The Ultimate Guide to Visiting the Tower of London
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A timeless landmark, the Tower of London is a popular tourist destination. One of the most popular places in London today, it has significantly influenced the history of England. We will go over all you need to know about visiting the Tower of London in this guide, including its intriguing history and the best ways to tour the location.
A brief history of the Tower of London
William the Conqueror commissioned the building of the Tower of London in 1066 as a stronghold to defend the city from Viking attacks. The Tower was used as a royal palace, a treasury, a prison, and a zoo over the years. The confinement of Anne Boleyn, Lady Jane Grey’s execution, and the Tower’s murder of the Princes are a few of the most important historical occurrences.
Why the Tower of London is a must-see attraction
The Tower of London is a popular tourist site today and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Crown Jewels, the castle walls, and the tragic history of the Tower all draw tourists from all over the world. The Tower’s architecture is stunning, and it has a sizable collection of armour and weapons..
What to expect in this guide
We will give you a thorough rundown of all the information you require before to visiting the Tower of London in this guide. The best methods to explore the grounds, guided tours and activities, dining and shopping alternatives, neighbouring attractions, and visit planning advice will all be covered. This guide will make sure that you get the most out of your experience, whether you are a first-time visitor or a seasoned Tower of London veteran.
Preparing for Your Visit
Before you visit the Tower of London, there are a few things you need to know to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.
Buying tickets online or on-site
Purchasing tickets in advance online is the most convenient way to see the Tower of London. By doing this, you’ll be able to avoid the lengthy lines at the gate and guarantee that you can visit the Tower when it’s most convenient for you. Alternatively, you can buy tickets directly at the venue, but be ready to wait in queue, particularly during the busiest travel seasons..
Planning your visit
There are numerous sights and activities at the enormous Tower of London complex. Plan to explore the site for at least 3–4 hours to get the most out of your trip. Plan your visit to the Tower accordingly because it can get busy, especially during the busiest time of year. You can also choose to go to the Tower in the early morning or late afternoon, which are off-peak times.
As a historical location, the Tower of London may not be entirely accessible to people with mobility challenges in some areas. The Tower has made attempts to increase accessibility, and several areas of the facility, including the Crown Jewels exhibit, are wheelchair accessible. For those who have hearing loss, audio guides are also available.
Visitors must pass through a security check before entering the Tower of London because it is a high-security location. This covers body scans, bag checks, and metal detectors. Make careful to leave any forbidden goods, such guns or heavy luggage, at home to prevent any delays. Visitors are also urged to alert the Tower’s security staff about any suspicious behaviour or objects.
You may guarantee that your trip to the Tower of London is seamless and pleasurable by using these suggestions.
Exploring the Tower Grounds
It takes take several hours to thoroughly explore all of the buildings and exhibits inside the enormous Tower of London complex. Here are some of the Tower’s grounds’ top attractions that you shouldn’t miss.
The Main Gate and the Byward Tower
The renowned Yeoman Warders, or Beefeaters, are in charge of watching over the Main Gate, which serves as the Tower of London’s entryway. The Byward Tower, a 13th-century structure that holds a collection of mediaeval armour and weapons, is located beyond the gate.
The Tower Green and the Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincula
Many famous people, including Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, were executed on the Tower Green, a public area inside the Tower walls. The Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincula, a stunning 16th-century chapel where the executed were interred, is located on the edge of the Tower Green..
The White Tower and the Royal Armouries
William the Conqueror constructed the White Tower, one of the Tower of London’s most recognisable structures, in the 11th century. Today, it is home to the Royal Armouries, a substantial collection of medieval-era armour and weapons.
The Medieval Palace and the Bloody Tower
The Mediaeval Palace, which originally served as the royal family’s residence, is now a museum that depicts mediaeval life in the Tower. A particularly horrifying area of the palace that served as a prison and a place of torture is known as the Bloody Tower.
The Crown Jewels and the Jewel House
Some of the most priceless and significant gems in the world are part of the Crown gems, one of the most visited attractions at the Tower of London. The Jewel House, which is closely guarded and features a moving walkway to prevent tourists from stopping and loitering too long, is where visitors can view the Crown Jewels.
You can learn more about the Tower’s extensive history and the significant part it has played in influencing England’s past by touring these areas of its grounds.
Guided Tours and Activities
Numerous guided tours and other activities are available at the Tower of London to improve your visit and give you a better understanding of the Tower’s significance and history. Some of the more well-liked choices are as follows:
Yeoman Warder (Beefeater) Tour
The Tower of London’s ceremonial protectors are the Yeoman Warders, sometimes referred to as Beefeaters, who lead tours of the complex. The tours, which are complimentary with admission, offer a fun and enlightening overview of the Tower’s past customs and urban legends.
The Ravens of the Tower
According to legend, the country will crumble if the ravens ever depart the Tower of London. Visitors can take a guided tour of the Tower to learn about the history and significance of the group of birds known as the Ravens of the Tower.
Ceremony of the Keys
Over 700 years have passed since The Ceremony of the Keys was first carried out at the Tower of London. The ritual is open to the public, and guests are welcome to watch as the Chief Yeoman Warder locks the Tower for the evening.
