If you are in London before 11 November, you MUST go to the Tower of London

Tower London poppies

A huge piece of public art is nearing its climax at the Tower of London. By 11 November, volunteers will have planted 888,246 ceramic poppies, in over, around and under the Tower of London by hand. The quantity matches the number of British casualties in the First World War which marks the centenary of its start this year.

The poppies are being sold to members of the public after the display ends, after 11 November, British Remembrance Day. At this time they are all sold.

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The six charities benefitting all work with current and former members of the British Armed Forces.

Tower London poppies

The installation works both on a large and small scale. There is an undeniable majesty of seeing the moat, an otherwise wasted part of the Tower filled with a sea (or perhaps) an ocean of red. The poppies form a ring surrounding the historic building, which houses the British Crown Jewels. With Tower Bridge in the background there is a historic vista on the east of the Tower.

Tower of London poppies

Tower of London poppies

On the west side you have the contrast of The Shard, a very new addition to the London skyline.

Tower of London poppies

The artists responsible for the installation have made it ebb and flow across public entrances, the foundations and other parts of the Tower.

Tower of London poppies

Tower of London poppies

Tower of London poppies

When you look more closely the detail of the individual flowers is clear. Looking even in a small area you realise how many heads there are. The realisation of course comes fairly fast that each one represents a dead member of the armed forces, and the sheer quantity of the sacrifice becomes clear. Even in a small area there are hundreds of flowers.

Tower London poppies

Tower London poppies

 

I was down at the Tower early in the morning, and the sun was just rising behind Tower Bridge, illuminating the Tower for another day of ‘planting’ poppies.

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If you are in London before 11 November, I strongly suggest you visit. It really is extraordinary.

Tower London poppies

If you are looking for other things to do during your visit read my series on things to do in London.

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  1. Thx for this! I took the day off and am in London for the entire day until this eve for the VS 787-9 flight to BOS (not the inaugural but the 1st flight available to average folks like me.)
    will go there today!

  2. We were in London early sept for holiday from Canada. I am so glad I got to see the poppies. I got some amazing photos. I did look into buying a poppy, but I procrastinated and when I checked last week, they are saying they are all sold, tho some may become available when they double check the orders.

  3. @MilesFmBlighty – ideal, thanks! Have a Gold Circle voucher redemption coming up at the Shard so will go and have a look then! I’d tried to find out on their website if it was publicly accessible or not but couldn’t tell.

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