Last week on BBC News The Tower of London reported that visitor figures were 90% down. Having never visited before we decided it the perfect opportunity to go and experience the Tower without the hoards of people.
We prebooked a family ticket online for 1pm on Friday (there are a limited number of slots per hour so you need to pre book).We chose to drive into London rather than facing the hassle of tubes and face masks. We prebooked a parking space via Just Park at St Thomas Moor Square opposite Waitrose and right by St Katherine’s Doc. Parking cost £9.20 for 6 hours (normally £15) and the car park is outside the congestion zone (make sure you set your Sat Nav to exclude tolls so that you don’t end up taking an unexpected turn into the congestion zone!). The journey takes around 1 hour 20 to 1 hour 30 mins each way depending on traffic.
We set off at 930am, parked up, walked around St Katherine’s Doc, across Tower Bridge to City Hall. It was so surreal as there were hardly any people about. I’ve never see London so quiet, not even on a Sunday.
That morning we reserved an outside table at Emilia Crafted Pasta for lunch and the food was delicious so would highly recommend it if you’re in the area. I opted for a salad but everyone else had various pasta dishes and all the dishes were delicious and devoured so no chance for any photography ?
From the restaurant we walked to The Tower of London – there wasn’t a queue to get in and we were able to enter immediately. Once inside, they had laid out an easy to follow one way route to the key places. Worth noting not everything is open but all the most important building were (there were toilets open ?).
There were lots of Yeoman positioned around the site who were extremely helpful and chatty sharing captivating stories of the history of the Tower of London. We spent around 2 hours wondering around and taking in the sites including the White Tower and Crown Jewels.
Upon existing, the river front walk has been sectioned off from the public and is exclusively available for visitors to enjoy. There is a small cafe open or you could take your own picnic. We enjoyed ice creams and cakes whilst overlooking Tower Bridge and the Tower of London.
A really great day out and a fantastic opportunity to experience such a historic place without the usual entourage of tourists – an experience I imagine we’ll probably never have again.
Cost: A family ticket (2 adults and 3 children) cost £62.50.