You find yourself in London 24 Hours during a long layover. What should you do & what should you try to see? There are so many areas & landmarks in London.
We were traveling through London and had a 24-hour layover between flights. The plan was to squeeze as much as possible into that 24 hours. We decided to try to squeeze four places into that time. The list included the British Museum, Big Ben, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London.
Getting pictures of Big Ben and Tower Bridge without 100s or 1000s of people is difficult. Have your morning coffee and take a bus or taxi there as early as possible.
Some of the best photos of these landmarks are available early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
These should be your first stop, it will short and leave your time for sites that take much longer to visit.
London's Weather Is A Factor
Next, on our stop is pretty much governed by the weather. If it is warm out, go to the Tower of London first. If it is cool out, wait until the afternoon when it is warmer.
Since the weather was cool on our visit, we hit the British Museum first.
The British Museum
The British Museum is not only one of the largest museums in the world but also one of the oldest. The Museum founded by Hans Sloane in 1759 and became available to the public in that year.
It began not only as a Museum for the British but also as the National Library. The Museum is divided into rooms so that each type of antiquities is grouped together.
The antiquities are in 4 different rooms. Each of the room contains the same type of relics. Each of the rooms was later divided into exhibits as the collection grew. The entire museum can take hours to visit and you should set aside a full day for the museum.
Choose An Exhibit
Today we are spending our time in our favorite area the Egyptian Exhibit. The museum changes artifacts as they exchange with the Museum of Cairo and others as well.
There are over eight million artifacts to see. Choose an exhibit or two that interests you most. Spend your time in those areas instead of quickly roaming from room to room.
There are 94 such exhibits to choose from as well as an education department to visit. The museum contains works from Egypt, Persia, Americas, Rome, and Greece as well as Africa and Asia. There is never a lack of things to see.
The main entrance is on Great Russell Street. Visit the information desk, to find current information about the museum collections. The other entrance is in the north of Montague Square.
TIMES AND COST
The Museum opens daily from 10:00 am – 5:30 pm.
The Museum closes on the 24th, 25th, and 26th of December and the 1st of January.
Price: The Entrance to the Museum is free for all visitors. The information desk will inform you of any fees to visit temporary exhibitions on loan.
This is one of our top ten bargains of the world.
Tower of London
The Tower of London ranks as one of the most established and protected structures on the planet. The tower has protected England from its enemies and as a home for the royal family.
The tower would be my first choice in London if I could only choose one. You will need at least half a day to see the complex.
The Tower of London has been cared for by guards known as Beefeaters since its opening in 1078. These guards ensure the security of the grounds and buildings. You will find the royal jewels entire collection stored here. Security is very tight around that part of the grounds.
Their original purpose was to guard prisoners and prevent escapes.
The beefeaters wear clothing today to conform to times gone by. They are quite colorful and you will know them as soon as they pop into view.
Famous Tower Executions
The tower is most famous for the executions that were carried out there. Those include famous figures such as Anne Boleyn, William Wallace, and Thomas Cromwell.
Ann Boleyn, the kings' wife, suffered decapitation when she was accused of infidelity. Sir Walter Raleigh spent twelve years in the tower by order of Elizabeth I.
He secured his release in 1616 and after this returned and was executed in 1618
The Royal Gems
The tower has been the setting for many events significant to the history of England and the world
The Tower of London is additionally used to store and protect the royal gems. The value of the collection remains unknown. The value is believed to be in the hundreds of million British Pounds.
Every ruler of England has worn these same jewels.
The ceremony of the Keys
One famous daily event at the Tower of London, that still survives today, is the Passing of the Keys.
The turning over of the keys is the stately bolting up of the Tower of London every night. That takes place at exactly the same time daily and the tradition has lasted over 700 years.
At exactly 10:00 pm a candle and the keys arrive at the main gate in the hands of the central jailer.
He goes to a spot in front of the main tower. A conversation begins as the entryways locked for the night.
The main jailer and sentry play out the well-known event.
“Who comes there?”
“Queen Elizabeth's Keys.”
“Pass Queen Elizabeth's Keys. All's well.”
A visit to the Tower can be an incredible learning experience for children and adults alike. The Tower of London is a structure loaded with history. Every time you visit the Tower you can discover some new information about its history.
TIMES AND COST
Every day the Tower of London is open for visitors. The tower does close on Christmas day, Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, and New Years Day.
Entrance fees based on the age of the visitors and the number of individuals in a tour group will be charged. The Tower Slope Tube Stations services the Tower area.
A recorded tape in various languages is available. The tapes take you to each historical spot and details given about them. This is a necessity to get the full value of a visit to the Tower and its grounds.