The Tower of London is one of the top tourist attractions in London, and for good reason. Its history spans over 1,000 years as a royal residence, prison, and execution site, and was visited by some of the most famous figures in British history.
In addition to its history, there are many activities and sites to see within the castle walls. Here are the five top reasons why you should visit the Tower of London:
1. It’s an attraction the whole family can enjoy
From adults to young children, the Tower of London can appeal to all age ranges. Adults can’t help but be intrigued by the history of the place; from the legend of the murdered Princes to Anne Boleyn’s beheading. Children enjoy running around the castle courtyard and exploring the castle corridors. And everyone loves staring at all the bright, sparkly Crown Jewels.
2. The Beefeater tours are legendary
Beefeaters, otherwise known as Yeoman Warders, are the ceremonial guards at the Tower of London. They were traditionally responsible for looking after prisoners kept at the Tower and safeguarding the Crown Jewels. Now they are tour guides at the Tower, and tourist attractions in their own right. They actually live at the Tower, and have fascinating stories to tell about the Tower, not to mention a wonderful sense of humor.
3. The Tower of London is a Tudor history hotspot
The Tudor dynasty included some of the most intriguing characters in British history, and many dramatic events from that time period. These events included:
- Where many of the monarchs spent the night before their coronation ceremony. The coronation procession historically begins at the Tower of London.
- The execution of Anne Boleyn, King Henry VIII’s 2nd wife
- The execution of Catherine Howard, King Henry VIII’s 5th wife
- The site of the entire reign, imprisonment, and execution of Lady Jane Grey, Queen of Nine Days
- The imprisonment of Princess Elizabeth by the order of her sister Mary I
4. The Tower of London is the home of the Crown Jewels
The Crown Jewels are the regalia worn by the sovereign of the UK at the coronation ceremony and other state events. It includes the Imperial State Crown, which was made in 1937 for King George VI and was worn by Queen Elizabeth II during her coronation ceremony and every year after at the State Opening of Parliament. Two of the three pearls dangling from the crown were once worn by Queen Elizabeth I.
5. It’s in the heart of London
The Tower of London, unlike Windsor Castle or Hever Castle, is in the heart of London and is extremely convenient to get to. The Tower Hill tube stop exists right outside the castle (literally at Tower Hill where most of the Tower of London executions occurred). It’s also very close to some of London’s other top tourist attractions including the Tower Bridge, making it easy to plan a full day’s itinerary without requiring much travel.
A trip to London wouldn’t be complete without visiting the Tower of London. What is your favorite thing to see at the Tower of London? Let me know in the comments below!