Before leaving for my Asian adventure I managed to get hold of a London pass and give myself a day as a solo tourist.
The London pass is great and gives you access to over 60 attractions along with a booklet explaining the normal retail price to get in, the opening times, a brief explanation of the attraction and a small map of it’s location. The passes can be combined with travel cards as well which is really handy for tourists. The free app can also be downloaded from the AppStore of Apple and Android.
The pass costs £49 for one day which I the pass I had but they also have deals for the more days you buy.
First part of my day was spent at Shakespeare Globe Theatre, I’ve worked next to this building for about three years and until now never been. You are given a guided tour and shown around the theatre, the tour guide was very knowledgable and told the group about the many performances that have happened both past an present.
I then walked down bankside to the HMS Belfast. I didn’t have high expectations of this attraction but I think it’s actually the best attraction I visited all day. You get the chance to go into the engine rooms and it’s set out exactly how it would have been used. You have the option to purchase a map and a guided tour if you feel it’s needed. You could easily spend half a day here exploring the whole ship.
Next on the hit list was Tower Bridge, I must say I was slightly disappointed with the attraction but with the value of The London Pass coming into the equation it didn’t really matter too much. I went up into both parts of the tower you get to see the engines that open the bridge when large ships need to pass. Once you reach the top a viewing platform with lots of art work and photos of the worlds most famous bridges are on display to have a look at whilst taking in the amazing view of London. Here I met a couple who also had a London Pass they agreed it was great value for the three days they had paid for as they could visit so many attractions at a fraction of the cost. The only slightly negative they felt about the pass was they felt they had to rush a few attractions to make sure they got value out of the pass.
The Crown Jewels are on display at the Tower of London and this was next on my list as it’s in close proximity to Tower Bridge. You could easily spend half a day here, I saw a lot of tourists with packed lunches sitting in one of the many benches in the grounds. Which is a really good idea if you’re on a budget. I only really went to look at the above mentioned jewels as to date I had not seen them. They were fantastic and I saw many more jewels than I was expecting. Try to avoid midday as it gets quite busy. At the time of visiting the poppies were still on view around the outside of the Tower and it was really great to see.
I got a boat with City Cruises down the Thames which was included with the pass it was great to avoid the underground or get on a bus, another great way to explore London. I got off at Westminster which on the ride up you get a great view of the clock tower that holds Big Ben. I visited Westminster Abbey which was great I didn’t spend long here as I was keen to get to London Zoo. I would suggest getting the guided voice tour as the history behind the abbey is very interesting. I lit a candle and said a prayer for my family not something I have ever done before but it seemed appropriate and I gave a small donation for the candle.
I ended the day with a trip to London Zoo which is a great attraction for all ages located in regents park. It was great to see the wide range of species of animals they look after and care for.
The London Pass break down:
Shakespeare’s Globe – £13.50
HMS Belfast – £15.50
Tower Bridge – £9.00
Tower of London – £20.00
City Cruises boat -£19.00 for travel for 24 hours
Westminster Abbey – £18.00
ZSL London Zoo – 24.00
Grand total – £ 119.00
The price of the pass is £49.00 clearly this is outstanding value for money.