Tower of London, London

4.5 out of 5 stars 505 Reviews

Tower Hill, EC3 0 20 7709 0765

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  • No one there at 9:00 a.m
    No one there at 9:00 a.m
    by jlanza29
  • White Tower
    White Tower
    by jlanza29
  • We had the whole Tower to ourselves  at 9:00 a.m
    We had the whole Tower to ourselves at...
    by jlanza29
  • EasyMalc's Profile Photo

    Blood swept land and sea of red

    by EasyMalc Updated Nov 9, 2014

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is my first ever tip on London and I think it’s a good place to start. Not only is the Tower of London an iconic landmark it also has a temporary art installation that has captured the imagination of people from far and wide.
    As everyone knows the ‘War to end all Wars’ began a hundred years ago and Armistice Day in the UK this year has taken on a special meaning, and to mark the occasion the moat around the Tower of London has been covered with ceramic poppies.
    The ‘Blood Swept Land and Seas of Red’ creator is Paul Cummins with assistance from designer Tom Piper. The first poppy was planted in July 2014 and is due to finish on 11th November - Armistice Day. In actual fact it’s been so successful that an agreement has been reached where some of the poppies will remain here until the end of the month.
    The project involves selling the ceramic poppies for £25 each with the proceeds going to service charities.
    888,246 poppies have now been bought and planted around the moat - representing the number of British and Commonwealth fatalities during that horrendous war.
    It’s estimated that some 4 million people have visited this poignant artwork, and when I was here a couple of weeks ago I can tell you that although it was busy the crowd of people were very respectful. It has that sort of effect.
    The ceramic poppies are hand made in Cummins’ factory in Derbyshire where the unknown man who coined the words of the installation came from. In his will he wrote the words “ The blood swept land and seas of red, where angels fear to tread”
    If you are able to still make it here before it all disappears make sure that you look out for the ‘Weeping Willow’ and ‘The Wave’ which represents the ‘River of Red’
    I can’t think of a better introduction to London. It encompasses everything that the city represents from historical monuments, crowds, the art of queuing, modern art and respect for the past.
    Phew!

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    Poppies @ Tower of London Part 2

    by Galaxy31 Updated Nov 8, 2014

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    I have been following the installation of the poppies at Tower of London since they have started back in July.
    The installation it’s called Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red and it’s the work of ceramic artist Paul Cummins.
    There will be 888,246 ceramic poppies installed all around the moat of the castle with every poppy represents the loss of life of each British and Commonwealth death during WW1.
    I have seen it grown over the months with regular fortnight or weekly visits but the last couple of weeks it has been extremely busy as it gets near to the date of the removal of the installation. By the Traitors Gate the poppies are floating because of the tide of the Thames.
    I have visited last weekend at 7.00a.m and it was busy but not as busy as it was during the day and this week I went at 10.30pm and again it was busy.
    The installation will be extended until the end of November so more visitors can see these amazing and memorable
    Exhibition and reflect our minds back those people that they have lost their lives during the WW1.

    http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/p/m/23dd5c/

    Remembered Poppies @ nighttime Poppies @ Tower of London Poppies @ Tower of London Floating poppies @ Tower of London
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    Poppies at Tower of London Part 1

    by Galaxy31 Updated Nov 8, 2014

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    In the moat of Tower of London are hundreds of volunteers helping to plant the red poppies to commemorate the 100 anniversary of the start of the First World War.
    The display of 888,246 is called Blood swept lands and seas of red and each poppy represent each of the British and Commonwealth military person that died in World War 1.
    Each poppy has been designed by ceramic artist Paul Cummings and stage designer Tom Pipper and they will go for sale at £25 each after the 11th of November when the display is complete to raise money for different military charities.
    The first two pictures I have taken them 2 days after they have started plantning the poppies.
    I will keep updating the page with more pictures as time goes.

    Poppies at Tower of London Poppies at Tower of London Poppies at Tower of London Poppies at Tower of London Poppies at Tower of London
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    Tower of London

    by Khamsangla Written Nov 7, 2014

    The Tower of London was built by William the Conquerer and is a fortress on the banks of the Thames River. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is symbolic of the British royalty. The tower contains the crown jewels of England. The fortress has many aspects but was used mostly for royal prisoners. Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth I and Thomas More were all tried and imprisoned here. There is a dungeon, motes, the white tower, and beefeaters guarding the entrance. It is a n afternoon well spent. crowds are inevitable as it is one of the main tourist attractions in London.

