-FEB. 2011-



KLM flight to London Heathrow
No sun below the clouds.. On a very stormy day, which caused delay both on departure as well as before landing at Heathrow, we flew to London onboard a KLM ERJ190.

It was going to be a 'blitz weekend', arriving the friday afternoon and departing sunday evening.

Having been a few times to London before, my first visit dating back to the early 1970's, this was more a revisit, taking in the atmosphere again.



Tower Bridge by night We stayed two nights in the Tower Hotel, with a view on Tower Bridge and the Thames river.

The bridge consists of two towers which are tied together at the upper level by means of two horizontal walkways which are designed to withstand the horizontal forces exerted by the suspended sections of the bridge on the landward sides of the towers.
The vertical component of the forces in the suspended sections and the vertical reactions of the two walkways are carried by the two robust towers. The bascule pivots and operating machinery are housed in the base of each tower.
Construction started in 1886 and took 8 years with 5 major contractors.
The bridge's present colour dates from 1977 when it was painted red, white and blue for the Queen's Silver Jubilee. Originally it was painted a chocolate brown colour.

Tower Bridge is sometimes mistakenly referred to as London Bridge, which is actually the next bridge upstream.


Wapping High StreetFrom the hotel we walked the Thames Path and Wapping High Street
London - Wapping

Wapping is a place in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets which forms part of the Docklands to the east of the City of London. It is situated between the north bank of the River Thames and the ancient thoroughfare simply called The Highway.
Wapping's proximity to the river has given it a strong maritime character, which it retains through its riverside public houses and steps, such as the Prospect of Whitby and Wapping Stairs.

Many of the original buildings were demolished during the construction of the London Docks and Wapping was further seriously damaged during the Blitz.
As the London Docklands declined after the World War II, the area became run down, with the great warehouses left empty. The area's fortunes were transformed during the 1980s by the London Docklands Development Corporation when the warehouses started to be converted into luxury flats.



Tower Bridge
Our view, left + right, from the hotelroom; across the river is Butler's Wharf.
Thames River seen from Tower Hotel



In historic footsteps
With our hotel in the background (and the ramp leading to the Tower Bridge), we quickly found our footsteps retracing history: '1275, during the reign of Edward I, the wharf begins - a short length of quay is built next to the Tower entrance.'
Tower of London
This is the entrance to the Tower of London, but we'll get in there later.
Historic buildings - Modern buildings
The horizon shows a wide variety of building styles, historic as well as very modern.



On the Thames to Westminster
We walked to the nearby Tower Millenium Pier, for a short trip up the Thames, to Westminster
On the Thames to Westminster
The old fishmarket, Old Billingsgate, easy to recognise by the two large windvanes.
Now in use as a hospitality and events venue.

On the Thames to Westminster
The wooden remains at the water edge show use at the waterfront in ancient times.
These days one sees this area converted to prime real estate, such as these luxury flats.

On the Thames to Westminster
A picture which easily could have been made decades ago..

On the Thames to Westminster
The end of the line shows in the distance: Westminster, with the Big Ben and Houses of Parliament.



the London Eye
The London Eye; as the speaker on board the boat proclaimed: 'let BA take you for a ride..'

A quick snap
Everybody wants a picture of Big Ben.


Busses and ... amphibians?
Into the London streets. One sees cars, busses and.. amphibians..?
Protests near Houses of Parliament
Protests in front of Parliament


Westminster Abbey, Dean's Yard (privat property)
We walked through a gate, which most people walked past, a cul-de-sac:
Westminster Abbey, Dean's Yard (a privat property). Nice and quiet here, kids playing football on the grass.
Westminster Abbey, Dean's Yard (privat property)



Directions to..
Honour to The Fallen
The Cenotaph at Whitehall

Pomp and ceremony
On the west side of Whitehall, about half way along, is Horseguards. Standing outside in all weathers are two mounted soldiers replendant in their traditional dress.




Taking a break..
Time to give our feet a rest, at the Royal George pub, around the corner from Soho Square and Tottenham Court Road Tube Station, near Charing Cross Road.
Royal George pub, Charing Cross
Quite a change from the usual pub styles, we sat in a part that seemed converted to a sort of lounge style..



Regent Street
Regent Street; it was so crowded we soon retreated again to the smaller back streets.
Back streets of London


Tower of London
A little more on the Tower of London..
White Tower - Tower of London
The illustrious White Tower
Tower of London
See my seperate page for a visit to this famous, historic landmark HERE..



The London Underground, the Tube or Subway
A rare moment of quiet in the London 'Tube'...
The London Underground system is a wonderful marvel of transport, very easy to use.

The London Underground, the Tube or Subway
History on the walls..
The London Underground, the Tube or Subway
..and poems in the trains!

The London Underground, the Tube or Subway



Tower Bridge by night
One more view of the Tower Bridge at nighttime.


Other pages on this London trip:










Created: 11Mar11 - Updated: 22 Maart, 2011