London and all things English

So Dinah went down and saw the Changing of the Guard.
Don't be fooled and pay to see it, costs nothing!
I was on a free walking tour with a guide and he was very good, moving us from place to place so we saw everything. At one point we were all lined up waiting for the new guard to pass by and there was still traffic moving past, a wag in a passing taxi gave us the 'Royal Wave' we all agreed he had to be an Aussie.

The 'Old' Guard ready for inspection at St Jame's Palace

The Bugler
Band of the Royal Yeomanry at St Jame's Palace

'New' Guard Marching In from Wellington Barricks
Was very interesting to watch and find out the reason for this very old tradition.
They also have another ceremony at 4 pm known as The Dismounting Ceremony

The 4 'o' Clock Parade started in 1894 when Queen Victoria found the entire guard drinking and gambling while on duty.
As a punishment, she said they had to be inspected every day at 4pm by an officer for the next 100 years!

The 100 years finished in 1994. However, the reigning Queen wanted the parade to continue as a tradition.

Therefore we see both these Ceromonies' today.

So I then took myself off to The Tower of London, to do the Yeoman Guards tour and view the Crown Jewels.

Was again a very interesting tour but rather 'bloodthirsty' with talk of
be-headings and young princes being walled up.
The Yeoman are often referred to as 'Beefeaters' our guard said he had no idea where that had come from.
Any defence personel can become a Yeoman Guard after 20 yrs service in the forces. They live in the Tower Grounds with their families and are there until they retire.

Yeoman Warder

Traitors Gate

Knight in Shining Armour

The Dragon in the Tower
 After the Tower I took a short cruise on the Thames from The Tower to Westminster and was able to get a good view of Tower Bridge, that I had gone over in the bus on the way to the tower.
Tower Bridge

The London Eye, it's really just a big bicycle wheel

Yep, it's Big Ben

I hopped back on the Hop on - Hop- off Bus and took myself of to Baker St,
I had decided to have dinner at the Sherlock Holmes Pub.
But I took a wrong turn - story of my life - and walked down Baker St the wrong way. In doing so I discovered a lovely little restaurant named Sherlocks Bar and Grill and had a very nice meal there.
I just had to investigate

As I walked back to the tube station I came upon his statue - Sherlock's that is

I'd left my Earls Court Hotel at 9am this day and finally arrived back at 9pm, what a day, what sight's I'd seen in just a few short hours and this is just day one of London. a few hours sleep and I'd be off on another adventure and catching up with two of my favorite English Roses. Stay Tuned!


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