Today is officially the first day of Summer – although you wouldn’t know it looking at the weather. What the bleep is all this rain about eh? Anyway, back when the sun made its last appearance at the beginning of May my friend Jen and I spent a glorious day playing tourist and visiting the Tower of London. Despite living in London for three years and having visited the Tower on multiple occasions for various events this was my first ever trip to actually see the Tower itself and it did not disappoint.
Built in 1066 the tower is one of the most popular tourist attractions in London and despite arriving early it was already starting to get pretty busy. We decided to join one of the free Yeoman Warden guided tours and were led around several key areas of the site, including the chapel, by the legendary Yeoman Warden John Donald.
I remember when I first found out that people actually lived behind the walls of the tower and the amount of service they need to have completed in order to earn this privilege but you can tell just how much the yeoman love their jobs from their interactions with the public and the stories that they tell. I thoroughly recommend joining one of these tours if you have the time.
The tower has an incredibly varied history from being used as a prison, an armory, home to the Royal Mint and of course keeper of the crown jewels. The main courtyard also plays host to some fun re-enactments should you have time to see them and the crown jewels are most definitely worth the wait. (Don’t worry the queue moves much faster than you think it will!) There is so much to see within its walls that Jen & I spent several solid hours taking it all in and could have stayed even longer if it wasn’t so hot!
Tickets are cheaper if you book online in advance from available via 365tickets.co.uk and are valid all day so you can pop out for lunch and come back – just make sure to get them stamped for re-entry before leaving. it’s also worth noting that there is no cash machine on site so make sure you bring some cash for ice-cream/drinks if it’s a hot day like ours was.