Looking for Tower of London tourist attractions and activities that the whole family will love? We have some great ideas for you and your kids.
There’s a dark side and a bright side to the Tower of London, and the site’s story isn’t complete without mentions of both sides. On the bright side, you have a mighty palace that was built more than 1,000 years ago by William the Conqueror. It has served as home to the Royal Mint, a zoo, and other noteworthy institutions. It remains the protective force of the Crown Jewels to this day.
On the dark side, you have a fortress that loomed over Londoners after the city was defeated in the 1070s. It served as a prison and place of torture for some Londoners in those times, and the tales of horrific acts of violence committed in the tower continue to circulate today.
More than three million visitors flock to the Tower of London every year, taking in those tales from the bright and dark sides of London history. If you want to visit with your family, this quick guide will point out the must-see highlights for your kids.
Look for black ravens patrolling the Tower of London. It’s believed that the monarchy cannot exist without the protection of the ravens and there will always be at least six on duty. The ravens are free to roam many areas of the tower and are all assigned names. They’re smart animals with personalities as unique as those of humans.
The Jewel House
The Crown Jewels are kept in the Jewel House along with more than 20,000 precious and semi-precious gemstones. You’ll see Royal tiaras and other jewels that are of significant monetary value as well as cultural value. Many of the pieces on display are still used by the Queen when Royal ceremonies take place.
Your ticket to the Tower of London will include a tour of the Jewel House. There is always an armed guard on duty to ensure the safety of the jewels.
The Yeoman Warder Tour
The Yeomen Warders are highly esteemed members of the military charged with protecting the Tower of London. They’re required to reach the level of Warrant Officer with a minimum of 22 years of service before they are eligible for assignment to this highly prized duty.
Also known as the Beefeaters, these guards are seen throughout the Tower of London. You can take a special tour that gives you a closer look at who they are and what they do once you’re inside the Tower of London. It’s free and is included in your admission tickets to the tower.
The White Tower
The armory exhibit inside the White Tower is quite impressive even for kids who may find other exhibits less than interesting. You’ll see swords and other protective gear designed from heavy metal. The exhibit includes real armor worn by some of the biggest names in London history.
Ceremony of the Keys
Before you call it a night, watch the Beefeaters put the Tower of London to rest in the Ceremony of the Keys. It’s an evening event that has occurred every night at 9:53 pm since the 14th century. The tower is secured for the night, ensuring the Royal Jewels and all other precious items are tucked away safely.
This process was once used to lock in the monarch, but the tower is no longer used as a residence for the monarch. The ceremony of the keys still occurs due to its cultural significance and the value of the jewels still housed within the tower.
Your ticket into the Tower of London does not include the Ceremony of the Keys. You can reserve tickets to this event online. They are always free, but there is a limit on how many you can reserve, depending on the month of your visit.
The Tower of London is one of the leading London attractions because it highlights a rich piece of the city’s history. How much of the dark side of the tower you reveal to your children depends on their ages and interests, but kids of all ages should find something enjoyable during the visit.
You can reserve Tower of London tickets online. There’s a special rate for children between the ages of 5 and 15, and babies under age 5 always enter free. You can buy a Family Saver package to get a slight discount on your tickets, those packages are limited to one or two adults and up to three children.
The Tower of London is included in the London Pass. Just show your pass at the door. If you invest in one of the other London attraction passes, you may find that it’s included there as well.