This three-hour Tower of London tour, led by a historian who has taught British history extensively, uses the Tower as backdrop for understanding and discussing British history and culture. Together, we'll discuss the many roles the Tower has played in its nearly 1,000-year history, from strategic outpost of William the Conqueror to a prison and site of execution that witnessed the beheading of two of Henry VIII's wives.
We’ll begin with a walk outside the tower and consider the oldest part of the structure, which was built by William the Conqueror in the 1070s. Upon entering, we’ll discuss the architectural developments of the Tower of London as a castle and a royal residence. At the execution site, we will remember those who were executed and imprisoned here and explore why private rather than public executions were chosen. We’ll also discuss famous prisoners like Guy Fawkes, who attempted to blow up Parliament in 1605, and look at examples of torture instruments from the past. We’ll also see the Yeoman Warders, also known as the Beefeaters, who are the ceremonial guardians of the Tower; the legendary ravens that have been at the tower for over 300 years; and the Crown Jewels, used in the coronation ceremony of each new monarch, which symbolize the divine right of kings. We’ll explore all this in relation to the Victorians and the many narratives they constructed about the tower.
Then, depending on your preference, we may enter the White Tower, the oldest part of the Tower of London, and explore the state-of-the-art Norman fortress and royal palace. Alternatively, we can explore the many other towers, perhaps seeing the graffiti carved into the walls by prisoners in the Beauchamp Tower (also known as the Bloody Tower), where two young princes were said to have been murdered in 1483.
What is a private tour?
Our private tours are limited exclusively to travelers in your party. They are designed to provide a learning experience that is completely tailored to you and your traveling companions. Private tours give you more flexibility with scheduling (you decide when the walk best fits in your trip), the ability to tailor your itinerary (we'll work to match the itinerary to the interests and dynamics of your group), and more personalized time with your guide.
What is a small group tour?
Our small group tours cover many of the same itineraries as our private tours, but they place you with other travelers in groups of 6 or less. They operate on a pre-scheduled calendar, and are designed to provide an opportunity to engage with and learn from other travelers. Most of our small group tours require at least three (3) participants to run, although there is some variation from walk to walk. However, there is some variation from walk to walk. As you sign up for a tentative walk we display the minimum number required in order to confirm.
Where do we meet? Where does it end?
The tour meets near the Tower, in an easy to find location away from the crowds. Your confirmation email will have the exact meeting point details along with a map, and 24/7 phone number. The walking tour ends within the Tower grounds.
Does this walk "skip the line"?
Yes, we use a reserved entry to bypass the ticket line at the entrance. However, if you are interested in a fully exclusive, "no crowds" experience, we also offer an early morning Tower of London walk
Will we see the Crown Jewels?
Yes, the Jewels are part of the tour. Please note that during peak season the Jewel House can be quite crowded, especially in the late morning and early afternoon.
Can I buy food and drink at the Tower or should I bring my own snacks?
Yes. There are various restaurants and cafés at the Tower offering a wide range of refreshments, snacks and meals, but you can also bring your own snacks.
Can I take photographs?
You are welcome to take photographs or to video within most of the Tower but photography and filming are not permitted inside the Jewel House, the Martin Tower, the chapel of St John inside the White Tower or in the Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula.
Is the Tower of London accessible?
Whilst the Tower welcomes all visitors, this historic building has places with difficult stairs and passageways and wheelchair access is limited. There are also a large number of steps throughout the Tower with cobbles laid in some of the roads. However, the Jewel House and the Crown Jewels are fully accessible to all visitors.
Is this tour good for kids?
Yes! We have some excellent family friendly guides who can appeal to the learning styles of children. We have a separate Tower of London for Families walk
just for families with children 12 and under. When booking, free to provide us with information about your children such as favorite school subjects, and hobbies. This way we can match you with the best possible guide.
Can we schedule a tour in the afternoon?
We generally recommend morning tours, as crowds can be very bad in the afternoon, especially to see the Crown Jewels. However, we can sometimes make exceptions. Get in touch if you require a different start time.