives you a great insight into Shakespeare's time. You can also see performances today for as little as £5.

    FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE MUSEUM

    This is a small but important museum just behind St. Thomas’ Hospital. It tells the life of Florence Nightingale and how she changed modern nursing, especially how she shaped combat nursing to what it is today.

    A tireless worker, I’m sure that if she had been a man, she would not have had to work so hard in getting what she wanted but then she also may not have been remembered as such a remarkable woman in what she did accomplish.

    Newly discovered in 2017, it's a beautiful addition to the museum

    Newly discovered in 2017, it's a beautiful addition to the museum

    LONDON BRIDGE EXPERIENCE AND TOMBS

    This interactive experience has won awards and recognition for its excellence. It is a journey into the past of London Bridge. As you pass through the years, you learn all that has gone around London Bridge and what has happened on it in all its incarnations.

    Upon entering, you are taken into the informative part of the attraction where you learn about all the London Bridges since Viking times.

    After the museum, you start your tour of the past and are taken from room to room where you meet people of the time explaining the history in all its gory details especially when you visit with the Keeper of the Heads.

    It is then down to the Tombs where you are given a get out clause as it is VERY scary. I was told a story upon entering, about a couple, and the girl asking if the guy was going to be alright. He ended up walking out the end crying, and she was fine. I did it and was fine and I’m NOT into horror movies or anything like that.

    No one in the attraction can touch you and most of the fear is in your head. On saying that, I wasn’t leading my group through and it was very dark with flashes of light every now and then to convey the horror that is down there.

    All in all, it’s just over an hour to go through and very informative. You even get to exit through the Gelato Bar at the end if you’re in need of a pick me up.

    You can't take photos in the London Bridge Experience but you can have a professional photo taken in there.

    LONDON ZOO

    On the northern side of Regents Park is the London Zoo, a great day out for families or solo travellers who have a love of animals.

    One of the highlights for me was walking around the Squirrel Monkey enclosure which was open for both monkey and human to roam free. There was no touching the monkeys although I don’t think the monkeys would allow it anyway as they are very fast at getting away. They have ropes set up to be above you or bushes around to go in. Of course, they may even just cross your path or pose for photos.

    Squirrel Monkeys running free around their enclosure that you're allowed in

    Squirrel Monkeys running free around their enclosure that you're allowed in

    Talks are at enclosures throughout the day with times posted with your zoo map or at information posts around the park. These are great times to see the animals especially the Tiger which can be a bit elusive if he wants to be.

    The Sumatran Tiger is more likely to be seen at the daily talks

    The Sumatran Tiger is more likely to be seen at the daily talks

    ST PAUL’S CATHEDRAL

    The Tulips in bloom in the gardens of St. Paul's Cathedral

    The Tulips in bloom in the gardens of St. Paul's Cathedral

    St. Paul's Cathedral has been an iconic building throughout the history of London.

    The first St. Paul's was built and consecrated in 604 and was burnt down in 675.

    The current St. Paul's Cathedral is the work of Sir Christopher Wren. Finished in 1697, its predecessor had been burnt down in the Great Fire of 1666.

    You visit not only the Cathedral floor but the Crypt and the upper floors of the Whispering Gallery, 257 steps up, the Stone Gallery, 376 steps up, and the top of the Dome at the Golden Gallery which is 528 steps up.

    No photos are to be taken inside the Cathedral but once again you have access to an audio commentary.

    WESTMINSTER ABBEY

    The huge Westminster Abbey

    The huge Westminster Abbey

    Westminster Abbey queues were huge when I was here but it only took about half-an-hour or so to get in.

    You have an audio commentary and believe me, there is plenty to see in here. Over 3000 people, over the years, have been buried in here including Sir Isaac Newton and Stephen Hawking, Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters and many Royals including Queen Elizabeth the first and Mary Queen of Scots.

    There have also been coronations, weddings and funerals held here as well as being the last resting place of the Unknown Warrior.

    Since the wedding of the Duke of York to Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, wedding bouquets have been left at the grave of the Unknown Warrior out of respect.

    Once you have been explored the inside, there are the cloisters to explore. Dating from the 13th to 15th Century they are about 100 feet in length. A memorial fountain in the centre of the cloisters is to commemorate the tercentenary of the great 18th-century landscape gardener Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown.

    The view of the immense Westminster Abbey from the cloisters

    The view of the immense Westminster Abbey from the cloisters

    No photos are to be taken inside the Abbey.

    HOP ON HOP OFF BUS

    This is a great way to get from one attraction to another in London without using the Tube or walking.

    I went on the Big Bus Tour, but you have the choice of that one or Golden Tours.

    Check out their maps for the best routes for what you want to see.

    CHANGING OF THE GUARD

    All I can say is if you want to have the best “seat” you will have to get there early. It starts at 11:00 am and I got there just after.

    I didn’t expect to have a great view, but the crowds were astounding.

    All the crowds from back behind the gardens

    All the crowds from back behind the gardens

    The ceremony goes for 45 minutes and you can move around to see if you can get a better view as I did. I found a spot that wasn’t too bad but just remember, everyone has a phone to take photos on and they love to hold them above their heads with both hands.

    The ceremony goes for 45 minutes and you can move around to see if you can get a better view as I did. I found a spot that wasn’t too bad but just remember, everyone has a phone to take photos on and they love to hold them above their heads with both hands.

    THE QUEEN’S GALLERY

    The entrance to the Queen's Gallery

    The entrance to the Queen's Gallery

    There are two exhibitions in The Queen’s Gallery at the moment, Russia and The Crimean War. Along with amazing artwork, you get an education into the Royal Families of both Russia and Britain and how Queen Victoria was the Grandmother of Europe with her lineage.

