London Trip Report Day 2 “South Bank”

OK, this blog entry is not about food. It’s about more of my Sunday walking tour of the south bank of the Thames. I started the morning hoping to visit the Westminster Abbey and the Parliament. It appears that I chose a wrong day to that because Westminster Abbey is closed to tourist because of worship services.

So, the best I could do was to walk around the compound.


I found a small entrance at the back of the Westminster Abbey and got into the courtyard. It was really quite because not many people ventured to that back entrance.

The corridor was amazing and mesmerizing reading the plaques on the walls and on the floor. Many of them are hundreds of years old. I had a good time reading some of them. The floor of the corridor seems like grave slabs. I am not sure really if people are really buried right under it but the writings appears do say so.


The Parliament building’s public area was under renovation. So, I did not get the chance to see how the insides were.


A day earlier, I had booked a flight on the London Eye. The London Eye flight takes about 30 minutes for one revolution. It costs about 12 GBP. People are divided over whether this is an ugly eyesore or if it gives a different character to the city centre. What do you think?


That being a weekend, it was a good thing I had a pre-booked ticket. The crowd were growing very fast and we can see the lines getting longer.


The view were spectacular from up high. I could pick out some of the famous buildings around and it does give a different perspective of the beauty of London from up high.


I next took the Underground to the St Paul’s Cathedral. Bad move — it’s because again, it’s closed to tourists on Sunday because of church services. We get to see the insides from the back of the church but could not get any nearer. Also photography is prohibited in the cathedral.

I badly wanted to get up to the top of the dome to take pictures — dashed!


From St Pauls, it’s just a 5 minute walk to the new and famous Millennium Bridge. It’s a pedestrian only bridge. When it first opened, I heard that it closed for some time when the bridge wobbled. It seems very stable when I crossed it. Across the bridge is the Tate Modern. I was not interested in the Tate Modern and gave that a miss.


The view of the Millennium Bridge spanning the Thames and having St Paul’s imposing facade on the other end makes a great shot.


Further down the South Bank was the reconstructed Globe Theatre — Shakespeare’s theatre. I did not have time for this and also gave this a miss. London had so much to offer tourists and all within a short walking distance one from another.


This is the London Bridge … well, it clearly says so at the underside of the bridge. Some bloke from the US bought the London Bridge and took it apart brick by brick … had it shipped to the US and reconstructed it. Many people thinks that he mistaken the Tower Bridge for the London Bridge!


Near to the Tower Bridge was the unique City Hall building. It was really beautiful.


I walked over the Tower Bridge across the Thames to get to the Tower of London. This bridge is so beautiful and is perhaps the one symbolic structure that defines London. Who doesn’t know the song “London Bridge is Falling Down”?

You can into the top of the tower if you want. Entrance is about 6 GBP.


This is where I spend most of my afternoon — The Tower of London. Entrance in costs 15 GBP. The Tower of London is a complex of successive forts, armories, palaces built over hundreds of years. I’ll blog more about the Tower of London tomorrow. Enjoy.


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  1. Josh

    Wow! These pictures are amazing! Keep them coming 🙂

  2. Jae

    London has some very beautiful places, I trust us locals treat you well.

  3. Shahdad

    Ok Ben,
    I think it’s time for you to have your own blog. There are no more room left for Suanne.
    Just kidding, great pictures. They are postcard quality photos. I recommend open an account in Flickr and post some in there. You’ll get tons of good reviews on your photos.
    Keep up with the good work,

  4. Maritza

    Great photos! I haven’t been back since 1992 but you brought back some nice memories. Thanks!

  5. Matthew James Didier

    Haven’t been since 1995… MANY memories… thanks for the photos… and ya gotta admit, my blog’s appropriate to the subject!

    From an envious fellow Canadian!

  6. Ben

    Hi Josh: Glad you like the photos.

    Hi Jae: Londoners were great. Helpful and polite bunch. Can’t say so for bus drivers though!!

    Hi Shahdad: I am gonna hog the blog for the next little while. Suanne appreciates the rest from blogging.

    Maritza: Were you originally from Britain?

    Hi Matt: You have an interesting blog. I like it.

  7. sally

    After all these years they are divided over the London Eye?

  8. wmc

    I want to travel too !!

  9. sally

    The London Eye in my opinion gave the best view of the whole of London. I know it is touristy and probably someone who lived in London would never go to, I believe that is how Parisians viewed the Eiffell Tower for the first ten years?

  10. Ben

    Hi Sally: You put it so correctly. You are right, the London Eye does give the best view. I find particularly the view of Buckingham Palace and Parliment House very nice from up there.

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