Every year approximately 2 million people visit the Tower of London, so what is it that makes it such an interesting place to draw the attention of all these visitors? A lot of reasons!
A representative symbol of London and Britain, The Tower of London (or to use it’s actual name, Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress, The Tower of London) was erected to prevent the attack of invaders and awe and frighten the vassals with its magnificence. It is among the most important historic buildings in the world, insomuch as it has been awarded the recognition of UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located on the north bank of the river Thames, it served as a royal residence since 1066, the year it was built.
A visit to the tower could include joining an amazing Yeoman Warder tour with your family, during which you will be entertained by tales of mysterious palace intrigues, stories of kings and queens, imprisonments and executions. Besides being incredibly educational, your kids will have so much fun walking through the dungeons of the building that they will want to go back inside and relive the magical times of knights and princesses. The Medieval Palace family trail is definitely recommended: you will walk through the rooms where heroes and damsels actually lived and you will get carried away by the tales recounting their mythical deeds. Your kids can pick up a fun-book at the Welcome Centre in order to learn while having fun: they can answer quizzes and draw shields and plans, as well as colour in medieval sketches!
That is not all. You won’t want to miss the dazzling exhibit of the 23,578 gems which make up the Crown Jewels, a gleaming collection of precious stones, among which you can find the world’s most famous diamonds.
Among other things, the Tower of London also served the purpose of Royal Menagerie, an exotic zoological garden where wild animals were held captive to impress people with their grandiosity. Those were the eccentric gifts of foreign royals and you could spot lions, polar bears, elephants, ostriches and even kangaroos… all living in central London! Now only the ravens reside, thanks to a legend according to which their absence or escape could determine the end of the Kingdom as we know it!
Much more is waiting for you: old coins from the Royal Mint, armours, weapons… and for an all-around adventure in the Tower of London area, you can also download from the Historic Royal Palaces’ site an Explore Kit which offers you maps and playsheets.