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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Things to do
Tower of London Ice Rink
Located in the dry moat, the Tower of London ice rink offers a grand historical setting for seasonal skating sessions, along with views of London's ancient fortress. This year, round off a skate with a visit to the Tower's temporary 'ice bar', literally...Ice skating Wednesday November 16 2016 - Tuesday January 3 2017Read more
An intimate performance by the vocal ensemble of pieces that reflect the medieval history of the location. Works include Joanne Metcalf's Il Nome Del Bel Fior Part 1 Anon, John Dunstaple's Beata Mater, Leonel Power Beata progenies and several centuries...Classical and opera Sunday December 4 2016Read more
Average User Rating
4.4 / 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.
The Tower of London is rightly known as one of the must see sights of London. I have been there a few times, most recently in December to enjoy the ice skating rink outside.. It is a good idea to get to the Tower as early as possible (not sure what time it actually opens though) and head straight for the Jewel House.It is quiet at this time of day and gives you an opportunity to get in and see the Crown Jewels without a crowd around you 'oohing' and 'aahing' After that you can set your own pace and explore the walls and the various buildings. I have never joined one of the Beefeater tours as I have a great love of history and therefore know a lot about events and people who inhabited the Tower. However the tour is the only way you can get into the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula and having never managed to do that before I tagged on to a tour just before they got to the chapel and was able to get inside. The restaurant inside the Tower is quite good but I did see all the school parties tucking into their packed lunches so that is also an option. Bottom line - it's expensive but well worth the visit.
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).