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 341 Reviews · 3.00h · England, United Kingdom

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.

  • Guided Tour
  • Meeting point at Parliament Square
  • Meet your guide
  • Thames river cruise
  • Tower of London
  • Traitor's Gate
  • Bloody Tower
  • Tower Green
  • Crown Jewels
  • End at White Tower

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

  • 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 service. These boats are comfortable and air-conditioned, so you can relax as your authorized Blue Badge 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, whose presence are rooted in a belief that the Tower would fall if the ravens ever left, and many important artifacts from British history.

The Crown Jewels

The Tower of London houses the remarkable crown jewels, safeguarded here for centuries. Secured in the Jewel House, these items include the ornate symbols and coronation regalia of the English Monarchy, consisting of 140 royal objects adorned with over 23,000 stones.

Despite many original items being destroyed during the English Civil War by Oliver Cromwell, the collection was restored after the monarchy's reinstatement in 1660, with a few pieces dating back to the 12th century. Access to the Jewel House is highly sought after, but your guide will plan the tour to minimize waiting time.

The tour concludes near the iconic White Tower, which you can explore independently, while your guide offers local tips for the rest of your day in London.

What you get with this tour
Expert English-speaking guide
Skip the line Tower of London tickets
Thames River cruise
Crown Jewels
Tower Green, Traitor's Gate, Bloody Tower, and more!
Group size of 15
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341 total reviews

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5.0/5 (based on 341 reviews)
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Most enjoyable tour we had during our London visit
17 June 2024
D
Reviewed by
Demet Yalcin

Our guide Fia was very warm, friendly and full of information that was engaging for both my teen daughter and me. Highly recommend Tower of London -- it was our favorite sightseeing experience in London proper. FYI --if you do another half day tour with the same company, some of the overview info ends up being repetitive, we did the Westminster half-day tour which was also great, but shared some of the same info.

Legends and Lore Tour of the Tower of London
17 June 2024
W
Reviewed by
WILJANDA BOATWRIGHT

We had a wonderful experience with our tour guide Fia. She was very knowledgeable about the history of the Tower of London. She took time to explain a wealth of information and she effectively answered any/all of our questions. It was a pleasure taking the tour with Fia!!!

16 June 2024
P
Reviewed by
Parivash Javidian

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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.

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.

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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