Is the Tower of London for Kids or Should Families Skip It?

Tower of London

Some think the tower of London for kids is a ill-advised so we have some suggestions to help you decide if it is suitable for your family.

The Tower of London is one of the biggest London attractions, but it’s not necessarily ideal for all kids. Before you put it on your travel plan, take a moment to consider what your kids will encounter on the visit. You are the best person to decide when and if your kids visit the Tower of London.

Official Tower of London Age Restrictions

There are no age restrictions for Tower of London for kids. In fact, ticket prices are discounted for kids under 18. At the time of this writing, the ticket prices without the optional donation are as follows:

  • Adults 18 and over - £25.00
  • 16-17 or over 64 - £20.00
  • 5-15 - £12.50
  • Under 5 – Free

There are also two Family Saver ticket packages, but there are restrictions on what is considered a family. Both packages allow up to three children with one or two adults.

Just because there are no official Tower of London age restrictions doesn’t mean all parents will consider it a suitable attraction for their children. Keep reading to discuss that issue further.

Why Would the Tower of London Not Suit Some Kids?

Is the Tower of London for Kids or Should Families Skip It?

There is nothing about the actual London of Tower building that is unsafe for children of any age, assuming young kids are supervised by adults at all times. What makes it unsuitable in the eyes of some parents is the content of the exhibits and some of the topics often brought up on tours. That said, many parents have no problem with that content, so it’s a personal decision for every family.

What exactly do some find unsuitable for kids? This list will fill you in quickly:

  • History of the Tower of London – The rich history is what makes the tower interesting for many adults, but some parents don’t want to introduce some of that history to their children. The tower once served as a prison in which torture was carried out. Some of the most famous prisoners were executed by decapitation.

  • Torture Artefacts – There are artefacts of torture in the Tower of London exhibits. It’s a part of the tower’s history, but some parents find it too unsettling or gory for children.

  • The Beefeaters – The Yeoman Warders are a big part of any visit to the Tower of London, so what is the complaint? Some visitors consider them sexist, but there are far more visitors who find them purely entertaining.

  • The Dark Storytelling – It’s true that imprisonment, torture, and executions aren’t the happiest topics of discussion for a family vacation. These topics are a part of most tours of the Tower of London, and guides typically don’t tone it down unless they’re conducting a tour intended for children or have been instructed to do so for a private tour.
  • The Tour Guides – Some online reviewers have noted sexist comments or jokes from Tower of London tour guides. It goes back to the guides not toning down their presentations in the presence of children.

Those points may raise eyebrows for some parents while barely phasing others. It often comes down to the age and maturity level of the kids in question plus the family values and lifestyle of each family. Only you can decide if your children are ready to visit a tower that went through a dark phase in history.

Can You Make the Tower of London More Kid-Friendly?

Most complaints from parents are related to the typical self-guided visit or guided group tours of the tower of London for kids. If you aren’t sure that you want your kids to have the full Tower of London experience, you can book a private tour of the tower.

Guides will stick to their usual routine and script when conducting a group tour. They can’t cater to just one family in that scenario, but private tours give you more control of the experience. The Morning or Evening Jewel House Tours are good picks, but the Secrets of the Tower Tour may deliver too much of the content you’re trying to avoid.

You can also contact the Tower of London and request a tour that leaves out certain topics. You may also request that tour guides word some parts of the tour so that they aren’t as easily understood by young children in your family.

You may ask that your tour guide focus more on prisoners that were given more freedom to come and go while staying in the tower or who enjoyed a better quality of life while there. Not all prisoners were tortured or executed. 

Opting Out of the Tower of London for Kids

Even with a private tour, it’s difficult to completely avoid all references to torture, imprisonment, and execution while discussing some areas of the tower. Private tour guides can do their best to accommodate your needs but may still slip a little due to the performance they’re accustomed to delivering.

If you’re seriously opposed to some of the tower’s history, you can simply choose not to visit until your kids are older.

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