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Steeped in history, the Tower of London has played a major part in some of the biggest events in English history. So if you’d like to step back in time and have a trip to remember, make sure to go to the Tower.
The Tower of London is undoubtedly one of the most recognisable sights of the capital city and one of its most popular tourist destinations.
Positioned on the north bank of the Thames in the Tower Hamlets area, it’s a mystical place tied up in folklore, superstition, and steeped in history.
Separated from the rest of the city by a green space known as Tower Hill, the first part of the building took place in the 11th century, when the White Tower was created. Originally, it was designed as a royal palace, but it’s perhaps more famously associated with being a prison.
Despite its sometimes gory reputation, there have been surprisingly few executions since the Tower was first used to house prisoners in the 12th century. But stories like the Princes in the Tower have forever marked it as being a place of cruelty and hardship.
To start your trip around the Tower of London, we’d recommend popping to the Jewel House to see the Crown Jewels. It’s a great way to kick start your journey through the centuries.
The stunning White Tower is definitely worth spending some time in too. It was built to assert authority over the masses, and it still holds a certain power to this day. It’s also a great example of solid Norman architecture, and houses an impressive collection of armour.
If you’d like a guided tour, go with one of the Yeoman Warders, more commonly known as “Beefeaters”. And while you’re doing the rounds, keep your eyes peeled for the ravens. Said to be the guardians of the tower, legend has it that there must always be six ravens in residence at any time.
To get the most from your trip, try and find somewhere to stay close to the Tower. Hotels near the Tower of London include the Apex City of London and the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London –Tower of London, right through to budget-friendly places like Premier Inn London Bank (Tower) and The Tower.
There are plenty of eateries to choose from close by too. To start you off with some inspiration, popular places include the historic pub under Tower Bridge called the Perkin Reveller, Cote Brasserie–St Katharine Docks which is a French restaurant, and cosy eateries like the New Armouries Café.