on June 23, 2009
I have been planning to visit the Tower of London for years and until this weekend never got around to it, so for me there was a lot of expectation and I was not disappointed. -Ticket Prices- Adults- £16.50 Children-£9.50 Family tickets and concessions are available and you can get discount if you book online. -The Tour- The tour is included in the ticket price and is definitely worth joining. The tours start every half hour and last around an hour. For me this was the highlight of an excellent day. The tour is given by a Yeoman Warder, who is actually a member of the military and before getting the job they have to have completed a certain amount of military service. It was very clear throughout the tour that the Yeoman Warder had a great deal of pride in the history of the tower and he was very knowledgable. Possibly more importantly for some people he was very funny. The history of the tower is obviously not always the most pleasant, there were a lot of executions (although not as many as you would think) and other unpleasant bits of history but the Yeoman Warder presented the information in a way that made you laugh but at the same time didn't take away from the horror of it. The tour goes around the grounds, pointing out the sites that are usually of the most interest. Obviously it's not possible to go into all of the history of the tower in one hour so it really is just the more famous points that are picked up on, for example Lady Jane Gray's execution, Anne Boleyns Execution, the disappearance of the two princes. I already had a good knowledge of many of the famous prisoners in the tower but didn't know much about why the tower was built and other parts of it's history so I found it really interesting to learn so many new things. If you go to the tower be sure to go on the tour. The guide is amusing, he's knowledgeable and it gives you a chance to ask questions at the end. -Crown Jewels- If you go to the tower of London you do of course have to see the crown jewels...just so that you can say that you did. I wasn't really that bothered about seeing them, I was there more for the history of the place than looking at a bunch of tiara's but I'm pleased that I did see them. I can't exactly say that it was enjoyable...I don't think it's the most interesting thing I did with the day but at least now I can say that I did see them. I guess it was just a little bit boring. There's only so many tiara's you can look at before they all start to look the same. -The White Tower- Every building in the Tower of London is worth seeing and this one is no different. In the White Tower there were a number of models of the tower made at various points in history and I found this really interesting. I just liked to see how the tower has changed and what's been added or taken away. There were displays from the Royal Armouries and they didn't really interest me much. I'm just not interested in that kind of thing but if you are then it's probably worth seeing. I went through this display pretty quickly because it bored me but I did think it was really good for children. There were so many interactive things to do including a number of educational games. I liked that they had activity books for children to take around the exhibition with them because it really did make it more interesting for the children (but unfortunately not for me!). -The Bloody Tower- The bloody tower contains an exhibition about the little princes, who disappeared after being kept in the tower and are suspected of being murdered by their uncle or Henry VII and an exhibition about another inhabitant who was poisoned. This attraction doesn't take much time, it's pretty small but very interesting and worth seeing. -Food- We had lunch at the restaurant which was expensive and not that great. The food wasn't awful as such, it was just very average. It reminded me a lot of school dinners. There was a good variety of food, salads, sandwiches, hot food and cakes so that was good but it was very expensive for what you got. I guess you can charge what you want when you're the only restaurant within the tower! It wasn't very clean or tidy either. There was litter on the floor and the tables weren't clean. The staff were mostly friendly, as were all of the staff working in all parts of the tower. -Final Comments- I wish that I'd had longer in the tower. We were there for four hours and it was nowhere near long enough. I didn't get to see half of the things that I wanted to see but what I did see I liked. If you are visiting London then you should definitely go to the Tower and if you live in London then you have no excuse, get yourself down there! It was a great day out and if you're like me and love history you will find it very interesting.
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