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    Still magical after 1,000 years

    by jlanza29 Written Oct 15, 2014

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    The Tower of London is one of those places on earth that no matter how many times you have walked by it or been it …. it still remains a mystical and magical place of interest.

    Come early as soon as the gates open and you will have the entire Tower to yourself. We arrived at 9:00 a.m and were literally the first ones in when they opened the gates … if you come 1 hour later your fighting with tons, and tons of people trying to see the sites inside.

    The guards dress in there old uniforms are friendly and willing to answer all and any questions.

    The Magical "Crown jewels" of the British Monarchs are held here and since we were the first ones in we were able to see them up close and personal for minutes without the crowds.

    You can literally spend an entire day here …. we got here at 9:00 am and left at noon ….

    A must do for any tourist or traveler coming to London.

    I would also recommend buying the entrance tickets online … helps you skip the massive lines that form to get tickets. You print your tickets out approach the group desk as indicated on your print out and they give you the formal entrance ticket and off into the Tower you go.

    Cost is a bit steep 20 pounds … about $32 US … but it is well worth it !!!!

    No one there at 9:00 a.m We had the whole Tower to ourselves  at 9:00 a.m Beautiful Uniforms worn by the Tower Guards White Tower

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    Tower Poppies

    by Lennyx Written Sep 16, 2014

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    Never will you see such growing art: The first time i saw it the poppies only surrounded the Tower. But now they've grow wild and spread beyond the edges to the fields. But it'll all be plucked out by the 11th of November. A tourist delight.

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    Tower of London

    by Drever Written Apr 28, 2014

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    The Tower of London dates from Roman times. The present building contains nearly 1,000 years of history within its forbidding walls. One of the most popular tourist attractions in England, it is according to paranormal experts the most haunted location in the world.

    The Tower holds the royal gems because it's still one of the royal palaces, although no monarch since Henry VII has called it home. Its most renowned role has been as a jail and place of torture and execution. The Tower has been the site of bloody events ranging from famous beheadings to the murders of two royal family teenage boys. The last executions being from the early 1940s of WWII German-Nazi spies.

    The closest Tube station is Tower Hill only a short walk away. The ticket booths sit across from the entrance. Once you pass through the entrance there is a sign displaying when the next tour starts. Allow at least three to four hours at a minimum to tour this tower.

    The 39 Yeoman Warders, known as Beefeaters, conduct the tours. Resplendent in navy-and-red Tudor outfits, these are ex-soldiers with a gift for storytelling. Beefeaters have been guarding the Tower since Henry VII appointed them in 1485. One of them, the Yeoman Raven master, is responsible for making life comfortable for the Tower ravens (six birds plus reserves) - an important duty, because if the ravens were to desert the Tower, goes the legend, the kingdom would fall. Today, the Tower takes no chances and clips the raven’s wings.

    In prime position stand the oldest part of the Tower and the most prominent of the buildings, the White Tower. William the Conqueror began this central keep in 1078. Henry III (1207-72) had it whitewashed, which is where the name comes from. Here are the Royal Armouries, with a collection of arms and armour. Henry VIII armour shows his massive size.

    The Chapel of St. John the Evangelist, downstairs from the Armouries, is an example of 11th-century Norman style - rare, simple, and beautiful.

    Across the moat, Traitors' Gate lies to the right - a forbidding entrance through which many prisoners saw the last of the outside world. Opposite Traitors' Gate is the former Garden Tower, better known since about 1570 as the Bloody Tower. Its name comes from one of the most famous unsolved murders in history, the saga of the "little princes in the Tower." In 1483 their uncle, Richard of Gloucester, left the uncrowned boy king, Edward V, and his brother Richard here after the death of their father, Edward IV. He had himself crowned Richard III, but in 1674 workers discovered two little skeletons identified as the princes under the stairs to the White Tower.

    On Tower Green only the high-ranking qualified for beheaded in the peace and seclusion here instead of before the mob at Tower Hill. Only seven people qualified - among them Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, wives two and five of Henry VIII's six; Elizabeth I's friend Robert Devereux, earl of Essex; and the nine-day queen, Lady Jane Grey, age 17.

    The little chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula the second church on the site conceals the remains of some 2,000 people executed at the Tower, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard among them. Queen Victoria ordered that their remains be given a Christian burial here.

    The most famous displays are the Crown Jewels in the jewel house located in the Waterloo Barracks in the Inner Ward. Before you see them, you view a short film that includes scenes from Elizabeth II's 1953 coronation. Then standing on a conveyor belt, you pass a series of jewels their sparkle increased by special lighting. Each carries a brief history of the crown jewels. You can also see Charles II and Mary II coronation balls, 4 of the Consort's sceptres and several spectacular and priceless diamonds, including the largest in the world, the First Star of Africa, which weighs over 530 carats.

    Although I had visited the Tower many years ago it on this occasion entranced me once again. The Beefeaters are a star act and most of the history of England is contained within these walls. No wonder it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in England.

    Beefeater addressing a crowd Traitor's Gate White Tower Tower Green where beheadings took place
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    Tower of London

    by Dabs Updated Apr 23, 2014

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    Last visit April 2014, got 2 for 1 entry with a valid travelcard

    The Tower of London is my #1 must see attraction, I have visited at least 7 times now on different trips to London and still find it fascinating. The Tower has a long, intriguing, sometimes bloody history, full of colorful characters from the 9 day Queen Jane Grey, the two Princes killed and buried in the Tower by their evil uncle, King Henry VIII and his 6 wives, two of which were beheaded inside it's walls.

    While I've always had good luck arriving first thing in the morning before the crowds arrive, on my last visit we got there around 1:30pm on a Thursday and no ticket line and no line for the crown jewels. You want to make sure you have a good weather day as much of the visit is outdoors. On our visit in June 2013 we got there around 10:30am on a Monday, there was a 10-15 minute line to get tickets and no line to see the Crown Jewels, not even later in the day which is not my usual experience. I still like to go see them first just in case the lines grow later in the day so you can spend as much time gawking at the baubles as you please. I then double back to the entrance and take one of the amusing and informative beefeater tours, not to be missed. That was also crowded but the beefeaters have loud voices. If you are not engaged in the 1st few minutes, you might think about coming back for a different guide, I've had some really great ones and some that were just OK.

    Several of the buildings are open to visitors, the White Tower has the armoury and the Hands on History Exhibit which is an interactive section for kids, you can walk along the walls and visit some of the towers, visit the Medieval Palace and check out the ravens, legend has it that the kingdom would fall if the ravens ever left so they've ensured a few stick around by clipping their wings and having understudies!

    Be sure to check out the visit planner on the attached website and check to see if there's anything special going on while you are there, we almost missed the siege weapons demostration in the moat that is exclusive to the summertime and only performed a couple of times during the day. Budget at least 4-5 hours here, 3 hours was not enough as the beefeater tour alone is an hour. I've eaten lunch here a couple of time but you can also bring a picnic lunch as they food here is just OK.

    White Tower Lines for the Jewel Tower Tommy takes aim Siege weapons Raven
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  • Empty in December

    by jimmysheva Written Apr 21, 2014

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    Went there in December 2011 and it was empty! We arrived around 11 AM and there were only two other people in front of us at the ticket office. We had 2 for 1 from National Rail so it was cheap. We went to the White Tower, there were hardly anyone there. After lunch we went to the Crown Jewels, again, no queue. It was just us and 2 other couples in the room. We then just explored the grounds, saw the ravens, sat on the benches. I don't think I can ever go in the summer again.

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    The Tower

    by Balam Updated Mar 18, 2014

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    Visited the Tower of London On My Birthday in 2013, You have to buy your tickets from the Ticket offices on Tower Hill before you go into the Tower of london. You can spend hours here just looking around this fantastic historic place!

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    Tower of London

    by antistar Updated Jan 23, 2014

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    It was a hated symbol of oppression. The invading Normans in 1066 wanted rapid subjugation of the newly conquered English and set about their own "shock and awe" strategy, with what some have described as the greatest programme of castle building in history. The Tower of London was the Norman rock in the English capital - a place of security and residence. A place to collect taxes from the lucrative harbour town.

