The Tower of London was built by William, the Conqueror close to the end of 1066. It has been used as a royal residence, an armoury, a zoo, a treasury, the Royal Mint, and also as a home to the Crown Jewels. The Tower is regarded as one of Britain’s top attractions and a must-visit. It will be a great idea to know more about the history of the Tower before embarking on this ride. Be sure to check the White Tower, one of the oldest and most enigmatic structures here. The Ravens have also been a part of the Tower for hundreds of years. Legend has it that if the ravens leave the Tower, the White Tower will get destroyed and England will face a huge disaster. On the far side of the White Tower is the Bloody Tower which has a gruesome history of murders of uncrowned King Edward V, and his brother Richard.
The highlights of the Tower of London tour are exploring the Crown Jewels which features an enviable collection of ceremonial objects, crowns, and more. Considered the Royal Palace, a secure fortress, a prison, execution place, arsenal, mint, and much more, the Tower is a place that has witnessed some of the biggest and the greatest events in British history.
It is a great idea to book tickets for the Tower of London online as it will prevent you from the hassle of queues. When you book online tickets, you can also avail of discounts and deals on them. In order to ensure a smooth slot at a time when you want to visit, booking in advance via the online method is best.
The first and foremost part of the Tower known as the White Tower was constructed in 1070 by William the Conqueror as a means to establish footage and strength. The invader was wary of people as he believed he would be thrown by the inhabitants which prompted him to make the tower. By 1285, the White Tower was encircled by two walls with towers and a moat. The Tower was also used as a prison to hold overthrown monarchs and common criminals. Lady Jane Grey in the 16th century, princes Edward and Richard, sons of Edward IV, and Henry VIII's wives Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard are some of the famous people who were prisoners here. The Tower of London also is known for housing the Crown Jewels also the Tower was used as a repository of royal treasures that began back in 1303.
The Tower of London will be one of the best ventures to explore when in London. It is spread across a vast stretch of 18 acres with several interesting stories and history that can be unraveled. You can begin by visiting the White Tower to see the Crown Jewels on the display. The ravens with clipped wings also have an interesting tale behind them. When you get hungry visiting all the interesting zones here, there is also a restaurant for some refreshing beverages and meals. What makes it even more interesting is that the UNESCO World Heritage site is also home to close to 40 retired service personnel and their family.
One of the biggest highlights of the Tower of London is the Jewel House. This part of the Tower boasts a glistening collection of 23,578 gemstones that make the Crown Jewels. There are armed Royal guards in the Jewel House protecting the rich heritage of the royal family. The royal insignia collection is still used by The Queen for important ceremonies. Those pieces of Jewellery that are currently in use are marked ‘in use’. Even the illustrious diamond Kohinoor is placed in the Jewel House.
Head later to one of the most fascinating exhibitions showcasing the tournament armour worn by Henry VIII and the gilded armour of Charles I and James II. The Line Of Kings Exhibition is located in the White Tower and is home to unique and skillfully crafted pieces made by both common soldiers as well as noblemen. If you are a seeker of the wisdom of history and unimaginable interesting stories then this exhibit will open your windows towards ancient and age-old craftsmanship.
When the Tower of London was constructed, the White Tower was the first structure to be uprooted. Without a doubt, it is one of the most famous castles in the world and has stories of awe and fear in equal measures associated with it. The innards of the Tower have a Chapel that is dedicated to St.John, the Evangelist. It also is home to the Royal Armouries collection with other age-old valuable treasures and more.
The Yeoman Warder also called the Beefeaters are the ceremonial guards who have been protecting the Tower of London for ages. The best part of taking the tour is to engage with their warm and funny demeanour while sinking into the interesting facts and history they share. The guided tour with the ceremonial guards is free of cost and hence a good step to take.
For centuries it is believed that the ravens form an important part of the Tower’s mythos and beliefs. They are known as the guardians of the Tower and it is believed that there are 6 ravens present in the Tower. It is also said that the wings of the ravens are clipped so that they do not fly off as a disaster may befall England. The current 6 ravens present are called Jubilee, Gripp, Harris, Erin, Rocky, Merlina, and Poppy.
The Tour also houses a Royal zoo which used to be home to several exotic animals such as the Polar Bear Lion, Elephants, alligators, and many others. The Zoo is no longer a part of the Tower but this exhibit will be an interesting one as it allows you to check out the sights and sounds of the animals with the interactive tech-oriented display.
Location - The Tower of London is located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London.
Timings - The opening days and hours will always vary.
01 June to 18 September: Daily: 09.00-17.30. Last timeslot: 16.00 - 16.30.
19 September to 31 October Daily: Mondays and Sundays: 10.00-17.30. Last admission: 16.30. Tuesday - Saturday: 09.00-17.30. Last admission: 16.30.
Best time to visit:
The best time to visit is surely on a weekday, yet it still gets crowded if you arrive later. Hence it is best to arrive early in the morning or later in the afternoon.
How to reach:
By Car: The Tower of London is 2.7 miles away from London City Center and is easily accessible by car. If you drive your own car or take a cab, you can reach there in 20 minutes.
By Metro: If you decided to tread via metro, then the Location is only 1.2 miles away from London Bridge Mainline station. This will take approximately 14 minutes via cab or private car. Then you can find a train that runs from London Bridge to London Cannon street every 6 minutes.
Gift Shops - You can take back gifts and souvenirs that represent the different elements of the Tower. Some of the shops include Beefeater Shop, White Tower Shop, Jewel House Shop, and Ravens Shop.
Audio Tour - If you want to gain better insights into the Tower of London, an audio-guided tour also is a great way to go. You can get stories from Mediaeval Place to executions. You can also book audiobooks when you buy the ticket.
Restaurants - If you love feasting on a delectable English meal then head straight to New Armouries Cafe. Their menu is extensive and has everything under the sun to satiate your hunger. If you are not up for a full meal and want to have snacks on the go, then you could explore a good range of gourmet sausages and more.
**Free Wi-Fi **- Visitors can access unlimited free Wi-Fi when in the Tower.
If you choose to visit every part of the Tower of London, then it will surely take a good 4 hours.
The best time to visit the Tower of London is on a weekday and in the morning or afternoon hours.
The Tower is close to 925 years old and was established in 1097.
There are some very good experiences near the Tower of London that include, The London Dungeon, London Eye, Sea Life London Aquarium, Houses of Parliament, Tate Modern, Tower Bridge, and many more.
The White Tower has on display the historic Royal Armouries collections that also include the 350-year-old exhibition, Line of Kings, and other treasures. There also are other unique armors on display that include Henry VIII, Charles I, and James II.