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Is it Worth Visiting the Tower of London with Kids?

Is it Worth Visiting the Tower of London with Kids?

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Planning a trip to London with kids and aren’t sure about touring the Tower of London? Keep scrolling to check out my personal experiences of touring the Tower of London with kids from my last two trips to England!
This kid-friendly guide to touring the Tower of London was written by family travel expert Marcie Cheung and contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.

When we visited London for 4 days a few years ago, we didn’t have time to see the Tower of London. I’d seen it when I was in high school, but I thought my kids would like it.

I actually did do a Tower of London tour in the fall when I visited London for a day with my BFF. We had so much fun!

So, when we decided to stop by London on our way to Scotland this summer, I knew visiting the Tower of London with my kids would be a priority.

Keep scrolling to see how it went!

Image of Marcie Cheung and her family at the Tower of London
Snapped a quick pic before our tour started. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

Where is the Tower of London?

The Tower of London is located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. It is officially called His Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London. Its prominent location makes it easily accessible and a visible landmark in the city.

How to Get to the Tower of London

The Tower of London is well-connected by various forms of public transport:

By Tube

The nearest underground station is Tower Hill, which is served by the Circle and District lines. It’s just a short walk across Tower Hill to the Tower of London.

By Train

The nearest train stations are Fenchurch Street (a five-minute walk away) and London Bridge (a 15-minute walk away).

By Bus

Several bus routes stop near the Tower, including routes 15, 42, 78, 100, and RV1.

By Riverboat

You can also travel to the Tower by taking a Riverboat service to Tower Pier. This is a scenic way to arrive and provides a beautiful view of the Thames and the city.

Where to Meet Tour Guides

When you book a Tower of London tour, they will tell you exactly where to meet. But usually they meet right in front of the gate.

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What is the Tower of London and Why Is It Important?

The Tower of London is a historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. It’s one of the city’s most famous landmarks and has a rich history that dates back over a thousand years.

Image of the interior of the Tower of London
The Tower of London is one of the city’s most popular attractions. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

Originally built by William the Conqueror in 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest of England, the Tower has served many purposes. It has been a royal palace, a fortress, a prison, and even a zoo!

Today, it’s best known as the home of the Crown Jewels, which are incredibly valuable and are still used by the King during ceremonies.

Why is the Tower of London important?

For starters, it gives us a glimpse into the fascinating history of England through its roles in various historical events. As a royal palace, it was the residence of kings and queens. As a prison, it held famous prisoners like Anne Boleyn and Guy Fawkes, who were significant figures in English history.

The Tower also played a role in both protecting and controlling the city of London, serving as a fortress with a strong military presence.

Visiting the Tower of London with kids is like stepping into a real-life history book. They can see the armor worn by knights, marvel at the sparkling Crown Jewels, and learn about the wild animals that once lived at the Tower.

There are also famous ravens that live at the Tower. Legend says that if these ravens ever leave, the Tower and the kingdom will fall, so they are well taken care of!

What are the Top Things to See at the Tower of London?

The Crown Jewels

This is probably the highlight for most visitors. The Crown Jewels collection includes the coronation regalia—scepters, orbs, crowns, and robes—used by British kings and queens.

Image of a man and two boys walking into the Crown Jewels entrance at the Tower of London
You can’t take photos inside, so you’ll have to settle for the entrance. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

The most famous pieces include the Imperial State Crown, which is adorned with over 2,800 diamonds, and the Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross that holds the world’s largest colorless cut diamond. The jewels are displayed in a secure vault, and visitors can see them up close on a moving walkway.

The White Tower

As the oldest part of the Tower of London, the White Tower is a massive Norman stone fortress at the heart of the complex.

It houses the Royal Armouries collections, including historic armor worn by Henry VIII and Charles I, as well as other fascinating displays of early weaponry. It’s a great place for kids to see real armor and imagine what life was like as a knight.

The Medieval Palace

Kids will love exploring the recreated medieval rooms where past kings and queens lived. The palace rooms are furnished to look like they would have during the reigns of Edward I and Henry III. You’ll see colorful tapestries and period furnishings that bring the history of the Tower to life.

The Ravens

The Tower’s resident ravens are another must-see. Legend has it that if the ravens ever leave the Tower, the kingdom will fall.

