London - Tower of London

May 16th, 2006, 03:49 PM
  #1  
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London - Tower of London

Is there any point to taking a tour of the Tower of London with a private guided tour of the tower or it is just as well to do it on our own?

Melissa
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May 16th, 2006, 03:51 PM
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P_M
 
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If the private tour can help you avoid the queues (lines) to get in, then that would be a benefit. Otherwise I don't see why it would be necessary.
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May 16th, 2006, 03:53 PM
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Private guided tour? You MUST take a tour with one of the beefeaters. That's part of the experience. They're mostly great actors in the best sense of the word.
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May 16th, 2006, 03:56 PM
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I did the Tower on my own. While you are there, there are so many guards and "actors" to ask and watch who give great histories. There are also tours offered within the walls, of one sort or the other.

I bought my ticket at the Tube station and found no lines at the Tower itself. I was early and off-season (April), but really wasn't that crowded.

I loved the Tower and found it one of my favorite sights in London. Thought it would be a couple of hours; but I spent most of the day.
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May 16th, 2006, 04:06 PM
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Those aren't "actors" - Yeoman Warders (Beefeaters) are all retired senior NCOs who live inside the Tower.

Melissa: No, don't take a commercial outside tour. Big waste of money. The Beefeater tours are free -- except for about a £1 tip you should give him at the end.

If you get to the Tower at opening time (which is best) there aren't any lines to speak of.
janisj is online now  
May 16th, 2006, 05:08 PM
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I didn't say they were "actors."
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May 16th, 2006, 05:10 PM
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Nope - cchottel did.
janisj is online now  
May 16th, 2006, 05:12 PM
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You should definitely try to get the Beefeater tour. We went late in the afternoon and missed it. We did get the audioguides, which were really helpful in bringing the history to life. Otherwise, we wouldn't have known what the heck we were seeing!
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May 16th, 2006, 05:57 PM
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The Beefeater tours were great. And we did come across a few "actors" too when we were there last week. They were re-enacting some scenes relating to prisoners who were kept at the tower, dressed up in costumes and all.

You should allow at least half a day there. Then plan to also spend one night to witness the Ceremony of the Keys from 9.30-10.15pm every night. We thoroughly enjoyed it, and it's also free bar a suggested tip at the end. And the place is lovely at night.

http://www.hrp.org.uk/webcode/content.asp?ID=704
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May 16th, 2006, 06:11 PM
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Melissa, As recommended, take the Beefeaters tour offered with admission at the Tower. It's the best.

mclaurie was the first poster to mention the Yeoman Warders (Beefeaters) as "actors" and she clearly meant that their brilliant narratives bring the history to life and not that they are fakes.
obxgirl is online now  
May 16th, 2006, 06:16 PM
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>>R: What the heck are you talking about?? Besides, this isn't a thread about bus routes - unusual to see you on board.<<

Why so snotty? His opinion is as valid as yours is. (Insert insipid smiley face here)
obxgirl is online now  
May 16th, 2006, 06:19 PM
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If a person is dressed as a member of the court or a historical figure and are performing various scenes or are taking on the character of various people whether true or not, then they are at that moment "actors".
cchottel is offline  
May 16th, 2006, 09:00 PM
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"Why so snotty?"

Simple - read a couple of our dear mr R's recent posts. Oh, that's right, they have either been frozen or nuked so you can't read them.

'nuff said . . . .
janisj is online now  
May 17th, 2006, 05:58 AM
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I've only done the tour with one Beefeater, so I can't speak for the rest, but he did a superior job.

Keith
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May 18th, 2006, 05:15 AM
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FYI: "Beefeater" may be a popular term (it has some negative historical connotations), but the correct title is "Yeoman Warder"

KidsToLondon is offline  
May 18th, 2006, 06:00 AM
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Buy your tickets in advance at an underground station and beat the waiting queues at the gate. The queue was VERY LONG when I was there last (late May 2001) but I was able to walk past them all and go straight in.
speckles is offline  
May 18th, 2006, 10:42 AM
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We are going to do the tower of london on our own
melissa
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May 18th, 2006, 11:51 AM
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While I enjoyed viewing the Crown Jewels, I didn't think the "Tower" was worth all the hype it gets.

The Beefeaters are indeed informative, but in my opinion the best things to see there are the jewels & the weapons room.

I certainly wouldn't pay for a private tour.
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