London travel blog
About this blog
I’m going to try and visit every attraction in London (even the rubbish ones), and every big event like 'Trooping the Colour' as well. But it will probably take me about ten years to complete because I’m too lazy to get out of bed most days, so I hope you stick around until the end.
Where I’ve been…
These are the top 25 things that I’ve enjoyed the most:
Visit London Drum’s YouTube channel for more videosEveryone has to visit Tower Bridge I suppose, but take a tip from me -- don't bother going inside. I knew it was going to be rubbish when the first thing they did after you hand over your money is make you stand in front of a big screen for a photo op. Then they try and flog you mouse mats and cups and keyrings with your face on. When you've got a face like mine the last thing you want is your ugly mug on a mug.
The first bit of the tour is a sit-down movie which lasts about 5 minutes, explaining why they needed to build the bridge in the first place. It's interesting enough if you like bridges i suppose, but a lot of people didn't bother waiting for the end and strolled out. I decided to soldier on to the end. But when they showed another video a bit later on in the tour I decided I'd already done my duty and sneaked out with them.
When people go to Tower Bridge they want to see two things I reckon -- the walkway at the top for the views down the Thames, and the bridge going up and down. But the walkways are the most disappointing bit. For starters, they are both closed off to the elements. So you've got the big steel girders and a further layer of glass behind them. That messes up your photos. And the little exhibitions that are showing in each bit are rubbish too. The first one is just a collection of famous bridges around the world. So you've got a big picture of the Brooklyn Bridge, and Sydney Harbour Bridge, and 100 others that you've never heard of... padded out with Top Trump-style facts like how long they are and when they were built. (You can just about see these info boards in the picture below, nailed to the walkway wall.) And the second exhibition was just a load of black and white photos of London. The only decent bit was the old Irish navi tunes that they were piping through the speakers.
It gets a bit better when you go downstairs to the engine room. They've got a few push-button models of the bridge which you can operate, to make it go up and down. And the two rooms filled with the actual engines are fair enough. It would have been nice if they were going round and round and pumping up and down, but they weren't. They are no longer in use. After that you get led straight to the shop, and that's it. You can do the whole thing from start to finish in 30 minutes flat. And ten of those are spent watching those two movies.
Have you been here? Are you planning on going?