One of the “must see” sites that we wanted to visit while traveling in London was the Tower of London. Families have always lived and worked in this famous fortress, from royal families to guards and servants, even prisoners, so it was definitely a place we wanted to take our kids to visit. As you enter the Tower, be sure to find a Yeoman and join one of the famous tours where Yeoman Warders (popularly known as ‘Beefeaters’) will entertain you with tales of intrigue, imprisonment, execution and torture.
It is quite shocking to hear the tales of what used to happen within the Tower walls. The ‘Beefeaters’, as they are nicknamed, have long been symbols of London and Britain. It is thought their nickname is derived from their position in the Royal Bodyguard, which permitted them to eat as much beef as they wanted from the king’s table. These men wandering the grounds and leading the tours are actual retired armed forces personnel who served their country for a term of at least 22 years. Be sure to snap a picture with these honorable, real life guards. The tours begin every 30 mins (last tour 3:30pm in summer, 2:30pm in winter). Tours last approximately 60 mins and start near the main entrance.
The Tower of London might best be known by visitors as the place to see the Crown Jewels to the British Monarchy. This beautiful display of gold, diamonds and every precious treasure that have been passed through the scores of royal family members that have ruled the British Monarchy is truly breathtaking. Visit the Crown Jewels and discover 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. Entrance to the Yeoman tours and Crown Jewels exhibition are included in your Tower of London admission ticket.
Admission tickets to the Tower of London are 25GBP per adult and 12GBP for children 15 and under if you purchase tickets at the gate. There is a slight discount for ordering tickets in advance of your visit to the Tower, which, considering the exchange rate and the number of tickets you need, could be a rather large savings.
The Tower of London offers some of the best views of the Tower Bridge in the city too! There are several great hotels in the area with easy access to both the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge.
If you plan to visit The Tower of London and any other royal palaces while you are visiting (including Kensington Palace, Hampton Court Palace and Kew Palace among others) I suggest that you check out the annual membership to the Historic Royal Palaces offers. For just 81GBP, 2 adults and up to 6 children have unlimited access to all of the Historic Royal Palaces for a year. This pass comes with other benefits as well, including discounts at shops and restaurants, like afternoon tea at the Orangery. That discount alone will practically pay for the annual pass! A London Pass might be another great option for your family. Be sure to check around and see what best fits your needs.
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