The building essentials and history succinctly and simply explained
These two building masterpieces within the original city district boundary and inside what was the 200AD Roman wall. The Tower of London, a castle built as the centrepiece of a mighty castle network which eventually covered the United Kingdom. It was the first and mightiest taking over two hundred years to complete from start to finish, ever strengthening its defences during troubled times. It was the masterstroke of the Norman invaders who in arriving in modest numbers in 1066 would subdue the large anglo-saxon population. It has been a royal residence, a prison, a garrison, a place of execution. Now a museum (see the armour of Henry V111 and implements of torture), and home to the famous "Beefeaters". Ghosts, Ravens, and many tales of those who entered and never left alive. It covers an area the size of fourteen football (soccer) pitches.
Close by we can walk or a short bus ride to St Paul's Cathdedral. One man's masterpiece completed in 1711 by Sir Christopher Wren after the 1666 Great Fire
We meet either at your hotel lobby or Tower Hill underground Station, and proceed straight to the Tower for entry as close to opening time as possible. It is important to visit the Crown Jewels exhibition in the Jewel House first, because queues often develop in busy parts of the summer period. Afterwards the adjacent White Tower Museum and its armour and firearms exhibition is a fascinating way to explore the original central part of the fortress (dates from 1075 -1100 approx). We will look at the execution and burial site of several queens, explore the Bloody Tower, and understand what made this castle impregnable and discuss, Beefeaters, Ravens, & famous prisoners down the centuries.
Part 2 of the tour will transfer to St Pauls either on foot or public transport, learning about the Great Fire of London in 1666, the building construction, and see the Crypt and burial sites of the Duke of Wellington and Admiral Lord Nelson. There is the American Chapel by the High Altar, and other famous burials.
Meeting Location + Tour Duration
Meeting location: I am flexible on this to suit client needs but generally Tower Hill underground station or a designated Hotel lobby.
End location: We will conclude the tour at St Paul's Cathedral and I can direct you to a number of underground stations depending on your final destination
Duration: 5 hours
Walking between the two venues is historic but can take 15/30 minutes. It is only 5 minutes by bus or taxi (excluding wait time) which is a small extra cost
We will use public transport either a Zone 1 "cashless" Oyster Card or your credit/debit card that is useable in a "cashless way". There is a symbol on your card that confirms this capability. I can help with transport advice on the day if necessary to advise on effective and economical purchase of public transport tickets.
My services as a professional Blue Badge Guide from beginning to end of the tour, and suggestions and advice for onward activities and travel after the tour ends.
Estimated Local Cash Needed
50 GBP - The full adult Tower of London entrance fee = currently £28.00 The full adult St Paul's Cathedral entrance fee = £18.00 currently
Entry fees to the sites, your own refreshments, and any fares on public transport. Occasional items such as access to the Golden Gallery at the top of St Paul's Dome (nearly 365 feet above the ground)
There are no restrictions and I can arrange car transport if required in a private vehicle.
A Recent Review of this tour
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Barry was absolutely terrific, well-deserving of a true 5-star rating! He was superbly knowledgeable in the deep history of the Tower of London and St. Paul's, especially the hidden gems of information that a tourist couldn't get from reading materials. He had the savvy to know which specific items to point out in our tour for 2 adults + 13 & 9 year old kids to make a rich experience for all. Above all, Barry is very likable and relatable. We highly recommend Barry to others for tours around London.