The Tower of London squats on the edge of the Thames, at the north end of Tower Bridge. For centuries it was both a prison and castle alike, and it was the scene of some of of Britains most important moments, as well as a home to some of its most invidious traitors.
William the Conqueror started to build a tower at the heart of his fortress in London in the early 1080s, so when you walk around the Tower of London you are walking around almost a millennium of history. Both a palace and a prison, during the mediaeval and early modern periods the tower was a home for kings and queens, and for those they wanted the world to forget. The Tower has also been home to the Royal Menagerie, and currently houses the Crown Jewels. In the world famous White Tower you can even see Henry VIIIs own armour. As you walk the battlements you can cast an eye of Traitors Gate, or spare a thought for the young princes, sons of Edward IV, who perished there.
It is easy to find and get to the Tower of London from most of the mainline train stations with a tube connection, and there are transport links by train, tube, bus, boat and Docklands Light Railway. Tower Hill underground station is on the District and Circle lines, and the closest mainline stations are London Bridge and Fenchurch Street. On the DLR, Tower gateway station is just next to Tower Hill Station, both just a minute or so from the Tower by foot. For riverboat access you should alight at Tower Pier.
The Tower is open throughout the year from 9:00 to 16:30 in the winter, and 9:00 to 17:30 from March through to October. On Sundays and Mondays the Tower does not open until 10:00. There are guided tours by Yeoman Guards (beefeaters), and the last of these begins at 14:30 in the winter and 15:30 in the summer. To get the most out of a visit to the Tower you should try and leave time to see most of what they have, which will take between two and three hours. There is a Royal Chapel within the Tower that is sometimes closed for services, so if this is something you are particularly interested in seeing do check that it will be open to be public before you buy your tickets.
A ticket for the Tower of London includes free guided tours by the Yeoman Guards (beefeaters), access to see the Crown Jewels, access to the White Tower, an exhibition of 500 years of royal armour, the Royal Beasts exhibition, the mediaeval palace, Tower Green (where high-ranking prisoners would be executed), an exhibition about the prisoners and family activities. It is worth bearing in mind that there may be queues for some of these activities, so take that into account when planning how long your visit will take.
With its history, exhibitions, ghosts, and working Yeoman Guards, the Tower of London is a unique attraction, and one of the most important in the country. It is still a working palace, but you can see much of what made it so important for the last 930 years.
|HOTEL / APARTMENT||POSTCODE||MILES||STAR||24 Aug||25 Aug||26 Aug||27 Aug||28 Aug||29 Aug||30 Aug||31 Aug|
|Tower Hill Station||1||District - Circle line||0.09 miles|
|Tower Gateway Station||1||DLR (Bank branch)||0.12 miles|
|Aldgate Station||1||Metropolitan - Circle line||0.50 miles|
|Aldgate East Station||1||Hammersmith & City - District||0.67 miles|
|Monument Station||1||District - Circle line||0.73 miles|
|Fenchurch Street Station||0.30 miles|
|London Bridge Station||0.90 miles|
|London Cannon Street Station||1.04 miles|
|London Liverpool Street Station||1.04 miles|
|Moorgate Station||1.36 miles|