A Castle, Gardens, Walks, and Hotels
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One of Londonís greatest icons, the Tower of London, has served as a royal palace, fortress, prison, place of execution, an arsenal, royal mint, menagerie, and jewel house over 900 years. Today, it is a world famous visitor attraction that is home to some of the most potent symbols of British history including the Crown Jewels.
Just south of Greenwich, in Eltham, is the medieval Great Hall of Eltham Palace where Henry VIII was educated. From the grounds there are fabulous views all the way to St Paulís Cathedral and the London Eye. Today the Great Hall is attached to the Courtauld House, one of the finest Art Deco houses in the country, The Tudor Barn, possibly one of the oldest buildings to house a restaurant and Well Hall Pleasaunce gardens.
There are many parks and gardens within Londonís eastside including Greenwich Park, Londonís oldest royal park; Thames Barrier Park, London's newest riverside with magnificent views of the Thames Barrier and the Millennium Dome; Horniman Gardens with beautiful formal and natural landscapes; Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park with its network of paths that take you on a tour around wonderful woodlands and unique and special wildflower meadows; Island Gardens, a charming riverside park, holds the modern day view of Greenwich featured in Canaletto's famous 18th century painting 'A View of Greenwich from the River'; and Three Mills Island, one of the Eastsideís most well-kept secrets and home to the oldest remaining tidal mill in Britain and 3 Mills Studios.
There are over 40 miles of signposted footpaths, suitable for both walkers and cyclists, which link together many of open spaces including canals and waterways.
A number of other walks in Londonís Eastside are:
1.The Thames Path runs on both sides of the river through Londonís Eastside starting from London Bridge. The north path ends at Island Gardens, while the south path is longer and reaches Woolwich and the Thames Barrier.
2.Several urban walks have been developed around Spitalfields, Wapping, Limehouse, the Pool of London, Canary Wharf and Greenwich. In particular, a self-guided walk focusing on Canary Wharfís open spaces, parks, waterfront walks, fountains and colonnades and including more than 25 species of trees and 88 floral varieties and a new Jewish East End cultural walk, which uncovers the Jewish community's rich legacy of landmarks and legends to the area.
3. 90 miles of Londonís waterways, including the Grand Union, the Regentís Canal, the docks surrounding Canary Wharf, and the Rivers Lee and Stort, running from East London into Essex and Hertfordshire, provide a unique behind-the-scenes look at Londonís Eastside, passing many attractions and waterside pubs and offering a variety of water-based leisure activities.
There are a number of hotels in the area ranging from luxury hotels to hotels offering the basics. The London Docklands (ExCeL) Travel Inn Capital located at ExCeL East, Novotel/Ibis located at ExCeL West, Ramada at ExCeL, Express by Holiday Inn London Limehouse, and the Marriott Hotel at West India Quay. They are all situated close to London City Airport and Canary Wharf and Londonís West End. This brings the total number of main hotels to 26 and confirms the growing popularity of Londonís Eastside as a tourist destination.
Photo Eltham Palace courtesy Risto Hurmalainen
Photo Tower London courtesy Tower of London
Photo Horniman Museum Garden courtesy Visit East London