Day 7, London

We had a relaxing start to the day with a later breakfast and then off to our Beatles Walking Tour.  Our guide Richard was said to be Mr Beatle, and had so much trivia about the fab 4.

Our Hotel on Leinster Terrace, the Blakemore. Great location, just a couple of blocks from Hyde part and an 8 minute walk to Paddington.

The tour started just outside of the Marylebone tube station where the Beatles made their first film, “A Hard Days Night”. We then moved to the Marylebone registry office where both Ringo and Paul were married (Linda Eastman… fun fact, she had nothing to do with the Eastman Kodak families… her parents escaped Eastern Europe as Jewish emigres and anglicized their name from Epstein…no relation to the Beatles manager Brian)

Marylebone Registry Office

From there we walked to the home of Paul and Ringo (Ringo owned the flat). When Ringo and Paul moved out, Ringo allowed a few friends to stay there for a while including Jimmy Hendrix, and then John and Yoko…oh if those walls could talk! We heard the parties were endless…and yes Jimmy Hendrix did get evicted!

Home to Paul and Ringo, then Jimmy Hendrix, then John and Yoko

We saw the site where Apple Records was established, but unfortunately, it was not painted the psychedelic colours that it had been originally.

From there we moved onto where Paul and Jane Asher lived with her parents. Her dad, Dr Asher, even had a back escape route for Paul to get away unnoticed. It was at this place that Paul wrote “Yesterday”… first lyrics were “Scrambled Eggs”! From there we hopped on the tube one stop and got off and explored the site where The Beatles famous album cover photo was taken…none other than Abbey Road, and the recording studios of the same name.

Dr Asher’s home where Paul wrote “Yesterday”. Apparently Paul could not read or write music…he had to record it for his group to see if they liked it!
Abbey Road… Dan doing his best to “walk the crosswalk”. You can see the EMI’s Abbey Road studios (white building behind him) where countless groups have recorded including two of Radioheads’ albums

When we left our tour guide ( one of London Walks tours…highly recommended) we headed for the Tower of London. Another landmark that I hadn’t visited since I was 15. What an amazing time we had there! We started our visit by a guided tour from one of the Yeoman Warders. One of the 32 Beefeaters that guard the grounds. These warders were first started during the reign of Edmund IV as the Royal Bodyguards as far back as 1509, and they have been posted at the tower to protect it, and the king along with the armory and the crown jewels. They also were the tower guards( and sometime torturers) during the darker periods of its history. This is NOT a ceremonial position, nor a tour guide, nor blokes dressed up in funny costumes. They must have served in his majesty’s forces for at least 22 years, obtained the level of sergeant major and the medal for distinguished serve and merit and then they can apply. They are interviewed and then must wait until someone dies or retires before they can go into the role. They live on the palace grounds, and as we were told, we are welcomed into their home!

Andy was a fabulous host bringing the Tower and it’s stories to life. You’ll notice that he is still wearing the regalia of Elizabeth II. This will be changed in a week, just prior to the coronation. This is their everyday regalia…the regalia worn at the coronation costs about 15K GBP. Andy will be one of 5 at the coronation guarding the Crown Jewels.
The White Tower, the original building built by William the conqueror.
The glass pillow represents the private execution location of 7 royals including 3 queens.
Inside the castle walls lies this Tudor style home which was the only Tudor building to survive the Great fire of London….because it was inside the castle walls!
Mugging for the photo op… in front of Tower Bridge!

After a great visit to the Tower we headed to London’s west end for a show. We decided to take the double decker bus and saw a few sites along the way.

St Paul’s Cathedral was chiming away as we went by

When we got to our stop, we once again walked through China town and stopped for a delightful meal just a block away from the Gielgud Theatre where we we were to see “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Dinner was great and the play was absolutely amazing! If you come to London, make sure you take in a show / play/ comedy club, whatever your fancy. The entertainment quality is second to none!

We had great seats as you can see. Unfortunately, there were no pics after this point, so you don’t get to see the intricate staging that was done for this play.
Piccadilly Circus. The iconic landmark of London where we caught our bus back to our hotel!

We made it back to our hotel safe and sound. Just some packing up to do, and we’re ready for our train ride to Bristol tomorrow and then on to Cornwall, Devon and Wales for the next week to 10 days. Until tomorrow!

Categories: Hiking in Iceland and the UK

1 comment

  1. So much history. Aidan loved London when he was there. He did not have much time to sightsee but he did enjoy his time. Thank you for sharing.


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