Tower of London started as a simple watch tower, built by William the Conqueror,
to keep an eye on the city. By 1100 the tower had developed into a palace-fortress.
Today 20 towers connected by walls and gateways stand within two walls of
The White Tower houses an exhibition of Instruments of Torture and Royal Armouries. The Bloody Tower is infamous for the mysterious murder of two young princes. The Tower of London has acted as a royal residence, treasury, mint and a prison. Amongst many others, Sir Walter Raleigh, queens Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, and Sir Thomas More were all imprisoned here, and publicly executed.
The Crown Jewels are found in the Jewel House, and for many catching a glimpse of these precious stones can be the highlight of their visit. The most dazzling of these jewels has to be a 317 carat diamond, found in the Imperial State Crown, a sapphire from a ring said to have been buried with Edward the Confessor, and the legendary Koh-i-Noor diamond. Your queuing time will inevitably be longer than the time you actually get to view the jewels, as you are sped along by moving walkways allowing only 28 seconds in front of the display.
Beefeaters conduct guided tours of the Tower and each evening enact the 'ceremony of the keys'. But be warned that to see this ceremony you must write at least six weeks in advance for an invitation.
being just over one hundred years old, Tower Bridge ranks as one of London's
most famous attractions.
A steel frame clad in granite and Portland Stone, represents an amazing engineering achievement, allowing the road crossing to be raised giving tall ships access to upper reaches of the Thames. It is an impressive sight although it happens infrequently. Inside the north tower an exhibition explains the bridge's history and design.