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London Bridges falling down, well not exactly. The bridge above is commonly mistaken as the London Bridge. This bridge is in fact Tower Bridge, named so because it’s near the Tower of London. The London Bridge is just west of Tower Bridge, and much less glamorous in size and scale compared to the Tower Bridge. If you’re short on time while in London, here’s how I would spend a day in London.
A Day in London
If you’re strolling down the Strand, or near Trafalgar square, stop by Somerset House. It’s a really nice location previously owned by some wealthy Danish people. Currently, it’s a museum and a prime filming location, The Duchess was filmed in part here. Some of the exhibits are free, yey! Some are not, but it’s worth it just to walk into the courtyard. There’s a fountain there so if you’re hot, do like the kids did when I was there, run right through!
Tower of London
Pictured above is the White Tower at the Tower of London. I’ve been here twice and had an excellent time on both occasions. I could spend my whole day in London just at the Tower. My second visit we coincidentally went when it was the Queen’s birthday and they had all sorts of military salutes going on for her! Any who, this is where the crown jewels are kept. Note that you can’t take pictures of the jewels. Don’t be a pain like the girl on line in front of me who tried to and got in an argument with a guard for it. Be respectful, it’s England after all! This is also where Anne Boleyn’s coronation parade started and where she was beheaded. Talk about having your happiest day and worst day at the same location.
What I really liked was the audio guide here, it’s very detailed and entertaining. It gives a lot of information but through creative devices like music and storytelling. One of the most remarkable things about the Tower is that a lot of the carvings made by prisoners housed in the Tower are still here. Thank you for not graffitiing the graffiti. Many famous prisoners were housed here until their execution. There’s a whole exhibit on torture and what it was like to be at the Tower. The Tower no longer holds prisoners, it now houses the Beefeaters. You’ve probably seen them on that bottle of gin you have somewhere. As it’s an honor to be a Beefeater here, they really love their jobs and are some of the nicest people. Feel free to ask them anything.
London Film Museum
The London Film Museum is also a good place to visit, if you’re a film and television nut like me. The one near the London Eye (another great attraction, even if you are scared of heights!) has a fee, the one at Covent Garden is free. However, it does close for private events so check the schedule before you go. This museum needs a little help, there was minimal information for visitors on the exhibits. There is a great exhibit on Charlie Chaplin if you’re interested. I’m not really into Chaplin so this wasn’t all that exciting for me but the Sherlock Holmes room was. They have recreated the set from the Jeremy Brett series for display. I didn’t love this museum, but if you have time left in your day in London, then go for it.
Shakespeare’s Globe Theater
Last but not least, Shakespeare’s Globe Theater! This was my favorite thing I did in London this time around. It only costs five pounds for standing room, the seats are more of course. It is about three hours long, with intermission, but it’s completely worth it. I saw the “Tempest” and it was phenomenal! My aunt who doesn’t know much about Shakespeare even enjoyed it. This isn’t your high school production of Shakespeare, many of these actors have won notable awards and have spent time on screen.
What’s truly amazing about this is that they use minimal props and set dressing and still clearly get their story across. I also noticed that they didn’t use mics, and still no one had any problems hearing them. This people, is what acting is really about! I promise you won’t be disappointed. Plus, if you get lucky like I did, you’ll get to stare at Colin Morgan for three hours! Not a bad way to spend a day in London.