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Tower of London Tips (521)

TOWER OF LONDON

Designated as a World Heritage site in the 1980s and located next to the Thames and Tower Bridge, it is home to the British "crown jewels" and has plenty of history attached to it. Many people were executed or held prisoner here. One famous story of 'the Princes in the Tower' is about the sons and heirs of Edward IV who were imprisoned here and then mysteriously disappeared, conveniently handing the thrown to their uncle, Richard III. Others include more than one of Henry VIII's wives and Guy Fawkes, the leader of the failed "Gunpowder Plot" to blow up the Houses of Parliament.
The oldest building in the Tower complex is the White Tower which dominates the view and dates from 1097. The crown jewels (or Coronation Regalia) are located in the Jewel House and include the Sceptre which holds the biggest diamond in the world the "First Star of Africa".
Look out for the 'beefeaters' (officially Yeoman Warders) around the tower, you can't miss them due to their unusual red uniform. They are all ex military of Commonwealth countries who actually have residences within the tower. Originally they were there to guard prisoners and the protect the Crown Jewels but their roles are largely ceremonial and they conduct guided tours.

To avoid queues in high season you can pre-purchase tickets from the website.

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hevbell
Sep 22, 2016

Tower of London

The Tower of London was one of my "Must See" items on my trip to England, and for good reason! The location is steeped in history (and mystery).

My adult admission was $BP 25 (about US $31), and I thought it was worth every penny. I was there for about 3 hours, and could have stayed longer if I didn't have an evening appointment with Harry Potter...

Built by William the Conqueror in 1066 (!), and still it stands - that just blows my mind! There is much to see and do on the grounds - the Yeoman Warders offer a free tour each half-hour, which I HIGHLY recommend, as it was educational, and entertaining. They played to the kids in our group, and it was fun. England's Crown Jewels are housed here, the viewing of which is included in your ticket - for me, this alone was worth the price of admission. There are exhibits of armor (see how much Henry VIII "grew" as he aged), and instruments of torture (might be too gruesome for the young ones). You can view the site where Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard, and Lady Jane Grey, amongst others, were put to death by order of the King. and more. So much more.


http://www.hrp.org.uk/tower-of-london/#gs.stqEMKs

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TravellerMel
Sep 19, 2016

Expensive but shouldn't be missed

With some 2.7 million visitors in 2015, the Tower of London is the most visited paid for attraction in the UK. It goes without saying therefore that a bit of planning before going there will help the visit go more smoothly.
Timing is always important of course but with a steep entry price of £25 to get in for a full adult fare (Apr 2016), it pays to find out if you can reduce your admission costs. If, like me, you travel to London by train, then you can check out the 2for1 London offers available to passengers here https://www.daysoutguide.co.uk/tower-of-london. The offers are not always the same but if you’re lucky you may well find that the Tower of London is on the list. The 2for1 offer is on the full adult fare and not concessions, even if you’re eligible. There are also small reductions on the Tower of London website if you book in advance.
It’s worth considering a membership to the ‘Historic Royal Palaces’ which also covers Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, the Banqueting House and Kew Palace (Kew Gardens are not included). The individual cost is as low as £38 a year for a Direct Debit membership. Definitely worth considering if you intend visiting these places.
Getting to the Tower is pretty straightforward. Tower Hill Tube station is just across the road. For those who are interested in these sort of things, the site of The Scaffold can be seen on Tower Hill, so you may want to check it out before crossing the busy road to the Tower. There were only 7 executions inside the Tower and 125 on Tower Hill.
After crossing the road, the Welcome Centre where you buy your tickets, is on the right hand side and the entrance to the Tower is usually through the West Gate, but not always. It’ll be well signposted in any case.
After entering the Tower you may want to consider going on one of the popular ‘Yeoman Warder’ tours. They run every half an hour and last about an hour. I’m not usually one to go on guided tours but I’d make an exception for one of these. Not only are they a part of the image, but they’re also very informative and highly entertaining - just don’t call them ‘Beefeaters’.
There are no hidden extra costs after buying your ticket and photography is permitted except in the Crown Jewels, the Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincula, the Martin Tower and the Chapel of St. John inside the White Tower.
To see most of the things there are to see I suggest that you allow at least 3 hours. Ok. It can be expensive to visit, but if you’re not likely to get another chance, it’s still worth biting the bullet, especially if you can find an offer that trims the admission price.

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EasyMalc
Apr 25, 2016

Blood Swept Land and Sea of Red

To commemorate the centenary of Armistice Day the Tower of London created an art installation called ‘Blood Swept Land and Seas of Red’.
The moat around the tower was covered with 888,246 ceramic poppies, one for each of the British and Commonwealth personnel who were killed in the First World War.
The first poppy was laid on 17th July 2014 with the last one being ‘planted’ on Nov 11th, exactly 100 years after the end of the ‘War to end Wars’.
The creator was Paul Cummins with assistance from designer Tom Piper, and the idea was to sell all the poppies for £25 each with the proceeds going to service charities. The poppies were 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”.
The installation was an outstanding success with every poppy being sold and millions of pounds raised for the charities.
Millions of people came to see it and pay their respects, and I for one won’t forget the ‘Blood Swept Land and Seas of Red’.

