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Learn about the history of the Tower of London with a twilight tour

Published: Thursday 27th of January 2011

Before the winter comes to a close and the nights begin to draw out again, you may want to see one of London's attractions in a different way by taking a twilight tour.

The Tower of London is a well-known landmark in the capital, which is not only home to the Crown Jewels but has also played an important role in the history of the monarchy. Of course, on a visit to the tower during daylight hours you can take in all the exhibits on show.

Currently this includes the Fit for a King installation, where you can view royal armour that once protected some of the country's most famous kings and princes and the Jewel House is always worth a visit - marvel at the sparkling jewellery and crowns that have been worn by royalty over the years.

Of course, you may decide to visit the London attraction by day before returning in the evening for an altogether different perspective on the historic site.

The twilight tours will run every Wednesday until March 30th, with one Thursday evening excursion scheduled during February.

Visiting the Tower of London after dark will give you a chance to escape the crowds and with one of the Yeoman Warders on hand to guide you around the buildings, you're bound to hear some interesting stories from days gone by.

You can find out all about the people who have resided at the castle, as well as learning some royal secrets and getting an impression of what it must have been like to spend a night within its walls hundreds of years ago.

Just imagine how terrifying it must have been to be locked in one of the rooms awaiting your execution, like Anne Boleyn - Henry VIII's second wife - who was tried and beheaded within the walls of the tower and is buried in the chapel of St Peter and Vincula on the grounds.

You may also hear some stories about her ghost haunting the Queen's House - even though this building was constructed four years after her death.

There are in fact many ghost stories associated with the tower, so make sure that learning about such spooky goings on is on your list of things to do in London.

Other famous historical figures to have been held captive in the tower include gunpowder plot conspirator Guy Fawkes and explorer Sir Walter Ralegh - who was imprisoned in the Tower of London three times during his life.

Exploring here after dark is certainly a worthwhile experience if you have an interest in British history and want to learn more about the monarchy.

And if you take one of the twilight tours, you could combine it with seeing a famous ritual that takes place at the Tower of London every night - the Ceremony of the Keys.

Dating back over 700 years, the procedure sees two of the Yeoman Warders lock the gates to the fortress to keep all the valuables inside safe and secure.

To be present at the ceremony, you must apply for tickets ahead of time - which are free of charge - but it is certainly an interesting thing to do in London and well worth the effort.
 

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