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? Plus, it’s right next door to Tower Bridge, which the wealth of tourists constantly stopping with cameras focused upwards will attest to it’s fabulousness.
Remarkably, the Tower of London boasts an impressive 900 years of history. Within it’s walls and beyond the empty moats are a day’s worth of interactive displays revealing the extravagant and at times controversial lifestyles of the British monarchs, as well as the torturous deaths of traitors. Join a tour led by one of the costumed Yeoman Warders (perhaps better known as Beefeaters) to get the nitty gritty details.
Get there early to get a glimpse of those Crown Jewels, because later in the day the queues grow to ginormous proportions. If jewellery is not your bag, head on over to the White Tower where you’ll find a collection shiny torture tools. Known as the Royal Armouries, this ancient Norman keep contains swords, suits of armour for both humans and horses, poleaxes, halberds, morning stars (spiky maces) and other means for separating limbs from torsos.
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.
VIDEO: Inside the secret pub where only Beefeaters are allowed
|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
- 5 star:18
- 4 star:11
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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).