Visiting The Tower of London
Dark secrets, priceless jewels glinting in fortified vaults and ravens strutting the grounds are all waiting when you take a journey back in time at the, UNESCO World Heritage listed, Tower of London.
Built to strike fear and submission into the unruly citizens of London and deter foreign invaders the Tower of London, one of the world’s most famous fortresses, was founded by William the Conqueror in 1066 - 7.
Beefeater's, or to give them their proper title ‘Yeoman Warder's' have guarded the Tower for centuries.
Share the secrets of one thousand years of royal gossip and intrigue on a Beefeater tour.
The Beefeater's will amaze and possibly appall you with tales, that have been passed down for generations, of pain and passion, treachery and torture, all delivered with inimitable style!
Despite its grim reputation as a place of torture and death, there are so many more stories to be told and things to see when you visit 'The Tower of London'.
The world famous collection of fabulous finery and regalia – the Crown Jewels housed in the Jewel House, explores the importance of the Crown Jewels to the British monarchy, the role of the Tower in protecting these treasures and the long and fascinating tradition of coronations in England.
The priceless collection holds some of the most legendary and extraordinary diamonds in the world including the 'First Star of Africa', now mounted at the top of the Sovereign’s Sceptre. This is the largest flawless cut diamond in the world and weighs 530 carats.
The Crown Jewels at the Tower of London are a unique working collection of royal regalia and are still regularly used by the Queen in important ceremonies, such as the State opening of Parliament.
The White Tower
You cannot miss the iconic White Tower, a symbol of London and Britain, overlooking the River Thames.
From July 2013, you will find the world’s oldest visitor attraction inside, The Line of Kings.
A line of wooden horses, their garish colours and wild expressions somewhat incongruous in amongst the majestic suits of armour, is the surviving remnant of one of the oldest - and oddest - collections at the Tower.
From murky beginnings as the Horse Armoury it is part propaganda, part fantasy, and the longest running visitor attraction in the world.
Meet the Prisoners
Explore the prisoners' stories at the Tower of London and follow in their footsteps.
The Royal Beasts return to the Tower, London's original zoo!
See sculptures of the lions, baboons, an elephant and even a polar bear; discover how they came to be at the Tower and what became of them in a fascinating exhibit in the Brick Tower.
Hear the amazing tales of how the animals were fed, watered and housed as well as various unfortunate incidents when the public got a little too close!
Coins and Kings; The Royal Mint at the Tower
Coins and Kings; the Royal Mint at the Tower, originally located for over 500 years an exhibit devoted to telling the history of the Mint at the Tower will open in May 2013.
Explore six key 'moments' including Isaac Newton's efforts to rid London of counterfeiters when he was Warden of the Mint, learn of Edward I's harsh punishments for people who tampered with his coins.
Elizabeth I's restoration of the coinage following her father Henry VIII’s disastrous meddling, and Charles II's rejection of Commonwealth money.
This is just a taster, there is much more in the Medieval Palace,the Bloody Tower, on Tower Green see the memorial to those who were executed inside the Tower and walk along the ancient walls.
Tower of London Opening Times
1 March - 31 October:
- Tuesday - Saturday 09:00-18:00 (last admission 17:00)
- Sunday; Monday 10:00-18:00 (last admission 17:00)
1 November - 28 February:
- Tuesday - Saturday 09:00-17:00 (last admission 16:00)
- Sunday & Monday 10:00-17:00 (last admission 16:00)
Closed 24, 25, 26 December and 1 January
Getting to the Tower of London
Address: The Tower of London London, England EC3N 4AB
Tube station closest to the Tower of London: - Tower Hill - District or Circle lines
Dockland Light Railway
DLR station closest to the Tower of London: - Tower Gateway Station
Follow the signs from the stations main entrance to the Tower which is about five minutes walk away.
Nearest stations: - Fenchurch Street or London Bridge
Numbers of buses that stop near the Tower:
Numbers: 15, 42, 78, 100, RV1
Nearest river access: - Tower Pier
Riverboats for Tower Pier depart from Charing Cross, Westminster and Greenwich.
Nearest car park: - Lower Thames Street about two minutes walk away
The Tower of London is in the congestion charge zone
Getting Around London
The Visitor Oyster Card is the cheapest and most flexible way to travel around London.
Valid on London Underground, buses, trams and Dockland Light Railway (DLR).
- Cheap - a single tube journey will cost £4.30 with cash but a maximum of £2 with an Oyster card
- Smart - You will never be charged more than a price of a London Travelcard
- Easy - your card is reusable and the credit never expires
The London Travelcard gives you access to unlimited travel on London Underground trains, buses, Docklands Light Railway, trams and overland trains within London.
- Cheap: with one ticket you get unlimited travel, [ within the zones your Travelcard covers], working out much cheaper than buying single tickets
- Easy: one ticket for one day or one week!