The Tower of London and the Crown Jewels

Tower of London

Possibly one of the most intriguing, gory and fascinating places to visit in London has to be the Tower of London, home to the Crown Jewels and many a king and queen from Britain’s history. I have been a few times now but the most recent visit with the girls over half term was a fantastic day out.

Tower of London Yeoman

I made sure we arrived early in the morning as I knew there was lots to see and do. As we walked through the entrance a Yeoman, also known as a Beefeater, stood waiting to start his tour. So I hung around as the tour is free and packed with interesting facts.

Tower of London Traitors Gate

We saw where the Ravens’ nests are. We learnt about Traitors Gate and the Bloody Tower.

Tower of London Raven

We saw where heads used to be chopped off and I caught a raven flying over in my photo which I’m pretty pleased about. Here’s a close up of the monument erected in the beheading area.

Tower of london chop heads

The yeoman also mentioned the Beauchamp tower, seen in the photo above behind the flying raven, where the prisoners were kept until their fate was decided. Sometimes it was for years and there is a lot of graffiti on the walls from hundreds of years ago.

Tower of London Graffiti

The Yeoman tour is great for adults and older children but by the third stop of the tour my two were getting bored and wanted to move on so we walked over to join the queue to see the Crown Jewels.

Tower of London Yeoman tour

It was a long queue and even on entering the building there is still a long route to follow and lots of foreigners trying to overtake.

imperial state crown

 

The Crown Jewels are fascinating for all ages but no photos were allowed. The twins were in awe with the guards outside The Jewel House, we stood and watched them march up and down a few times. The girls were delighted to hear them talking as they met in the middle and tried to understand what they were saying.

Tower of London Jewel House guard

After this we sat down on one of the many benches in the sunshine and ate our sandwiches before visiting the White Tower, or the central building with the four turrets.

Tower of London white tower armour

Again you follow the route laid out passing through the vast rooms filled with armour from the Arsenal, coins from the Royal Mint and records from the Tower Record Office where I spotted an old map on the wall showing our home town of Gravesend calling it Gravesend Beach.

Tower of London Gravesend beach

We walked right to the top of the building where there is a wonderful dragon made up of all sorts of materials.

Tower of London Dragon

Then there’s the long walk down, down, down one of the turrets, a tight spiral staircase leading out into the sunshine once again.

Looking out of the Beauchamp Tower

We decided to visit the Beauchamp Tower for a closer look at the graffiti and the rooms of the State Prison before heading off to the Bloody Tower.

Tower fo London view of Tower bridge

There is a long walkway running around the castle which gives off the most spectacular views of London, this is taken outside the Bloody Tower looking over the Thames at Tower Bridge.

Tower of London Menagerie

I didn’t know that the Tower of London had been home to London Zoo until moving it to Regent’s Park. Known as the Menagerie and home to lions, tygers, lynx and a porqupine as recorded by Hentzner in 1598 one of the first visitors to record his impressions. The girls tried out the cage on show.

As we walked around the top wall back to the centre and on our way to the exit I couldn’t help but stop and take a snap of this fabulous view of The City of London.

Tower of London view of the city of london

Our visit for now was complete, the girls were tired, I was too and we left wanting to return one day as there was so much more to see.

Tower of London white tower

My Top tips for visiting

  • If you would like to visit the Tower of London or find out more information take a look a the official website where booking online also allows discounts.
  • I would really recommend following the Yeoman’s tour which is free of charge.
  • There are plenty of benches to sit and eat a sandwich or for a rest throughout what can be a long day.
  • Pick up a trail at the Welcome Centre for the children to use as they make their way around the site
  • Keep an eye on the What’s On page for events organised throughout the year and school holidays.

All photos taken with iPhone 4

31 Comments

  1. March 12, 2015 / 3:16 PM

    We went a few months back and made the mistake of getting there in the afternoon. The queue was horrendous, but totally worth it to see the jewels.

    We loved all the animal sculptures and Ruby was fascinated to hear about the polar bear!

  2. March 12, 2015 / 4:04 PM

    We keep meaning to go – I think my son would love it and I’ve never been either.

  3. March 12, 2015 / 5:29 PM

    aww I am super jealous i would love to visit! we keep meaning to go to London to visit some of the sites and this is on the list

  4. March 12, 2015 / 7:54 PM

    What fabulous photos, such a treat to go there and see them up close xxx

  5. March 12, 2015 / 8:34 PM

    I am so jealous. I am a huge history buff and would love to visit the Tower. I think I would actually not take the kids so I could soak it all in (bad mom I know, but I really want to go)!

