The Tower of London is one of London's main tourist sites. It houses the crown jewels, a large collection of medieval arms and armor, and lots of cool history. In season, there can be long lines and the visit can take all day. Our out of season visit was very nice and line-free. We saw most that was of interest in a long morning, with a brief lunch break in the middle.
The Tower is actually a full castle added onto over centuries. The White Tower was the initial core building. Eventually two sets of walls and moats were added.
The tower has been used as an armory, a treasury, and a mint. It is
most famous as a prison and an execution site for traitors including many
high ranking personages who offended the crown (typically by claiming it
The Tower Bridge is adjacent to the Tower of London. This landmark is sometimes confused with the rather plain looking London Bridge that is a bit further west.
The bridge was built in 1894 and features a nifty counterweighted opening mechanism. The mechanism was steam powered until 1974 when electric motors were installed.
You can take a tour of the inside of the bridge for a rather steep fee. Luckily, it's included in the price of the Go-See pass. I thought it was worth the time, but probably not worth extra money. The tour includes some multimedia and animated presentations as well as some great views of the city:
Harrods is the famous, huge, London department store. It is
very posh. So posh that the restrooms cost £ 1 to use. We made the
mistake of going on the first day of their only sale all year. It was
very crowded and even at sale prices everything was very expensive. We
purchased a couple of newspapers (to try to get the Sugar Bowl scores
as Lloyd is a Virginia Tech alumn) and left with our little Harrods bag
and receipt. It was fun to people watch and see the amazing layout, but
insane to actually shop there.