To mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee the moat at the Tower of London has been filled with wild flowers, winding paths, sculptures and a slide.
The moat has had many roles over 800 years since it was dug as a protective moat, started in the 1240s under the rule of Henry III, to defend the White Tower. It was at one point 50 metres wide and filled with the tidal water of the river Thames. Edward I used it as a fish farm but by the 1840s the moat smelled so bad that the Duke of Wellington was forced to drain it. The moat became an allotment during the second world war when it’s residents were encouraged to ‘Dig for Victory’. It was also used as a military camp for soldiers during Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations and filled with a floral display for Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee in 1977.
Superbloom starts at the drawbridge entrance to the Tower of London and takes you down a ramp in to the moat. The path winds through the flowers along the moat to the other side of the tower. There are some smaller paths that wind along the main path and seating areas with benches so that you can sit and enjoy the flowers
At the beginning of the path there is a giant slide down in to the moat. The slide was quite steep and fast but there were people of all ages going down and we saw several much older people living their very best lives. The slide is at the top of a set of steps so not accessible for those with limited mobility but the staff were doing their best to make it as accessible as possible for everyone. The sign said one go per person but it was reasonably quiet when we were there and we had several goes.
Towards the end of the trail there is a wicker sculpture called The Nest and then some further beautiful metal butterfly sculptures.
The trail takes no more than half an hour to walk through. It is flat other than the ramps down in to the moat and out at the other end. There are various seating points along the route and you can take it completely at your own pace.
Tickets are available online (here) and you can combine it with a visit to the Tower of London. I’d recommend doing Superbloom first and then booking Tower tickets for an hour later, we were ready to go in to the Tower before our ticket time and were allowed in without having to wait.
You can also view Superbloom from above, from Tower Bridge and other spots, if you are short on time but it really is a different perspective to walk through the moat and amongst the flowers.
The good news is that this will now become a permanent feature at the Tower of London.