- WHERE TO STAY
- ATTRACTIONS + TICKETS
- PUBLIC TRANSPORT
- CRUISE PORTS
- COVID-19 INFO
Founded by William the Conqueror in 1066-7 and enlarged and modified by successive sovereigns, today the Tower of London is one of the world's most famous and spectacular fortresses. In its time it has been a royal palace, a fortress, a prison, an armoury, a treasury and an astronomical observatory.
The major draws are the Crown Jewels and the history associated with the Tower's role as a prison for major figures in history, prior to for many a public hanging. Plus also the Beefeaters (guards) dressed in distinctive uniform and Ravens provide classic photo opportunities. The Beefeaters perform the very well received introductory tours of the Tower of London.
Once in the Tower of London check out the next time of the one hour guided tour by a costumed Beefeater. These run normally every half-hour throughout the day from soon after opening to mid/late afternoon and are highly recommended.
The Tower's greatest attraction, the Crown Jewels, are housed in the White Tower. You will normally have to wait in long lines to view the Jewels so try and get there early. Even if you have a skip the line ticket you will still have to queue here like everyone else.
At the Crown Jewels exhibition you will see some of the world's most precious jewels set into swords, robes, and of course crowns. The Imperial State Crown is still used today by the Queen of England for ceremonial occasions.
Many of the rest of the main attractions are associated with the Tower's history with legendary figures imprisoned and/or executed here. The Tower Green at the heart of the Tower has the scaffolding where some private executions and hangings took place.
Three of them were queens of England: Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, wives of Henry VIII, and Lady Jane Grey - condemned on the orders of her cousin Mary I.
The gate exiting out directly to the river is known as 'Traitors' Gate' because of the number of prisoners accused of treason who are supposed to have passed through it.
The Bloody Tower was where some of the Tower's most famous prisoners were housed. It may have been the last lodging of the 'Princes in the Tower' before their mysterious disappearance in the 15th century, and is today furnished to look as it might have done during Sir Walter Raleigh’s 13-year imprisonment here.
The Tower of London is good for kids, they can romp around the battlements providing an ideal mix of fun and education. It is very hard to give an average time people take to visit, safe to set aside 2 to 3 hours perhaps.
Most visitors spend in the region of 2-3 hours inside the Tower of London.
The Tower of London is open to visitors:
Tuesday to Saturday - 9-4.30pm (an hour later March to October).
Sunday and Monday - 10-4.30pm (an hour later March to October).
Last admission is 30 minutes before closing.
The Tower of London is located in the City Of London, the old walled part of London and now the business district of London. The Tower of London is by the River Thames and it was originally part of the city walls protecting the city from hostiles coming along the river from the sea. Tower Bridge is located next to the Tower of London. Notable mainstream attractions within walking distance are The Monument and The Shard.
Tower Hill Underground Station (District and Circle Lines) are directly opposite the Tower of London. Tower Hill DLR Station and Fenchurch Street Railway Station are also very close to the Tower of London.
All of London's hop on, hop off sightseeing buses cross Tower Bridge and stop in front of the Tower of London. Tower Pier is on the river immediately in front of the Tower of London and the river services, especially routes to the London Eye and Westminster are very popular and rewarding. The Hop on Hop Off sightseeing buses include these river routes in their tickets.
Tower Bridge in front of the Tower of London is still a working bridge and in the summer months can open up to 5 or 6 six times a day, though openings are erratic and the bridge may not open for several days. You can get the times and days Tower Bridge opens from the Tower Bridge official website.
Tickets are straight forward with concessions for children, seniors and family tickets.
Your ticket includes access to the Tower and the Crown Jewels display, exhibitions including Coins and Kings and Line of Kings, plus the Yeoman Warder guided tour, live historical re-enactments, White Tower tour and children's activity trails.
Audio guides are available for a fee in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Dutch, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean and Chinese (Mandarin).
Tickets purchased in advance on-line are cheaper than tickets purchased on the day.
Third parties also sell discounted tickets at prices below the on-line price from the official website (see banner link below).
The main queues are not to enter the Tower of London, but to access the Crown Jewels after you gain entry.
For the most streamlined visit pre-purchase your tickets and be at the entrance at opening time.
The Original London Tour as its name implies is the original hop-on hop-off London sightseeing bus service.
The hop-on, hop off sightseeing buses are an excellent first day in London quickly getting you up to speed and orientated with the layout of London and your guide pointing out sights and destinations you might have not previously considered visiting.
But most visitors to London will have their own "must see" list of attractions.
So why not save some money and purchase your hop-on, hop off sightseeing bus tickets and your "must see" attractions as a package. You don't have to use the attraction tickets on the day you use the sightseeing bus either.
Madame Tussauds , The London Eye, London Dungeon, London Aquarium, St Paul’s Cathedral, Kensington Palace and Tower of London are all available.
Combine attraction tickets with hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus package
• Tower of London or London Eye or London Dungeon or Madame Tussauds or St Paul's Cathedral • Attraction tickets valid at least 7 days after bus tour
If you are really into royalty, castles and royal palaces you will be visiting several royal attractions in and around London.
