Yippee...Ceremony of the Keys

HI Just wanted to update everyone. Last night I got home and there was envelope waiting for me. We got 4 tickets to witness the Ceremony of the Keys in Sept. After waiting 4 long weeks, it is well worth the wait. I am so excited.

Thanks everyone for input.

Bev

Posted by Bev
Jensen Beach, Florida, USA
59 posts

Matt...Thanks for the heads up :)

Posted by Matt
Washington, DC, USA
566 posts

Bev,
As you enter the Tower, you'll pass through a series of gates and march straight ahead. The crowd will gather along the right hand side, near a low wall beside the Traitor's Gate. If you're short, don't get stuck along the wall. All the "action" is in the street and in the archway across the way. Try to stay along the curb and get a clear view! Enjoy.

Posted by Brian
Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
103 posts

That Ceremony of the Keys was the biggest, boring waste of time I have ever spent in 14 trips to Europe. Time better spent would be watching the grass grow at Buckingham Palace (or going to Crawdaddy's in Jensen Beach for cajun food). That's why it is free. If they charged even one Pound the refund line would stretch all the way to the Tower of London. Take a walking tour that night instead. It was the worst.ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Posted by Joel
Tempe, AZ, USA
834 posts

Glad to hear the good news. Don't forget to be on time.

Posted by Bev
Jensen Beach, Florida, USA
59 posts

I have told BF and his parents that we need to be there at 9:15 not the real time...LOL I am always early everywhere.

Thanks
Bev

Posted by Lee
USA
85 posts

I'm also planning to get tickets to this, but I thought you could only request them 6-8 weeks ahead?? Should I send my request now? We need them for Sept. 2.

Posted by Robin Z
Troy, Oh, USA
1634 posts

If you enjoy seeing history and how things have been done the same way for the last 700 years then you will enjoy the Ceremony of the Keys. It is so not boring...also, there isn't much else you can do that late at night especially if you have kids with you.

Posted by Kathleen
Reston, VA, USA
304 posts

My daughter and I also enjoyed the Ceremony of the Keys - so much that we went back to the Tower later in our trip just to spend more time with the Yeomen Warders. Have a wonderful time!

Lee, you need to allow a MINIMUM of 6-8 weeks for ordering Ceremony tickets; if you already know what date you want, go ahead and order them now. You will need International Reply Coupons, and it takes some people several days to track them down; if your local post office can't help, you can search the Helpline for advice on how to obtain.

Posted by Laurel
Arlington, WA
829 posts

Bev, Good on you. Besides being on time don't forget your tickets. Brian, Thanks for reminding us not to travel to England with you.

Posted by Lee
USA
85 posts

Kathleen,

Thanks for the info. Yes, I already have the Intl. Stamps. It was simple to just order them online! And since I love history, I know I'll love this ceremony.

Posted by Roy
Fredericksburg, VA, USA
405 posts

Lee - FYI, I followed the tips given here religiously and much to my surprise, my tickets to the Ceremony of the Keys in mid-Sept. arrived two weeks after I mailed in my request!

Posted by Cindy
Guthrie, OK
251 posts

Another FYI - make sure that you make a trip to the restroom before waiting in line at the Tower for the Ceremony of the Keys. There are no facilities once you're there, and since it's late in the evening you might find it hard to find a restroom unless you want to stop in to get a bite to eat or a drink at a pub. My daughter and I found out the hard way. We left our hotel for the Tower and stood in line about 20 minutes once we got there - the ceremony lasted about 35 minutes. We went to several places across the street that had already closed up for the evening. We went inside a pub and they were nice enough to let us use their facilities (even though we weren't customers). This might sound silly, but we have small bladders! Ha! In the US, public restrooms are everywhere. Not so in the UK!

Posted by elaine
washington, dc
119 posts

sent my request 5/18/10 for Sept 4, got tickets 2 weeks later! yipee! We only have 1 evening in London via a Heathrow layover--so this is perfect! thanks, Helpline! Elaine

Posted by Brian
Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
103 posts

Elaine, You have ONE night in London. Don't waste it on that Keys drivel. It is a total waste of time. Our group all agreed we lost precious London time. People go because it is free. You will blow a good portion of an evening for nothing. It is like standing around Disney World to watch them lock the gates at closing. Go see a good play in Covent Garden, take a Thames cruise, walk around Harrods, ride a double decker bus, hire a cabby to give you a nice city tour, take a nice walking tour, ride the London Eye, walk around Westminster at night, catch a late museum. Anything but that.

Posted by Robin Z
Troy, Oh, USA
1634 posts

Brian is the only person that I've heard say that it's a waste of time, it's not a waste of time. Also, there isn't a whole lot you can do at 9:30pm which is the time you are let into the Tower, the ceremony takes place at 9:55pm. It is a very interesting ceremony and great to see how things have been done for over 700 years, not missing one night.

Brain.....you can't walk around Harrods at 9:30pm. The main stores closes at 8pm Monday thru Saturday and 6pm on Sundays. Food halls closes at 9pm Monday thru Saturday and 6pm on Sundays.