  6. March 12, 2015 / 8:37 PM

    We really want to take our children to see all the sites of London – will definitely make sure this is on our list!

  7. March 12, 2015 / 8:47 PM

    oh i do wish we were closer, the capital of england is somewhere ide love to take my little ones and its a great historic opportunity to share with them x

  8. Michelle
    March 12, 2015 / 9:04 PM

    It looks like a great day out, I think my boy would love it when he’s older xxx

  9. March 12, 2015 / 9:37 PM

    The tower of London is one place I have never managed to visit yet, I really must sometime. x

  10. Rachel
    March 12, 2015 / 10:02 PM

    Hi Mari!! Rachel from Mid 30s Life here – hello!!! I loved this post and the photos, just wanted to let you know I’ve shared it on our Mums Away UK Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/MumsAwayUK

    The Mums Away website was left to languish for a while after I moved back to Oz but we’re back into it with renewed vigour!!

    Hope you’re well. xx

  11. March 13, 2015 / 12:50 AM

    I have visited once as a child and would love to go again but I think we will wait a few years until my son is a bit older; at 4 years old he is probably a bit young.

  12. March 13, 2015 / 9:52 AM

    I’ve haven’t been since I was a child and my boys have never been. I really must take them next time we’re in London.

  13. March 13, 2015 / 12:32 PM

    Beautiful pictures! I visited when I was a child, but haven’t been since. I think the kids would love it.

  14. March 13, 2015 / 12:48 PM

    Fantastic photos. Thanks for the reminder – I haven’t been to the Tower of London for far too long. I’ll add it to my wish-list!

  15. March 13, 2015 / 3:13 PM

    Gorgeous pictures. I miss living in London, there is so much to see and do.

  16. March 13, 2015 / 8:10 PM

    It looks like you all have a great day. I remember going as a child and can’t wait to take my little ones around!

  17. March 13, 2015 / 10:11 PM

    My lads loved the tower when we visited. it was a great experience and fun for all ages. We loved the bit at the gate with the Yeoman

  18. March 14, 2015 / 5:50 PM

    I’ve never been round the Tower of London, but hubby had a behind the scenes tour once because of a job he used to have, I’m a bit envious! He also has a bottle of wine from there that he’s “saving for a special occasion”. We’ve got married and had two babies but none of these occasions are special enough apparently. He’s older than me though so I’ll probably crack it open when he croaks it ;) Great photo with the raven and a lovely post, makes me want to go.x

  19. March 15, 2015 / 12:54 AM

    There is so many wonderful places to visit in London but I have to admit The Tower is close to the top of the list

  20. March 15, 2015 / 2:25 PM

    I love the Tower of London – such a packed full of history place and something to see around every corner. Looks like you had a great day out!

  21. March 16, 2015 / 10:12 AM

    I love it there , and we must go back

  22. March 16, 2015 / 11:02 AM

    My children have been quite a few times but we all went together last summer and yes you need to allow a whole day don’t you. I hadn’t realised it was the original London zoo until that day either. So fascinating. We had a great day.

  23. March 16, 2015 / 11:35 AM

    Great post :) You took some great pictures!

    Natalie Ann xo

  24. March 16, 2015 / 6:59 PM

    Of all the times I’ve visited London, I don’t think I’ve ever been here. I even lived there for a while. I’ll definitely be going after this review!

  25. Munchies and Munchkins
    March 16, 2015 / 7:12 PM

    This looks like an amazing day out, I need to do more of the touristy bits of London. Whenever I go it’s always in a mad rush with blog conferences etc.x

  26. March 18, 2015 / 4:37 PM

    I keep meaning to take my children because it’s such an important, historical landmark. I do worry that they would get bored fairly quickly though (they are 6 and 3).

  27. March 19, 2015 / 4:26 PM

    I haven’t been to the Tower of London for years and would love to take the kids

  28. March 19, 2015 / 5:51 PM

    I love being a tourist in my own capital, I’ve never visited the tower of london! x

  29. March 20, 2015 / 9:59 PM

    We visited pre kids and will definitely take the kids when older

  30. March 21, 2015 / 11:08 AM

    This is definitely on my to do list this year. I’ve been before but years ago with my parents! I have never took my children which is odd as I live so close to London and we’re there all the time! Great post and lots of interesting pointers, thank you x

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