London is a city of business and work, but alongside the more commercial side of the capital city of England, there is a fantastically rich military history that is on show every day. I wanted to highlight some of my favourites sights and spots to appreciate the past and present military endeavours of this proud nation.
From 10:00 until 16:00 every day there are two sentries on horseback, protecting the traditional entrance way to Buckingham Palace and St James' Palace, changing on the hour every hour. The guard is normally provided by the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, and although many tourists think that these are merely ceremonial positions, the soldiers on guard spend half their time on guard duties, and the other half training and deploying in real wars. These same soldiers also take part in the changing of the guard ceremony that thousands of tourists come to watch every day!
There is a huge and dominating castle right in the middle of London, next to Tower Bridge (the one that many people think is London Bridge). 1000 years old, the Tower of London is a massively popular tourist attraction, and where the Crown Jewels are housed (the largest set of royal jewellery in the world comprising 140 objects worth something like £11 billion). I love that fact that the tour guides and security is provided by ex soldiers, known as Beefeaters, who are massively knowledgeable about the history and traditions of this white stone castle.
The final piece of military history in this article is the HMS Belfast, moored next to Tower Bridge (seen in the background of the photo above). The ship was a fully functional battleship that was built in 1936, took part in D-Day, and now tourists can go aboard and see all the different parts, guns and rooms. The Imperial War Museum is on the ship, and it's a great opportunity for people to see the tight twisting corridors and small rooms of a British navy warship.
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