I feel like I say this with every post, but the Tower of London really was one of our absolute favorite parts of our London trip. Probably because my husband is a historian and I have a love for British historical fiction. 😉
I really tried to limit the amount of photos in this post, but I still ended up with around 20 or so. Sorry! If you ever go though, you will see why. Not only is it beautiful, but there is also so much to do. I have also included some tips for your own trip towards the end of the post!
Now, on to the many pictures. 😊
A little historical background information: the oldest part of the tower was built in 1078. Known as a fortress, it was also the place of coronations, imprisonments, and many (most often gruesome) deaths.
It comes as no surprise then that the tower is often considered haunted. Many people have reported seeing Anne Boleyn’s ghost there, if you believe in that sort of thing!
This is the Traitor’s Gate, which is pretty self explanatory with it’s name. The tower used to be surrounded by water. When someone was convicted of a crime and sent to the tower, they would pass through this gate by boat. Most that went through this gate did not leave.
Now though, the tower is not used for such dark matters. Instead, it is one of Britain’s top attractions and hosts the Crown Jewels.
This place is so steeped in history. Parts of it still feel untouched.
While we were there, we totally geeked out over the idea that we were walking where so many historical figures walked. So neat!
Couldn’t you just imagine Elizabeth I looking out that window?
Or men pacing to and fro with swords, looking out for enemies?
Different eras of history coexisting in the same space.
The iconic British soldier photo. Even though many people were taking the same photo as well, I still felt a bit awkward taking his photo without his permission. 😂 I’m sure he’s used to it though. I was a tad disappointed to see that they didn’t have on their red uniform, so I asked my husband why. Apparently, this is their winter uniform and we were too early before their summer red uniform makes an appearance. Oh well!
This part of the tower was my husband’s favorite because…
it houses all of the historical armory. My husband’s specialty is medieval Europe, so he was pretty much in heaven! He had me take about 300+ photos of all the suits of armor and weaponry, but don’t worry! I will keep it limited to just this photo. 😂 This piece is from Henry VIII’s collection.
One of the things about visiting in the springtime is that it was still very cold outside. It was even colder in the tower! I can’t imagine the prisoner’s having to live in these temps. It helped put what they went through into a little bit more perspective.
Also, one thing to note is that in the past, people used to be much shorter than most are today. That was apparent in the height of these doorframes, as shown here! I myself am only 5’2″ and even I had to sometimes duck to make it through.
Beautiful little prayer nook. Look at that glass!
Whatever you do, make sure you always look up. 😉
A rare photo of me!
And I’m all out of captions now. I’m surprised I made it this far, honestly. 😂
Tips for Your Trip
1. Get there early! We went right when they opened and the line wasn’t so bad nor were the crowds. When we were leaving later that afternoon, the line was terrible!
2. Most websites I saw said that you would probably only be there for 2 hours. I think that is an underestimate. I would probably say 3 to 4 hours instead, unless you have a historian husband like mine. We were there for 7 hours.
3. Go see the Crown Jewels first thing. There are signs pointing you in that direction. When we first entered through the gates, we saw several people rushing in that direction, so we decided to follow them. I’m so glad we did! That line gets insanely long.
4. Try a beefeater tour. They are completely free and tell you tidbits that you won’t find anywhere else.
5. Use a map. For real. The place is huge, so it’s easy to miss things.