Let’s be honest, zipping about London and trying to squeeze in as much as you can see and do on a short-break isn’t an easy business – and then there’s the price on top. Unfortunately, it’s a city that hasn’t exactly a reputation for being cheap. But is that fair? Well, if you’re planning on visiting the place with the kids in tow you might want to give the attraction scheme known as the ‘London Pass’ a go so you can bask in some terrific cost-savings.
Not only does scheme enable you can enter more than 60 major venues throughout the city via a mere up-front paid-for card, but it also ensures you can get into the most popular – and the ones usually blighted by the longest queues – faster than the masses. What sort of attractions does the ‘London Pass’ make even more available then? Well, consider just what a great combined day out for the family these two would make…
Tower Bridge – and the wonder of its glass floor
Erected 120 years ago and located in the heart of Central London (so just a short hop on the Tube away from a The Metropolis London Hyde Park, where you might well be enjoying one of many hotel rewards programs), the aim of the utterly iconic Tower Bridge was to take the burden off nearby London Bridge as a crossing point for traffic on the Thames, but its exceptionally smart design also means that river-going vessels are able to pass thanks to its roadway splitting in two and rising out of the way due to its hydraulic technology. Plus, lest we forget, this building – one of the most famous and gloriously appealing bridges in the world – also features those unforgettable twin bascules (or gothic-like ‘towers’); instantly recognisable and utterly irresistible.
But that’s far from all, for visitors to the bridge can now venture on to the high-rise walkways that straddle the bridge’s bascules and look directly down on the pedestrians and traffic – both road- and river-going – 42 metres beneath them. How so? Thanks to the glass sections that have been installed in two walkways’ floors. Both glass sections are 11 metres long and 1.8 metres wide; but don’t worry, the panels of glass are definitely thick enough to take your weight – they each weigh 530kg! Moreover, there’s an exhibition in amongst the bridge’s incredible more-than-a-century-old cog-work that details just how it works; how it’s still able to split apart and rise so many years after it first opened.
The Tower Of London – and its priceless Crown Jewels
The stunning and imposing, almost 1,000-year-old edifice after which the nearby Tower Bridge took its name (and inspiration for its appearance), the Tower isn’t just the oldest surviving building in London; it’s also one of the most intriguing and fascinating – something you truly discover as soon as you set foot in its grounds. Undeniably then, it’s among the London best attractions. Originally a (then critical) fortification built to aid England’s 11th Century conqueror (yes, William the Conqueror) to stabilise his kingdom, in the years since it’s been put to many uses, namely as a royal palace, an armoury, a prison, a torture and execution site, a military barracks, a jewel depository and, eventually, even an exotic zoo.
One of the city’s four UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Tower’s biggest draw for many of its millions of visitors each year is undoubtedly – and unsurprisingly – the Crown Jewels. Comprising thousands of gem stones, this exquisite, glittering collection of priceless objects includes the 800-year-old Coronation Spoon, the extraordinary 530-carat Cullinan diamond set in the monarch’s Sceptre with Cross, as well as the iconic St. Edward’s Crown, the Imperial State Crown, the Crown of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and other Royal accoutrements often worn on state occasions.
And don’t forget too to take a guided tour by one of the Yeomen of the Guard (or beefeaters, as they’re commonly known) – so entertaining and informative are these tours, they’re as legendary and colourful as the chaps themselves!