I lived a five-minute walk from the Tower of London for five years before I ever ventured inside. It’s really expensive, and I told myself I got the best of it by being able to walk past it every day on my way to work.
How wrong I was.
A couple of years ago I found out that residents of the London borough Tower Hamlets could get in for 1 pound. So Smarty Pants and I went, and we were completely blown away.
Last week I took my parents there, and though I had to pay full price this time it was still totally worth it.
The first thing hits you when you pass over the drawbridge and into the Tower complex is the size. It looks big from the outside, but you really have no idea until you get inside how huge it is. It’s a village.
And it’s so full of stories that it’s a fertile place for writers, readers and anyone with an imagination. Even the birds have a story. Legend has it that the kingdom will fall if the ravens ever leave the Tower, so the Tower is required to keep six ravens at all times. Right now they have eight, just in case.
The best part of the Tower is the tour by one of the Yeoman Warders, aka Beefeaters. They keep the Tower running. The guy who showed us around was the Ravenmaster – the ravens’ primary carer (he said, “I’m the only man in the world who can whistle and get eight birds into bed at once.”). It’s a job he can do because he lives there.