Today was spent mostly at the Tower of London, which I really enjoyed. It’s incredible to see the structures built over the ages, including nearly 2000 year old remains from the Romans as well as many towers and keeps from the 1200s to relatively recent Tudor era timber framed buildings.

The Tower of London, a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, with its distinctive white buildings and four turreted towers.

Here, the White Tower is the central keep of the fortress and is nearly 1000 years old! The White Tower, the central keep of the Tower of London, under an overcast sky with visitors walking around its base.

The Queen’s house (note the royal guard) is an example of the Tudor style. The Queen’s house among other traditional English Tudor-style buildings with white and black timber framing, surrounding a green lawn with a tree to the right. There is a person standing by the entrance of the central building.

The Tower of London also serves as a reminder of England’s often brutal past, as this location served as a prison, torture dungeon, and a place for executions.

Here a memorial marks the site of several executions, most famously that of Anne Boleyn. A glass memorial plaque on wet ground surrounded by a metal railing with raindrops and flowers laid on top, inscribed with text commemorating the execution site of historical figures, including Anne Boleyn.

One thing that struck me in several of the keeps used as prisons was the inscriptions left in the walls by prisoners over the years. They were numerous and, at times, elaborate. A historic stone wall with inscriptions and a plaque detailing information about John Ballard, who was imprisoned and executed in 1586. The plaque mentions that Ballard was involved in the Babington Plot against Queen Elizabeth I.

Here you can see Traitor’s Gate which was a water entrance off of the River Thames, so called because it was a commonly used entrance for prisoner barges. Stone bridge arch with a black lattice gate partially submerged in water, reflecting in the water below. A plaque reads “Traitors' Gate.

The Tower is also home to the Crown Jewels (no photos allowed in here, folks!), including the current crown worn by King Charles. Curious that they are kept in a place with such a dark history.

The Tower grounds are also home to several ravens which are tended to by the official Ravenmaster. (Best title ever?) The legend goes, the kingdom and Tower of London will fall if the ravens ever leave. A raven perched atop a rocky outcrop against a pale sky background.

Next, I walked over the Tower Bridge and headed along the Thames towards Borough Market.

Tower Bridge over the River Thames in London, viewed from a high vantage point showing the bridge’s twin Gothic towers, with people walking along the riverbank and part of the historical Tower of London visible in the foreground.

An urban street scene under a railway bridge with pedestrians walking and closed shopfronts, showcasing the architecture and atmosphere of a city on a damp, overcast day.

I ended my day out taking the train back to the Bull and Last. You’ve heard of the London Underground, but did you know there’s an Overground?

A yellow and blue Overground train, numbered 378 214, at a platform with apartment buildings in the background.

Since the weather cleared, I took the long way back through Hampstead Heath and enjoyed the moody sunset.

A lush green field with trees on the periphery under a cloudy sky.

Tomorrow, it’s the Eurostar to Paris! Goodnight!