Tower of London

  • 01 of 10

    Tower of London History & Introduction

    Yeoman Warders at the Tower of London
    ••• Laura Porter

    The Tower of London was home to the kings and queens of England for many years. (Buckingham Palace has been the official London residence of Britain's sovereign since 1837.)

    The Tower of London was a prison and many famous prisoners were held there including Sir Walter Raleigh – he was held in the Bloody Tower for 13 years but made use of his time by writing The History of the World (published in 1614) and growing tobacco on Tower Green. The Tower of London held prisoners from the middle and upper classes so there are no dungeons.

    Public executions were held on Tower Green, including two of Henry VIII's wives: Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard.

    The Tower of London was once surrounded by defensive walls and a moat. The moat is now drained and in the summer there are events and concerts held here and in the winter there is the Tower of London Ice Rink.

    The White Tower was the original Tower of London and now houses a display of weapons and ​armory. It was built by William the...MORE Conqueror from around 1080 to 1100. He brought his own secondhand stone from France to build the Tower.

    Beefeaters

    The Tower of London tour guides is the Yeoman Warders who live at the Tower. They are better known as Beefeaters, which we think comes from when their job was to taste the king's food to check it wasn't poisoned. The Yeoman Warders are the experts on the Tower and are happy to answer your questions. They also provide free guided tours, included with your ticket.

    Ravens

    The Ravens are one of the 'must sees' for a trip to the Tower of London. Legend says that if the ravens ever leave then the monarchy will fall, the White Tower at The Tower of London will crumble and a great disaster will befall England. Ever superstitious, we don't take any chances and Ravens have lived at the Tower since Charles II was told this tale. They are even protected by a royal decree. Each of the ravens has a color-coded leg band. Pick up the Raven identification leaflet so you can check their names.

    1. Tower of London Introduction
    2. Opening Hours
    3. How To Get There
    4. Tickets
    5. Visitor Facilities
    6. Audio Tours and Guidebook
    7. Family Activities
    8. Disabled Access
    9. Unlimited Access to Historic Royal Palaces
    10. Crown Jewels
    Continue to 2 of 10 below.
  • 02 of 10

    Tower of London Opening Hours

    1 March - 31 October

    • Tuesday - Saturday: 9am – 5.30pm
    • Sunday & Monday: 10am – 5.30pm
    • (Last admission: 5pm)

    1 November – 28 February

    • Tuesday - Saturday: 9am – 4.30pm
    • Sunday & Monday: 10am – 4.30pm
    • (Last admission: 4pm)

    Open every day, except 24-26 December and 1 January.

    Allow 2-3 hours for your visit.

    1. Tower of London Introduction
    2. Opening Hours
    3. How To Get There
    4. Tickets
    5. Visitor Facilities
    6. Audio Tours and Guidebook
    7. Family Activities
    8. Disabled Access
    9. Unlimited Access to Historic Royal Palaces
    10. Crown Jewels
    Continue to 3 of 10 below.
  • 03 of 10

    How To Get To the Tower of London

    Keep a look out for the actors and their story telling at the Tower of London
    ••• Laura Porter

    Address: Tower of London, London EC3N 4AB

    Telephone number:
    0844 482 7799 (9am-5pm) (from the UK)
    +44 (0)20 3166 6000 (from outside the UK)

    Web: www.hrp.org.uk

    Nearest tube station: Tower Hill.

    Use Journey Planner to plan your route by public transport.

    Buses: 15, 42, 78, 100, and RV1.

    Riverboat: From Charing Cross, Westminster, or Greenwich to Tower Pier.

    See the official site for more transport options.

    1. Tower of London Introduction
    2. Opening Hours
    3. How To Get There
    4. Tickets
    5. Visitor Facilities
    6. Audio Tours and Guidebook
    7. Family Activities
    8. Disabled Access
    9. Unlimited Access to Historic Royal Palaces
    10. Crown Jewels
    Continue to 4 of 10 below.
  • 04 of 10

    Tower of London Tickets

    Tower Green at the Tower of London
    ••• Laura Porter

    You can buy tickets from www.hrp.org.uk but I would recommend The London Pass which includes entrance to the Tower of London. The London Pass gives you access to historic buildings, galleries, museums, and much more - all for one fee. You simply choose the number of days you need your pass and there's even an option to buy a combined pass for London transport too.

