There are plenty of amazing buildings and structures in London; Tower Bridge, the gorgeous Palace of Westminster, the sleek Shard, and the stunning Westminster Abbey are just a few of the city’s miraculous marvels.
But there is one building that surpasses them all with its staggering history, wondrous beauty and the sheer intrigue that surrounds it.
It is home to some famous ghosts who haunt the grounds, 6 black ravens who ensure the safety of the nation, the priceless Crown Jewels, and the world famous ‘Beefeater’ guards- I am of course talking about the gorgeous Tower of London.
Take advantage of the amazing London hotel packages currently available and book a room in The Montcalm Hotel London City; The Royal London House, for a luxurious and comfortable stay within easy reach of the Tower.
You’ll even be able to walk to the best Finsbury Square restaurants for a spot of dinner at the end of a long day!
Now let’s take a look at everything you need to know about the Tower of London before your first visit.
A Quick History
The Tower of London has a rich and complex history dating back to its construction by William the Conqueror in 1066. It was constructed as the tallest tower in the city with the intention of looming over the peasants and suppressing any thoughts of rebellion- although it quickly became a series of Royal apartments.
In the 12th century the Tower became a prison, with some of its most famous prisoners including Anne Boleyn and Sir Walter Raleigh. The Tower was also used as a treasury, a royal mint, and incredibly; a zoo.
Over time, the Tower evolved into a symbol of royal power, with the Crown Jewels being kept within its never failing walls.
Today, the Tower of London is the most popular tourist attraction in the country and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It continues to play a significant role in the history and culture of London, as well as the wider United Kingdom.
Location and Getting There
The Tower of London is located in central London, on the north bank of the River Thames. It's easily accessible by public transportation, including tube, bus, and taxi. The nearest tube stations are Tower Hill and Aldgate, both of which are on the District and Circle lines.
From your room in one of the finest spa hotels London has to offer, The Montcalm Royal London House, all you have to do is make the short walk to Moorgate Station and hop on the Circle Line until you reach Tower Hill.
You can purchase your tickets online in advance, which can save you time and money.
Ticket prices vary depending on your age, whether you are a student, senior citizen, or member of the armed forces- so make sure you choose the right ticket for you!
You can also purchase tickets on the day of your visit at the ticket office located at the entrance to the Tower, although the queues can be gigantic so be prepared to wait.
What to See
The Tower of London is a complex of several buildings, and you will need at least two to three hours to explore it fully.
Some of the must-see attractions within the Tower include the Crown Jewels, the White Tower, the mediaeval Palace, the Royal Armouries, and the Beefeater Tours.
The Crown Jewels
The Crown Jewels are a dazzling display of the regalia and treasures of the British monarchy, including crowns, sceptres, and ceremonial swords.
You can see these items up close in the Jewel House, which is one of the most popular attractions within the Tower.
The collection includes the Imperial State Crown, which is worn by the monarch during the State Opening of Parliament, and the set of coronation regalia that will soon be worn by King Charles himself.
The White Tower
The White Tower is one of the oldest and most iconic buildings in the Tower of London, and indeed the city.
It was built in the 11th century by William the Conqueror and has served many different purposes, as we already know.
Many people were executed on site at the foot of the tower and it is said that their headless ghosts can still be seen wandering the castle- hopeful you don’t come across them whilst you are there!
Today, it houses the Royal Armouries, which we will come on to soon.
The Medieval Palace
The Medieval Palace is a complex of buildings within the Tower of London that were built in the 13th and 14th centuries.
They were used as the residence of the king and queen during their visits to the Tower. Today, they are open to the public and showcase the living quarters and lifestyle of the mediaeval royal family.
The Royal Armouries
The Royal Armouries is a collection of historical weapons and armour that are housed in the White Tower.
It includes some of the most important and iconic items in the history of the British military, in a fascinating display.
Incredibly, some of the armour on display were actually worn by the likes of King Henry VIII and King Charles I during their reigns.
The ‘Beefeater Tours’ are guided tours of the Tower of London that are led by the Yeoman Warders, also known as Beefeaters.
They are famous for their distinctive uniforms and their knowledge of the Tower and its history is unrivalled.
The tours are included in the price of admission and are a great way to learn more about the Tower's history and architecture.
So there you have it; the highlights and things you should bear in mind when visiting the incredible Tower of London.
Make the most of your time in London with a trip to one of the most incredible buildings in the city, and the country!
Watch as history comes to life before your eyes, learn about the incredible secrets of the Tower and unlock the gruesome past as you explore; then at the end of a long day you can return to your hotel to enjoy one of the best restaurants near Finsbury Square; The Aviary Rooftop Bar & Kitchen.
Sounds like a pretty perfect day out.