Following our Changing of the Queen's Guard experience at Buckingham Palace
, we continued walking along the edge of St. James's Park towards Westminster Abbey. I was struck by the massive trunks of the gorgeous trees that line this park, on the way to the Abbey, making it a beautiful stroll. According to Treeconomics
, a tree consulting company, those trees are valued at 173 million pounds!
View from St. James' Park
Next Stop...Westminster Abbey
The architecture of Westminster Abbey reminded me a lot of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, which makes sense because it was originally built as a Catholic Benedictine monastic church until the monastery was dissolved in 1539. It is the famous place where all kings and queens of Britain are crowned and then later, buried.
Getting photo-bombed by Westminster Abbey
The line was long to get into the Abbey, so we sped on towards our final destination... but not before catching some bagpipes along the way!
We walked and got a quick picture in front of the iconic clock tower, Big Ben, which apparently is undergoing some construction. Big Ben is actually the name of the giant bell associated with the clock tower, the tower itself being called Elizabeth Tower
. It is currently undergoing major repairs to the clock and is sadly, not scheduled to ring again until 2021, except for major holidays.
Mike and me in front of Big Ben who, apparently, is undergoing a face lift.
Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms
Continuing on from Big Ben, we made our way to our final destination - Churchill War Room Museum
, which was the official war room and bunker for England's prime minister, Winston Churchill, during World War II. I highly recommend getting tickets
to this event beforehand, since the lines can be long to get in.
Set in basically, a basement, you could see the cramped offices and living quarters of Churchill and his entire staff. It was a fascinating walk through history, where things were preserved and displayed as they were back in the mid 1940's.
By British Governmen
t - This is photograph NYP 45063 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums., Public Domain,
Winston Churchill's War Bunker, where he would frequently stay to work on defending England from Germany's grasp.
Keep in mind, this was the nicest and largest room in the entire bunker that housed hundreds of England's cabinet and staff. Source: ReidsEngland.com
I can't imagine the smell and stench of people sweating and smoking (cigars, in Churchill's case!) and using chamber pots due to lack of latrine facilities. Not an easy way to live!
Here was the famous Map Room, where they kept track of activities going on during the war effort. Photo by MapRoomCabinetWarRooms20060617_CopyrightKaihsuTai.jpg: Kaihsu Taiderivative work: SilkTork (talk)
The whole museum takes about 1 1/2 hours to go through, including a full room dedicated to the life of Winston Churchill. This is a perfect adventure for all you history-buffs!
Is the Churchill War Room next on your bucket list?