If you had time to explore only one attraction in one of my favourite cities in the world, this should be it.


The Tower of London. Quintessentially English and a constant hit among adults and kids alike.

Here are my reasons for choosing the Tower:

1. I think no other place in London has a past that’s richer and captures people’s imagination more than the Tower of London. From having been a royal palace for William the Conqueror, who built it in 1066 also as a fortress, to a prison and place of execution for three queens, two princes and many others, a recruitment site during World War I, the first ever London zoo, to becoming one of the city’s top attractions today.

Its close to 1,000-year history and the succeeding reasons below simply give the most bang for your buck, so to speak.

2. No one can imagine the Queen – or any monarch, for that matter – without her Crown Jewels, and this is where you’ll find them.

3. The Tower lies on the banks of the famous River Thames, itself an important symbol of England and connected to the Tower’s history. You can take a riverboat and disembark at the Tower Pier.

4. What really became of the Two Princes in the Bloody Tower? A sad story, really, with too many questions left unanswered. Yet who doesn’t love a good mystery?

5. The bloody executions that were conducted here, the most famous of which were those of two of Henry VIII’s six wives.

6. The legend of the ravens. “If the ravens leave the Tower, the kingdom will fall…”. There are now seven ravens (the required six plus a spare) in residence. But no matter what, when you visit, do not feed the ravens.  They bite when they feel their territory is threatened.

7. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Need I say more?

8. Tours are conducted by a Yeoman Warder, nicknamed “Beefeater” – a great photo opportunity right there.

Allot at least 2-1/2 hours for your visit to the Tower.

But If You Had More Time…

A quick trip to London would be amiss if you don’t at the very least get a glimpse of the rest of the city and its landmarks. Just to get a general feel and overview of this lovely city.

One option is to ride a Thames Riverboat or Thames Clipper and end at the Tower Pier.

Another option would be to go on a double decker Hop-on/Hop-off bus. On a nice, sunny day, stay in the upper deck, then take one complete loop (the classic route takes about 3-1/2 hours to complete) before getting off to your destination of choice, be it the Tower of London or another attraction.

Plan your trip to the Tower of London here.

Photo Credits:

Crown Jewels
Yeoman Warder