One of London’s most famous landmarks, the Tower of London has a long and tumultuous history that dates back to the late 11th century. Once a symbol of Norman oppression, the Tower of London has played a multitude of roles through its life. As a dungeon, execution site, royal palace and even exotic animal menagerie, the Tower is brimming with stories.
Guests of boutique hotels near Marble Arch can easily reach the Tower of London via Tower Hill Station on the Circle and District Line, whilst it is within easy walking distance of London Bridge and Fenchurch Street Stations. The Tower of London has a lot of facets to it though, many of which can be easily missed during your visit. This blog will provide some insider tips for your visit to the Tower.
Get There Early
The Tower of London opens at 9 am on every day except Sunday, and closes at 5 pm. As guests of Hyde Park accommodation will see, the Tower has many areas, and if you want to explore them all in detail before closing, then you should consider getting there as early as possible. This includes buying your tickets if you have not done so online. The queues can form very quickly at the external box office too.
Take The Guided Tour
Every half an hour, one of the on site Yeoman Warders conducts an hour-long tour of the tower. This is the chance for guests of the Signature Townhouse Hyde Park to learn a little more about the history of the Tower and the role of the royal guards who still live on its premises. The Tower of London tour also provides background on many of the areas, as well as in depth stories about its history of royal executions.
The Crown Jewels Can Form A Queue
Though Buckingham and Kensington Palace have actual waiting lists to visit their premises, the Crown Jewels, under armed guard in the Jewel House of the Tower, can form large queues outside the gates. Only a certain number of tourists can be in the room at a time, and so it’s worth factoring in the wait to your visit. If you’re lucky, you can visit the jewel house at off peak times, either at the beginning of the day or during traditional lunch times.
Hidden Gem Exhibitions
While the Crown Jewels exhibition and the White Tower galleries are the centrepiece to the Tower’s attractions, there are many hidden museums located around the site. These include the Royal Mint Gallery, in which you can find out how mediaeval money was printed and the museum of the Royal Fusiliers, which explores the still-living-on-site regiment’s history through the ages. Other minor galleries include a very easily missed exhibition on the history of Medieval torture in the Tower of London, as well as an exhibition on the tower as a prison and execution site. Another easily missed attraction is the corner of the Tower grounds at which the mysterious ravens are housed.