Would you skip the chance to Tour the Tower of London? I sure wouldn’t if I were you, especially if you travelled from a great distance just to go to the attraction.
Years ago when I first lived in London, my mom came to visit me. Our trip together to the Tower of London was one of the most memorable activities we shared, and we took the tour.
Recently, when I went back for a second visit, I thought about skipping the tour. I am sure glad I didn’t.
For two hours I wandered around the Tower buildings taking pictures of well, just about everything. It was a beautiful day. Finally, I decided to join one of the tours lead by a Yeoman Warder that leaves every half hour. On my own, I just wasn’t learning enough.
Rather than write a creative interpretation of all the interesting facts I gathered, I decided to help you decide if a tour is for you.
See if you know the answers to these questions…
Tour the Tower of London Test:
– What King was crowned at the Tower on Christmas Day?
– When did the Crown Jewels begin their ‘residence’ at the Tower of London?
– Whose royal sons were secretly stabbed in the Tower leading to their mysterious disappearance and a change in the heir to the throne?
– What three Queens were actually executed at the Tower in the area below?
– Why is the Tower considered the most famous prison in the world?
– Why was Water Gate changed to the name ‘Traitors Gate’?
– What is predicted to happen when ravens no longer inhabit the Tower of London?
– Why are these animals placed around the Tower of London?
– How many years of service must one do for Her Majesty in order to become a Yeoman Warder?
– Are Yeoman allowed to smile for pictures?
– Why are Yeoman also known as Beefeaters?
– Does a Yeoman Warder have a sense of humor?
(Hint: When I asked this Yeoman to smile for the picture, he said, ‘The last time I smiled for a picture, I got married.) 😉
How did you do on the quiz to see if you should take a tour of the Tower of London?
What? You’re not sure?
Well, I’m certainly not going to give you the answers and deprive you of the fun experience. Because, yes, it really is quite fun.
This is because the Yeoman Warders have a damn fine sense of humour. This is how I know…
When our tour started, our charismatic Yeoman guide asked how many Americans were in the crowd. After making a few jokes about how Americans lack the ability to ‘comprehend history because of our country’s youth compared to England’ he moved on to play with another population- Australians. He asked the Aussies in the crowd to raise their hands and then inquired if they were back in England on holiday or parole.
Next, our Yeoman of the hour explained the ginormous worth of the English dynasty we were visiting. He jested, ‘See, Americans. If you hadn’t dumped our tea in the Harbour and just paid your taxes, you could’ve had all this!’
Throughout the time, I learned the answers to nearly all the questions above plus loads more. During the tour of the Tower of London, I was very entertained by the presentation.
Should you join a tour of the Tower of London?
I’ll leave that for you to decide. Oh, and if you’d like some answers to the questions above, leave a comment or send me a tweet!
I visited The Tower of London during a day I used my complimentary London Pass and received fast track entry. Also that day I found where to take the best picture of London at Tower Bridge and almost needed a paramedic at The Monument London: ‘A Tower of Terror?‘
If you’re making a trip to London soon, you can always spend some time learning about my favourite city and London life with the Guide to London I created to help you.
Oh, and one final question. I actually really don’t know the answer to this one, but I noticed this scene on my way in to the Tower of London…
What is going on here outside? What are these people doing?