The Tower of London Pt 1 – Planning a Visit

The Tower of London Pt 1 - Planning a Visit

With some 2.8 million visitors in 2017, the Tower of London is the most visited paid for attraction in the UK. It goes without saying therefore that a bit of planning before going there will help the visit go more smoothly.

Timing is always important of course, but with a steep entry price of £26.80 without donation for a full adult fare (Jan 2019), it pays to find out if you can reduce your admission costs. If, like me, you travel to London by train, then you can check out the 2for1 London offers available to passengers here

The offer, if it’s available, is based solely on the full price adult ticket including donation, which as of January 2019 is £29.50; in other words, a total of £29.50 for two people regardless of whether you qualify for a concession or not.

There are also reductions of 15% on the Tower of London website if you book in advance.

It may be worth considering a membership to the ‘Historic Royal Palaces’ which also covers Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, the Banqueting House and Kew Palace (Kew Gardens are not included). The current individual cost is £52 a year for a Direct Debit membership (Jan 2019).

Site of the Scaffold on Tower Hill

Getting to the Tower is pretty straightforward. Tower Hill Tube station is just across the road.

For those who are interested, the site of The Scaffold can be seen on Tower Hill, so you may want to check it out before crossing the busy road to the Tower. There were only 7 executions inside the Tower and 125 on Tower Hill.

The Tower at the time of the 'Blood Swept Land and Seas of Red' art installation
The Tower at the time of the 'Blood Swept Land and Seas of Red' art installation

After crossing the road, the Welcome Centre where you buy your tickets is on the right-hand side and the entrance to the Tower is usually through the West Gate, but not always. It’ll be well signposted in any case.

After entering the Tower, you may want to consider going on one of the popular ‘Yeoman Warder’ tours. They run every half an hour and last about an hour. I’m not usually one to go on guided tours but I’d make an exception for one of these. Not only are they a part of the image, but they’re also very informative and highly entertaining – just don’t call them ‘Beefeaters’.

Yeoman Warder or 'Beefeater'
Yeoman Warder or 'Beefeater'
The White Tower
The White Tower

There are no hidden extra costs after buying your ticket and photography is permitted except in the Crown Jewels, the Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincula, the Martin Tower and the Chapel of St. John inside the White Tower.

To see most of the things there are to see I suggest that you allow at least 3 hours. Ok. It can be expensive to visit, but if you’re not likely to get another chance, it’s still worth biting the bullet, especially if you can find an offer that trims the admission price.

The Tower from across the river
The Tower from across the river
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