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Tower of London visit

Traveling to London in late August, 2023. If I purchase Tower of London advance tickets on the official website and arrive at the earliest 9 am time, will we still wait in line? Also, are the Beefeater tour people right there- easy to join in?
I have looked at “getyourguide /skip the line”tours, but not sure it gets me much more for what it costs. Thank you in advance for your input. Greatly appreciated!

Posted by
230 posts

I can only comment on the Beefeater Tour guides as we went as part of the RS Best of London Tour last month and were taken there early to see the opening ceremony. After that we were on our own for a while and went in to see the Crown Jewels and that area. When we came out we went to where the Beefeater Tours begin. The was quite a crowd after a short time when the next tour was ready to start. After the initial talk we moved along with the group to the first stop but along the way it was apparent we were not going to be abl to hear anything and continued on our own. If you do choose to do this work your way up to near the guide so you can hear. Another of our group stayed with the Beefeater longer but said it was a problem to hear what he was saying many times, though no fault of the guide.
If you do want to go on the Beefeater Tour it is just through the main entrance in the grassy moat area on the left. There is a gravel path leading you to the area.

Posted by
5153 posts

Additional tip- go to the Crown Jewels first, as it's a very popular exhibit.
Safe travels.

Posted by
81 posts

Generally you will find no queue or a small one at opening time, and people then normally rush to the Crown Jewels on opening. There will be occasions when there is a line but that's more exception than rule.

The free Beefeater tour starts about an hour after first entry from memory - there is a sign just inside the entrance that tells you the times. Do note these can become unmanageably large groups of 70 or 80 people. But then it is free.

The ones you are probably finding are official and allow entry 30 minutes before normal opening and then a small group tour with a Beefeater. I think the limit is 10 but you regularly see them as a two or four person group. They also go some places that you can't normally such as down in the moat. Whether that is worth the price (it's about an additional £40) is for you to decide of course - I would say it does give you something extra but the worth of that is another matter.

Posted by
242 posts

We were at the Tower of London on a weekday last month. We had purchased tickets online ahead of time, and arrived at the Tower by 8:45 or so. There was already a line of ticket holders but employees were going around scanning everyone’s barcode so that when the gates opened at 9:00 we were able to walk right in. As suggested we headed straight to the Crown Jewels. Then we joined the 10:00 Beefeater Tour (I think this is the first of the day). As stated above, there were at least 70-80 in the group, maybe more. It was easy to find the tour, but we had no trouble hearing (the guide projected his voice well, and maybe we were close enough to the front).

It definitely pays to go early, though, because when we exited the Crown Jewels, there was a line-up to get in that building, which we didn’t have at 9:05. Also, when we left the Tower around 12:30, there was a very long line to enter (significantly longer than our experience at 8:45 am). I definitely recommend getting there for 9:00

Posted by
104 posts

We were in London in early June. We purchased the Get Your Guide / Early Access Beefeater Tour and, in my opinion, it was a waste of money. I have a Trip Report on the forum and our experience with this tour is listed under London Day 4. If I had it to do over again I would buy advance tickets with the earliest arrival time, go straight to the crown jewels, and then tour the rest of the Tower.

Posted by
9 posts

Thank you all for your input! Very helpful. I think we will stick with the original plan to get there very early with our advanced purchase tickets and head straight to the Crown Jewels first as recommended.

Posted by
199 posts

We were just at the Tower on Tuesday! (July 11th for those reading this in the future). We got there at about 8:40 and there was a line to get in. Not a long line; we were among the first 100 to get in. But the line definitely got longer over the next twenty minutes. The attendants moved through the line checking tickets, and they were telling everyone to get to the Jewels first. We did, and waited less than three minutes to get inside. We came out at 9:45, and the line was already a lot longer, filling the area right in front of the jewels where you snake back and forth a few times. When we left at noon, it wrapped all the way down the courtyard and was starting to come back up.

We went on the first (10am) Beefeater tour of the day. They meet down in the moat and our group had close to 200 people in it. I thought about waiting for the 10:30, but when we set off at 10:18 (after his introduction), there were already people waiting to go down to wait for the 10:30 tour. The tour only has three stops, and we never had any issues hearing (or even seeing) him.