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Tower of London and British Museum Tour

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May 7th, 2010, 08:12 AM
  #1
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Tower of London and British Museum Tour

Is it feasible to see the Tower of London in the morning and finish by 1PM (lunch inclusive) to allow ample time to join a London walks tour of the British Museum beginning at 2?

I don't want to rush out of the tower but if we can see it within three hours without feeling we missed something then I think it is doable. How long does it take to see the sights at the tower including the crown jewels and a beefeater tour and the white tower etc. I was figuring on three hours of touring and then 1 hour for lunch but if you think we need more time for the tower then I won't rush out to try to catch the British museum tour. The British Museum did away with their highlights tour. I know I can see the items on my own but I like the tidbits a guide can add to the experience.
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May 7th, 2010, 08:39 AM
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I always recommend 3-4 hours at the Tower. Get there first thing, skip the beefeater tour and head straight to the crown jewels...usually there is little to no line first thing in the morning. Then, head back to the entrance and pick up one of the free beefeater tours. I believe they take about an hour - hour and a half. That leaves you with some time to visit the rest of the Tower. There is a cafe there so you can pick up something there to save time.

The British Museum is by Holborn station...on the Central line so you will need time to get there.
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May 7th, 2010, 09:04 AM
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Why rush it? You don't need to take a London Walks tour of the British museum. I love LW -- but to pay them for a tour of a free site that offers its own free tours makes no sense IMO.
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May 7th, 2010, 09:35 AM
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Do you know about the Ceremony of the Keys at the tower? Tickets are free, and attendees are limited to a small group. You can google for their site, and you have to mail them a return envelope so they can send you the tickets. It is a cool, and very authentic, ceremony they do every evening at sunset, to lock up the tower. They explain it as they go, and we thought it was neat to be there as the sun goes down.
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May 8th, 2010, 11:14 AM
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You can use this link http://www.britishmuseum.org/visitin...our_visit.aspx to plan your visit. They have suggestions based on how much time you have to spend in the museum. We rented the highlights multimedia guides, which are informative and helpful.

Lee Ann
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May 8th, 2010, 02:14 PM
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I completely agree with Janisj's advice for you. I really enjoyed the London Walk I took but I don't think I missed out by doing the museum on my own. I loved being able to wander around the museum and spend more time where I wanted and cruise right past other things.

Get to the Tower early to take pictures of the outside and of the Tower Bridge. Once you're inside, go straight for the Jewel Tower so that you can take your time going through the inside. Once you get to the section with the crowns, there's a conveyor belt both in front and beyond. When you get to the end, turn a sharp right and go up the 3 stairs to go back to the beginning and go on the other conveyor belt. Once you're done in the Jewel Tower, then go back and catch up with a tour. The tours are free but most people do tend to tip at the very end so have change ready if you wish to tip. The tour is a lot of fun and has great info so I definitely wouldn't miss it. If it's raining no umbrellas are allowed on the tour for safety reasons so wear a jacket with a hood or poncho if it's a rainy day.
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May 8th, 2010, 08:40 PM
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May 9th, 2010, 05:37 AM
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I did the London Walks tour of the Tower of London and then spent more time there myself. Personally I think you need more time than you're allowing.

The BM is quite easy to do as a self guide and there are also lots of free talks too that you can join.
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May 9th, 2010, 06:15 AM
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I need some perspective as to time in the tower. How much time does the average visitor spend to see the armor in the White Tower? One hour or 15 minutes? I don't know how extensive the exhibit is so that is why I am asking.

Same with the Green tower and other towers beside the jewel tower. Is there a lot to see in each tower or do you pop in and out in a few minutes? Other than the jewel tower do experience long lines to enter each tower?
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May 9th, 2010, 08:14 AM
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Bookmarking for September trip!!
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May 9th, 2010, 08:24 AM
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Unless you are completely obsessed with armor and examine every item in detail, I think you could get through the White Tower in 20-30 minutes or less, provided the crowds aren't overwhelming.

The other towers (other than the crown jewel tower) can be popped in and out of in 10 to 15 minutes.

We didn't experience long lines at the towers, but we arrived at opening and there was already a bit of a line for tickets before entering the gate.
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May 9th, 2010, 08:33 AM
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We skipped the crown jewels and saw everything else in less than three hours without a guide, then walked across the bridge and spent the afternoon on the Southwark side.

We didn't use a guide for the British Museum, but if you're at all interested in its contents, it will take three to four hours.

You could certainly do the Tower in the a.m. & the British Museum in the afternoon, but it would make for a very long day and tired feet!
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May 9th, 2010, 09:09 AM
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I just wanted to second Peaceout's recommendation for the Ceremony of the Keys. I attended one about a year ago and it was very cool. You'll need to request tickets about a month in advance, but it's well worth the effort.

http://www.hrp.org.uk/toweroflondon/...ofthekeys.aspx
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May 9th, 2010, 11:34 AM
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"I think you could get through the White Tower in 20-30 minutes or less,"

I think logistically, that is pretty unrealistic. Just walking through w/o looking at anything would take close to 30 mins.

You really can't make a list >>White Tower 45 minutes; Traitors Gate 5 minutes; Jewel House 30 mins; etc.<< Some parts are of more interest to some folks -- others to others if you get what I mean.

Just plan on 3 hours minimum plus shopping and eating time. Don't pooh pooh the shopping BTW. The gift shops are extensive and have some wonderful (and some not so wonderful) items. Even my non-shopper friends easily 35+ minutes in the big two storey gift shop near the entrance and nearly as long in the Jewel House shop.

http://www.hrp.org.uk/TowerOfLondon/...g/default.aspx

Realistically - if they eat, even if it is just a snack, the 'average' visitor spends about 4 hours inside the Tower.
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May 10th, 2010, 11:04 AM
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JanisJ is right, of course, and my memory was apparently wrong. I checked with my DH and he is sure it took us at least an hour to get through the White Tower. I recall the time flying by, though, so I must have enjoyed it.

Regardless, just planning a 3-4 hour block for the whole TOL shebang is probably the most sensible way to budget your time.

FWIW, if it were me, I would still rethink doing another "big" thing like the British Museum in the p.m., but that will obviously be dependent on your own time & energy levels at the moment, as well as how many days you have to divide up the biggies.
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May 11th, 2010, 06:28 AM
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Okay folks,

Based on all your replies I guess we should not combine the Tower of London with the British Museum because each will take a substantial amount of time. I will try to do those on separate days. Not enough days to do all things we want to do!
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May 11th, 2010, 09:17 AM
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Remember - The Museum is free. You don't have to tackle the whole thing in one go. You can pop in for an hour or so and then go back another day when you have some free time.
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