Found myself yesterday in Plaistow as the result of business meeting, having a couple of hours to kill with my daughters. Plaistow, lovely though it is doesn’t really have a great deal to offer in terms of sightseeing, so we hopped on a tube at Plaistow Underground, and travelled the few stops to Monument station. The trip in itself was exciting for my youngest who rarely gets a chance to travel in central London!
I wanted to show the girls the Monument, which is one of those things you always spy on the skyline but never quite take time to view close up. I explained that it was built to commemorate the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire of 1666, but my eldest seemed preoccupied, looking at the huge carved stone tablet in Latin on one side. I admit to feeling a little inadequate when she began to translate the Latin text almost word for word…
I last went up the spiral staircase when I was around six years old and a walk across Tower Bridge and up the 311 steps was a Sunday afternoon out! It’s recently undergone an eighteen month refurbishment and looked awesome in the bright afternoon sun. In any case, I was delighted to find that the doors were open and for just £3 per adult and £1 per child we went up ourselves. If you ever needed a sign that we don’t get enough exercise this was it, but finally we were out on the observation platform a hundred and sixty feet above London, and very much cooled by a strong breeze at that height.
Both the kids and I really enjoyed our couple of hours, and it made me realise just how many hidden gems we simply speed past without really taking the time to visit them. With the long summer break and kids at home, this is an ideal opportunity!