Our last day in London is a walk pass St Paul’s cathedral to Tate Modern and onwards to London Eye. This has been on our itinerary since 2015 but ranked low, thus never realised. We made this year (2017) a point to accomplish this. Getting off our bus at King Edward Street, we walk through Paternoster Square to reach the back portion of St Paul. Walking around the cathedral to the front will lead you to the Millennium Bridge across river Thames and to Tate Modern museum on the other side.
Tate Modern is a museum that houses UK’s national and international collection of modern & contemporary arts. It is located in the former Bankside Power Station in London just off river Thames directly across St Paul’s cathedral. The power station ceased operations in 1981 and Tate Modern was opened in May, 2000.
If you entered the building through the ‘Turbine Hall’ this is a massive 500 feet by 75 feet area with a height of 115 feet. The building also has a chimney 325 feet in height. Entrance is free for access to the collection displays, while tickets are required for the major temporary exhibitions. The building comprises of two units namely the 6-storey Boiler House and the 10-storey Blavatnik Building.
Currently until 2 April, 2018 the ‘Turbine Hall’ is hosting a work commissioned by Hyundai what is known as ‘One Two Three Swing!’ which turns the ‘Turbine Hall’ into an adult playground. Visitors can lie on the stripped carpet of the sloping entrance and be hypnotised by a large pendulum swinging from the ceiling. The carpet is thick so it is comfortable to rest on. Further onwards, are collection of 3-person swings in an effort to encourage interaction between visitors sitting next to someone who one might not usually interact with.
There are 2 viewing levels at Tate Modern. One is at Kitchen & Bar on the 6th floor of the ‘Boiler House’ building. This is actually part of Kitchen & Bar area overlooking river Thames and you can quickly take pictures and be done with if you do not intend to have any food or drink there. Their rest room facility is also free to use.
The viewing level on 10th floor of Blavatnik Building is a free open air covered level where you have 360° view of London. On a clear day, you can see London for miles. So, forget about paying expansive tickets for London views from the London Eye or the Shard.
Tip: You can get views of London for free from the Sky Garden at the ‘Walkie Talkie’ building but you need to book a free ticket very well in advance.
Finished with our tour of Tate Modern, we headed to London Eye. Took the hydrogen powered ‘RV’ bus and got off at Royal Festival Hall. A stroll along ‘The Queen’s Walk’, leads to the London Eye and the Waterloo Bridge. Along the way, there is carousel ride for kid and adult alike, a Caribbean group doing street performance as well as a lone soldier performing robot like act.
Although we were at London Eye, we didn’t take a ride in it. We haven’t done so and will probably not be doing it in the near future. Not only is the ticket expansive, the crowd is just ridicalous. Anyway, for the skyline of London, we’ve done that from air, via flight coming into London City Airport, The Shard, Sky Garden, and of-course from Tate Modern which we consider the best venue on ground and for FREE.