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Tower of London-first thing or around 14:00?

Will be in London Sept. 15-23rd. If you have visited the Tower of London, did you go first thing when it opened to try and avoid long lines...or did you wait until early afternoon (around 14:00) when the crush had subsided? Thanks for your input!

Posted by
7695 posts

We went first thing and pre booked our tickets
last time we went there. It was snowing lightly and no one else came for a while which seemed so funny as if a little snow should stop you. It was April. The other time we went I could hardly see the Crown Jewels due to crowds so on the second visit we ran there first which I recommend doing.

Posted by
787 posts

We went about mid-day on a Thursday and it wasn't bad. But I've read several places that early morning is best. The two places where the crowd matters is the group size with the tour provided by the beef eaters/ yeoman ( it can be hard to hear them if your group is large) and the wait to get in to see the crown jewels.

Posted by
443 posts

We were there at the end of June on a Friday. Got there about 5 minutes before the ticket windows opened, bought as soon as they opened, stood in line maybe 10 minutes for security (the line for security looks far worse than it is). Then immediately went to the Crown Jewels - that was about a 20 minute wait (when we came out, the wait had ballooned to 45-60 minutes).

Posted by
303 posts

We also went at opening, arriving early to purchase tickets. As soon as we got through the entrance, we also made a beeline for the crown jewels. (Locate the building beforehand on a map so you know where you are heading.) We were the first ones in and actually got on the moving walkway twice to gawk at them before anyone else came in. This was mid May 2013. I have to assume you will encounter more visitors these days.

Posted by
1805 posts

We went in May. I think the day of the week is a factor, we were there on Wednesday. We went first thing. We had London Pass and this is one of the few times you get to skip the line. There was maybe three people in front of us.

We headed straight for the Crown Jewels. There was no line. We took our time and finished up about 1:00 p.m. By then it was pretty crowded.

Posted by
2318 posts

I have been there twice--first time around 11 am in mid-August and it was moderately crowded, took the Yeoman Warder tour and visited all the buildings, line for the Crown Jewels maybe 15 minutes.

Last year I went late August and arrived at 2, but that time I was only there to sit and observe the ravens for a couple of hours, but overall it felt less crowded later in the day.

And I'll be there again from Sept 20-24...might do another tour but really, I need to see the new ravens Poppy and George :)

Posted by
2318 posts

We were there 3rd week of September last year. Got there at 8:30 and was first in line. The line only had about 10 people when it opened at 9:00. We also head straight for the crown jewels and then a photo op with the red jacketed guard nearby. By 10:00 crowds at the jewels and guard were severe. I would recommend first thing in the morning. There is so much to see we ended up staying until about 3:00. There's a lot to see and I would recommend giving yourself as much time as possible.

Posted by
33 posts

Thanks, everyone, for the responses! I think we'll go with our original plan to get there first thing in the morning...although that means we will be on the Tube at rush hour! Going from Earl's Court station...we'll stay to the right and mind the gap!

Posted by
1805 posts

although that means we will be on the Tube at rush hour! Going from Earl's Court station...

The good news is that it is all District line and takes about 33 minutes. Yes, it will be snug that time of morning. We rode from Bond Street on the Jubilee line and it took about the same amount of time. It will be a great chance for people watching.

Posted by
1232 posts

I’d say either is fine. I did a first thing in the morning visit on a Sunday and it was crowded but not unbearable. I’ve also done around. 1 or 2 pm and it was also fine, I waited for the weather to clear up.

Both were in early May so I’d imagine the crowds would similar during your trip.

Posted by
3428 posts

Just a note- We loved the shop at the Tower of London. Very high quality items. We got very nice Christmas ornaments. Also picked up some nice ink pens to give to people (people in hubby's office and my school secretaries and nurse, etc. - I was an asst. principal) when we got back, along with some miniature knights and soldiers for kids.