The Tower of London is one of London’s top attractions, and if you have children who can walk independently, you MUST include it in your tour itinerary while visiting with children. This blog article will go through some of the best activities for families at the Tower of London and answer the most often asked questions about planning a Tower of London visit with the kids.
In this article, we will discuss how to plan a family visit to the Tower of London, including discount tickets, getting to the Tower of London and what activities there are for children once you arrive. We also share a video of the guards during our family visit to the Tower of London this summer.
Check out our complete guide to visiting the Tower of London with children. Keep reading to learn more!
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If you are planning a vacation to London with your family, check out our articles about Touring Buckingham Palace with Children and Changing of the Guards Tips for Families. Plus, How to Get Around London with Kids and Visiting The London Eye With Children.
What is the Tower of London?
The Tower of London is a 900-year-old castle and stronghold in central London known for hosting the crown jewels and sheltering many famous and notorious prisoners.
Following the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William the Conqueror constructed the first walls around the city to strengthen his holdings. In 1078, he constructed the White Tower, now known as the Tower of London.
The Tower has held the royal mint (until the early nineteenth century), a menagerie (which departed in 1835), a records office, an armory, and soldiers’ barracks. It was also utilized as a royal palace until the 17th century.
How to Plan a Family Visit to the Tower of London
Looking to plan a Tower of London visit with your family? When taking kids to London’s iconic landmark, the Tower of London, it’s important to know the following information in advance: how to purchase tickets and when the site is open.
Hours for Tower of London
Except for December 24-26 and January 1, the Tower of London is open daily. Seasonal hours vary but normally run from mid-morning until late afternoon.
Typically the Tower of London visiting hours start from 9:00 AM or 10:00 AM. The Tower of London’s closing time can vary between 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM during the summer. The last admission is one hour before closing. Check the opening days and hours before your visit, as they vary throughout the year.
Tower of London Discount Codes
When you visit the Tower of London, skip the line and purchase your tickets online. An online advance purchase will save you 15% off the gate price.
There are several discounts available for visits to the Tower of London. At the gate, an adult ticket costs £29.90. Discounts are available for children, students, seniors 65 plus, and the disabled.
Tower of London Family Ticket Discount
You can purchase a Family Saver ticket. Many families may save money by purchasing a Family Saver ticket instead of many separate tickets. There are options with one or two adults and may include up to three minors. Free admission is offered to children under the age of 4 years.
Sign Up for a Membership
Are you planning on visiting more than one of the Historic Royal Palaces and want to save money on your admission? After only two visits, you’ll get your money’s worth out of an annual membership.
Use The London Pass
The Tower of London is included on several London Passes as a popular attraction. You may see as many of the included attractions as you wish for the price of your chosen number of days. Do not bother with the ticket desk and come whenever you want.
You could spend an entire day doing everything here, but most families will be satisfied with a half-day or less. Gift shops, bathrooms, food service, and free WiFi are available.
Getting to the Tower of London
The Tower of London is situated in the Whitechapel neighborhood. When planning a Tower of London visit with children, take the underground to a nearby Tower of London tube station. It may be reached by taking the District and Circle lines to Tower Hill station or the Northern and Jubilee lines to London Bridge station. The district line, in particular, offers a plethora of fantastic attractions.
Another option for getting to the Tower of London is to travel by boat along the River Thames. We took a river sightseeing tour from the pier at the Tower of London to South Bank and saw Tower Bridge, the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, and everything in between. Traveling by boat to the Tower of London is a great alternative to taking the tube, bus, or taxi.
What Activities are Available for Children at the Tower of London?
There’s enough to do at the Tower of London, but most families won’t require a whole day. So, it is good to familiarize yourself with the activities and prioritize those your family is most interested in.
What is the Tower of London used for today? You can spend a few hours and still hit most of the highlights. Here are some of the top family activities at the Tower of London.
Spot the Ravens
The Tower is home to seven ravens, which you may glimpse as you wander around. According to mythology, if the ravens ever leave the Tower, the monarchy would collapse; hence the birds have been preserved here since the reign of King Charles II.
However, if they are not up to the task, they must be replaced: one raven was sacked for chewing TV aerials. A Tower of London beefeater is responsible for caring for them. Known as the Tower of London Ravenmaster. The ravens are given raw meat and blood-soaked bird crackers.
Admire the Crown Jewels
A trip to the Tower of London with children must involve visiting the Crown Jewels. The Crown Jewels are the most potent emblems of the British Monarchy, and the Queen still wears them regularly.
They’re just as amazing as you’d expect. Everything used in the coronation ritual since 1661, is on display, including the exceedingly heavy St Edward’s Crown used to crown the king. The original Crown Jewels were burned in the Tower on Oliver Cromwell’s orders after King Charles I’s execution, but they were rebuilt for his son, King Charles II’s, coronation.
Some of the most renowned diamonds in the world are included in the collection, including the 530.2 carats ‘Great Star of Africa’ in the Sovereign’s Sceptre and the Koh-i-Nûr, the ‘Mountain of Light’ set in Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother’s crown – together with 2,800 other diamonds.
Armed guards in the Tower are guarding the diamonds. Even the vault doors that go into the Jewel House are 2,000 kilograms. It’s difficult to think that visitors could formerly touch the Crown Jewels.
This ended in 1815 when a lady seized the Imperial State Crown and attempted to break it apart. The Jewel House is normally extremely crowded, so keep an eye on the wait while you wander about and try to slip in when it’s not too lengthy.
