Tower of London fri afternoon or sun morning in may?

We will be spending 3 days in London May 2013, flying in from Canada on a Friday morning. Tower of London is #1 on our list. We have the option of visiting on Friday afternoon or Sunday morning. Opinions? Thanks.

Posted by Tod
San Diego, CA, USA
237 posts

If it is first on your list I think I would choose not to do it on the day you arrive. I think I would want to be rested and oriented before I tackle the site I'm most interested in rather than being (potentially at least) jet lagged and tired. The Tower is a big site and I would allocate several hours for it and I don't think tackling it tired is the way to go. If your schedule is so set this may not work for you - it looks like they offer them Sunday afternoon and Wednesday mornings - but we took a London Walks tour and the guide added a lot of context and information to our Tower experience. If you already know the historical context and details maybe this would be overkill for you but it added to our enjoyment of the site. My US$.02,

Posted by Colleen
Caledonia, Ontario, Canada
7 posts

Thanks. I was thinking, it would be better after being a little rested too. I was wondering about the crowds though. Would they be worse on a Sunday? We would get there first thing in the morning.Its going to be hard not to get over-anxious & leave our #1 site until our last day, but we really want to go to Windsor Castle on Saturday when the chapel is open & they have the changing of the guard. Any suggestions or opinions are appreciated. Thanks.

Posted by Stacey
Kansas City
124 posts

According to Rick and his London guidebook (pg 26, 2012), the Tower of London is particularly crowded on Sundays. That is a tough call. Maybe you can plan for it taking a little longer if you have to battle crowds.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
9478 posts

Stacy the Tower is likely always crowded, so getting there first thing is the only solution no matter what day you choose. I really enjoyed it and do suggest allowing the whole morning. If you go on friday afternoon you have to deal with a) arriving much after opening, so potentially long lines, and b) being on a time limit, what time does it close? you may get there later then you thought and then wait in line, then have only a few hours before it closes, I would put it first thing in morning knowing I could spend as long as my heart desired there.

Posted by Pam
Fort Wayne, IN, USA
72 posts

Hi Colleen, Being as most people recommend that you stay out and about after landing and keeping to schedule of the local time it may be wise to go to the Tower your first day as it will keep you busy and entertained enough you can stay alert. This way you do not run the risk of something coming up and you don't make it to the Tower. The downside is, in the afternoon it will be very busy.
If you do decide to go Sunday there in line as they open. Do as Rick recommends and go straight to the Jewell Tower and see the crown jewels. This way you have the jewells all to yourselves. I did this in 2007 and went around and around the little conveyour belts about 20 times...the jewells are amazing!! Then go back to the entrance and join a Yeoman Warder tour. Have a great time. I will be returning to Londoon in June 2013 and can't wait!! Happy travels. Pam

Posted by Steve
Gaston, Oregon, USA
908 posts

Colleen, we arrive in London on May 17th at 7AM. After we make our way to our B&B and shower, we are heading out and plan uopon hitting up a couple of places like the Tower of London, etc (and we can NEVER sleep on that darn plane!) One of the reasons is that we are cheap! Rick says that many of the pay sights are 1/2 price on a day that you use the train. So we will train in from Gatwick. Over the years we have found that getting out and moving is the best thing that we can do until 9 PM, "their time". One year we went to dinner and wine tasting on the day of our arrival. But around midnight my wife "had it"; she fell dead asleep midsentence.