“Free Car Parking at the hotel is available on a first come first serve basis. Restrictions now apply on residential streets next to the hotel Monday – Sunday 13pm-20pm, charges apply within these hours”

The Tower of London – Castle, Palace, Zoo OR Mint?

 The Tower Of London

Visiting the Tower of London is definitely an experience not to be missed. This is a building which has played a central role in British history for centuries and contains an incomparable collection of jewels and weapons.

It is a building that has had many different guises over the years.  Starting life as a castle, it became a palace, a prison, a Royal Mint and even a zoo.  The stories that are associated with it are endless, no matter whether you are looking for royal events, tales of mystery and murder, of traitors and thieves.  Among the many illustrious prisoners held here were Elizabeth Tudor who later became Elizabeth I.  Her mother, Anne Boleyn was one of Henry VIII’s notorious wives and was executed here when Elizabeth was little more than a baby.  Also executed here was another of Henry’s wives – Katherine Howard. Both queens lie buried in the Chapel of St Peter Ad Vincula close to the execution site. The vast majority of people who entered via Traitors Gate were never released.

One of the most enduring mysteries surrounding the Tower of London is that of the Princes in the Tower.  When their father died, the eldest prince was proclaimed king – a title he held for only a short time. Within weeks, he had been deposed by his uncle who ruled as Richard III.  The two young princes were placed in the Tower for the safety and were never seen again.  No one knows exactly what happened to them, but the skeletons of two boys have been found buried under a staircase in one of the towers. 

Joining a guided tour while you are a resident at hotels near wembley stadium led by one of the Yeomen Warders makes a great introduction to the Tower of London.  The Yeomen Warders are the traditional guardians of the building, and wear very distinctive, Tudor style uniforms. 

No one can visit the Tower without seeing the Crown Jewels. These are truly spectacular, and totally priceless. This is a place that should not be missed if you are in London staying in Best western palm hotel. This display includes the Royal Regalia used whenever a new king or queen is crowned; as well as items such as the Imperial State Crown worn by H.M the Queen at the State Opening of Parliament. 

In addition to all this, there are interactive displays allowing visitors to discover how to draw a longbow or fire a musket, and discover royal history.  

Anyone visiting the Tower should book a stay in advance in one of the many available budget hotels in north London wherever possible and go early. The queues can be very long especially on entry and to see the Crown Jewels.

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