Take a Stroll Along the Battlements
Climb the battlements and tour the medieval residence where the royal family resided when they came to see the Tower. The Wall Walk provides excellent views of London and allows you to spy on the ravens.
A stroll through the battlements brings you over bridges and into numerous turrets. In St. Thomas’s Tower, you can view King Edward I’s bedroom, and in Wakefield Tower, you can see King Henry III’s private quarters.
The medieval palace has a great family trail worksheet that walks youngsters around the palace and teaches them what to look for along the route.
Tower of London Guided Tour with a Yeoman Warder
The Yeoman Warder Tours are an excellent way to begin visiting the Tower of London with children. The Yeoman Warders (or Beefeaters as they are most generally known) dwell in the Tower and have done so for the last 500 years.
Before being considered for the role, they must have served honorably in the military for at least 22 years. The trips last around an hour and take place every 30 minutes. The Yeoman Warders are full of anecdotes, many of which are humorous.
During a Tower of London Beefeater Tour, they’ll tease, disgust, and delight your youngsters all at the same time. We appreciated learning that the grass in the moat is so green because it used to be filled with corpses, plague victims, rodents, and feces.
Or that the White Tower’s first prisoner managed to escape by sliding down a rope brought into his cell in a wine casket. We discovered that the Royal Menagerie housed exotic creatures such as elephants, bears, and tigers, a polar bear that used to collect fish from the River Thames, and a zebra who loved to drink beer from the soldiers’ canteen!
Climb the Bloody Tower
It is reported that the two princes were slain in this Tower. King Edward V, 12, and his younger brother, Richard, were taken to the Tower by their uncle. He was anointed as King Richard III in 1483. After they were proven illegitimate, they were never seen or heard from again. The spirits of two youths in their nightshirts are reported to haunt the Bloody Tower.
The top room of the Bloody Tower includes an exhibit concerning the princes’ disappearance, but the basement cell, where Sir Walter Raleigh was imprisoned, is equally worth a visit. The rooms have been arranged in the manner in which he may have seen them during his stay.
Tower of London Ceremony of the Keys
Check Out At the Key Ceremony at the Tower of London closing time. For nearly 700 years, the Tower of London has been traditionally locked every night. The Chief Yeoman Warder appears at 9.52 p.m., holding a candle lantern in one hand and the Queen’s keys in the other. The Tower of London night ceremony begins when he goes to Traitor’s Gate to greet the Foot Guards. From 9.30 p.m., forty to fifty guests are invited to the Tower of London night tour to see it.
Participate in Family Activities at the Tower of London
Family activities are offered throughout the school holidays, and these free events are a fantastic way to make your day at the Tower of London with children more memorable.
Recent activities include the well-known Knight School, where costumed actors teach groups of children how to wield a sword, joust, dance like a medieval squire, and make a scary war face. Following that, children may engage in crafts such as learning to write with a quill, constructing a catapult, and polishing their armor.
Check Out the Execution Site
On Tower Green, there is a monument to all individuals who were executed at this execution site, including the three Queens of England who were all beheaded here: Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard, and Lady Jane Grey.
Despite its reputation as a death site, the Tower of London has only seen 22 executions. The majority of those slain were on adjacent Tower Hill. Being executed inside the Tower, away from the jeering throng, was considered an honor.
Many of those killed at the Tower are buried at the neighboring Chapel Royal, including some of history’s most renowned Tudors like Anne Boleyn, Sir Thomas More, and Thomas Cromwell. During the nineteenth century, their decapitated remains were buried under the nave.
Look at the Armor in the White Tower
The White Tower is the Tower of London’s oldest structure. It was erected on William the Conqueror’s instructions. The suits of armor produced for monarchs such as Henry VIII and Charles I may be found here. It’s fascinating to compare the sizes of Henry VIII’s armor when he was young and when he was older – he had certainly gained a lot of weight!
For generations, tourists have seen the ‘Line of Kings,’ which consists of armor mounted on life-sized wooden horses. My youngsters were especially taken with the sets of armor designed for young princes.
Tower of London Video
Here are the guards during our family visit to the Tower of London.
The Tower of London is one of the capital’s most famous landmarks and a must-see for anybody visiting the city. The Tower of London visit with children is extremely enjoyable. It’s ideal for youngsters who like the more gruesome aspects of history since it contains tales of torture, imprisonments, deaths, hauntings, and murder. You’ll discover anything from armor sets to some of the world’s most renowned diamonds.
There’s so much to see and do with kids at the Tower of London that it might be overwhelming. However, I hope this guide helps you plan your Tower of London visit with children. And that you will enjoy your time discovering the history there as much as our family did. Thanks for reading!
For more about family travel, check out these posts:
Best Things to do in London with Kids
Free or Cheap Activities in London for Families
Tips for Touring Buckingham Palace with Children
Visiting the London Eye with Children
How to Get Around London with Kids
Tips and Tricks for Disney World
Summer Planner for Kids
How to Avoid Lost Luggage
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FAQ about The Tower of London
The Tower of London is a 900-year-old castle in central London known for hosting the crown jewels.
The Tower of London attracts visitors worldwide to see the fortress, palace, and prison. It is a world heritage site and one of the world’s leading tourist attractions. It is home to a garrison of soldiers, the Resident Governor, a doctor, and a chaplain! When the visitors are gone, there is a thriving community amongst the Yeoman Warders and their families who also live at The Tower of London.
The Tower of London may be reached by taking the District and Circle lines to Tower Hill station or the Northern and Jubilee lines to London Bridge station.