The Tower of London is a definite “must see” on any visit to London, providing a colourful journey into the centuries of history all contained within its immense walls. It is a popular attraction, so don’t be surprised at the length of the queue to enter through its gates. To have more time inside, a London Pass can get you a fast and “free” entry ( the pass itself costs money but includes entry to the Tower and nine other very popular attractions). It is the type of place one can visit again and again.
Here are some reasons you should visit the Tower of London:
- TheBeefeaters, dressed in their traditional colourful uniforms, act as your guides relating equally colourful stories about the history of the Tower. Many tales are rather gruesome, some familiar from school or television but all are fascinating. The “tower” is synonymous with imprisonment but it has also functioned as an armoury, a zoo, and a treasury since itwas built in medieval times. Kings and other royals have also used it as a sanctuary. It is an imposing structure even today, rather grim and forbidding still, twelve acres or so large, with a border on the river Thames. Prisoners used to enter the fortress through Traitors Gate having been rowed silently and oft secretly to theirfinal “home” rather than taken through the streets of London.
You will depart from the Tower with little snippets of history impressed in your memory that will stay with you over the years – probably longer than anything you will see on a documentary or television production. This could be observing names scratched into the stone walls by prisoners now centuries in the grave (and usually not from a natural death), or hearing a tour guide’s remark about the chapel floor sitting on a sea of bones ( St. Peter and Vinicula). Overall, this is a fascinating adventure into England’s history not to be missed.
If you are sailing to or from Southampton on a cruise, be sure to have your travel professional add on a few days exploration time in London. The Tower is just one of many fascinating places to see, and then there is the theatre, shopping, dining and the night life!
Article written by D. MacIntyre of compassmedia.solutions who thoroughly enjoyed her tour of the Tower. Photos courtesy of Bigstock and Pixabay.