Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, the Tower Bridge... There's no shortage of things to do and see in London!

The Ceremony of the Keys - London

Libby

User avatar
Vagabonder
 
Posts: 1729
Joined: July 1st, 2004

Share on Orkut

This thread doesn't have any tags.

You can still check out the tag index though.

What are tags?
  • Added on: November 27th, 2004
Has anyone ever attended this free ceremony at the Tower in London? Is it worth seeing?

marksda1

User avatar
Holds PhD in Packing
 
Posts: 253
Joined: November 6th, 2003
Location: Montezuma, Georgia

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: November 29th, 2004
I've heard good things and the tower itself is really cool.

Unfortunately, when I went, I was running late because of a long London Walks tour and there were problems with the circle and district lines in the Underground... missed my chance...

I'd be interested, too, in hearing from others who have gone. I hope to go myself someday.

Dan W

User avatar
Squat Toilet Professional
 
Posts: 894
Joined: March 21st, 2002

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: November 30th, 2004
Oh dear.

Im such a bad boy. I've lived in London for years and I have no idea what the keys thingie is...

Perhaps i'll drop by one of the nights this week and give you a run down - complete with camera phone snaps Big Grin

Dan - Slacker

marksda1

User avatar
Holds PhD in Packing
 
Posts: 253
Joined: November 6th, 2003
Location: Montezuma, Georgia

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: November 30th, 2004
That's usually how it is - visitors do things that the locals have never tried.

Now, I don't know about how things work if you live there, but I was told I had to send a couple of international reply coupons and a letter requesting a ticket for one of the days I'd be visiting. The response was swift and I got the day I wanted (I also wasn't exactly in peak season). I just had a run of bad luck and didn't get to go... Well, bad luck is relative. I had a great time that day and was running behind and the trains were screwed up. I had too much fun to really feel too down about it.

FYI, the info. that came with my tickets said no photography or recording allowed...

ginger

User avatar
Holds PhD in Packing
 
Posts: 262
Joined: May 14th, 2001

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: November 30th, 2004
I went many years ago taking an aunt from Aus.It was a great experience.
It has to be booked (cant rember how) and has limited people per time
If u can go go and enjoy
sweet as kiwi

meagicano

User avatar
Vagabonder
 
Posts: 1795
Joined: August 28th, 2001

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: November 30th, 2004
Dan, the main page of that link has REALLY bad, REALLY loud music.

I just went four feet in the air on that one... but I suppose that's what I get for surfing the 'net on company time.
______________________________
I have a travelblog now!

thebigfella

User avatar
Knows What a Schengen Visa Is
 
Posts: 314
Joined: August 17th, 2004

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: December 1st, 2004
I've done it a couple of times (I live about 20 minutes walk from the Tower) and it's great. I don't know how you actually book it. I was invited by one of the Yeoman Warders who was a drinking mate of mine in a local pub, although he's retired now.

They like to joke that it's the longest running show in London. You have to be really quiet as the squaddie (soldier) carrying the kesy is just a normal soldier doing a bit of ceremonials, and he's frantically trying to count out how many paces he's taken and so on. Definitely well worth doing if you can organise it.

Libby

User avatar
Vagabonder
 
Posts: 1729
Joined: July 1st, 2004

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: December 1st, 2004
I'm going to write and request two tickets. I'm sure I'll find someone that wants the other!

Thanks guys Smile

thebigfella

User avatar
Knows What a Schengen Visa Is
 
Posts: 314
Joined: August 17th, 2004

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: December 1st, 2004
You can practice now if you like.

Q. Who goes there?

A. the keys.

Q. Whose keys?

A. The Queen's keys.

There you go.

Libby

User avatar
Vagabonder
 
Posts: 1729
Joined: July 1st, 2004

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: December 1st, 2004
Ya, but I'd be in London!

That makes all the difference in the world. Big Grin

I wonder if it's too far in advance to write now. Confused

marksda1

User avatar
Holds PhD in Packing
 
Posts: 253
Joined: November 6th, 2003
Location: Montezuma, Georgia

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: December 1st, 2004
I don't think it's ever too early. When are you going? I think it took mine 3 to 4 weeks to get back after I sent the letter.

