We have tickets to Ceremony of the Keys. However, I was wondering if other tourists who have attended the ceremony also have taken the Beefeater tour?
The ceremony of the keys takes place in the evening around 9:30 PM. Your will be taken around by a Beefeater who will be locking up and explaining soem of the history of the Tower of London. However, you will not be admitted to any of the buildings within the Tower. To tour the Tower of London, which is really worthwhile, you will need to go during the day, with a separate admission ticket. The tickets were sold at many tube stations and there are now kiosks at the Tower the that sells tickets.. I would find out if you can buy your tickets at the tube stations, if not all perhaps at Tower Hill tube stop, so you wont have to wait on line for you tickets.
Do NOT call the Yeoman Warders "Beefeaters"; all three times I've been to C of keys, the Warder very firmly corrected the group at the beginning of the tour. It is a very impressive ceremony, but I am very much an Anglophile! The other public parts of the Tower are open during the day and warders give tours and you can walk around on your own. Henry VIII's Armory is interesting, as is St. John's Chapel (Romanesque).
Laura, I would suggest that you get to The Tower of London by 9:20pm, I feel its better to get there early. The Yeoman Warders let people in at 9:30pm, if you are late and the Yeoman Warder has closed the gate he will not open it to let you in. The ceremony begins at 7 minutes to 10pm and ends at 10:05pm. Enjoy!!
FYI I have been 5 times and always ask for Sunday as no theatre and little else going on naturally this is tip for others but worthwhile i believe
My 15-yr-old and I just came back from a week in London; we did the Ceremony on Sunday, and we both loved it so much we went back later in the week for the Yeoman's tour. Very worth while; not much overlap with the Ceremony narration, and of course you are seeing very different things. The Yeomen are just a lot of fun, and each does his own tour/description/etc. We then did the tour of the White Tower... interesting, but by that time we had heard some of the stories at least once, so I wish we had just wandered around the White Tower and other spots on our own.
I forgot to say that we were NOT able to buy tickets to the Tower at the Tower Hill tube stop, so had to wait on line at the Tower entrance for 15-20 minutes. Be sure to buy ahead, at a TI or other location, to avoid the line.
Just to let you know, Ceremony of the Keys tickets are free (though donations to the Tower welcome as it is a charity!)and you must try and book well in advance by sending full names and addresses of all in your party to the Office of the Ceremony of the keys, Tower of London, London EC3N 4AB and at peak times offering a few dates if possible.
To visit the Tower during the day, although you can't get the tickets from the tube stations any longer, you can buy them on line at www.hrp.org.uk. The official website, it contains forward info on events and exhbitions at all the palaces in the care of Historic Royal Palaces, a charity which aims to share the stories of how monarchs and people have shaped society in some fo the greatest palaces ever built and is a great deal of fun to navigate too!