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Jun 19th, 2015, 08:03 AM
  #1
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Tower of London

Seeking advice. We are taking our 9 year old grandson to London for four days in August.
We have been told the crowds at the Tower are fearsome - does signing up in advance for a tour with a Yeoman Warder guard eliminate lines? Does such a tour get you to the crown jewels? And what is the best time to take a YW tour - early morning, late in the afternoon?
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Jun 19th, 2015, 08:32 AM
  #2
 
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>>We have been told the crowds at the Tower are fearsome

I wouldn't say fearsome, but it is busy.


>>does signing up in advance for a tour with a Yeoman Warder guard eliminate lines?

Is this possible? Last summer the tours were not that organized: just take the next one announced, everyone welcome

>>Does such a tour get you to the crown jewels?

No, this is a separate queue on your own, suggest that you go in the morning and do this first before the line gets long.

>>And what is the best time to take a YW tour - early morning, late in the afternoon?

They run all day, and they know how to cater to large groups. Tours are gratuitously grisly, IMHO.

Other things: Get an online family ticket to save a little money, it's expensive though.
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Jun 19th, 2015, 08:51 AM
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Agree with tom.

AFAIK, we weren't able to sign up with a YW tour in advance. Bought a ticket, and then got placed in the next tour group.

>>Tours are gratuitously grisly, IMHO.<<

They do sort of dwell on the torture aspect as part of the talk, but few or no graphics, if memory serves.
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Jun 19th, 2015, 09:18 AM
  #4
twk
 
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If you can, be there when the place opens. The Yeoman Warder's tour starts there at the gate, so the natural tendency is to immediately join the tour, but, if you are there are the opening, and instead of the tour, go immediately to the see the jewels, odds are that there will be little or nothing in the way of a wait to get to see the jewels. Then, you can go back to the entrance and join the next Yeoman Warder's tour.
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Jun 19th, 2015, 10:14 AM
  #5
 
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As above -- the Yeoman Warder tours are not pre-booked. They are assembled near the entrance throughout the day.

Do what twk suggests. Get there at opening time - or a few minutes after actually since quite a few people do queue up before the ticket booths open. 5 or 10 minutes later those early birds are taken care of and there are pretty short queues until everyone starts arriving at 9:30 or 10:00. I'd definitely go on a Tues through Fri because the Tower opens early and most people think it doesn't open til 10:00.

Then go straight through to the Crown Jewels - you will have them to yourselves. Then retrace your steps back towards the entry bridge and hook up w/ a Yeoman Warder, or you can do that later on.
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Jun 19th, 2015, 10:43 AM
  #6
 
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Oops, you need 2 children to have the family ticket work out cheaper, with 1 child and 2 adults it's about 1 pound cheaper to buy 3 individual tickets. Note that they will remove the extra donation part of the admission if you ask.
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Jun 19th, 2015, 12:20 PM
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>>Tours are gratuitously grisly, IMHO.<<

Not gratuitously. The history of the Tower is grisly. If you want sunshine and roses, that needs a different castle.

Depending upon how many people you are ("we" implies both granma and gramps), look into the 2for1 offers at www.daysoutguide.co.uk. That savings on the Tower admission is worth the trouble - it'll pay for junior's next 1.5 meals.
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Jun 19th, 2015, 12:41 PM
  #8
 
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your grandson might enjoy Hampton Court more - lots of living history, the gardens, the maze - lots of fun for an 8 year old.
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Jun 19th, 2015, 01:39 PM
  #9
 
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The 2-4-1 Tower coupon is valid in August, "Offer not valid from 25 March to 6 April 2015 and 11 July to 31 August 2015"

Repeated descriptions of beheadings (how many blows required, if the neck was missed and the top of the head sheared off, etc.) not really necessary I don't think.
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Jun 19th, 2015, 01:39 PM
  #10
 
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Is NOT valid in August.
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Jun 19th, 2015, 06:59 PM
  #11
 
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The Yeoman Warders often pick a child that they recognize as American and involve them a bit in the tour. Maybe asking something like "Are there any American boys here?" and then having a bit of fun with them. I think the YW tours are fun and well done, and not too long to hold attention. Since they are free, if it seems too much, just wander away.
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Jun 19th, 2015, 08:26 PM
  #12
 
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If you can get there at opening time, go straight to the crown jewels then after circle back to the entrance and pick up a Yeoman's tour. Also visit the White Tower where they have arms and armour galore. Your 9 year old grandson will love that. The cafeteria at the Tower of London has a healthy selection of food at reasonable prices. Don't forget the gift shop where they sell those plastic soldiers all decked out in their finest armour and attached to horses too.
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Jun 20th, 2015, 07:12 AM
  #13
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Thank you all - extremely helpful - and we will follow you advice(s).
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Jun 20th, 2015, 09:02 AM
  #14
 
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I think recent ISIS experiences make these tours seem too "grisly"for some current visitors. I don't remember being so sensitive to the subject matter on previous trips..

But I did take exception to our guide saying he was often asked what the "E II R" on his uniform signified. His response was that it meant "Extremely Romantic" (wink, grin)
"twice a day." Tacky, I thought, and inappropriate.
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