Tales of murder and mystery, ancient traditions and priceless jewels dominate any visit to The Tower of London. One of the must-see places in London, it attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.
There is so much to see and do at the Tower of London, that you are spoilt for choice as to where to start. The one area which is not too far from elegant Presidential Apartments Kensington that attracts the longest queues is the Crown Jewels exhibition. This is a priceless display of crowns and royal regalia – all of which are still regularly used by The Queen, from the State Opening of Parliament to royal funerals. Many form part of the regalia needed at the coronation of a new king or queen. Among the Crown Jewels are some of the most incredible diamonds in the world such as the Koh-i-noor.
You can book a stay at Aparthotels London and take a guided tour with one of the Yeomen Warders and hear the fascinating stories that surround The Tower of London. Discover how the Crown Jewels were stolen by Colonel Blood during the reign of Charles II, the legends of the Tower Ravens and the people who were imprisoned here – many of whom were subsequently executed. Their ranks included many prominent citizens including two queens. Henry VIII executed two of his six wives – Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard. Both are buried in the Tower.
Then there is the story of the Princes in the Tower. No one really knows if it was their skeletons found buried under a staircase, but you cannot help but wonder seeing as the skeletons were two young boys. The duo had been sent to the Tower for their safety by their uncle, Richard III. He had just deposed the older child and taken the crown for himself. Once in the Tower, they were never seen again.
The Tower Twilight tours are certainly a little spooky, as you stroll around the darkening courtyards, ramparts and towers.
The Tower itself has had an unusual history. Built as a fortress, it has withstood sieges. Other uses over the years, include periods as a prison, a Royal Mint, a treasury and even a Zoo. The White Tower has a stunning collection of weapons and armour across the centuries. Interactive displays allow you to try drawing back a bow and dressing a model of Henry VIII in his ornate, decorative armour. Perhaps you prefer slightly newer weapons – why not try designing your own musket and deciding which technological development might improve your target practice?
Planning to visit the Tower? We recommend going early and reserve a place in central London like Serviced Apartments Central London. So, be prepared to stay all day, exploring this incredible building. Book tickets in advance wherever possible to minimize queuing times.