Newest Review: ... in a huge vault and are viewed by stepping on moving pathway and you are able to view the jewels through specialist glass. The palace has ... more
Tower of London (London)
Member Name: teafan11
Tower of London (London)
Date: 13/11/12, updated on 13/11/12 (29 review reads)
Advantages: Full day out that enjoyable and educational.
The crown jewels are now housed at the tower of London, in a huge vault and are viewed by stepping on moving pathway and you are able to view the jewels through specialist glass. The palace has had many uses over the centuries, having initially been constructed by the Normans shortly after the Norman Conquest. The palace has been a royal residence, an armoury and jail. It has homed exotic animals like tigers and has even been a mint. It has had so many uses and that makes its significance all that more important. There are many examples of historical armoury all very magnificent. You are able to venture into prison cells and there are chilling examples of graffiti etched into the soft stone. We were able to walk around the top of the palace through each miniature tower in turn. There are of course the famous ravens that are reputed to bring down the country should they leave the tower, and although this is simply legend, they clip the bird's wings to prevent them from leaving, just to be sure!!!
They also have historical characters that re-enact important historical events and often include the crow making history fun. My son had a marvellous time as one of the king's soldiers, and was very impressive at marching. It made his day!
The history surrounding the palace is immense but the most famous visitors to the `bloody tower` were the condemned wives of henry viii, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, both were executed here. His daughter Elizabeth also spent time in the tower prior to her taking the thrown and becoming one of the most famous and powerful monarchs, when her sister Mary felt Elizabeth was a threat to her thrown. All of which would have entered through the infamous `traitors gate`.
Tuesday - Saturday 09:00 - 16:30
Sunday - Monday 10:00 - 16:30
Last admission is at 16:00.
Adults - £19.80
Child (under 16) - £10.45
Concessions (full time students or over 60) - £17.05
Family (Up to 2 adults and up to 6 children) - £55.00
Children under five are free.
An essential carer is admitted free with each disabled visitor which I think is wonderful. I used my Tesco vouchers to purchase tickets on the day but there are online options for a small discount and group entry also incurs a small discount.
Telephone bookings number is 0844 482 7799 (from the UK) or +44 (0)20 3166 6000 (from outside the UK)
The nearest underground station is Tower hill that are on the district and circle lines and is directly across the road from the tower and as you exit the tube station the tower is an impressive sight. There are also regular bus routes, routes 15, 42, 78, 100, RV1 all stop near the tower and the city sight- seeing bus also serves the tower. The riverboats also stop at the tower as do the docklands light railway.
You also get an impressive view of Tower Bridge and can see the HMS Belfast floating impressively in the Thames.
There are several eateries in the tower, several kiosks and restaurants serving snacks and drinks, and the restaurants serve hot meals, however these are quite expensive and I find that taking a picnic is a cheaper option. There are many wooden benches and archways that are perfect for picnics.
There are a few souvenir shops selling the normal tourist items, such as mugs and pens and also lovely tankards and china, all similarly priced to other London tourist attractions, which are usually quite expensive.
I would say that this is not the most accessible of buildings, as has many steps and narrow doorways not very practical for buggies or wheelchairs. There are areas for leaving your buggy at a cost of £1.00 making it easier for you to move around, but for wheelchair users the palace is not very accessible, with no means of improvement.
I have been many time and it never fails to impress.
Summary: A fantastic day out that is both educational and fun.
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