Image of a boy looking at ravens and the Tower of London
My son LOVED seeing the ravens up close! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

The ravens roam freely around the grounds, and you can often see them up close. Their lodgings are next to the Wakefield Tower, and they are cared for by the Ravenmaster.

The Bloody Tower

This tower is famous for its grim history. It’s where Sir Walter Raleigh was imprisoned for 13 years. Today, the tower has exhibits about its prisoners and tells some of their stories. It’s a fascinating, if somewhat eerie, place to explore.

British Guards

I know that a lot of us have getting a photo with a British guard on our London bucket list. I think the Tower of London is one of the easiest places to do that.

Image of Marcie Cheung and her family with a British guard at the Tower of London
So fun to get this pic! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

I was just going to get a selfie, but a nice teen offered to take our photo, which was great!

The Torture at the Tower exhibit

Located in the Lower Wakefield Tower, this small display includes instruments of torture used at the Tower. Although it might be a bit intense for younger children, it’s an eye-opening look at the darker side of the Tower’s history.

The Fusiliers Museum

Located in the Tower of London, this museum is dedicated to the history of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. It’s an interesting spot for older kids and adults, showcasing military history with medals, uniforms, and other artifacts.

Honest Review of Touring the Tower of London with Kids

We did a Tower of London tour that included the Opening Ceremony. That meant we got to be some of the first people to enter the Tower of London. Since we visited during the summer (aka high season), this was crucial.

We did a speedy bag check and then met inside the gates where a Beefeater explained what was going to happen. It involved soldiers and more Beefeaters.

Image of the Opening Ceremony at the Tower of London
This is the ending of the opening ceremony. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

Our kids thought it was kind of cool to see the ceremony but they were mostly excited to get inside before the massive crowd.

As soon as we got inside, our tour guide suggested that we start with the Crown Jewels. There was literally no wait to get inside which was exactly why we booked this tour.

My kids were much more impressed with the Crown Jewels than I expected. They also really liked seeing all the swords as well as King Charles III’s coronation stuff.

However, they told me they wouldn’t have wanted to wait in line to see them. The line was SO long when we finished.

Our tour guide met us at the Crown Jewels exit and continued touring us around the Tower of London.

During our walk, we got to see a few of the ravens who lived there. My youngest thought that was really cool to see!

Image of where they beheaded people at the Tower of London
Here’s where several queens were beheaded. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

We saw where some of the queens were beheaded and learned a lot more about Henry VIII’s unlucky wives.

We also got to see the changing of the guard in front of the King’s house, which was kind of cool.

Our tour lasted 2 hours total and our kids had no interest in staying any longer. We didn’t have a chance to see the White Tower or see the torture exhibit or anything. But, I bet other families would want to spend another hour or so walking through the exhibits.

Best Tower of London Tours for Families

Beefeater Tour

This is the tour I did with my BFF last fall and it was SO COOL! It started with a general tour guide outside of the Tower of London who gave us all the background info and then took us inside to meet a Yeoman (aka a Beefeater).

Yeoman Gary at Tower of London. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

Our Beefeater was hilarious and we learned so much fascinating history in a funny way. Plus he answered a lot of questions.

His tour was sort of short and we had free time to explore on our own. I highly recommend this tour if you’re visiting in the off-season and don’t have to worry about crowds. There’s also and option to bundle it with a Buckingham Palace tour.

Opening Ceremony and Beefeater Tour

This is the tour I did with my kids and it was perfect since we went in June and it was the start of high season. Check the latest rates and availability.

The tour started outside of the Tower of London and included much general English history. Once we got inside, we met a Yeoman who explained the whole ceremony of keys. Then we watched the military and Yeoman perform the ceremony.

Once inside, we first entered the Crown Jewels (we had no wait), and then our guide toured us around the rest of the property.

We had free time after that to stay as long as we wanted.

Tower of London Guided Tour with Boat Ride

This is another great option for families who also want to do a boat tour of the Thames. There’s a dock right outside the Tower of London so it’s super convenient. Check the latest rates and availability.

You’ll start near Big Ben and see a bunch of London sights as you make your way to the Tower of London. Then, you’ll get a guided tour with skip-the-line tickets.

Tips for Visiting the Tower of London with Kids

Learn a Few Tower of London Facts for Kids

My kids LOVE knowing a few fun facts. We learned that the Tower has served many purposes throughout history, including being a royal palace.

