Legends and Lore Tour of the Tower of London

Travel the River Thames by boat then dive into British history at London's famous fortress

Travel Flexibly 5 / 5 See All 305 Reviews · 3.00h · London, England

Want to see the famous Beefeaters and Britain’s crown jewels while you’re in London? Wouldn’t it be great to glide down the Thames by boat, too? This Tower of London tour takes you to one of the city’s most intriguing attractions in style, as you travel along the river to this 11th century castle that became a prison for many of England’s most infamous characters. With your engaging local guide, you’ll climb the towers and learn all about the often-grisly history of this fascinating place.

  • Learn about London's bloody history
  • Travel along the River Thames by boat
  • Explore the Tower of London
  • Traitor's Gate
  • Tower of London ravens
  • Royal bedrooms
  • The crown jewels
  • Tower Green memorial
  • Beefeaters quarters

You'll meet your knowledgeable London guide near Parliament Square, and along with your small group, you'll board a local Thames Clipper for a ride along the river to the Tower of London. Along the way, you'll see Tower Bridge, the Shard, and many other iconic sights that make up the London skyline.

Once you reach the Tower of London, your guide will show you around this historic castle and share stories of the famous prisoners held or executed here, including Anne Boleyn, Guy Fawkes, and Sir Walter Raleigh. You'll also be able to see the famous tower guards, known as Beefeaters, and take a look at the impressive crown jewels. All under the watchful eye of the castle's resident ravens!

Tower of London Tour Description

This 3-hour small-group tour includes:

  • Boat ride down the River Thames by clipper

  • Skip-the-line Tower of London admission

  • Access to the crown jewels, White Tower, and more

  • Expert, local storytelling guide

  • Maximum group size of 15

London by Boat

Your tour starts with a ride along the Thames by the local clipper service. These boats are comfortable and air-conditioned, so you can relax as your guide points out the famous sites you'll pass along the way. You'll see some of London's beautiful old bridges, including London Bridge and Tower Bridge, as well as the stunning architecture of London's City Hall and the Shard—the tallest building in western Europe. Your destination, of course, is the Tower of London, and there's no better way to travel there!

Tower of London

Established by William the Conqueror in 1066 after his conquest of England, the castle represented the shift in power after the Saxons were defeated. By the turn of the 12th century, the tower became a prison—a role it would keep all the way until after World War II. As the most fortified structure in London, the Tower has played a massive role in English history.

Your local guide is a true Tower of London expert, and they'll tell you all about the often bloody history of the castle. It has come under attack many times throughout its history, and, in its role as a prison, it housed (or usually executed) princes, queens, and enemies of the state such as Guy Fawkes. The execution room was particularly busy during the infamous reign of Henry VIII, who sent sent two of his six wives and a number of other notable people to their deaths here. Off with their heads!

Since those days, things have become a lot less bloody, but you'll still see the traditional (and impossible to distract!) Beefeater guards here, along with the resident ravens, and many important artifacts from British history.

The Crown Jewels

The most important (and valuable) items you'll see at the Tower of London are the impressive crown jewels, which have been protected here for centuries. Stored and secured in the Jewel House, the crown jewels are the elaborate symbols and coronation regalia of the English Monarchy. These 140 royal objects are bedazzled with over 23,000 stones.

Although many of the original items were destroyed during the English Civil War by Oliver Cromwell, when the monarchy was temporarily abolished, the collection was rebuilt after the crown was restored in 1660 and there are a few pieces which remain from the 12th century. Access to the Jewel House is in high demand, but you guide will plan the tour to keep your waiting time to a minimum.

Your tour ends near the famous White Tower that you can enter on your own, and your guide will be happy to share some local tips for the rest of your day in London.

What you get with this tour
Boat ride down the River Thames by clipper
Skip-the-line Tower of London admission
Access to the Crown Jewels, White Tower and more
Expert local storytelling guide
Maximum group size of 15
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Frequently Asked Questions

What to bring?

A bottle of water and some comfortable shoes, since you'll be on your feet once you reach the Tower of London.

Can I take photos at the Tower of London?

Photography is allowed in most areas, with the exception of the Jewel House and the Chapel of St. John.

How strenuous is this tour?

It's not especially strenuous, although you will be walking around for most of your time at the Tower of London. There are some uneven surfaces and old stone stairways to navigate.

What to bring?

A bottle of water and some comfortable shoes, since you'll be on your feet once you reach the Tower of London.

Will the tour guide be with me the whole time?

It's possible that your group won't be seated together on the boat, but your guide will check on each of you during the ride. At the Tower of London, guides are not allowed inside the White Tower or the Jewel House, but they will accompany you to each location and share everything you need to know. They will escort you to the Beefeater's Quarters, Traitor's Gate, and several other key areas in the fortress.

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