    It's not a beautiful building. It was never intended to be. It's grim, sheer curtain wall has stern loopholes that stare impassively out. The bastions are solid fists planted into the English earth. The castle itself, deep behind impenetrable defences, is coldly symmetric. It's a building that easily feeds into the myth of the wronged noble, locked away on the whim of a capricious monarch, to be tortured in the dungeon for the whereabouts of Catholic spies, before being executed for treason. In truth few were tortured or executed here.

    It's a place of enormous importance in British history. Fought over repeatedly it has often been seen as the key to holding the country. It's been the home of many royal families, before notoriously become a home of a different kind to two Tudor Princes. In a story that has been told and dramatized many times over the centuries, King Richard III had his rivals to the throne held in the tower and then murdered. Their bones were discovered in the White Tower nearly two centuries after their disappearance.

    Today the Tower of London is a much happier place, with its mythology and reputation drawing in tourists by the busload, none daunted by the steep price of entry. For over 21 pounds the visitors gets access to the entire castle, seeing the Beefeaters, the ravens, the Crown Jewels, the torture chamber and the White Tower. It's all very touristy, there are often huge queues, but it's probably the highlight of many visitors' trip to London.

    Tower of London

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    Tower of London

    by sparkieplug24 Written Dec 25, 2013

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    Tower of London is one of the most Iconic buildings in London. Its the place where many famous historical figures where held prisoner on the command of the Royals and where many executions took place.

    The tower is a Royal castle/palace and is where the crown jewels are kept. You will not be allowed to film or take pictures of the crown jewels and they are very strict about this.

    The tower is where you will find the beefeaters and although many think of them as a tourist attaction they are far more than that they are the protectors of the tower and of the crown jewels.

    The beefeaters also conduct tours through out the day telling the history of the tower. You can also for an extra charge higher audio guides these were very good.

    Tower of London Emma with one of the famous Beefeaters
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    Executions at the Tower

    by GrantBoone Updated Nov 12, 2013

    From the Tower of London at Tower Hill Station ,come off the viewing platform and turn left ahead is the monument for the merchant seaman lost in the two world wars, walk through and just ahead is a small plaque on the pavement showing the location of the scaffold where many executions took place , including those of Ann Boleyn, Guy Fawkes, Lady Jane Gray, Thomas More.

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    White Tower - The Line of Kings.

    by breughel Updated Nov 9, 2013

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    White Tower - The Line of Kings.
    This gallery of 10 wooden horses from about 1690 belongs to a display of Kings in armour mounted on these carved horses.
    The Line of Kings as it is called started with 10 figures to which during the centuries were added more monarchs. The heads of the monarchs were sculptured; the figures were dressed with armours and seated on the life size sculptured horses.

    The Line of Kings was on display in the New Armouries of the Tower already in the 17th c.
    Ten of the wooden horses have been brought together and restored but without the Kings in armour. Each horse has the armour of the corresponding King alongside the wall and the names of the monarchs are displayed on the red banners above each horse.
    It seems that replicas in fiberglass of the armours will be made. The helmets will contain the original carved and painted heads of the Kings so that they will appear like they were on display around 1800
    It's very special and I think unique.

    The Line of Kings - the horses.
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    Royal Menagerie.

    by breughel Updated Nov 9, 2013

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    Royal Menagerie.
    There were not only heraldic lions at the Tower of London but also real ones!
    In 1251 King Henry III was keeping a polar bear. There were leopards and even an elephant. Later there were six lions kept in a barbican called Lion Tower. The royal collection was increased by diplomatic gifts and became a public attraction during the reign of Elizabeth I.
    Begin of the 19th c. the menagerie was open to the public at six pence the entry.
    On a board of the Royal Beasts exhibition in the newly-opened Brick Tower, is written that visitors bringing a live dog or cat to feed the beasts would not pay the entry. Should we believe this?!
    There was even a Monkey Room with monkeys living in a furnished room to amuse the visitors. In 1831 the 32 animals were moved to the zoo of Regents Park.
    This 6 centuries old Menagerie explains why there are a number of animal sculptures at the Tower.

    Come and visit the Royal Menagerie! Heraldic lion and unicorn.
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