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Tower Of London

Hi, My family and I only have about 4 hours in London before heading up to York. I have a two boys (14 and 12) who would enjoy the Tower of London. Is it worth going in such a short amount of time. I will be arriving at Heathrow at 12:30pm and with immigration and transport on the Tube, I figured I would be in London around 2:30. Our train leaves at 7:00pm from London Victoria.
Thanks

Posted by
21243 posts

Sure. You can see it well in a couple of hours and easy to get to and from.

Posted by
1863 posts

Our train leaves at 7:00pm from London Victoria.

Not to York it won't.

Posted by
782 posts

Might be a good idea to take a taxi straight to Victoria station and store your bags (if they still do that there) and then take the tube to the tower. They may have luggage storage at the Tower but I don't remember seeing any. You could save a few minutes by buying your Osyster Card ahead of time by mail. Hope you have a great time!

Posted by
1863 posts

Trains to York start from Kings Cross.

London Victoria to Kings Cross will be a tube journey. And if you're at the Tower of London there's no reason to go via Victoria.

If you think you get on a train at Victoria and get off at York you're in for a surprise.

Posted by
4671 posts

You definitely won't be leaving by train to York from Victoria. Check the times given in detail and they will almost certainly involve travelling from Victoria to Kings Cross by tube, then the train from Kings Cross to York.

My personal suggestion would be to take the Piccadilly Line from Heathrow to Kings Cross, leave the luggage in the storage facility in St Pancras station which is right next door to Kings Cross, and then go where you want to go in London. For the Tower, take the Circle Line from Kings Cross to Tower Hill, and the same in reverse.

Okay, I got the whole London Victoria to York figured out already. Thats not the issue. I need to leave from Victoria for reasons I dont have time to get into on this post. Thank you for the help but my question is about the tower of London. Is it worth seeing if only for a few hours?

Posted by
2710 posts

Yes. The Tower of London is absolutely worth seeing. In my opinion, it is the most interesting sight to see in London.
It is number 1 on my "must see" London list. #2 is Westminster Abbey.

When I was in London this past spring, I spent most of one day at The Tower. It takes a while to go through and see the Jewels. Do that first; there can be quite a line later in the day. It takes awhile to go through The White Tower, but it is fabulous. Lots of suits of armor on display. Even a suit of armor that belonged to the rather large Henry the 8th!

They have a great lunch room, with good salads, sandwiches, main dishes and desserts, The Armouries Cafe. We ate a late lunch there, rested, and had a cup of coffee before heading out to look around more.

The Tower of London is quite interesting. If you are absolutely pressed for time during your visit there, you can skip the Crown Jewels exhibit. It can get crowded in the afternoons, and in my opinion, was NOT the highlight of my visit. Your two boys will probably be bored with it.

DO make sure you explore the outer walls, and walk upstairs--up the winding stone staircases--and see the view of the river out the Tower windows. Walk some of the outer walls.

If you have any questions about how to get back to Victoria Station, just ask the employees at the Tower for advice. They are all very friendly and helpful.

Likewise, do not hesitate to ask the employees at the Tower Hill tube station for directions, or where to change trains, etc. They are very helpful. Right inside the tube station entrance on the left should be a booth with an employee, or one standing nearby.

Posted by
2634 posts

You will have to change trains at Kings Cross, you arrive at Kings Cross at 7:11 your train to York leaves at 7:30 so you won't have a lot of time, it leaves from Platform 1.

Posted by
73 posts

to the OP; I think what everyone's trying to say is that the "train" for York leaves from Kings Cross and you need to take the "underground/tube" to get there from Victoria...perhaps it's a matter of semantics, the underground is the London public Rapid Transit system while the trains run under National Rail which represents the various privately owned passenger train companies that operate in Great Britain. They are referred to with different symbols to differentiate them; red circle with blue, horizontal bar for the London Underground and red, zig-zag tracks ie. for the various train operators. So while the tube may appear train-like, it would be confusing to call it a "train" when that term is commonly used for a different mode of travel. And yes, try to go to the Tower too!

Posted by
991 posts

You poor thing..as in what a run around you've been getting. YES the Tower is absolutely worth whatever time you can give it. I like to go there at least every other time I'm in London. Plus my granddaughter thinks they have really good fish and chips.

Posted by
7995 posts

Laurel, please read my post from 11/28 above.

Posted by
288 posts

I'm going to weigh in and say I'm not sure I would do the Tower of London with your time frame. It closes at 4:30, and will be costly.
At best you will have 2 hours, assuming you can truly be at the Tower by 2:30 . With jet lag etc I'm not sure is worth it.
If you do decide to go for it, see if your train ticket will qualify you for the 2 for 1 deals. I'm not sure it does if you are leaving only, but it can save you a lot.

Posted by
3225 posts

Considering the very high admission cost (do check out the family ticket) I don't think it is worth visiting the Tower for less than 3 hours unless money is not important, in which case you should hire a limo to drive you there from Heathrow, sit with your bags, and wait for you during your visit and then take you to your mysterious appointment at Victoria which is quite a detour from the path you need to take.

Typical Tower visit:

1 hour for yeoman tour
1 hour for Crown Jewels (if short line)
1 hour for White Tower museum
1 hour for exploring grounds, walking on wall, resting

Posted by
991 posts

Susan, I'm so sorry. I guess I should have said OP was getting the run around except from Susan. HND?
And of course, Frank. Sorry Frank

Posted by
2634 posts

Susan, I know that Laurel wasn't meaning anyone in particular. I feel as if she was talking about everyone telling the OP that she couldn't leave from Victoria Station.

Posted by
11450 posts

I won't go into your timeline , I am a time conservative type so. It good as squishing things in, but I will answer your question.

Is the TOL worrh it ? YES!

I took my 13 yr old son there , and my stepdaughter when she was older ( think she was 25) and they both loved the Yeomans tour( don't skip it , it's humorous , not dry and boring ) , as said skip the jewels if pressed for time .

Posted by
54 posts

I think just 4 hours for the Tower is pushing it. I'd rather have 3 hours in Westminster Abbey and an hour to play with.

Posted by
54 posts

I think just 4 hours for the Tower is pushing it. I'd rather have 3 hours in Westminster Abbey and an hour to play with.