One of the most interesting things you can do when you visit the capital of England is visiting the Tower of London, a great fortress located by the river Thames – like many of London’s main tourist attractions. If you visit the Tower of London, you’ll be able to go through 1.000 years of history: built by William the Conqueror in 1078, it was a symbol of oppression as it was used as a prison, although that was not its purpose when it was built. The Tower of London has been key in the history of England, since controlling it usually meant controlling the country. As beautiful and impressive as the fortress is, it will be even more extraordinary to your eyes once you learn its history.
You can even make it easier by booking one of the apartments near Tower of London that you can find in our search engine. Your visit to the Tower of London will be better with GowithOh!
The Tower of London is located in the borough of Tower Hamlets, which is where our apartments near Tower of London are located. Tower Hamlets is east of the City and north of the river Thames, and it hosts many of the highest buildings of the capital of England. It’s populated by more than 270.000 Londoners and hosts one of the main ethnic minorities, the British Bangladeshis. It is also very close to the City, the financial centre of London and one of the protagonists of its beautiful skyline.
But what about the historical neighbours? As you know, the Tower of London worked as a prison for many years, and there are some familiar names among the prisoners who were forced to live between its walls and executed. Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VII was one of the historical personalities who was locked there after her arrest in 1536. She was beheaded in the premises of the Tower of London after being found guilty of adultery and treason. Closer to our times, the Tower of London also hosted the Nazi Rudolph Hess, who was the last state prisoner in the castle after Winston Churchill commanded that he was sent there in 1941. He was only a prisoner in the Tower of London for a few days, but the legend says he was hidden there until his trials.
So much history may make you want to go back to reality and modern times with some shopping. Well, you can find some of that as well near the Tower of London! The St Katharine Docks offer an interesting food market, where you can even go for a bite. You will find some interesting art shops, like the Alexander Miles Gallery, where you’ll find jewels and design items, and Artopia, where you’ll find art pieces by local artists. You will also find an interesting shoe shop and, of course, another one for nautical gifts – you’re in a historical dock after all!
If you want to do some regular shopping instead, you can take bus 15 and you’ll be in the One New Change shopping centre in just 15 minutes.
If you book one of the apartments near Tower of London you’ll see that it’s a great location to go for a nice walk – just walk towards the river and you will easily spot the great fortress and many other great monuments of London, like, of course, the Tower Bridge. The closest Tube station is Tower Hill, where you can travel in the District Line, which moves along the river and communicates you with tourist attractions such as The City (Monument Station or Mansion House station) or the London Eye (Enbankment station). If you need to travel by train and have booked one of the apartments near Tower of London, you will be close to the train stations Tower Gateway and Fenchurch Street.
There are also some alternative ways to travel: You can rent a bike – there are bike lanes close by and also some nice cycle routes in the area; and you can take a boat to travel to other parts of the city! The nearest river access is in Tower Pier, from which you can go to Charing Cross, Greenwich and Westminster.
The inside of the Tower of London is well worth a visit! The tickets include a visit to the Crown Jewels exhibit, other sort of exhibits like coins, and a guided tour that can include historical recreations. If you’re travelling with children, know that there are many activities dedicated to them. Tickets are around 24 pounds, but there are special rates for children and families and discounts for students and disabled visitors. You can visit it in the morning and the afternoon, but check the opening times first, because they are different in winter and in summer.
Besides the Tower of London, there are many other places worth a visit that are nearby. If you book one of GowithOh’s apartments near Tower of London, you will find that the Borough of Tower Hamlets is an enjoyable place! As we said above, there are some wonderful cycle routes so you can see the neighbourhood; the Tower Bridge is just a few walking minutes away, and you can even take a riverboat to sail the Thames towards another part of the city. Besides, the City of London is very close, so you can enjoy some modern architecture. Across the river, you will find the Design Museum.
Such an important monument needed to have some great restaurants around! The unbelievable history of the Tower of London will surely make you hungry – and you will deserve a good meal after having learned so much! St. Katharine Docks Market is a great place to grab something to eat: you can find Strada, where you’ll enjoy some nice Italian food; and Ping Pong, for some great Asian cuisine. Both restaurants have nice terraces to sit for lunch if the weather’s good (something not so usual in London, though!).
The most famous restaurant in the area is the Perkin Reveller, a modern British restaurant with seasonal menus cooked with local products.
Right by St. Katharine Docks, just a few walking minutes away from the Tower of London, you will find the Medieval Banquet, which is just that, a recreation of a real Medieval Banquet – and you will be able to be part of it! It is pricey, but you will be part of a dinner + spectacle that will last around 4 hours, which will be a great end to your cultural outing to the Tower of London. Troubadours, courtesans, artists and, of course, Henry VIII will entertain you during a traditional English dinner of 4 courses. If you’re vegetarian, there’s a non-historically-accurate vegetarian option as well. After dinner, there will be more music and dancing!
If a Medieval recreation is not for you, you have more modern-day options, like bars: the Bavarian Beerhouse Tower Hills is a great place to haver a drink. If you’re looking for a pub, try the Anchor Tap, a real English pub that you’re not likely to forget! If you want to shake off all the history you’ve learned with some dancing, try the Tower Millenium Pier club to party on a boat!