The ceramic poppies by artist Paul Cummins will total 888,246 come armistice day, and if you haven’t dared to brave the crowds yet, there is still time. They are going to be lit for longer enabling more people to see this incredible installation: 4.30am until midnight. On the 12th November 8000 volunteers will begin the possibly back breaking, but clearly memorable job, of removing this monumental sea of red.
We visited the Tower of London during half term and it was crowded but also the sight that appears through the crowds is simply unforgettable. Go early at the weekend, or if you can go in the week, again – get up and go! With older kids a late evening trip may well add to the haunting aspect of meaning and location. In spite of the jostling, which did pass, I felt incredibly moved and managed to explain the significance of this beautiful piece of art to my children. They are seven and five and I think the knowledge that nearly 900,000 soldiers died in the First World War alone is rather a lot to take in, and I know the enormity of this information will not totally have made sense, but one day they may remember seeing the poppies and the thought will mean much more. In the mean time, the fact that these poppies are made and ‘planted’, each one by hand, is awe-inspiring enough to make the kids gasp.
After being spat out of the ever-revolving line of people around the Tower of London we decided on a fancy to head to the Monument and – possibly – go up it! If your kids can manage over 300 steps – which is not as many as you first think – this is such a great mini-adventure, and again, all part of the history of our lovely London Town.
It was almost lunchtime and the queue was touted as only being a 20-minute wait. The kids said they didn’t want to do it. We stayed in line – fingers crossed – and when it was our turn they could barely contain their excitement. The unsaid rule appeared to be ‘stay on the right’ and it worked. Within minutes we were at the top and pointing out sites on what, thankfully, was a gloriously sunny day. And £4 for adults and £2 for children did not break the bank either.
A day of two towers and a field of poppies. It was a goodie – even with a mini-meltdown thrown in.
More details here.