One day while my friend and I were in London we decided to visit the Tower of London on a whim. We figured that it would take us a little more than an hour to walk through and that we would be on our way to seeing other sights shortly thereafter. Completely unaware of what we were getting ourselves into, we purchased tickets and waited eagerly for our tour to begin. Little did we know that what we thought would be a quick tourist stop ended up being an all-afternoon adventure through stone corridors, towers, staircases, and incredible exhibitions.
Where do I even begin? My friend and I were taken aback by how enormous the Tower of London is once you actually enter it–so much so that it almost feels like a little village! I didn’t know much about the Tower of London before taking the tour, so I was amazed to learn how many different functions the location had served up until this point. Not only is it famously know as being the home of the Crown Jewels of England, but it has also served as a treasury, menagerie, armory, etc. Although the tour only took one hour, actually walking through all of the buildings and exhibitions took us upwards of five hours. There’s so much to see and do within those gates!
While many people probably visit the Tower of London just to see the Crown Jewels, my favorite part was actually the plethora of interactive exhibitions you could walk through. The armory had an especially fun exhibition with many simulations of what it would be like to shoot a bow and arrow, wear chain mail, and see what each building would have been used for back in the day of fending off enemies from this fortress. We had so much fun trying on metal helmets and looking at all of the armor that the horses used to wear as they charged into battle. The exhibition kept going and going seemingly without end, and we could hardly believe how long it took us to look at everything by the time we had finished.
There is also an incredible view of Tower Bridge from the Tower of London that we stumbled upon while walking along one of the walls. It’s surreal seeing the bustling modern city so close to such an old fortress. Everything about our day here was so picturesque that we couldn’t have planned it better if we had tried.
I know it’s already a very popular tourist stop for those visiting London, but I would still like to add my voice of high recommendation to the cacophony of praise for it. Pro tip: leave plenty of time for exploring this place because you never know for how long you’ll get sucked in!
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Have you ever been to the Tower of London? What is your favorite thing to see there? Let me know in the comments section below!
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