Sorry for such a late post! I’ve been so tired from traveling that every day after I got back to the hotel, I would just lie in bed.
We started off the day by heading off to the Tower of London bright and early. Upon arriving, we headed to the Crown Jewels first. By the time we got there, it was already relatively crowded there, but no lines (which I heard can get up to 2 hours long midday during peak season)! The Crown Jewels were beautiful, but unfortunately, no photos were allowed. After, we explored a bit on our own before joining one of the Beefeater tours. Try and catch an early one if you can as the later groups can get quite large.
The exit of the Tower is along the Thames River and offers a perfect view of the Tower Bridge. We took a few photos before heading to Tower Pier to catch a cruise down to Embankment Pier.
The boat ride came free with the Hop On Hop Off bus tour we had purchased. The company used was Thames River Clippers. While there was no commentary on the boat, it was nice to be able to travel down the Thames and see a few sights (mostly bridges- London has a lot of bridges).
We got off at Embankment Pier, which was the furthest the free ticket allowed us to travel and walked to the National Gallery. Before entering though, we took many photos in Trafalgar Square. Trafalgar Square was bustling with people taking photos, performing, and selling artwork. Make sure you stop here and just enjoy the atmosphere here!
Since we arrived midday, there were lines to enter the museum, but it was just security and they moved very quickly (we also got to enjoy performances while waiting in line). Unfortunately, some of the galleries in the National Gallery were closed off. However, they relocated some of the most popular pieces from the closed galleries, like Van Gogh’s Sunflowers.
The National Gallery was very nice. Parts of it were pretty empty, making the visit even more enjoyable and there were many seats in case you got tired.
After leaving the National Gallery, we went to eat a late lunch/early dinner at a nearby pub called The Chandos, which is right across from the National Portrait Gallery. Head up the stairs to the Opera Room and you order at the bar. The price of the food is cheap, especially considering the area you’re in, with most dishes under £10. We ordered a salad, fish and chips, and Cumberland sausages and mash. The food was very good and I really enjoyed the fries.
After we finished eating, we went to explore the National Portrait Gallery, which was open late that day. It gallery contains portraits of famous British figures and provides some of the histories behind them. After already learning some British history earlier today from the visit to the Tower of London, it was quite interesting to see what these significant figures actually looked like.
We ended our day after a short visit here as we were tired and jetlagged.