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EasyMalc
Feb 18, 2016
 
 
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Must see!

The main attraction in London. It is not cheap, especially compared to free museums, but it offers an amazing experience and literally trip to London`s past. There are a lot to see, do not even think about spending there less than 2 hours. Do not miss Crown Jewels and the gorgeous ravens of Tower, which keep the British Monarchy. Be careful with them, they bite.

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jpeter
Jan 27, 2016

Explore London with your Oyster Card

There are several tourist companies that offer busses which the tourist can hop-on and hop-off. these are designed to take the tourist from one tourist sight to another BUT they are quite costly, and a little bit restrictive.

A BETTER OPTION is to get yourself an Oyster Card, and use the local busses. Here are 3 routes that will enable a keen tourist to see most of Central London's major tourist attractions at a fraction of the price charged by the tour companies, and you will have the chance to meet real Londoners.

Route 9:

Kensington Olympia - High Street Kensington - Kensington Palace - Kensington Gardens - Royal Albert Hall - Exhibition Road (short walk to the V&A and science Museums)Hyde Park - Knightsbridge/ Harrods - Hyde Park Corner - Green Park - St James Palace - Trafalgar Square - Bedford Street (for Covent Garden

Route 15:

Bedford Street (for Covent Garden) - Royal Courts of Justice - Inns of Court - St Pauls Cathedral - Monument - Tower of London

Route 148:

Holland Park - Notting Hill Gate (for Portobello) - Kensington Gardens - Hyde Park - Marble Arch - Park Lane - Hyde Park Corner (short walk to Buckingham Palace) - Victoria Station - Westminster Cathedral - Westminster Abbey - Houses of Parliament - Westminster Bridge - Lambeth Palace - London Eye/ Southbank attractions - Imperial war Museum

These 3 routes should get you into the swing of London and using its frequent busses. Note that the British Museum and Madame Tussaud's have not been included, but now that you have got the hang of London's busses, you will easily find your own way there!

Get more information from: https://tfl.gov.uk/

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ADAMYAMEY
Jan 11, 2016

Poppy Flower at London

I was in London from 31st Oct 2014 to 10th Nov 2014. I go to many places in London. And im so lucky that during my visit, i have experienced to see the stunning sea of red poppy at Tower of London.

888,246 poppies pour like blood from The Tower of London to remember the fallen soldiers of WWI.Poppies are a symbol used to convey sleep, peace and death. This has to do with the sleep-inducing opium that can be derived from the poppy flower, as well as their deadly blood-red coloring. Poppies also represent remembrance of a passed loved one and have been used in funerals since the Roman Era, and likely well before.

The flowers for this event were are not all planted, or rather placed, at once. Instead the first flower was planted on its own day, and each day thereafter the collection of ceramic red flowers continued to grow.

The red ceramic flowers are placed around the castle’s well-known dry moat by a group of 8,000 unpaid volunteers.

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Antashaa
Sep 10, 2015

YOU ONLY PASS THROUGH THIS GATE ONCE

Edward I built the gate which provided an entrance to the tower via the water. St. Thomas's Tower provided extra accommodation for the Royal Family, but since 1544 the gate has been known as Traitor's Gate as prisoners were brought along the river by barge and sometimes the heads of prisoners were displayed on pikes.

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davidjo
Aug 25, 2015
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sue_stone

"My Current Home"
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Mariajoy

"Maybe it's Because I'm A Londoner...."
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Regina1965

"LONDON"
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sourbugger

"Gor Blimey guv'ner...you'r having a larf......"
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toonsarah

"Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner ..."
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White Tower, Main Palace of Tower of London (4)

final part of my white tower pictures mainly of the cannons and mortars on display at the basement.

THe White Tower was the original structure that was made by William the Conqueror in 1070 AD which was initially a wooden structure and then became a stone palace and fortress in 1100 AD where Its primary function was to serve as a fortress but it was also designed to provide the king with royal accommodation for his occasional use and to provide the setting for both ceremonial and government functions of which the basement became a dungeon for famous prisoners and the upeer floors served as quarters for the Royals and the Saint John Chapel (the only area where pictures are not allowed) . At Present, the tower serves as a musuem where you can see various armaments and battlefield weapons which was used by the English during the medieval times up to the Victorian era such as Knights Armor, Lances, Pistols and Flintlock Rifles, assorted cannons and mortars and various royal insignias. Going Inside is via a makeshift staircase and you have to walk to the various upper levels where the various exibhitions or armaments are located and walk 6 floors going down a narrow and winding stone stairs down. There is also a souvenir shop at the exit area.

