Tower of London

  • Attractions
  • Historic buildings and sites
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Jonathan Perugia / Time Out
Jonathan Perugia / Time Out
Tove K Breitstein / Time Out
Tove K Breitstein / Time Out
Tower Hill
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Despite the exhausting crowds and long climbs up stairways, this is one of Britain's finest historical attractions. Who would not be fascinated by a close-up look at the crown of Queen Victoria or the armour (and prodigious codpiece) of King Henry VIII?

The buildings of the Tower span 900 years of history and the bastions and battlements house a series of interactive displays on 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 highly recommended and 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 possibly can: if you wait until you've pottered around a few other things and generally got your bearings, the queues are usually immense. The other big draw to the tower is the Royal Armoury in the White Tower, with its 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 Grinling Gibbons, Henry VIII's armour and a scale model of tilting knights. Kids are entertained by swordsmanship games, coin-minting activities and even a child-sized long bow. The garderobes (medieval toilets) also seem to appeal.

Venue name: Tower of London
Address: Tower Hill
Opening hours: Mar-Oct Tue-Sat 9am-5.30pm; Sun & Mon 10am-5.30pm. Nov-Feb Tue-Sat 9am-4.30pm; Sun & Mon 10am-4pm
Transport: Tube: Tower Hill; DLR: Tower Gateway
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Average User Rating

4.2 / 5

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Look, you've got to do it. Yes, it's jam-packed with tourists, but it's well worth braving the throngs, the steep entrance fees, and the ridiculousness of the conveyor belt around the crown jewels, because this is a legitimately fascinating slice of British history. Allow plenty of time and, for the love of god, don't go on a weekend.

Paula - ToT

The Tower of London is a must for any history buffs, especially those interested in medieval/early modern history.I would definitely recommend taking a Beefeater tour, which is free, as you are able to access areas otherwise inaccessible.The Crown Jewels are also beautifully displayed, but the queues can be long and you will only get a quick glimpse.

Martin C
Staff Writer

Most people visit as schoolkids but a return visit is worthwhile. I'd forgotten how big it is – not just the famous towers but a whole mini town is enclosed within its ancient walls. Sure, there are crowds, especially during the summer but the place is actually large enough to cope with them and there's really enough to see to spend at least half a day here. Seeing the crown jewels entails a long, slow shuffle in the dark. Walking the walls that encircle the Tower was more of a highlight, not least because fewer people seem to get up to the top and you get a glimpse of 'real' life – the day-to-day goings on of the Yeoman Warders and their families who live there. One minute your considering 900 years of history, the next your looking at a rotary washing line and wondering if it's part of some elaborate experiential display.

Victoria A

Always like the visit to the Tower of London. The tour is amazing. The guide was informative but not boring. 

Landl N

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!

Paula Pearson

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

Claire Redfer

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.

klara cort

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 :)


If you can handle the queues and crowds, it is well worth a visit.


Excellent museum. The kids especially enjoyed the yeomen's tour. Food and drink is reasonable too.


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).