Get early access with a brand new Tower of London tour from Urban Saunters.
Not just one of the most historic but deeeeeefinitely also one of the most iconic landmarks in London is the Tower of London.
Keeping eye over the banks of the Thames since the 11th century. The Tower is a rich tapestry of history, tradition, scandal, intrigue and sparkly, sparkly jewels. Founded by Norman invader William the Conqueror, this stone lady has played many parts – as a mint, an observatory, palace, prison, fortress, zoo and of course, most famously, a place of execution.
But did you also know that it’s home to one of the most unique ceremonies in the world?
History of the Opening Ceremony
This is a tradition that purportedly dates back to the 1340s when Edward III apparently strolled into the Tower unchallenged. Absolutely fuming, he declared that from now on, the Tower of London would be officially unlocked in the morning, then locked again at sunset. And so the Ceremony of the Keys was born…
Led by the Yeoman Warders (aka the Beefeaters, aka those wearing one of the best uniforms of the King’s guards), it takes place each morning at the main gate (apart from just once in WW2 when a bomb fell) and is the symbolic and physical opening of the Tower of London to visitors for the day.
However, most visitors won’t be able to see it whilst it’s happening.
That’s where our new ‘Tower of London Opening Ceremony with Early Access, Crown Jewels, Boat Ride & Westminster Small-Group Walking Tour’ comes in.
Not only do you get closer to the Tower of London awakening from its nightly slumber, but you’ll even be amongst the first in to see the Crown Jewels. Not enough for you?
How’s about this:
After enjoying the Opening Ceremony and discovering centuries of turbulent history on your own, you’ll rejoin your guide for a little cruise down the River Thames, passing Shakespeare’s Globe, St Pauls and the mediaeval ‘Las Vegas’, before alighting in the reeeeeeeeal royal city of Westminster to take a walking tour of the iconic landmarks that dot the streets like jewels – Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace.
Two cities. Two stories. Two Towers (Big Ben counts, right?). All in.
For a right royal day out, why just go big, when you can go bigger?
Come saunter with us through 1000 of really rather regal history on our new ‘Tower of London Opening Ceremony & Westminster’ tour.
Some reviews from previous saunterers on our Tower of London tours to whet your appetite:
‘Fantastic! Our guide, Rosie, was wonderfully bright, knowledgeable, articulate and fun to listen to throughout the tour. Her tidbits of detail concerning the Tower, the Buckingham Palace area and their histories were delightful and engaging. She made the water-taxi ride from the Tower Bridge to the Westminster Bridge another memorable jaunt, as her impromptu growing audience of fellow travellers would attest to their luck in having a brilliant “guest lecturer”. However, the clincher for an absolute top-shelf rating is the Beefeater-led Opening Ceremony. Our “briefer” – was very engaging in his description of the history and procedures and he perfectly set the stage. After being ushered well inside the Tower complex walls, we witnessed the formal opening of the gates from a position to gain “front of line” queue positions and immediately view the Crown Jewels. We’ll go again in a heartbeat if we ever get the chance to return to London. Well done!’
Rosie was a fantastic guide – very organized and knowledgeable. Despite the very crowded week of our visit and a delayed ferry, she kept us moving and learning the whole way. It was DEFINITELY worth getting into the tour early, by the time we left the Crown Jewels, the queue was incredibly long.
‘We had an excellent tour with our guide Rosi! The opening ceremony was unforgettable – we were the first in the tower and first at the crown jewels! Rosi told us an incredible amount of information and stories, as well as interesting facts about London, royals and the population and her own experiences. Even our children (7 and 12 years old) were fascinated! Absolute recommendation !!!!! ‘