Opens: 9:00 am to 5:30 pm everyday

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machomikemd
Jul 30, 2015

White Tower, Main Palace of Tower of London (3)

part three of my white tower tips with more pictures inside, excudling the chapel where no photos are allowed.

THe White Tower was the original structure that was made by William the Conqueror in 1070 AD which was initially a wooden structure and then became a stone palace and fortress in 1100 AD where Its primary function was to serve as a fortress but it was also designed to provide the king with royal accommodation for his occasional use and to provide the setting for both ceremonial and government functions of which the basement became a dungeon for famous prisoners and the upeer floors served as quarters for the Royals and the Saint John Chapel (the only area where pictures are not allowed) . At Present, the tower serves as a musuem where you can see various armaments and battlefield weapons which was used by the English during the medieval times up to the Victorian era such as Knights Armor, Lances, Pistols and Flintlock Rifles, assorted cannons and mortars and various royal insignias. Going Inside is via a makeshift staircase and you have to walk to the various upper levels where the various exibhitions or armaments are located and walk 6 floors going down a narrow and winding stone stairs down. There is also a souvenir shop at the exit area.

Opens: 9:00 am to 5:30 pm everyday

machomikemd's Profile Photo
machomikemd
Jul 30, 2015

White Tower, Main Palace of Tower of London (2)

part two of my white tower tips with more pictures inside.

THe White Tower was the original structure that was made by William the Conqueror in 1070 AD which was initially a wooden structure and then became a stone palace and fortress in 1100 AD where Its primary function was to serve as a fortress but it was also designed to provide the king with royal accommodation for his occasional use and to provide the setting for both ceremonial and government functions of which the basement became a dungeon for famous prisoners and the upeer floors served as quarters for the Royals and the Saint John Chapel (the only area where pictures are not allowed) . At Present, the tower serves as a musuem where you can see various armaments and battlefield weapons which was used by the English during the medieval times up to the Victorian era such as Knights Armor, Lances, Pistols and Flintlock Rifles, assorted cannons and mortars and various royal insignias. Going Inside is via a makeshift staircase and you have to walk to the various upper levels where the various exibhitions or armaments are located and walk 6 floors going down a narrow and winding stone stairs down. There is also a souvenir shop at the exit area.

Opens: 9:00 am to 5:30 pm everyday

machomikemd's Profile Photo
machomikemd
Jul 30, 2015

White Tower, Main Palace of Tower of London (1)

THe White Tower was the original structure that was made by William the Conqueror in 1070 AD which was initially a wooden structure and then became a stone palace and fortress in 1100 AD where Its primary function was to serve as a fortress but it was also designed to provide the king with royal accommodation for his occasional use and to provide the setting for both ceremonial and government functions of which the basement became a dungeon for famous prisoners and the upeer floors served as quarters for the Royals and the Saint John Chapel (the only area where pictures are not allowed) . At Present, the tower serves as a musuem where you can see various armaments and battlefield weapons which was used by the English during the medieval times up to the Victorian era such as Knights Armor, Lances, Pistols and Flintlock Rifles, assorted cannons and mortars and various royal insignias. Going Inside is via a makeshift staircase and you have to walk to the various upper levels where the various exibhitions or armaments are located and walk 6 floors going down a narrow and winding stone stairs down. There is also a souvenir shop at the exit area.

Opens: 9:00 am to 5:30 pm everyday

machomikemd's Profile Photo
machomikemd
Jul 30, 2015

Things To Do Near Tower of London

Things to do

St. Katharine Docks

I have never been to a course at this cookery school but include it here in case a reader of these pages on London wishes to see details of a place you can learn the art of cooking at. The course are...
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Things to do

Tower Bridge

Definitely one of Londons most recognisable sights it crosses the river Thames between the Tower of London and the Southbank promenade. Since the early 1980s it has been possible to access the upper...
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Things to do

All Hallows by Tower Church

At the All Hallows by the Tower church is the Museum in the Crypt. If you have read my tip on the All Hallows by the Tower then I just came in from the street after seeing a sign "The church is open -...
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Things to do

The Dickens Inn

With all the flowers at the balconies The Dickens Inn is not a chalet from Tyrol like some tourists from the old continent might think but a genuine wooden warehouse building that stood on a Thames...
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Things to do

Hays Galleria

That's a lovely place to spend a while. It's situated by the River Thames and is near the London Bridge station. You'll find some great shops, stalls and eateries... The wonderful roof construction...
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Things to do

HMS Belfast

The Thames River has many permanently docked boats and ships of whatever size that is either a museum, a private area for parties or a dining place, and one of the more popular Ships permanently...
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Getting to Tower of London

Address

St Katharine's & Wapping, London EC3N 4AB

Hours

  • Sunday 09:00 to 17:30
  • Monday 09:00 to 17:30
  • Tuesday 09:00 to 17:30
  • Wednesday 09:00 to 17:30
  • Thursday 09:00 to 17:30
  • Friday 09:00 to 17:30
  • Saturday 09:00 to 17:30

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