Tower of London audio guide
Visitors can hire an audio guide that provides comprehensive information about the Tower’s numerous features for a more self-guided experience. The Tower may be explored at your own leisure with the help of the audio guide, which is available in numerous different languages.
Kids’ activities and educational resources
A family trail that takes kids through the Tower’s history is one of the many activities and resources available for kids at the Tower of London. There are also many educational tools available online.
The Tower of London provides a choice of activities that are sure to make your visit more enjoyable, whether you choose a typical guided tour or a more involved one.
Dining and Shopping
It might be a hungry and thirsty experience to explore the Tower of London, but fortunately there are many places to eat and drink both inside and outside the Tower. Some of the top eating choices are listed below:
Eating options inside and outside the Tower
The historic New Armouries Cafe, which serves breakfast, lunch, and afternoon tea, as well as the Raven’s Kiosk, which sells snacks and beverages, are just two of the dining options offered inside the Tower. The neighbourhoods of Tower Hill and the City of London, which are close to the Tower, are home to a large number of eateries, bars, and cafes.
Souvenir shops and gift stores
The Tower of London is home to a number of gift and souvenir shops where you may purchase a variety of interesting and historic souvenirs. There is something for every taste and price range, ranging from classic Tower of London souvenirs like keychains and magnets to more upscale things like jewellery and artwork.
Buying tickets to special events
The Tower of London organises a range of unique events all year long, including historical reenactments and holiday celebrations like the Tower’s renowned ice rink. If you wish to attend, you can purchase tickets for these events online or in person, although they frequently sell out quickly.
The Tower of London offers a wide variety of dining and shopping alternatives, whether you’re searching for a quick snack or a one-of-a-kind keepsake.
In the centre of London, among the many thrilling attractions, is The Tower of London. Here are a few neighbouring sights that are unquestionably worthwhile visiting:
Tower Bridge and the Tower Bridge Exhibition
The Tower of London is not far from Tower Bridge, one of London’s most recognisable monuments. At the Tower Bridge Exhibition, visitors can take a guided tour of the bridge’s interior and discover its history.
HMS Belfast and the Imperial War Museum
The HMS Belfast is a former Royal Navy ship that has been converted into a museum, and it is situated directly across the Thames from the Tower of London. Nearby Imperial War Museum provides a thorough look into British military history..
St. Katharine Docks and the Tower Bridge Gardens
St. Katharine Docks, a lovely port encircled by eateries, bars, and stores, is only a short stroll from the Tower of London. Beautiful views of the Tower of London and the Thames may be seen from the neighbouring Tower Bridge Gardens..
Thames River Cruises and the London Eye
A Thames River Cruise is a fantastic way to experience London from a new angle. Boats leave from a number of piers along the Thames, one of which is close to the Tower of London. Additionally, panoramic views of the city are available from the neighbouring London Eye.
The Tower of London is an ideal starting place for a day of sightseeing in London because there are so many fantastic things nearby.
Tips for a Successful Visit
Being ready can help you make the most of your time to the Tower of London, which may be a fascinating excursion. Here are some pointers to make your visit successful:
Dressing appropriately and wearing comfortable shoes
Wearing comfortable shoes is essential because the terrain at the Tower of London is uneven. Additionally, make sure to dress for the weather and abstain from donning anything offensive or indecent.
Bringing cash, a water bottle, and sunscreen
Even if there are card-accepting merchants and ATMs, it’s always a good idea to have cash for sundries or refreshments. Keeping hydrated is essential, therefore it’s a wise decision to bring a refillable water bottle. Finally, on sunny days, remember to use sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun..
Getting early access or avoiding peak hours
Consider going to the Tower of London off-peak or gaining early entry with a special ticket to avoid lineups and crowds. You may explore the grounds before it becomes too busy and have more time to see everything if you get early entrance.
Respecting the Tower’s rules and regulations
It’s crucial to abide by the rules and regulations of the Tower of London in order to make sure that everyone has a safe and happy visit. This involves observing boundaries and keeping your distance from the displays, as well as abstaining from disruptive behaviours like smoking and littering.
Taking photos and sharing your experience on social media
Considering how stunning and significant the Tower of London is, you must take pictures to remember your visit. Share your experiences and images on social media, but keep in mind to respect other guests’ privacy and avoid disturbing them when taking photos.
You can visit the Tower of London successfully and create enduring memories by paying attention to these suggestions.
You should be well-prepared and eager to visit the Tower of London after reading this guide. Here is a brief summary of the main themes discussed:
- The history of the Tower of London is extensive and fascinating, going back almost a thousand years.
- The Crown Jewels, the White Tower, and the Yeoman Warder tours are just a few of the many sights and things to do in the Tower.
- Planning carefully, dressing appropriately, and abiding by the Tower’s laws and regulations can help you get the most out of your visit.
If you get the chance, we highly suggest that you visit the Tower of London. It is undoubtedly one of London’s most distinctive and memorable sights. We sincerely hope that this information was useful and instructive, and we wish you success as you explore the Tower of London.