    How To Save Money on Tickets to the Tower of London

    You might like to consider booking a Private Walking Tour of the Tower of London and Tower Bridge.

    Can also might like to try the VIP tour with exclusive access...MORE to the Tower of London, St Paul's Cathedral and The Shard.

    1. Tower of London Introduction
    2. Opening Hours
    3. How To Get There
    4. Tickets
    5. Visitor Facilities
    6. Audio Tours and Guidebook
    7. Family Activities
    8. Disabled Access
    9. Unlimited Access to Historic Royal Palaces
    10. Crown Jewels
    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Tower of London Visitor Facilities

    View of Tower Bridge from within the Tower of London
    ••• Laura Porter

    Gift Shops

    You can buy gifts from the five shops at the Tower of London including exclusive products inspired by the Crown Jewels, the Tower, and its residents: the Ravens and the Beefeaters. The Tower Shop is the flagship store by the main entrance so you can shop for souvenirs even when not visiting.

    New Armouries Restaurant

    The New Armouries started life as a storehouse when it was built in 1663 but is now the Tower's main restaurant. The menu covers 1000 years of London history and is a celebration of the capital's rich and diverse food markets. There's self-service Brick Lane counter for quick bites, and Covent Garden where you can watch the chef create your chosen salad, or cheeses and baked treats at Borough Market. Old Billingsgate has hot fish meals and Smithfield has roasts. Leaving Leadenhall with pasta and vegetarian options. Just like London's markets, there's something for everyone including children's meals.

    Apostrohe Kiosk

    Situated on Tower Wharf,...MORE outside of the Tower of London grounds, by the river, the kiosk serves pastries, healthy breakfast bites, gourmet sandwiches, hot beverages and expertly made coffees.

    Currency Exchange

    The Bureau de Change is near the main entrance and is open 10 am – 6 pm in the summer and 10 am – 5 pm in the winter.

    1. Tower of London Introduction
    2. Opening Hours
    3. How To Get There
    4. Tickets
    5. Visitor Facilities
    6. Audio Tours and Guidebook
    7. Family Activities
    8. Disabled Access
    9. Unlimited Access to Historic Royal Palaces
    10. Crown Jewels
    Continue to 6 of 10 below.
  • 06 of 10

    Tower of London Audio Tours and Guidebook

    Yeoman Warder tour at the Tower of London
    ••• Laura Porter

    For a small additional fee, there are four audio guides available in:

    • English
    • French
    • German
    • Italian
    • Japanese
    • Russian
    • Spanish
    • Dutch
    • Portuguese
    • Korean
    • Chinese (Mandarin)
    The Tower of London official guidebook, available from the Tower's shops provides more information on the Crown Jewels and the Tower of London.
    1. Tower of London Introduction
    2. Opening Hours
    3. How To Get There
    4. Tickets
    5. Visitor Facilities
    6. Audio Tours and Guidebook
    7. Family Activities
    8. Disabled Access
    9. Unlimited Access to Historic Royal Palaces
    10. Crown Jewels
    Continue to 7 of 10 below.
  • 07 of 10

    Family Activities at the Tower of London

    Actors entertaining the children visiting the Tower of London
    ••• Laura Porter

    Pick up a leaflet at the Welcome Centre on the daily events taking place during your visit.

    It is suggested that the Tower is suitable for children in strollers, if your child can cope with the bumpy cobblestones. I would actually say the Tower is not suitable for children in strollers as you cannot gain access to a lot of the buildings due to the stairs and narrow walkways. The cobbles also get slippy when wet so warn young children not to run around.

    There are baby-changing facilities in the Brick Tower toilets situated behind the Jewel House.

    Baby food and a special children's lunch box are available in the New Armouries Restaurant.

    In the White Tower, on the third floor (the top) there are lots of interactives for young people to enjoy. Also, look out for the Royal Beasts exhibition where you can discover which exotic animals used to live at the Tower.

