Explore London

The Tower Of London: Everything You Need To Know

London is a city full of history, beautiful sights, and a lot of fun. It can be hard to see everything, especially when you’re only visiting the area for a short amount of time. However, one place that you shouldn’t miss out on when coming to London is The Tower of London. It is a staple of the city and comes with a rich history and many interesting facts you can immerse yourself with.

If you aren’t convinced about seeing the Tower of London yet and want to know more about it before making your decision, we have you covered. We have put together the ultimate guide that will make your trip a breeze. 


A short history of the Tower of London


If you don’t know the Tower of London, let us tell you. It is a historic castle in the city of London, with its earliest foundations laid as far back as 1066. After being built by William the Conqueror, it has now been around for over 900 years and is declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. 

The Tower of London was originally built to help William the Conqueror secure his position in London. Since then, it has had various different uses over the years depending on the English king in power. It is now home to 37 Yeoman Warders, a group of men and women who have served at least 22 years of active service in the British military. 


Where is the Tower of London?


If you’re in London and looking for this historic landmark, you’ll find it on the north bank of the River Thames in the centre of London. It is specifically in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, which was formed in 1965 and covers most of the city's East End. The Tower and its location are separated from the eastern edge of London by Tower Hill.

It is not a hard attraction to find, especially if you are already in the centre of London and there are a ton of ways you can get there. 


How to get to the Tower of London

Getting to the Tower of London, no matter where you are in the city, isn't difficult. You can use one of the various travel methods, such as the London Underground, the National Rail, big red buses, or even riverboats. You can also easily walk there if you are already near the centre of London. 

You can get off several tube stations and then walk to the Tower of London, such as London Bridge, Monument, Canon Street, Tower Hill, and Aldgate. You can also get off at the following overground stations: London Bridge, Liverpool Street, and Charing Cross, but it will take a bit longer to walk there. 



Tower of London opening times


When the Tower of London is open depends on the time of year. It is open every day of the year, except on the 24, 25, 26 December and 1 January. The summer opening times run from 1 March to 31 October. During this time, the Tower of London is open from 09:00-17:30 on Tuesday-Saturday and from 10:00-17:30 on Sundays and Mondays. The last admission time each day in the summer is 17:00.

In the winter, the Tower of London is open from 09:00-16:30 on Tuesday-Saturday and from 10:00-16:30 on Sundays and Mondays. The last admission time each day in the winter is 16:00.


Do you need a ticket and how much does it cost?

Yes, you need a ticket to enter the Tower of London, and the prices vary depending on your age, whether you’re in a group, or if you want to donate to the attraction. You can either book your tickets online and choose a time slot for when you want to visit, or you can purchase them on the day from the ticket office on Tower Hill.

A ticket for an adult aged 18-64 is £29.90 without a donation, £14.90 for children 5-15, and £24 for people aged 16-17, 65+, a student, or disabled. You can also pay £52.20 for one adult and up to three children or £82.10 for two adults and up to three children. If you want to donate, each ticket price is a few pounds more expensive. 


What to see and do at the Tower of London

There is so much to do when visiting the Tower of London, and here are some of the top attractions you can’t miss out on when you’re there:


The Crown Jewels

We’ve all heard of the royal family’s Crown Jewels, but how amazing would it be to actually see them? Luckily, if you visit the Jewel House at the Tower of London, you’ll be able to see where they have been stored since 1968. 

Some items you may find yourself seeing include St. Edward’s Crown, which is made of solid gold, as well as the Imperial State Crown, which has been set with over 2,800 stones. You will be fascinated by these jewels, and you won’t be able to beat seeing the real thing in person. 


The Bloody Tower


It may sound haunting, but don’t worry, you won’t actually see any blood in the Bloody Tower. It got its name because it was previously the tower that kept some of the country's darkest secrets and where many unethical deeds may have been performed. 

The Bloody Tower has been home to many famous prisoners of London, including Sir Walter Raleigh. The exhibit has actually kept his cell looking just like he left it after being imprisoned there three times. 


The Royal Mint


After you’ve seen the Crown Jewels in the Jewel House, you may want to head to the Royal Mint and see the collection of fantastic coins as well as the Kings exhibit. This building has been in the Tower of London from 1279 to 1812, so you’ll already be stepping into a whole lot of history.

You’ll be able to learn all about previous workers of the Tower of London and how they minted the coins, you’ll see on display. It is the site of the original mint, and there are plenty of fantastic displays to get involved in. 


The Medieval Palace


Have you ever wondered what the bedrooms of previous kings and queens of England look like? Well, now you can, by visiting the re-creations at the Medieval Palace. Originally, this building was built by Henry III and Edward I and is mostly known for its opulence. 

While the quarters may be re-created, the kings and queens frequently visited the Medieval Palace and stayed there. You’ll be able to see Edward I’s bedchamber, the Chantry, and St. Thomas’s Tower fireplace. 


The White Tower


As you head towards the Inner Ward, you’ll be able to marvel at the White Tower, gaining its name from the white stone it has been built from. Completed around 1100, this four-storey tall building is an architectural delight. 

Within the White Tower is the Line of Kings, which displays a fantastic collection of royal armour and hunting weaponry. It has been named the world’s oldest tourist attraction since it has been around since 1652, and is pretty impressive too. There is also St. John’s Chapel which is an example of typical Norman church architecture. 


Tower Green

It may be morbid, but Tower Green was one of the key places in the Tower of London where executions took place. It has now been replaced with a memorial, pointing towards the area where the execution block beheaded any condemned prisoners. 

Some of the biggest executions took place near this site, including Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard, and Lady Jane Grey. You can learn all about what contributed to their demise, as well as a few gory details about how well the execution really went. 


The Ceremony of the Keys


Last but not least on our list is The Ceremony of the Keys. This is when the 37 Yeomen Warders, also known as Beefeaters, dress in their uniforms and perform a ceremony where they close the gate each evening. It has been around for 700 years, and you will see the Chief Warder present the keys to the Resident Governor.  

This event isn’t available for everyone who visits the Tower of London, and you will need to acquire a special pass that is obtained in advance in writing. It is then held at 9:40 pm every night. 


Is visiting the Tower of London worth it?


While you may have to purchase a ticket to go to the Tower of London, there is so much to see, and you can even make a day out of it. You learn so much about the capital city’s history and the royal family, and you are able to see gems and artefacts that you won’t be able to see anywhere else in the world. Therefore, long story short, visiting the Tower of London is definitely worth it and should never be missed.