After doing the Books About Town trail around London in the summer, the Craftyguidelets and I decided to sample the Transport for London Bus Sculpture Trail to celebrate the Year of the Bus. As one of the trails started and finished near the Tower of London, we took the chance to take Mr Craftyguider and mother in law with us to see the poppies now that the installation was almost complete.We had seen the poppies in August, but so many more had been added since then. It is such a stunning sight. It really brings home the 888,246 lives lost in WWI and has taught the Craftyguidelets a lot about the scale of casualties of the war.We got there as early as our travelcards allowed us from the sticks but it was so busy, we were advised to get off the train at Aldgate rather than Tower Hill. However, after lunch when we were the other side of the river, we looked back at the Tower and it was swarming with people. Even crossing Tower Bridge was hard due to the volume of people coming the other way.If you can get to see the poppies before it finishes, it is worth the trip. Just try going early!After lunch, we crossed the river to start the bus sculpture trail. The bus models have been painted by well-known and aspiring artists and spread over 3 trails along the river and in the City, around Westminster, and in the Olympic Park. Another trail will also open up before Christmas.Having looked for book benches in the summer, I didn’t find this as exciting. The book benches could be sat on and represented books that were mainly familiar to me and the Craftyguidelets. The buses were each labelled with a big sign saying DO NOT CLIMB.This Orla Kiely design was at least familiar to me.This placement was really great with Tower Bridge directly behind the bus. I wish the weather was as good as that painted on the bus though!This punk bus was outside St Pauls. Not sure of the connection there!This is the Kids Company bus with images of children sleeping on the bus to escape homelessness, and was painted by an ambassador of the charity.And this bus was the last on the trail representing the 24 hour nature of the city and the buses.I don’t think we’ll be back to look for the other buses. However, it was a nice day out and took us round several of the London sights, so it would be a nice guided tour along the river for a visitor in combination with a trip to the Tower.
The Paddington Bear trail starts on 4th November. I’m already excited by this one as there are bears designed by celebrities. I’m a bit disappointed that Bear Grylls has a Scouting bear and Girlguiding doesn’t have one. If we do visit it, I’m dressing the family up in Guiding uniforms and travelling to Heathrow to be photographed with it.
And then there are 300 owls to find in Birmingham next year. Surely Guiding gets first call on that!