London Full-Day Sightseeing Tour
From Viator Tours
The Tower of London is guarded by Yeoman Warders, member of the Royal Guard. The
Warders at the Tower of London are ex-military with an honorable service record
of at least 22 years. Some call the Warders by the name "Beefeaters".
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This section of our London, England City Guide describes the best
places to visit in London's Tower Hill.
The Tower of London is the premier attraction here, although
many continue on to explore the Tower Bridge. Most travelers,
are content to view this handsome Bridge and feel little need to
see it close up
The Tower is one of London’s most popular attractions and for good reason.
It exposes important history, houses the Crown Jewels, and offers more medieval
armor than you can see anywhere else.
William I (William the Conqueror) started construction of a fortress
here in 1066, after the Norman victory at the Battle Hastings, as part of his strategy for controlling both his new subjects in London and
access to England from the Thames by his enemies abroad.
Originally, the section of today’s Tower of London known as the “White
Tower” was the entire fortification. The name “White Tower” was given to the
core tower when it was whitewashed inside and out for preservation purposes
during the reign of Henry III. The White Tower is approximately ninety
feet high and its walls, designed to repel ballista and cannon balls, are
said to measure fifteen feet wide at the base and eleven feet wide at the
top. The White Tower's Chapel of Saint John the Evangelist is one of its
most striking rooms.
The Tower of London as we see it today is
an amalgam of building efforts that started in the Eleventh Century and
additions, replacements and tinkering with the design occurred well into the
nineteenth century. Residences, a new palace and new fortifications were
just a few of the additions. During its history, the Tower has served as a castle,
residence, prison, mint and armory.
The Tower is, perhaps, best known for having been a prison for
Princess Elizabeth (the future Elizabeth I), Sir Thomas More (St.
Thomas More), Henry VI, Anne Boleyn (beheaded inside the Tower) and
Sir Walter Raleigh, among others. The deaths of the sons of Edward
IV (a teen-aged Edward V and his brother Richard the Duke of York)
in the "Bloody Tower" are considered among the most famous intrigues
occurring at the Tower, especially since their disappearance
resulted in their “protector” (an uncle) being crowned King Richard
For many tourists, the greatest lure of the Tower is the Crown
Jewels, a lavish and interesting collection of coronation ornaments
and crowns. For others, the Royal Armories, which provide one of the
best collections of arms and armor dating from Medieval times, are a
significant attraction. In addition, in April of 2011, a new
exhibition called the Power House opened, which showcases the role
of major organizations of state that once conducted their operations from
with the Tower Walls over the centuries, including the Ordnance
Clearly, there is a great deal to take in at the Tower and you can
easily fill an afternoon, if you see all there is to experience.
We recommend that you consider taking one of the tours with a Tower
Warder (the Yeoman Warders) as a guide, it is one of the most
informative ways to learn the history of the Tower in a short time.
The tour is enjoyable and usually filled with humorous stories and fun
Finally, consider attending the Ceremony of the Keys, the ceremonial
locking of the Tower that has been held every night for the last 700
years. See this
official website for details on applying
for reservations for the ceremony.
For more information on the Tower of London and its history, visit the
Official Site of the Historic Royal Palaces.
Tower Hill London Bridge
The Tower Bridge (next of the Tower of London) is one of the most
photographed images of London. Constructed between 1886 and 1894, the Bridge was built with elevated walkways that
allowed pedestrians to cross it while the Bridge was open to allow barge traffic
along the Thames. The walkways are now enclosed and provide impressive views of London.
You will have to pay for access to the touristy “Tower Bridge
Experience”, (including the walkways) a tour that will provide more detail,
including videos about the bridge and its construction, as well as access to the
unique engines that were part of the original bridge lifting
For more information visit the web site of the
Tower Bridge Exhibition.
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