The Tower of London, Central London - Pictures
A Historic Royal Palace, UNESCO World Heritage Site

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The most popular fee-charging visitor attraction in Britain located in central London on the river a very short walk from a tube station and a stones throw from Tower Bridge. There are free tours by the Yeoman Warders (Beefeaters) and outdoor enactments especially in the summer months. It is not the cheapest of places to visit in London, but provides good value for money. Tickets are somewhat cheaper if bought online in advance rather than at the gate, family tickets are available and the Tower is usually one of the attractions on multi-ticket deals.

All pictures as a slideshow

The Tower of London - a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most popular pay to enter tourist attraction in Britain.

Yeoman Warders (Beefeeaters) - provide free entertaining guided tours around with lots of stories about the history of the Tower.

From sometime in the 1200's to 1835, the Tower housed a zoo or menagerie of exotic animals, these are featured as a range of life-size sculptures across the site.

Entrance for visitors - is across a bridge over the moat and through the gate of the Byward Tower built in the 1200's.

There are seven semi-tame ravens at the Tower - legend has it that the Kingdom and the Tower will fall if six of them leave (there's a spare!).

Inside the Tower - the inner walls to the left and outer walls to the right.

Traitors Gate - an entrance to the Tower from the River Thames originally known as the Water Gate in 1279. The name came from the number of those accused of treason who were brought in through the gate so avoiding the roads.

In 1252 King Henry III was given a Polar Bear by the King of Norway - It is represented by this chained up statue, though the real bear was allowed to swim and hunt in the Thames on a long chain.

The White Tower - is the central keep of the Tower of London complex, sometimes thought to be "The Tower of London" itself, it dates back to 1080, the other structures were built around it.

An elephant arrived at the Tower as a gift from the King of France in 1255 - possibly the first to ever be seen in England.

Broad Arrow Tower - One of many such defensive towers around the walls designed to slow attackers and expose them to fire from the defenders.The towers were also used for accomodation of various kinds.

Accommodation - between the inner and outer walls in current use by those who live and work at the tower such as the Yeoman Warders and their families.

A fortified tower on the walls.

An arrow embrasure - in one of the towers, defenders could use these to fire arrows at any attackers, narrow on the outer face but angled inwards for ease of aim on the inner. These walls are about 3 feet thick by the door.

A Yeoman Warder ("Beefeater") - just off to take a break.

Guards outide the "Waterloo Barracks" - built in 1840 these now house the Crown Jewels.

Changing the Guard - at the Tower of London.

A guard outide the Waterloo Barracks

The half-timbered buildings inside the Tower walls are known as the Queen's House, in the background is "The Shard", the tallest building in the UK open in 2012.

Wellington Barracks

Changing the guard at the Tower of London - anyone who looks like they might be in the path gets a loud "Make way for the Queen's guard!" to move them on their way.

Tower Bridge - seen from inside the walls of the Tower of London.

The Wellington Barracks in the Tower - built in 1840's to house 1,000 soldiers now holds the British Crown Jewels.

Inside the White Tower - thick double walls provide formidable defences.

Actors in period costume - on the green outside the White Tower, historical enactments occur particularly in the summer months, the tower is also the venue for other performances.

A guard outide the Waterloo Barracks

Two Yeoman Warders or Beefeaters

The Tower Ravens - unfazed by people walking around.

Sculptures of the animals from the menagerie - dotted around the Tower.

The New and the Old. Modern London in the distance with 12th century defensive walls in the foreground.

All pictures as a slideshow

Visit: The Tower of London  Pictures: Central London | National Gallery

Visiting the Tower

Tickets can be bought on arrival. Buy online in advance to save money on the gate price. Allow 2 - 4 hours for your visit.

Getting There

Underground station - Tower Hill - District and Circle Lines (5 minute walk).

Rush hours 8.15-8.45 and 17.30-18.00 are best avoided.

Bus routes - 15, 42, 78, 100, RV1.