- Experience the macabre history of London
- Get up close to the real Crown Jewels and royal finery
- Take a free guided tour with a Yeoman Warder
- See this UNESCO World Heritage site full of ceremony and history
The site of political scheming, bloody beheadings, and the home of the Crown Jewels, the Tower of London is a terrific place to spend a fascinating - and slightly eerie - day.
Legend has it that six ravens must guard the tower at all times, or else the kingdom (as in United Kingdom) will fall. The ravens are still there, and so is this nearly thousand year old complex of stocky stone structures.
There's plenty to explore here, so give yourself lots of time to roam, but the White Tower is the most striking building. Inside you'll find - among others - Henry VIII's XXXL suit of armor in the Royal Armories collection. Also note that St John's Chapel, on the first floor, dates back to 1080, making it the oldest church in London.
Though most famous for the imprisonments and beheadings held there it has, at various times, served as the royal residence, mint, menagerie, armory, observatory and as the holding place for the Crown Jewels - a function it still serves. Note that the line-ups for the Crown Jewels can be quite long, but if you can stand to wait, it's well worth it. Also: keep an eye on the queue, it sometimes shrinks inexplicably. If that happens: seize the day.
One can't-miss attraction keeps moving around inside the walls. And that's a tour with one of the Yeoman Warders. These men and women (popularly known as ‘Beefeaters’) have been guarding the tower for hundreds of years. Their 60 minute tours leave every half hour and start near the main entrance. Be prepared for tales of intrigue, imprisonment, execution, torture and other gruesome thrills.
A MORBID PAST: The Tower of London has experienced more than a few beheadings and imprisonments. All in all, 22 executions have taken place here - including two kings and three queens (that's a full house!). However, if you're really into the gruesome past, nearby Tower Hill has seen more than five times that number of executions.
Winter November 1st - February 29th
- Tuesday - Saturday 9:00 - 16:30 (Last admission 16:00)
- Sunday - Monday 10:00 - 16:30 (Last admission 16:00)
Summer March 1st - October 31st
- Tuesday - Saturday 9:00 - 17:30 (Last admission 17:00)
- Sunday - Monday 10:00 - 17:30 (Last admission 17:00)
Please note that during the summer months you might encounter long queues to enter the Tower of London. Plan your visit early for in the morning when it is quieter.
Underground: use District or Circle lines to Tower Hill station (5 min walk) Train: Nearest stations: Fenchurch Street (5 min walk) or London Bridge (15 min walk) Bus: Nr: 15, 42, 78, 100, RV1 Riverboat: for Tower Pier depart from Charing Cross, Westminster and Greenwich
The only problem I had to print my ticket to enter but still was easy to enter