Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Tower of London tips - including where to eat!

Tower of London tips - including where to eat!

Old Dec 5th, 2018, 06:53 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 377
Tower of London tips - including where to eat!

Hi all,

Our family of four (2 adults; 2 tweens) will be visiting London at the end of June 2019. We plan to buy our Tower of London tix in advance and arrive for the 9 a.m .opening on the Saturday. DH and I have been before but this is the first trip to London for the kids.

My question is where to go first - I have read that it is best to try and see the Crown jewels first before the lines get too long. But I really want to do the yeoman's guided tour as well - any views on what order to do things?

I'm assuming that we will be at least 3 hours. The dining options on site don't look great based on some reviews. If we get a ticket for re-entry to dine outside (i.e., St Katharine's dock), will be have to queue for a long time to re-enter?

Any other tips for getting the most out of our visit to the Tower? We will need to leave by about 3 to visit the Tower Bridge after.

Thanks in advance!
jacolis is offline  
Old Dec 5th, 2018, 07:24 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 66,677
>> But I really want to do the yeoman's guided tour as well<<. That's all well and good . . . but you really REALLY want to hit the Crown Jewels first. They will be empty, you will be able to see them nearly alone. If you wait until after doing a Yeoman Warder tour the jewel house will be slammed and you will have to wait in a long (looooong) line and then the vault itself will be shoulder to shoulder.

>>I'm assuming that we will be at least 3 hours. The dining options on site don't look great based on some reviews. If we get a ticket for re-entry to dine outside (i.e., St Katharine's dock), will be have to queue for a long time to re-enter?<<

You don't go to the Tower for cuisine -- but you also may not want to leave the Tower to eat somewhere else. No the queues won't be long to re enter (you can enter from the riverside gate. But leaving, walking over to the Marina, eating, walking back will easily eat up an hour or more. Plan on about 4 hours at the Tower, during which maybe take a short break for a snack on-site, then go somewhere else (the Marina or across the river) for a full on/late-ish lunch.

>>We will need to leave by about 3 to visit the Tower Bridge after.<<

You really don't need to 'visit' the bridge -- it is just there. Were you planning on the Tower Bridge Exhibition? If so no need to be there by 3:00 since last admission is at 5:30PM (5 PM in winter)there is
janisj is online now  
Old Dec 5th, 2018, 07:47 PM
  #3  
twk
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,254
Like janis says, go immediately to the Jewel House when the place opens. You can breeze through the jewels, then go back to the entrance to pick up the next Yeoman Warder tour.
twk is offline  
Old Dec 7th, 2018, 04:12 PM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 377
ok thank you. We will head to the Crown jewels first!
jacolis is offline  
Old Dec 7th, 2018, 05:10 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 9,047
Walk across the Tower Bridge and go to the Borough Market. There you will find a building that says Kappacesein Dairy. There you will buy a three-cheese toastie, and your life will change for the better. It used to be in a stall. Now it's housed in a building (1 Stoney Street). Do. Not. Miss! Below are both our visits there (in 2013 and 2017). It's about an 18 minute walk from the tower.

https://travelswithmaitaitom.com/cha...-to-the-tower/

https://travelswithmaitaitom.com/cha...heese-toastie/


Last edited by maitaitom; Dec 7th, 2018 at 05:15 PM.
maitaitom is offline  
Old Dec 7th, 2018, 05:27 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 9,047
FYI, we spent a little more that two hours at the tower ... that was plenty.
maitaitom is offline  
Old Dec 7th, 2018, 05:55 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,376
Yes, go first to the Crown Jewels when the queue is minimum and then head to the entrance for the first Yeoman Warder Tour. We just bought drinks and took sandwiches from Pret a Manger and had a proper cooked dinner in the evening. Walk along the walls in the afternoon and visit several turrets with varying exhibits. Weren't too crowded when I did in late May.
Alec is online now  
Old Dec 7th, 2018, 08:16 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 66,677
Originally Posted by maitaitom View Post
FYI, we spent a little more that two hours at the tower ... that was plenty.
But you weren't visiting with a family/kids. You were four old codgers (meant in the nicest possible way ). I can 'do' the Tower in 2 hours flat too -- but if I had tweens with me it would easily take 3.5 to 4 hours since they would want to explore all of the White Tower, go through the places where famous prisoners lived, see the Ravens, etc etc. Just walking in, the Crown Jewels and a Yeoman Warder's tour would eat up most of 2 hours. The wonderful gift shop (the main one not even counting the other smaller ones geared more to jewelry etc) is another half an hour easy.
janisj is online now  
Old Dec 8th, 2018, 08:39 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 9,047
..."but if I had tweens with me it would easily take 3.5 to 4 hours."

In that case, I recommend two cheese toasties afterward.
maitaitom is offline  
Old Dec 8th, 2018, 09:03 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,918
A few blocks West of the Tower Tube Station is the "Hung, Drawn and Quartered" Pub . . good Pub food and sorta unique history.

https://www.hung-drawn-and-quartered.co.uk/

There is also a KFC and Bodean's BBQ nearby if either is of interest

If you want to walk across the bridge, there are several Pubs on the south side of the river
Rich is offline  
Old Dec 8th, 2018, 11:07 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 589
We stayed at the tower hotel and really enjoyed eating at St. Katherine's dock when the weather was nice.
youngtom2910 is offline  
Old Dec 9th, 2018, 03:32 PM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 377
Thanks, all.

We will have a snack onsite and grab something after our visit. We are staying near Borough Market so I had already planned to go there! Our Tower visit will be on a Saturday and I had read that Borough market is too crowded so I was hoping to go on the Friday. Those toasties look very decadent!
jacolis is offline  
Old Dec 9th, 2018, 04:36 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 66,677
You don't want to go near Borough Market on the Saturday - or even really on Friday afternoon. If you are in the area on Wed or Thurs, or possibly Friday morning it would be a much better time to visit.
janisj is online now  
Old Dec 9th, 2018, 07:49 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,443
We had a different experience. I visited the Tower with my Mom, who was 80 at the time, and it was before I had a knee replacement for my arthritic knee. With those two things, I didn't want to add the extra steps to go to the jewels first and then walk all the way back to the entrance to pick up the tour. We did the tour first. When we got to the jewels, there were only a couple of people ahead of us! This was early September.

Also, you say that you plan to go at 9:00 for three hours, so why would you need to go for lunch halfway through?
SusanP is online now  
Old Dec 9th, 2018, 08:29 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 66,677
SusanP: that would be very unusual IME ( I have visited the Tower more than 20 times over be years) almost invariably within an hour if opening time the queue for he Crown Jewels is more ban an hour long. You were very lucky . . .
janisj is online now  
Old Dec 9th, 2018, 09:29 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,443
Maybe so, just giving my experience. 😀
SusanP is online now  
Old Dec 9th, 2018, 09:31 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,443
Now that I think about it, I don't think we got there at opening time. I think it was more like later in the morning, maybe 10:30 or so.
SusanP is online now  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
sv
Europe
5
Apr 30th, 2006 07:29 AM
Canadian6
Europe
12
Jul 12th, 2005 10:21 AM
HeatherH
Europe
17
Nov 26th, 2003 10:14 AM
SandyP
Europe
11
Sep 15th, 2003 12:30 PM
Ric
Europe
18
Oct 6th, 2002 03:37 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO