Situated along the Thames in central London, the Tower of London is the most booked attraction in the UK, according to newly released data from TripAdvisor.
A former prison and the site of numerous executions during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, it’s also where the British royal family’s Crown Jewels are stored.
Having only recently moved to the city, I had never been to the Tower of London, so decided to pay it a visit mid-morning on a Wednesday.
The grounds were much bigger than I was expecting — and I was shocked to find out 150 people live there full-time today.
I was also blown away by the lack of crowds and selfie-snappers considering how popular the attraction is each year.
Despite the admission price of £24.70 ($32), I’d definitely go back.
Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The most booked tourist attraction in the UK is the Tower of London, according to new data from TripAdvisor — and yet until last week, having only recently moved to London, I’d never been.
Formely home to a prison and the site of numerous executions during the Middle Ages and Renaissance (including the 16th century beheading of Anne Boleyn, wife of Henry VIII), it’s also where the British royal family’s Crown Jewels are stored.
I decided to go see what it was like for myself, and fully expected it to be slammed with tourists. However, I was surprised to find this was not the case at all — and the surprises didn’t end there.
I knew the place had a lot of history (about 1,000 years, in fact), but I didn’t know that about 150 people still live on the grounds full-time to this day.
Situated on the bank of the Thames, there was so much to see and experience — like interacting with the famed Beefeaters in their unique costumes, wandering the countless passageways, and checking out the surprising amount of wildlife moseying about the expansive grounds.
Here’s what it’s like to visit — and why the £24.70 ($32) admission was worthy every penny.
I visited mid-morning on a Wednesday, which was luckily a mostly rain-free winter day. Exiting the tube, I was expecting huge crowds.
It had been pouring down rain the days leading up to it, so I figured the people getting off at Tower Hill tube station would be making the most of the weather.
However, walking outside the Tower along the Thames, I was surprised I could actually move around without bumping into someone.
Sure, there were people around, but not an obscenely large number — even my morning commute from where I lived near Canary Wharf to the Insider office was usually more crowded.
There were the expected food stands and gift shops, but they didn’t look terribly busy.
Rent along the Thames in central London isn’t cheap, meaning all the restaurants, cafes, and gift shops surely have a lot of customers — but not today.
Even the ice skating rink next to the Tower wasn’t as busy as I was anticipating.
You would think an ice skating rink …read more
Source:: Insider – Lifestyle