Tower of London by 9am (from Hotel Ashburn take the District or Cirlce line to Tower Hill) We skipped breakfast at the hotel (they provided a great free breakfast every morning) and stopped at Apostrophe for coffee. (a cute shop along the river) We took some photos of the Tower, Tower Bridge and river before queing (lining up) to enter Tower. We were warned there would be lines/crowds, and to head straight to the crown jewels. But since we were there early, we literally we were able to have our very own Yeomen Warder's tour! (they go every half hour)
Legend of the Ravens From their website: Legend says that the kingdom and the Tower will fall if the six resident ravens ever leave the fortress. It was Charles II, according to the stories, who first insisted that the ravens of the Tower should be protected. This was against the wishes of his astronomer, John Flamsteed, who complained that the ravens impeded the business of his observatory in the White Tower. Despite their having one wing clipped, some ravens do in fact go absent without leave and others have had to be sacked. Raven George was dismissed for eating television aerials, and Raven Grog was last seen outside an East End pub. Spot the ravensThere are seven ravens at the Tower today (the required six plus one spare!). Their lodgings are to be found next to the Wakefield Tower.These magnificent birds, large members of the genus Corvus, the crow family, respond only to the Ravenmaster and should not be approached too closely by anyone else.The ravens preside over four different territories within the Tower precincts. See if you can spot them on your visit. Click on the link across to download a ‘Guide to the Tower Ravens’ leaflet.Please note: We would ask that you do not try to feed the ravens. They are large birds who are fed daily by our Ravenmaster. They can bite if they feel their territory is being threatened, so please be careful.
From Tower Hill (which we decided would be great to come back to at night for photos) We took the Tube to the British Museum (note you just take the Circle or District line back the way you came, and get off at Monument.. then you walk thru the underground to Bank, and take the central line to Tottenham Court. When you come out you will see signs for the Museum) The big Exhibit at the museum right now is Ice Age. We were bumped it was sold out for the entire time were were in London. None the less we had a great visit, and would go back. We were able to your nearly all of the other exhibits in the museum. Including but not limited to the Rosetta Stone, (see below) the Tomb of Chapel Nebamun, the Eight Marbles (greek culture), etc.
From the British Museum, we headed to the Museum pub for an afternoon drink (where I discovered my new favorite cider, more on that later) and to access what we wanted to do for the remainder of the day.
We opted to go to Piccadilly Circus. (the Times Square of London). Once in Piccadilly, I took by traditional photo with the Gap Store (I've done this on nearly every trip since I started nearly 14 years ago) Visited Fortnum and Mason (the Queens Grocer, & place to buy tea), Selfridges, Oxford Street, Regent Street, etc. We also visited Hamley's- the worlds largest toy store. We had a blast! We went to the top floor to view the lego displays and get a shake (seriously amazing shake) and then worked our way down just browsing)
We headed home and readied for dinner with my friend Lauren who lives in London.We met her in South Kensington, near our hotel at Admiral Codrrington. (get off at the S. Kensignton tube stop, and literally it is a 3-5 min walk) The pub has a great atmosphere, and then when your table is ready they take you back to a great posh restaurant, and the food was divine.