Posted by Brian
Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
103 posts

Do not listen to Robin. She is from Ohio. They have no natural lakes, have Cleveland, and think Pizza Hut is good pizza. If you waste time going to that lame ceremony you will regret not doing other great things in an amazing City.

Posted by Cary
Gator Country, Florida
297 posts

I'm with the majority. Not sure what Brian's deal is. Brian, what were you expecting? Fireworks? Popcorn? The guidebooks are pretty explicit about what you can expect. I thought it was awesome to be standing at the gates of the Tower of London and hear the Yeoman Warder call out our name. Just kind of weird that this random person half a world away had my name on his card. And it was an interesting ceremony. I don't need to do it again, but I'm glad I saw it.

Posted by Brian
Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
103 posts

Just my opinion as I thought it was a dud and could have done something much better that night. I hate to see someone with ONE night in London look forward to that. I'll bet you agree. Even a gator fan could see that. Go Noles!!!

Posted by Cary
Gator Country, Florida
297 posts

Well, if you're a Seminole fan, that explains everything! :) (just light-hearted banter, no real offense meant).

Posted by elaine
washington, dc
119 posts

hey! I'm a gator--transplanted to DC. We are doing the Keys Ceremony--DH and I have been to London before and we will be too tired (after 2+ weeks in Europe) to see a play (plus we are 4 hours from NYC) and kids at 9 are not really into $$$ theater yet--local school plays are just fine with them. We arrive at 3PM, figure we'll get to hotel in Victoria about 5, will then walk around and see outside Buckingham, Big Ben, etc., eat dinner and then go to Ceremony. There is virtually nothing decent open at 9:30 PM for kids 9,9,13. So, it's the Ceremony and then to bed. Thanks, Elaine (ps--we're in Times Square NYC for the next night---so we can liven it up if Keys was too boring)!

Posted by Brian
Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
103 posts

Hey Elaine, look at it this way, I am a Nole fan so nothing I say will make sense to you, and the good news is you will have no trouble getting the kids to bed after they endure the Keys Ceremony. You can prepare them by lining them up to watch your garage door close at night. I took my kids all over Europe when they were young and it is a great gift you are giving them. Have a great trip.

Posted by Robin Z
Troy, Oh, USA
1634 posts

Elaine, your kids will not find the Ceremony of the Keys boring. Let them know that they will be watching history, this had taken place for over 700 years and never missed a night. Make sure you get there by 9:15 so you won't be late, they won't let you in if you are even a minute late..they let you in at 9:30pm the ceremony starts at 9:52pm and you will be escorted out at 10:05pm. You are so right, there isn't anything for kids to do that time at night besides going to the theater.

Posted by elaine
washington, dc
119 posts

do you stand outside by the gate the whole time, or will they get any glimpse inside Tower of London? Obviously, we get to London too late to visit the Tower--but will they see anything of the inside--or are we all just lined up on the wall on the outside waiting for the Key to be handed over---just want to prepare the kids, so they are not disappointed.

Posted by John
Brangwin, Wa, USA
349 posts

When Brian visits the grand canyon I bet he looks for the cable car ride... I am not known for patience but I have been a least 4 times (with others) to the ceremony and found it interesting and a great thing to do Sunday night .

Posted by Robin Z
Troy, Oh, USA
1634 posts

Hi Bev, make sure you are there by 9:15 or 9:20pm, a guard will open the gate at 9:30pm, will escort the group to where the ceremony takes place and after the ceremony will escort the group out. You get to see part of the Tower and most guards will talk and point out things as they escort the group down.

Posted by Bev
Jensen Beach, Florida, USA
59 posts

Thanks for the advice of being early, I have told BF and his parents we need to be there at 9:15, I like to be early:)

Just to be a part of something that has occurred for over 700 years is exciting enough for me! Being a part of history:)

Bev

Posted by Cindy
Guthrie, OK
251 posts

I agree! We attended in October and had goose bumps the whole time. But then, I'm a sucker for history! Also when we attended, it was dark and the Tower looks very mysterious and imposing after dark. I regret we didn't go back for a full tour during the day. But then that's what we have to look forward to on our next trip!

Posted by Lee
USA
85 posts

I am looking to forward to the Ceremony and hoping we'll get our tickets soon. Brian speaks alot (not sure why he keeps repeating it), but not for most of us. And, Ohio is a great place to live.

Posted by Robin Z
Troy, Oh, USA
1634 posts

Hi Lee, I don't understand why Brain keeps knocking the ceremony and in a nasty way. He has the right not to like it, but I see no purpose of being nasting and cutting it down so much, just saying that he didn't like it would be enough. But I'm sure you will enjoy it....it is interesing to see history. And thanks for mentioning Ohio.

Posted by Lee
USA
85 posts

My tickets arrived today! So happy. Will be so cool to be a part of history. Thanks for all the advise.

Posted by Robin Z
Troy, Oh, USA
1634 posts

That's great news, I'm so happy that you are going to be able to see history as it has been done for over 700 years. Let us know how you enjoy it.