4. Millennium Bridge> Tate Modern> Tower of London

 

Facing the front of the church, take the street to it’s right and look for the giant metal paper airplane.  Behind and past that, you will see a statue with soldiers on it.  Take that path to the Queen Victoria road.  There is a Salvation Army on the corner, and they have a reasonably priced café, if you just want a quick snack or a drink.

Continue on the pedestrian walkway and it leads to the Millennium Bridge.

The Millennium Bridge with St Paul's in the background.

The Millennium Bridge with St Paul’s in the background.

 

This takes you to the old Battersea Power station and Tate Modern. This modern art gallery is full of rather questionable art, but the building is quite unique.  They have a café with a balcony that overlooks the river and the cathedral.

 

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Inside Battersea Power Station and Tate Modern.

 

Beside this is Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. You can book tickets to see one of the great man’s plays as they were meant to be seen. It is recommended to book a seat on one of the tiers, because if it rains, the people in the yard get wet, and no umbrellas are allowed. In the winter, they use the indoor playhouse.  You can also just tour the venue, or use the restaurant.

On my last visit, I was going into the adjacent gift shop and managed to catch a tour group coming out of the theatre.  The open door allowed me a good view of the inside of the theatre.  If you just want a nosey peek, you can enter the ticket office and have a look at the displays and photo collection, or from inside the gift shop, there is a door into the theatre where you can peek through the crack.

 

The attractions continue along the riverside, with historic buildings, shops and restaurants.

If you want to visit an old prison, The Clink can be found on Clink Street.  It’s small with a lot of atmosphere. There are photo opportunities and you can try things like thumb screws.

Carrying on along the river, you will see a big battleship.  This is the HMS Belfast.  I spent around 2 hours going through all the decks, tunnels, chambers and rooms on this old battleship.In the distance, you can see the glass City Hall Building and Tower Bridge.

 

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Tower Bridge and City Hall, from the HMS Belfast.

 

On the far side of the river is the old castle, the Tower of London.  This is another site that gets ridiculously busy.  I pre-bought a fast track ticket from my hotel concierge and bypassed the queues, but gave up on trying to hear the free tour with the Beefeater . People have filmed their talks in their entirety on Youtube. They are very funny and entertaining.

Luckily I went in a couple of hours from closing time, and was able to get in to see the crown jewels without too much of a wait.  There is a really good museum in the Royal Armouries which is bigger than you realise, so allow time for it.  It is not lavish and lived in like Windsor or Buckingham palace, but more of a fort and well worth a couple of hours or more.

 

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A short queue to see the crown jewels.

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The group for the Beefeater tour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next: 5. The East End