Last Updated: 2nd Jul 2011
The Tower of London is brilliant and a visit to the Tower is an almost must for anyone visiting London and in a city filled with so many free sights, museums and activities – if you’re going to spend money on something, this should probably be it.
The Tower is essentially a medieval castle in the centre of London and it is filled with history, suits of amour, weapons, royal chambers, objects or torture and executions and even the Crown Jewels of England.
The site is literally the oldest part of the city (just across the road from the Tower is a wall built by the Romans) and the oldest parts of the Tower were built in the year 1078 by William the Conqueror when he started building the fortress.
You can wander around the Tower yourself and check things out, otherwise there are free tours offered by the resident Beefeaters (Royal Guards). The tours are very entertaining as well as being packed with info and it gives you a great introduction to the Tower and its history as well as hearing the legends about the famous black ravens who reside in the Tower.
Take a walk along the Tower ramparts, check out the Armory exhibition (filled with swords, lances and suits of amour – perhaps the most interesting being those of the famous King Henry VIII - complete with huge cod-pieces), see the Crown Jewels and what is reputed to be the largest diamond in the world, as well as Traitors Gate, the square where Anne Boleyn literally lost her head and the throne room along with so much more – an awesome half day out!
You’ll need a few hours to have a good look around inside the Tower and the closest tube to station to the Tower is Tower Hill (on the Green District or Yellow Circle line).
You can pick up tickets for the Tower of London (as well as loads of other London sights) at the Contiki Basement or at the Tower itself.