    Queen Victoria with her 9 children, 42 grandchildren and a few of the 142 great grandchildren

    Queen Victoria with her 9 children, 42 grandchildren and a few of the 142 great grandchildren

    There are talks at 12:00 and 15:00 daily as well as an audio guide you can use.

    TATE MODERN

    If modern art is more your scene then the Tate Modern is definitely the place for you. With free entry, you may have to pay for special exhibitions if you want to view them. You can also go up to the 10th floor for a view over the Thames and across to St. Paul’s.

    The view from the top of the Tate Modern

    The view from the top of the Tate Modern

    The audio guide is free with the London Pass.

    NATIONAL GALLERY

    It's best to get as early as possible to places you want to get a photo of without the crowds

    It's best to get as early as possible to places you want to get a photo of without the crowds

    A very popular and free art gallery, it is best to get in early if there is something you want to specifically see. Audio commentaries are also available free with the London Pass. You may have to pay for special exhibits.

    There is many great artists' work hanging in here including Vermeer, Cézanne, Monet, Gainsborough, Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Reubens.

    The Gallery is in Trafalgar Square, which also has Nelson's Column, fountains of mermaids, dolphins and tritons and guarded by four monumental bronze lions.

    One of the many fountains in Trafalgar Square

    One of the many fountains in Trafalgar Square

    Certainly a place for many tourists to congregate.

    KENSINGTON PALACE

    The beautiful palace at the end of Hyde Park

    The beautiful palace at the end of Hyde Park

    On the far western side of Hyde Park is Kensington Palace, home to royalty since the 17th century.

    From the 24 May 2019, there will be an exhibition on Queen Victoria celebrating the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria's birth. As she was born, grew up in and became Queen in Kensington Palace, this is a fitting place to learn all about her life before she was Queen and her life during her reign.

    A tour is absolutely essential to hear all the history of the Palace and stories from the time. You are taken from room to room hearing what would have happened back in the day and a great tour it is with such descriptions bringing the rooms to life.

    Not only the furniture from the time but clothing as well from the 18th century

    Not only the furniture from the time but clothing as well from the 18th century

    After the tour, you are free to explore the rooms of Queen Mary II and King George II and Queen Caroline.

    CHURCHILL WAR ROOMS

    The entrance to the Churchill War Rooms

    The entrance to the Churchill War Rooms

    During World War Two, Churchill went underground as the Blitz started in London. Although he didn't like it down there, he, his wife and staff, lived and worked underground, trying to work out an Allied victory.

    The room in which Clementine Churchill slept

    The room in which Clementine Churchill slept

    With cabinet rooms, a kitchen, bedrooms and communication rooms, this area kept the country running.

    This kitchen supplied the finest of food for Winston Churchill

    This kitchen supplied the finest of food for Winston Churchill

    An extensive museum on Churchill's life is in the middle of the war rooms. With films during his war years and his young life and political life, this is a great insight into his life and I've certainly learnt more about this man than I ever knew before.

    Once again you have an audio commentary full of plenty of tales bringing this place to life.

    KEW GARDENS

    Another one in a million shot with a White Swan giving its best model moves

    Another one in a million shot with a White Swan giving its best model moves

    On the District line out of Richmond is Kew Gardens, just a short walk down from the railway station.

    A huge garden incorporating Temperate Houses, a Pagoda, the Tree Tops Walk, Kew Palace and more.

    With such an extensive garden you can easily spend all day here exploring all the diversity.

    Artwork is incorporated into the gardens. The exhibition Chihuly, Reflections on nature goes through until the end of October 2019.

    The Sapphire Star is one of the artworks incorporated into the gardens

    The Sapphire Star is one of the artworks incorporated into the gardens

    The Tree Tops walkway is 18m high and takes you along the canopy of the trees. From this height, you also get a great view of the gardens.

    Soaring 18m off the ground, you can walk up amongst the canopy of the trees

    Soaring 18m off the ground, you can walk up amongst the canopy of the trees

    HANDEL AND HENDRIX FLATS

    Along from Claridges toward Regent Street, is the flats of George Handel and Jimi Hendrix, two musicians at different times in history that were the greats of their time.

    These floors are kept are true as possible to the times when their previous inhabitants lived in them.

    Jimi Hendrix's bedroom carefully reconstructed

    Jimi Hendrix's bedroom carefully reconstructed

    If these walls in Jimi Hendrix's room could talk the stories would be incredible. From the famous people who have visited, to the music that was played and the parties Hendrix held, this is a peek into a world that has been lost to history.

    Down on the next floor is George Handel's residence. Much more refined than Jimi Hendrix.

    George Handel's Composition Room, as the name says this is the room in which Handel composed his music quickly and intensively

    George Handel's Composition Room, as the name says this is the room in which Handel composed his music quickly and intensively

    Handel's flat was over a few floors, basement, ground floor, 1st and 2nd floor and attic.

    All the furniture is beautifully preserved from the time and you also have an opportunity to dress up in clothing from both times in history and take a photo.

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    Written by travellingwithmynikon
    Hi. My name is Kim and I love to travel especially getting about in nature. I have only really started this seriously at the end of 2018 but I'm loving the lifestyle and community.

    Comments:
    anonymous

    anonymous
    Jul 23, 2019 at 23:48

    If these walls in Jimi Hendrix's room could talk the stories would be incredible. From the famous people who have visited, to the music that was played and the parties Hendrix held, this is a peek into a world that has been lost to history.


    Kim

    Kim
    Jul 24, 2019 at 07:07

    I couldn’t agree more. Now that would be a tour I would pay for.


    Thoughts? Questions?

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