From the early 1200s until 1835, the Tower of London housed a menagerie of exotic animals given as royal gifts. These included lions, polar bears, and even an elephant.

Image of Marcie Cheung and her son with the ravens at the Tower of London
We had to snap a selfie with the ravens! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

Legend has it that the kingdom and the Tower will fall if the six resident ravens ever leave the fortress. There are actually seven ravens at the Tower today — six and one spare! They even have their own designated Ravenmaster who cares for them.

Watch Horrible Histories (or read the books)

So you know how most of us grew up with Schoolhouse Rock? I guess the kids in London grew up with Horrible Histories!

My kids discovered the show this year and found it HYSTERICAL! So then I started getting them the books to learn more about British history.

They do a great job of making history interesting for kids. And a lot of that history involves the Tower of London and the people who lived there.

Watch the Minions Movie

My kids begged us to watch it after we visited the Tower of London because a chunk of the movie is all about stealing the Crown Jewels.

It’s a great way to get kids excited about going and understand a little about what they will see.

Take a Tour (or at least get skip-the-line tickets)

I highly recommend booking a Tower of London tour. It’s a great way to get more information about what you’re seeing and have an expert there to answer any questions your kids might have.

Plus, they can help you maximize your time.

The Tower of London group entrance is near the back with a great view of the Tower Bridge.
You’ll head toward Tower Bridge to enter the group entrance. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

Tower of London FAQs

Is the Tower of London suitable for children?

Yes, the Tower of London is great for children of all ages. There are many interactive displays and activities designed to engage younger visitors. The Yeoman Warder tours, often filled with humorous and gripping tales, are particularly popular with families.

What are the must-see attractions for kids at the Tower of London?

Children typically enjoy seeing the Crown Jewels, meeting the Yeoman Warders (also known as Beefeaters), exploring the medieval White Tower, and seeing the famous ravens. The armor displays in the White Tower are also a hit, showcasing suits of armor worn by past kings of England.

How long should we spend at the Tower of London?

Plan to spend at least 2-3 hours at the Tower to see the main sights without rushing. If your children are particularly interested in history or want to participate in any special activities, you might want to allow for a longer visit.

Are there educational resources or activities for kids?

The Tower of London offers a variety of family-friendly activities including activity trails and the opportunity to join the Junior Yeoman Warder tour geared towards children. Check the official website for current events and activities.

Can you bring strollers to the Tower of London?

Strollers are allowed in the Tower of London, but there are some restrictions in certain areas due to narrow staircases and uneven surfaces.

Image of stroller parking at the Tower of London
Here’s where you can park your stroller near the group entrance. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

It’s recommended to bring a baby carrier for very young children.

What facilities are available for families?

There are baby changing facilities available, and most cafes and eating areas are child-friendly. There are also plenty of spots to rest and have a snack.

Is the Tower of London accessible for children with disabilities?

The Tower of London has made efforts to be as accessible as possible, but some areas are still challenging due to the historic nature of the building. Accessible routes are available, and it’s best to check in advance on the official website or call for specific accessibility information.

What is the best time to visit the Tower of London to avoid crowds?

Arriving early in the morning as soon as it opens or later in the afternoon is typically less crowded. Avoiding school holidays and weekends can also help dodge the bigger crowds.

Are there any discounts for families or children?

Children under the age of 5 enter free, and there are reduced rates for children up to 15 years old. Family tickets are available, which can save some money for families traveling together.

What should we bring on our visit to the Tower of London?

Wear comfortable walking shoes as there’s a lot of walking on cobblestones. Depending on the weather, bring raincoats or sun hats, and don’t forget your camera. You might also want to bring some snacks for the kids, although there are places to buy food on-site.

Visiting the Tower of London with Kids Wrap-Up

All in all, I’m really glad we took the kids to see the Tower of London. In hindsight, I wish I would have booked the Beefeater tour. But, I know we’ll be back to London in a few years and we can do it then.

I’d suggest making sure your kids know a few fun facts or history about the Tower of London (or at least Henry VIII) to get the most out of your trip.

Looking for more London travel resources? Check out Things I Wish I Knew Before Going to London, 15 Lovely London Tours for Families Worth Booking, and 27 Lovely London Things To Do for Kids!

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