"Tower of London" Tower of London Tip by sam2tokyo
Tower of London, London: 523 reviews and 935 photos
The Tower of London is one of the many available castles that you can visit in the city of London. It is well maintained hence the admission cost to enter the tower (£6-£10). People usually visit the place to see the Crown Jewels, which in my opinion, nothing really special.
Walking around the tower is free as it is sited along the river Thames right next to Tower Bridge (England's most famous but mistaken named bridge).
From the east side (Tower Bridge side) there is the tower cafe, a small and convenient tuck shop for minor hot food, coffee and sandwiches. Jacket potatoes sell for £2 or £3.50 with chill toppings, cheapest bread roll with ham also cost £2 and you can get these heated up. Its not cheap but just in case you're hungry or want to experience the English food. Now I brought this up because eating within the Tower is very expensive (£8.50 for fish and chips $1.50 for a bottle of coke). You may want to eat before visiting this place. There aren't many eateries around Tower Hill station but if you walk further down towards Monument station you can find Subway, E.A.T and even McDonalds.
Walk along the river Thames with the Tower on your right hand side, you can also see City Hall on the other side of the river.
The Tower of London has 2 gates along the Thames (South side), you can't enter through the first gate as that is usually for cars or trucks requiring access. You can use the second gate as long as you have your ticket. Just next to this gate is a section called Traitors' gate which currently has no water due to the winter season.
Walk further ahead and you'll see another cafe area with arguably better coffee and food. Turn right and there is the Westgate tower shop, here you can buy souvenirs. There is another shop selling similar stuff inside the tower but few people seem to buy from there. You'll find the main gate to the tower here (called the west gate entrance) as well as the ticket office up further ahead away from the river.
There is also the welcome centre on this side of the tower, though I rarely see people entering this place because most visitors either have all the information they need or they get the brochures from the ticket offices. I guess it would be useful for those who are not convinced with spending nearly £10 admission fee.
KFC, E.A.T and a few other coffee/pizza shops can be found in this area (called the Vaults actually) as well as Subway, Wagamama and the Gourmet Burger restaurant. You'll find no shortage of food in this area, for those on a budget go for KFC or Subway's sub of the day £1.99.
The Tower of London is not really for kids, teens or the adventurous types as its more about the study of English history, the architecture and the historic ambiance of the place. I wouldn't call it a romantic place nor a photographer's paradise but its a good experience.
If you are a photographer, pick a nice clear blue sky kind of day otherwise most photos will come out lifeless, emphasized by the cold looking tower (only my opinion though). I like taking shots of interesting textures like pebbled floors, walls and contrasting colours (ie. Yeoman Warders in their red uniforms vs the stone colored environment.
The White Tower was probably the most interesting tower as it had a number of interesting activities suitable for kids and the young at heart looking for something to mess around with.
Overall, for a budget traveler a walk around the tower is more than enough. People with families, good luck. Kids may get bored fairly quickly and babies will have a hard time climbing a lot of stairs.
Couples may fine it alright, though I think this would be most suitable for retirees or older people.
Address: Tower Hill, EC3
Directions: Tower Hill tube
Phone: 0 20 7709 0765
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