Traveling Tuesday #4–The Tower of London and Tower Bridge

two of my favorite places!

two of my favorite places!

Two places I will never get tired of visiting in London is the Tower of London and Tower Bridge.  I don’t know if I can even express why I love them so much.  Aside from my love of the historical Tudors, I think the history the Tower of London has seen is impressive beyond words and I love that I can walk the grounds of a place that has seen 1,000 years of history unfold.  You really just have to stop and look around and take in your surroundings.  Imagine standing there hearing Mark Smeaton’s screams as he was being tortured into confessing an affair with Anne Boleyn, or William the Conqueror’s contented sigh as he stood overlooking the Thames taking pride in his accomplishments, or feeling the anxiety of Elizabeth I as she was held in the Tower not knowing her fate.  The Tower of London has been a royal residence, a place of torture and execution, a royal menagerie, a mint, the home of the crown jewels, a WWI memorial, and is one of my favorite places to visit in London.

I’ve always thought Tower Bridge is just stunning.  The architecture, the colors, it’s such a historic looking bridge compared to the vast majority I see in the states (not to mention the actual history it has also seen), I can’t get enough of it!  The last time I was in London I saw a couple taking some wedding pictures with the bridge in the background and I’m not going to lie, I was more than a little jealous of how those pictures were going to turn out.

When I’m at places like these, I can’t put the teacher part of my brain on pause, even though I try to stand there soaking up the moment.  The last time I was at the Tower of London, I thought of an “If Walls Could Talk” type activity for my students.  I don’t have it posted in my store right now because I’m still working on it, and I’m also working on a “Meet Anne Boleyn” activity since I really just can’t get enough of the Tudors and again, standing in the spot where she was executed is just a bit activity inspiring for a history teacher.

I definitely get inspired by my travels to make activities for my students, and in teaching certain people/places/topics it inspires me to travel even more than I already have.  I absolutely love it when I can show students my own pictures from a location rather than getting them from google, and I love going places where you can practically *feel* history around you.  It also helps make history more real for students if they can see a picture of me standing at Stonehenge, or touching WW2 bomb damage on the outside of a London museum, or at the entrance to a concentration camp.  It’s kind of like “that *is* a real place, or that *really* did happen.”  The more I can make history real and alive for my kids the more likely they are to remember it years later.

Well I’ve definitely rambled away from the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, but suffice it to say they are two of my favorite spots of all time and I have been lucky enough to visit them a few times and bring them and their history to my students in a variety of ways.

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