There are a number of tourist hotspots that every Londoner simply has to see – Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and the National Gallery are among the most esteemed locations we’re expected to tick off the list.
Although I have lived in London for almost seven years, like many residents I often overlook these attractions as either too expensive or too busy.
This weekend, I was shocked and delighted after visiting one of London’s most historic and popular landmarks, and it only cost me £1!
The Tower of London is arguably London’s most iconic site – steeped in history, this World Heritage Site entertains over 3 million guests each year.
READ MORE: ‘I went into Tower Bridge for the first time and it was so beautiful it made me want to be a full time tourist’
Home to the Crown Jewels, the Tower of London was the backdrop to some of the most gruesome scandals in British politics, with almost 1000 years of history to explore.
Given the prestige of this impressive site, you may be wondering what kind of price a place like this carries for hopeful visitors.
The standard price to visit the Tower of London is £29.90 for adults and £14.90 for children, though entrance is free for members.
A jammy detail which East London residents (like me) might love to learn is that entrance only costs an unbelievable £1 for all Tower Hamlets residents.
This offer is possible because of an agreement with Tower Hamlets Council, and is valid all year round. All you have to do is sign up for a Tower Hamlets library or Idea Store card and bring it on the day, along with proof of address, and this huge discount is all yours.
Even if you do have to pay the full price, I’d say the experience was completely worth it – I was stunned by how much there is to see and do.
From the dazzling Crown Jewels to the infamous Bloody Tower, the Tower of London is the perfect gateway to exploring British history.
Some of history’s most famous prisoners have been held at the Tower, including the Kray twins and Guy Fawkes, with two of Henry VIII’s wives being executed on site.
Animal lovers will not be disappointed by a visit to the Tower of London – the site is home to the well known ravens who swagger around the grounds.
These imposing, giant birds are known as the guardians of the Tower – it is said that the kingdom and the Tower of London will fall if the six resident ravens ever leave the fortress. There were nine ravens at the Tower when I visited.
Aside from the more predictable features at the Tower, there are endless surprising details available to discover at your visit.
The landmark has an incredibly complex history and has been home to a wide range of institutions, including the Royal Mint, the Royal Armouries, and was even a zoo home to leopards, elephants and polar bears in the past.
Your entry to the Tower also includes a free in-depth tour of the grounds led by Yeoman Warders, also known as Beefeaters, who certainly know their stuff.
It appears I’m not the only one who loved my visit to the Tower of London – Tripadvisor boasts hundreds of positive reviews of this classic landmark.
One guest wrote: “The most amazing, atmospheric place to visit. The buildings are stunning and visiting in January meant there were no queues and you feel like you have the place to yourself!
“So much history, brought to life in all its bloodthirsty glory on the guided tour but delivered with a twinkly smile and such a genuine passion for the place and his job.”
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Another was equally impressed: “I could go on and on about the Tower itself but honestly it’s just a must-see here in London. This was the first time I’ve been able to go since covid hit, so I was quite excited.
“It is worth the tickets and the trip, there is so much history packed into such a small space and a good mix of indoors and outdoors stuff to do so no matter if the weather is bad or not. I really came here just to say the beefeaters’ tours are incredibly worth it.”
So if, like me, you’ve been putting off visiting some of London’s more traditional tourist hotspots, wait no longer – you’re in for a great day out.
For more information and to plan your visit to the Tower of London, click here!
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