The Tower of London is often considered to be the pride and symbol of London and it is the monument which usually finds itself on the postcards of London.
Due to the immense history behind it; a history which spans about ten centuries, it can be seen why the Tower of London attracts tourists, much like a pot of honey attracts flies. However, it is an unfortunate fact that this tower, which was initially built by William the Conqueror, decidedly supersedes the other parts of London which are worth visiting when it comes to the list of priorities of places to visit on the schedules of visitors to London.
There are great alternatives to visiting the Tower of London and one of them is St. Stephen’s Walbrook.
Designed by reputed architect Sir Christopher Wren, St. Stephen’s Walbrook is an Anglican Parish which is so beautifully built that it was described as ‘the pride of English architecture’ by Sir John Sommerson. The place of worship serves as a good place to listento calming music from an ancient era as on Friday afternoons; which is the time when organ recitals are held. St. Stephen’s Walbrook is open on weekdays from ten to four in the evening.
Another attraction in London, or in this case, another reason to not pay a visit to the Tower of London is Postman’s Park. Postman’s Park is located not far away at all from another place of worship, this time it being St. Paul’s Cathedral, in central London. It was opened way back in 1880. It is also one of the largest parks in the City of London. This spot is very apt if one wants to attain some calm if their time in London is too busy. What Postman’s Park is also well known for is the Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice; sometimes alternatively referred to as the Wall of Heroes. The memorial seeks to salute ordinary people who have displayed inordinate amounts of bravery.
In order to explore all these places and London in itself well, it is essential to find an appropriate hotel. While London is a city teeming with hotels; one definitely worth considering is hotel London City Suites by Montcalm, which is of great quality and provides good value for money.
It should be kept in mind that since visiting the Tower of London is not the be all and end all of a visitor’s trip to London; he or she should embrace the different aspects of the historic city even more openly. By doing this, he or she is likely to find him or herself at the Wallace Restaurant which is an interesting place to recharge one’s batteries; even if it just with a cup of coffee instead of a comprehensive meal. The Wallace Restaurant is located in the general neighbourhood of Oxford Street. It has earned itself a well deserved rating of four stars on Yelp.
If it really is history one is seeking to get more acquainted with, London has more than enough museums which date back hundreds of years which would probably be more insightful than paying a visit to the Tower of London. For example, a visit to the British Museum, whose area of focus is human history and culture would probably be more educational in that specific field than visiting the Tower of London would be. As a result, if one has specific interests in mind, be it the role of Britain in the various wars it has participated in (a field to which the Imperial War Museum pertains to) or the progress of art across the ages (the Victoria and Albert Museum is a perfect fit).
Yet another reason not to have to visit the Tower of London is the opportunity to pay a visit to the Chelsea Physic Gardens which are located not far from the Thames in the posh neighbourhood of Chelsea. These gardens date back to the late 17th century and were initially used to study the role of plants in medicine. In their avatar today, the Chelsea Physic Gardens provide an ideal surrounding for one to mull in thought over a cup of tea or coffee, duly sourced from the cafeteria located here. It is interesting to note that over the years; the gardens have had the area they cover reduce due to development. For example, the construction of the Chelsea Embankment on the Thames led to a loss of land which was succeeded by the widening of Royal Hospital Road. Today, the Chelsea Physic Gardens cover an area of approximately three and a half acres.
So, be it due to gardens, churches or museums, visiting the Tower of London is a discretionary luxury; not a necessity.