Half term holidays have their pros and cons…more time to spend with Little Miss but crowds at all of the cool places I want to take her. We originally intended to take a train into London to visit the Natural History Museum but was advised by another mummy to avoid going at half term, so I opted for a trip to the Tower of London instead.
Whizzing into the city by train Little Miss and I got chatting to a boy and his mummy who were also making their way to some of the amazing museums and places of interest in London, it was lovely to see the two children talking about the places they were going and had been in the past with such excitement.
The sun was shining as we waited for grandma to meet us at Tower Hill tube station before setting off to explore. Armed with pre-paid tickets I had bought online I saved 15% on admission, knowing any savings I made were probably going to be spent on tat, I mean souvenirs, in the gift shop but it meant we could bypass ticket sale queues and head straight for the entrance.
We timed it perfectly to join a Yeoman Warder (sometimes referred to as a Beefeater) tour who was very entertaining, but Little Miss wanted to put her map to good use, so after 10 minutes we left the group and went on our own adventure.
Once inside the Tower grounds it was like a small town within the high stone walls and a true step back in time…
I always find it interesting to see old and new architecture together and spotted the Shard towering above the traditional terraced houses.
Little Miss was really interested in the Royal Beasts exhibit and enjoyed spotting the animals around the grounds, such as the lions, one of the many exotic animals gifted to our monarchs from foreign kings many years ago.
As a child I recall museums being rather dull but with entertaining tour guides and interactive displays to capture your interest in addition to some good old fashioned humour history no longer needs to be boring…
Like many museums the Tower of London offers an activity trail for children and during half term there is also the opportunity to join Knight School, a number of activities taking place throughout the day during this week. Unfortunately our little tour guide had us on a schedule that clashed with most events but from what I saw it looked like the knights in training were having a great time.
For us the main attraction was the chance to see the Crown Jewels and luckily we didn’t need to queue too long to see such stunning works of art. Unfortunately no cameras are allowed in the exhibit, so I was unable to capture the sheer amazement on Little Miss’ face when she saw the Coronation Crown but I caught that moment in my memory and I’m sure she will remember the sparkling brilliance we saw as we were moved along on a travelator.
We managed to enter one of the gift stores before they closed, and after a bit of encouragement to make a speedy purchase while trying to steer her away from the shiny replica ornaments Little Miss chose a sparkly keyring to add to the growing collection on her school bag. Thankfully it was one of the cheaper souvenirs in the store, happy with that I decided to upgrade our tickets to Historic Royal Palaces annual passes because I love a bargain. With our ticket prices deducted from the annual membership we only need two more days out to have made a great saving and of course I can enjoy making more fun memories with my little history lover, so watch this space for another palace trip in the school holidays.