Experience London’s multifarious history, from the flamboyant to the frightful, with a nosey around this eleventh-century fortress
Despite the exhausting crowds and long climbs up stairways, the Tower of London remains one of Britain's finest historical attractions. After all, who wouldn’t want a close-up with the crown of Queen Victoria or the prodigious codpiece of King Henry VIII?
Located beside the equally impressive Tower Bridge in Tower Hill, the buildings of the London landmark span a whopping 900 years of history. Within the bastions and battlements are a series of interactive displays about the lives of British monarchs, and the often excruciatingly painful deaths of traitors. There's easily enough to do here to fill a whole day, and it's worth joining one of the entertaining free tours led by the Yeoman Warders (or Beefeaters).
Make the Crown Jewels your first stop, and as early in the day as you can: if you wait until you've pottered around, the queues will be humungous. Another big draw to the tower is the Royal Armoury in the White Tower, with swords, armour, poleaxes, halberds, morning stars (spiky maces) and other gruesome tools for separating human beings from their body parts. There's also a redisplay of the Line of Kings – an original exhibition dating back to the 1680s – which includes wooden horses carved by the prolific sculptor Grinling Gibbons, Henry VIII's armour and a scale model of tilting knights.
For the little ones, there are swordsmanship games, coin-minting activities and even a child-sized longbow.
|Venue name:||Tower of London||Contact:|
|Opening hours:||9am–5.30pm Tue–Sat; 10am–5.30pm Sun–Mon|
|Transport:||Tube: Tower Hill; DLR: Tower Gateway|
|Price:||£25, £19.50 concs., £12 children (ages 5–15), £45–£63 family|
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Average User Rating
4.5 / 5
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- 4 star:10
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Like many other reviewers I was surprised at just how big this place is, it's a mini medieval town, and just how much there is to see. It almost justifies the admission price! My daughter is studying the Tudors at school so really enjoyed herself, but there's more to learn about than just Tudors, there's ravens, the Fusilier museum, exotic animals, torture and of course you can stand on a conveyor belt and drift slowly past the crown jewels.
Always like the visit to the Tower of London. The tour is amazing. The guide was informative but not boring.
This was utterly fabulous, i mean, Wow! The whole place reeks of rich history and (golly gosh) i learnt so much about myself from this unforgettable joyous journey of an experience!
My family and I have never been to The Tower of London before, my youngest son (8 yrs old) is learning about The Tudors and Henry 8th at school, so we are thinking of visiting soon to learn more and see Henry's Armour. The review was clear and helpful. Thankyou
A Fantastic day out! Well worth having the guided tour with a Beefeater, you learn so much more than simply wandering about just looking. Crown jewels a must too!
This is easily one of the most popular attractions in London. My best photo of the Tower was taken from a boat cruise on the river Thames and there was a wedding taking place at the same time. Before visiting the Tower you need to practice being calm and patient as there are slow moving queues. If you need something to amuse yourself while waiting, you could check out the Party Ideas Incubator on YouTube from your smartphone.
I think it was a great day out but the crowd is sometimes suffocating and there's huge queues everywhere....obviously it's plenty to see but should have choosen a cold rainy day :)
It was really crowded at the end of July, but very interesting for me and my 11-year-old daughter. History alive! Also the shops were good and there were enough toilets (which is important when travelling with a child).