Fortress, prison, royal mint and now tourist attraction - the Tower of London has seen many lives over the past centuries and persists this day as a powerful symbol of British heritage.
Situated in Central London, just a stone’s throw from the River Thames, the Tower of London is one of the city's premier attractions.
1.The White Tower
One of the most famous keeps in the world, this Tower is so renowned that it was referred to by Shakespeare in many of his plays. It contains the impressive Royal Armouries collections and even an 11th century Romanesque chapel.
2.The Royal Mint
Explore the Coins & Kings exhibition which depicts the story of the Mint at the Tower between 1279 and 1812. Learn about what life was like on Mint Street through outdoor installations and interactive displays, even fun facts about Isaac Newton and his thief catching skills.
Take a walk through history and learn about some of the most important symbols of English culture and monarchy. Try and count the 23,578 gems that make up the Crown Jewels and marvel at the stories of how the collection was nearly destroyed through history. You can even see the crown Elizabeth II wore to her coronation!
For 600 years the Tower was kept as a menagerie of wild and exotic animals; gifts that the King and Queen were donated by their visitors and admirers. Everything from ostriches to elephants, lions and polar bears were kept in the confines of the Brick Tower.
5.Yeoman Warder Tours
Yeomen, aka Beefeaters, were so called because centuries ago as part of the Royal Bodyguard they were allowed to eat as much beef as they wanted from the king’s table. Nowadays, the Yeomen Warders qualify for the privilege after serving in the armed forces for 22 years.
Tours are included in the price of an entry ticket, and depart every 30 minutes (last tour 15.30 in summer, 14.30 in winter). Tours last approximately 60 minutes and start near the main entrance.
If the six resident ravens ever leave the court, legend has it that the court and the tower will fall. The ravens who inhabit the Tower are named and are replaced if they are badly behaved! Currently the Tower has seven ravens, in case one goes missing, and they are looked after by the Raven Master. A word of warning: don’t approach the ravens as they’re known to eat 170g of raw meat a day, as well as blood-soaked bird biscuits!