    Lost children are usually taken by a Yeoman Warder to the Byward Tower until they can be reunited with their family or group. Do...MORE ensure children understand that if they become lost they should ask a uniformed warder for help.

    Find out more about family activities at the Tower on the official website.

    1. Tower of London Introduction
    2. Opening Hours
    3. How To Get There
    4. Tickets
    5. Visitor Facilities
    6. Audio Tours and Guidebook
    7. Family Activities
    8. Disabled Access
    9. Unlimited Access to Historic Royal Palaces
    10. Crown Jewels
    Continue to 8 of 10 below.
  • 08 of 10

    Tower of London Disabled Visitor Access Information

    Henry VIII's rather surprisingly-shaped armor seen in the White Tower at the Tower of London
    ••• Laura Porter

    The Tower of London is a historic building and has uneven flooring and many stairs. This makes it unsuitable for most wheelchair users. The Jewel House is completely accessible to all visitors, and toilets with easy ramped access are situated behind the Jewel House.

    You can download a copy of the Tower of London Access Guide which is updated regularly.

    Facilities for deaf and hard of hearing visitors:
    Induction loops are provided at various points in the Tower wherever you see the icon. Audio guides can be used with hearing aids that have a T-switch.

     

    Find out more about access at the Tower on the official website.

    1. Tower of London Introduction
    2. Opening Hours
    3. How To Get There
    4. Tickets
    5. Visitor Facilities
    6. Audio Tours and Guidebook
    7. Family Activities
    8. Disabled Access
    9. Unlimited Access to Historic Royal Palaces
    10. Crown Jewels
    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Unlimited Access to Historic Royal Palaces

    Tower of London
    ••• Laura Porter

    You can enjoy unlimited access to five royal palaces by signing up for annual membership. Your admission fee for the Tower of London will be refunded if you buy membership on the day of your visit.

    Historic Royal Palaces manage:

    Your Membership of Historic Royal Palaces will include unlimited entry to all Historic Royal Palaces, plus more discounts and perks.

    1. Tower of London Introduction
    2. Opening Hours
    3. How To Get There
    4. Tickets
    5. Visitor Facilities
    6. Audio Tours and Guidebook
    7. Family Activities
    8. Disabled Access
    9. Unlimited Access to Historic Royal Palaces
    10. Crown Jewels
    Continue to 10 of 10 below.
  • 10 of 10

    Crown Jewels

    Jewel House at the Tower of London
    ••• Laura Porter

    The Tower of London is home to the world famous British Crown Jewels and they have been on display at The Tower since at last 1661. Representing far more than precious stones and gold, the Crown Jewels symbolize hundreds of years of British history and are still a working collection used today at many State occasions.

    In 2012, for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, the Crown Jewels were re-presented and newly restored footage of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation on 2 June 1953 is now shown in the introductory exhibition in the Jewel House.

    The jewels include the largest top-quality cut diamond in the world (530 carats), the Cullinan I (Great Star of Africa), which sits on top of the Queen's Sceptre.

    The oldest piece in the collection is the silver gilt medieval coronation spoon, displayed alongside the ampulla. It was probably made for Henry II or Richard I in the 12th century and is the only piece of royal goldsmith’s work to have survived.

    Probably the most famous diamond in the...MORE world is the Koh-i-Nûr (Mountain of Light). It weighs 105.6 carats and currently sits in the crown of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, which was made in 1937 for the coronation of George VI and has 2800 diamonds. Legend has it that it will only bring luck to women and it was said that whoever owned it would rule the world.

    The only crown allowed to leave the country is the Imperial Crown of India. Set with more than 6000 diamonds, it was made especially for the Delhi Durbar in 1911 when George V was crowned Emperor of India.

    So far, there has only ever been one attempt to steal the Crown Jewels - by Colonel Blood in 1671 and yes, he failed.

    As you would expect, the Crown Jewels are priceless.

    1. Tower of London Introduction
    2. Opening Hours
    3. How To Get There
    4. Tickets
    5. Visitor Facilities
    6. Audio Tours and Guidebook
    7. Family Activities
    8. Disabled Access
    9. Unlimited Access to Historic Royal Palaces
    10. Crown Jewels