You can save money by buying a pass that covers three of the most visited: Tower of London, Kensington Palace and Hampton Court.
Kensington Palace: A rich royal history. Kensington Palace can boast of being the birth place of Queen Victoria and the official London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, not to mention being the home of a host of Georgian monarchs and royalty including Princess Diana who have all left their mark on this impressive Palace. Explore the vast state apartments.
Hampton Court: For almost 200 years, Hampton Court Palace was at the centre of English court life, politics and national history. Its most infamous resident was Henry VIII.
Today Hampton Court is an easy day trip for all visitors to London in vast grounds next to the River Thames.
Save money when you visit three of Britain's historical palaces
• Visit The Tower of London, Kensington Palace and Hampton Court Palace • Valid for 2 years from date of issue • One visit per valid palace
The London Pass - The Tower of London is supported by London's most popular attraction pass, for full details follow the banner link below.
The more you visit, the more you save
• Access 80+ London attractions including the Tower of London, a hop-on, hop off bus tour, Thames river boat cruise, Tower Bridge, Wesminster Abbey, London Zoo, View from the Shard and many more...
• 1, 2, 3, 6 and 10 day passes available.
Another option is to experience the Tower of London in combination with St Paul's Cathedral on a fully guided walking tour. On this tour you gain special access, firstly to the Tower of London before the public opening and you will be guided round by one of the Beefeater guards. See the Crown Jewels (not guided), explore the White Tower, stroll along East Wall Walk for great views of the city streets and watch the historic opening ceremony.
You then walk to nearby St Paul's Cathedral where you gain special access to the normally inaccessible Triforium. You'll also explore the Dean's Staircase, a medieval library and you'll visit the Whispering Gallery and Crypt too. This tour is led by a Blue Badge guide and lasts just over 6 hours. For full details and to book use the banner below.
This tour is unfortunately currently unavailable.
Exclusive Access to Tower of London and St Paul's Cathedral
• All entrance fees included
• Comprehensive tour of the city
• Explore the local streets on a walking tour of the city
• Great overview and orientation of the city
• Guided walking tour led by a Blue Badge guide
Adjacent to the Tower of London is Tower Bridge. If you visit the Tower of London, you will also admire Tower Bridge, one of the most famous bridges in the world. It is famous with good reason, a truly unique and memorable spectacle.
Appearances are deceptive, the appearance of the bridge is in harmony with the Tower of London, but the bridge is not ancient like the Tower of London, it was built only about 120 years ago.
The bridge is not a museum piece it still performs its original function of providing a public road across the River Thames and letting tall ships pass through. As a pedestrian you can walk across the bridge at any time, there are no tolls or fees. All of the popular hop on, hop off sightseeing buses cross Tower Bridge before stopping at the Tower of London.
The bridge still opens to let shipping through, the central part of the highway between the towers of the bridge lifting up.
Tower Bridge only opens when a ship has reserved an opening at a specific time, it doesn't open to a regular schedule. By the nature of this arrangement openings are irregular, it may open 5 or 6 times one day then not open at all for several days. The bridge can open at any time.
Once you have seen the bridge and realised how different it is to anything else you have witnessed, you may well be eager to learn more.
And the exciting thing is that you can go inside Tower Bridge to do just that. Not only do you learn everything there is worth knowing about Tower Bridge, its history, how it was built and operates etc you also explore the inside of the bridge.
The highlight is undoubtedly the glass floored high level walkways right at the top of the bridge. These were originally designed so pedestrians could cross the bridge even when the bridge was lifting and closed to vehicles. As you can imagine there are great views from up here.
The bridge is currently closed to visitors due to the national lockdown which is expected to end on 2 December.
Once reopen, visitors will be able to visit West Walkway only. There is a new exhibition "Lives of a Landmark" on the West Walkway and in the Engine rooms.
Save money when you buy tickets online
• Experience the spectacular glass floor across the high-level walkways • Marvel at the engineering exhibition • Enjoy panoramic views 42 metres above river Thames
In our blog, you can read in more detail and watch a video on the best free way to experience Tower Bridge.
|London Eye||Amazing panoramic flight on the world's highest observation wheel. » Fast track tickets available.|
|The Shard||Tallest building in Western Europe with viewing of London from the top.|
|St Paul's Cathedral||Cathedral of the Diocese of London, venue for royal weddings. » Fast track tickets available.|
|Westminster Abbey||Along with St Paul's, England's main religious building. » Fast track tickets available.|
|Tower of London||Home of the Crown Jewels and a rich thousand year history. » Fast track tickets available.|
|Madame Tussauds||See wax statues of the most famous people in the world. » Fast track tickets available.|
|London Dungeon||The creepiest attraction in town, the London Dungeon. » Fast track tickets available.|
|Hampton Court Palace||Henry VIII Medieval Palace set in vast grounds.|
|The London Zoo||World class zoo in the centre of London. » Fast track tickets available.|