Just pulled up the official website - they suggest further in advance than that.

Libby

User avatar
Vagabonder
 
Posts: 1729
Joined: July 1st, 2004

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: December 2nd, 2004
I'll mail my request early in the new year. That will be 4 months in advance. Should be plenty of time! I'll give them an assortment of dates and maybe I'll be lucky.

Anyone have any other obscure, hopefully free, things to do in England they would recommend?

Tizwoz

User avatar
Holds PhD in Packing
 
Posts: 228
Joined: September 10th, 2003

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: December 6th, 2004
quote:
Anyone have any other obscure, hopefully free, things to do in England they would recommend?


Okay (Libby, these won't help you coz they are either too far from where you are going or at the wrong time of year), here are choice two at the moment:

Tar Barreling in Ottery. On November 5th, Ottery St Mary in Devon holds a Tar Barrel festival. BArrel are soacked in tar then set alight and villagers run through the village with them on their shoulders. You have to have lived there for 6 years to take part, but anyone can watch for free! MB the beer amounts to alot if you want to keep up!

The Severn Bore. The tide up the river severn gets channeled into a rapidly narrowing river, and hence creates a tall wave that travels swiftly up the river. Go at the right time, and watch the crazy people surfing up it!!

tassy

Libby

User avatar
Vagabonder
 
Posts: 1729
Joined: July 1st, 2004

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: December 6th, 2004
They sound like a lot of fun! Although, I do question the wisdom or running with a flaming object. Egads!

We have a tidal bore here as well. The Bay of Fundy has the highest tides in the world, but it comes in gradually and you can't surf it. That doesn't stop them from showing up in droves going to try. Smile

WhereForArt

User avatar
Street Food Connoisseur
 
Posts: 533
Joined: December 27th, 2006
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: December 28th, 2006
I love the Ceremony of the Keys! It's been a few years since I went, but it was a very magical experience. They limit the number of attendees, so it's just you and a few dozen other people watching a centuries-old tradition amidst the stars.

I actually got there after doing an evening pub walk (and of course, had to sample the ale in the 3-4 pubs we stopped at), so I was DESPERATE to use the toilet! One of the guards was kind enough to let me use the bathroom in his apartment (they live on the premises), which was kind of cool.

Other fun things I enjoyed (other than the typical tourist things):

A trip to the St. Thomas Operating Theatre (near the Globe). This was an actual operating room of 1862, now a museum. It was pretty fascinating - for example, I found out that sawdust was put in a box on the floor to collect the blood. Spectators would line the place in seats, yelling "heads, heads" whenever a surgeon got in the way of their view. Nurses were paid 32 pounds a year, and worked from 6 a.m. till dusk. I think admission is fairly cheap.

And of course, the mother of all museums, the British Museum, is free (which is true of most of the main ones). I could spend days in there.

I think the best thing to do in London is just walk around from place to place - and take some of the Original London Walks. They will show you some places you'd never find on your own. Also try to get to Smithfield Market - I went very early one morning and found row after row of hanging sides of beef, pork, and every variety of meat filling the aisles. Men walked up and down aisles wearing white coats stained with blood. It’s ironic that this was built on the site of a field used for executions. In fact, I found out that William Wallace of "Braveheart" fame was killed here.
______________________________________________
Mardee

Travels in Turkey 2007
Easter in Italy

It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to. ~J.R.R. Tolkien


Next

Return to London Travel

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

PLEASE NOTE: Your original BootsnAll Boards Member login still works by logging in below on the Boards.
We have a new BootsnAll Account that you will start seeing around the BootsnAll Travel Network. This new login is not yet linked to your current Boards Account. In the meantime, you will need to sign up (for a BootsnAll Account) to use Account features like Indie ™ , Traveler Profiles etc.

Quick Links

Community Activity

Statistics for the last 7 days

New posts:
0
Newest Member:
Stephen


Indie - Multi Country Flight Finder
Round the World Travelers


Join BootsnAll on Facebook

1 (503) 528-1005

© 2018 BootsnAll Travel Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.