Pre-purchase tickets for London

We are planning to see the Tower of London, Westminster Abby, St. Pauls Cathedral and Churchill War Rooms in July (three days). Is there any advantage to pre-buying our tickets for any of these sites?

Posted by Ray
Portland, Oregon, USA
1337 posts

hi, i will preface my response by saying i was there last march and from my experience. the Tower of London didnt have long ticket lines at the time i was there and it was around approx 1400. they had many ticket booths open so they went fast. the longest line was to see the crown jewels. about an hour or so wait to get in. Westminster Abby. didnt see it yet. it was closed for services when i was there 2x. Im going back again this sept and hope to see it then. Churchill war rooms. No line at all. St Pauls, i went there 2x. i forgot to climb the dome the first time so i went back the 2nd time to do so. again, no or little line. first time went after the TOL in the last afternoon. the 2nd time early am last oct. but again, this was in march. happy trails.

Posted by Diane
Westford, MA, USA
233 posts

The advantage is you have tickets. Perhaps you won't feel the need to rush out the door to get some place each day? Do the tickets have a set date and entrance time or do you have an option of choosing your dates and times? If for any reason you do not visit a place, and you have a prepaid ticket, can you get a refund? For this May I have the same four places as my Top places I want to experience. My plan for the Tower of London & Westminister Abbey is to arrive 30 minutes before doors open. I'll buy an admission ticket & then sign up for the first guided tour of their day. The remaining time I'll be free to visit the place as I choose. This committs me to two mornings as I am there for 3 nights.
The other two places I will visit during the afternoon hours. Whatever gives your travel peace of mind would be how I'd decide.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8735 posts

first time went after the TOL in the last afternoon. OK Ray, what's a tol? You always spell out and give abbreviations. Just abbreviation (or something) this time.

Posted by Chip
Tipton, Iowa
329 posts

TOL = Tower of London I would only buy tickets in advance for shows or exhibitions that might sell out. That does not apply to your attractions, Westminster Abby, Tower of London, St. Pauls Cathedral and Churchill War Rooms which offer only a tiny online booking discount to boot. The latter three have a 2 for 1 discount available from Days Out, the only requirement being that you print out a voucher and buy your travelcards from a National Rail station instead of an underground station. http://www.daysoutguide.co.uk/

Posted by Ray
Portland, Oregon, USA
1337 posts

@ Nigel TOL = Tower of London. to continue on tho. as Diane says, if it gives you piece of mind then i would buy them. just a comment from my side is that when i travel to someplace that i go to especially for that particular attraction(s). i try to get ticket(s) online or reserve them or anyway to make sure i get to see what i want to see. thats just how i do it. on my london trip, i decided that i had enough time to do/see everything i wanted and had some spare time just in case (jic) i missed something. happy trails and have lots of fun.

Posted by Susan and Monte
Granite Bay, CA
678 posts

I suppose I'd hate to be locked into a particular time, maybe even a specific day, just in case we want to change our plans. But, I also don't want to spend an hour or more waiting in a ticket line. The Abby and the Tower of London we will do first thing in the morning, so I think it would be good to get there early. Good idea. Sounds like we will be ok for Churchill and then St. Paul's would be the only other site and we should have plenty of time, so I guess we are ok. Glad to know there is not a site on my list that has a reputation of extremely long lines. Thanks for the feedback!

Posted by Cathy
Clemson, SC
17 posts

I was thinking of buying Tower of London tickets in advance. We'll be in London in mid-June around the Trooping the Colour time, so I'm a bit concerned about long lines. According to their web site, you can buy tickets online and they are good for seven days from the date ed. You can pick up the tickets onsite or if you plan ahead of time they can mail them to you (not sure if they charge for mailing). You also save a small amount (about 1 pound per ticket) by buying online. St. Paul's also sells online tickets at a small discount according to their website but it looks like you're locked into one specific day. Looks like you can book in advance at Churchill War Rooms (don't see a discount) but don't see advanced booking for Westminster online.

Posted by Sharon
Santa Rosa, CA, USA
892 posts

Last time we visited, we bought the Tower of London tickets online in advance. We did get there anyway about the time it opened and walked right in - this was in June. We wanted to see the jewels first thing. We are going again the end of June (taking our granddaughters), so will pre-purchase tickets again. We had the tickets sent to us.

Posted by Pam
Fort Wayne, IN, USA
63 posts

Try to get to the TOL as soon as they open and go straight to the jewell tower. You will have them to yourself to enjoy as you go around the belt a few times to take them all in. When you have had your fill of them, go back to the entrance and join a Yeoman Warder tour. I spent 4 hours at TOL and really enjoyed it. Have a great time. I'll be back in London this June and am so excited!!