Short read: “the most important mediaeval fortress in Europe”
Long read: In the beginning William – the bastard – created the Tower. Biblical echo’s deliberate. That’s how important the Tower is. Crown jewels, battlements, Traitor’s Gate, executioner’s block, armour, centuries-old ceremonies, the stage on which so much of our history climaxed. The question isn’t whether you’ll go to the Tower – it’s whether you’ll go First Class. First Class isn’t tacky and touristy. It isn’t wandering aimlessly. First class is seeing the Tower with a great guide – it all comes down to the guiding. Because that thrilling, chilling past is still there – sighs run in blood down Tower walls – but you have to know where to look. And how to look. Go First Class you’ll come out exclaiming, “that’s the best upgrade* on the planet!” Guided on Wednesdays by Tom or Brian; on Sundays by Tom, Brian or Judy.
Photo by Andy Holmes
*An upgrade because if you go with us – go First Class – you’ll get a discount on the Tower admission price and VIP admission: no queuing, no “standing in line.” Go Economy Class you pay more, get less and could queue for half an hour. Some Economy!
N.B. The normal adult entry charge to the Tower is £28. With London Walks adults get in for £20. The normal students/concs. entry charge to the Tower is £18.70. With London Walks students/concs. get in for £15. The normal child (5-15 incl.) entry charge to the Tower is £11. With London Walks children get in for £9.
Bears repeating: VIP admission means we’re able to get you in very quickly. You won’t have to endure that public queue. With London Walks there is no blackholing your valuable time “standing in line” in order to pay more. No shuffling along in that long public queue for the “privilege” of paying £8 more than our walkers have to pay to get in in a jiffy.
It’s a no brainer.
TOWER OF LONDON – THE PRACTICALS
The Tower of London Tour takes place every* Sunday at 11 am and every** Wednesday at 11 am. Meet Tom or Brian or Judy just outside the exit of Tower HillTube. Meet them by the “Tower Hill Tram” coffee stall, which is just outside the exit. As soon as you come through the turnstile you’ll see the “Tower Hill Tram” coffee stall straight ahead of you, seven yards outside the exit. N.B. as this one’s for all ages there’s a £3 charge for kids for the tour plus the entry fee. Needless to say, the tour ends in the Tower of London, a 2-minute walk from Tower HillTube. *Not Dec. 22 **Not Dec. 25, Jan. 1 or April 26
LONDON WALKS HORS D’OEUVRE
“The White Tower, the great keep from which the Tower derives its name, was complete by the end of the 11th century. Even today one can sense the impact this structure must have had when new, towering over the mean timber houses of the City [my italics]. Neither the fancy turret tops, added in the 1530s, nor the alterations made in subsequent centuries detract from its significance as a symbol of conquest.”
“For eight years in the 1980s and 1990s, I was the curator of the Tower and often experienced its cold walls out of hours. Somehow these hard stone faces seemed to have absorbed the essence of the events they had encircled and they radiated back to me both the misery and the magnificence of England’s past. There are many places in the Tower where that history is so thick that it takes little imagination to be transported back into it. Most powerful of all is the basement of the White Tower, the oldest part of the castle, where you can still visit the rooms once known as the Black Hall and the Black Chamber.” Simon Thurley, Houses of Power
LONDON WALKS REVIEWS
“London Walks is the best, hands down.” Frommer’s London
“London Walks puts you into the hands of an expert on the particular area and topic of a tour.” The New York Times
“Wonderful Tours! My husband and I were in London between Christmas and New Years. We did the London Tower tour and the Royal London tour. Both were excellent tours with great guides. For 10 GBP and discounted prices for the London Tower, these tours can’t be beat. The day that we were at the London Tower, the line to buy tickets and then enter was so long, people probably waited for hours, but not with London Walks. We were able to enter in the group tours entrance with less than 15 minutes wait, that alone was worth the money. The Royal London Tour was also fantastic, we definitely had front row seats to the changing of the guard. The ‘worst’ thing about London Walks is having to choose which tours to do, because there are so many! We will definitely be back for more tours in the future!” Nicole Scotty, Fort Myers, Florida
HYGGE and LAGOM
And so we come to the Scandinavian cameos. Hygge is that wonderful Danish word meaning the emotional warmth created by being with good friends and well-loved family. Lagom’s that equally wonderful and equally apt Swedish word meaning not too much or too little, but just the right amount. Hygge and lagom here mean you’ve made it and you can feel good about it. You’ve cut through all the crap on the Internet – all the hype and blandishments and mendacity and fool’s gold and flimflam and chicanery – and made it to dependable, reliable, straight-shooting, multi-award-winning London Walks, the gold standard of urban walking tour companies. In short, you’ve cracked it – figured it out – got it that only a putz buys a pig in a poke and hopes for the best. And figuring it out – finding your way here – that’s hygge. That’s lagom. So, yes, come on in. Pull up a chair by the fire. Here’s a cup of hot chocolate. Join us. Welcome to London Walks. In this instance, you’ll be with our party, one of 15 or 20 people in the Tower. Rather than one of 10,000. You’ll be doing the Tower intelligently and in-depth rather than aimlessly and superficially. The key – apart from not being part of the horde? You’ll be going through there with one of the best guides in London. That’s hygge. That’s lagom.
LONDON WALKS PRIVATE TOURS
“A tour of the Tower of London should be a priority for any visitor to London.” If you can’t make any of the regularly scheduled, just-turn-up, public Tower of London Tours we run do think about booking a private tour. If you go private you can have the Tower of London Tour – or any other London Walk – on a day and at a time that suits your convenience. We’ll tailor it to your requirements. Ring Fiona or Noel on 020 7624 3978 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll set it up and make it happen for you.
GIVE THE GIFT OF LONDON WALKS
A private London Walk makes a very special, thoughtful, unusual gift. Be it a birthday or anniversary or graduation or Christmas present or whatever. Merchandise schmerchandise (gift wrapped or not) – but giving someone an experience, now that’s special. Memories make us rich.