My London bucket list keeps varying between typical tourist destinations and places I want to eat and drink at and thankfully last weekend I managed to tick off another attraction which was the Tower of London thanks to AttractionTix.
Having turned up around lunchtime on a Sunday I thought we’d be battling intense crowds but it wasn’t too bad thankfully. The Tower of London is one of Europe’s oldest palaces and prisons and sits as a proud fortress of the banks of the River Thames. From the impressive buildings, masses of history, the collection of crown jewels and the Queen’s guards on display it’s an interesting day out.
Buy your tickets in advance
I am such an advocate of booking tickets in advance, even if it’s just the night before because it can save a lot of time and effort when you arrive at the attraction. By booking with AttractionTix we could go and swap our voucher for tickets and the queues were a lot shorter meaning we got into the Tower much quicker than if we’d booked tickets on the day.
Head to the crown jewels first or last thing
The queues can be pretty long during peak times so try and head there first or last thing during your trip. The Royal collection of gems is pretty special including jeweled orbs and scepters used in the Queen’s coronation and crowns galore. Was it just me who assumed there was one crown for all monarchs and they didn’t have new ones made for each one?!
Join in on the Yeoman Warders Tour
The Beefeaters have guarded the tower for over 500 year’s and almost every hour you can hop on a tour with one of the knowledgeable beefeaters who will take you around for about an hour and tell you some of the history of the tower and have you laughing at their unique humour. There are some gory tales to be told, a lot of people were executed here and some Queens’ and other famous people were killed and buried here.
Tours are about an hour long and while some of the stories are a little fabricated it gives the Tower a bit of life, and it’s the only way you can see the St. Peter and Vincula Chapel where those who were executed on Tower Green were buried including two of Henry VIII’s wives Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard.
Time your trip with the changing of the guard
The Tower guards are a detachment of the Queen’s Guards at Buckingham Palace and include an officer, 6 NCO’s and 15 soldiers whose role it is to protect the Crown Jewels and the Queen’s House. Every two hours you can see the changing of the guards and watch as the guards outside the Jewel House are given their orders. It might not be as impressive as the changing at Buckingham Palace but it’s more frequent and less busy to watch.