London – Ceremony of the Keys

The Ceremony of the Keys has been part of London’s life every night for the past 700 years!  Every evening at the Tower of London, the ceremony completes.

Watching living-history, inside these amazing walls, you will see the Chief Yeoman Warder, wearing a long red tunic, Tudor bonnet and carrying a candle, lock up the main gate and deliver the keys to the Resident Governor of the Tower.

Before you visit London, confirm the Ceremony of the Keys is still free for visitors. Add it to your trip itinerary. Tickets for this event are free now, but you need to be booked at least two months in advance by written application. More information follows, below.

As you can imagine, seeing the Tower at night is a very different experience than seeing it in full daylight!

I think it is the best place to get a feeling of what ancient London was really like, after all the Tower is the city’s oldest in-use building. There, the stones still speak, and once in its environs, largely protected from modern views and sounds, you will experience something really unique.

Normal full-access to the Tower of London during the day is NOT free.  You will need to set aside at least 3 hours for that visit. Arrive early, as it is less crowded then, and be sure to not leave it too late in the day.

You want to get your value from the tickets, which are understandably expensive.(The upkeep on these buildings must be immense, and they are in great shape.) It has been money well spent.

Tickets are more expensive at the Tower. You may get discount tickets by ordering online.

Also: More about the Tower of London including tickets for regular Tower admissions and What’s On!

There are also “family” and “senior” discounts.

NOTE: During 26 July, 2008 to 26 July, 2009, you can attend a special daytime event, wherein you can pace the battlements, handle crossbows and explore the Tower’s history as the formidable royal fortress it really is.

Ceremony of the Keys:

Ceremony of the Keys Information and Instructions

What Else Is On At The Tower of London

Book at least 2 months ahead, in writing.

In your request, please quote name, date required (and 2 alternatives), as well as number of people and enclose an envelope with British postage, if already in Britain, or an envelope and international money order (or postal order?) for correct postage, if living overseas.

In person information: Tel: +44 (0)20 3166 6278, but no reservations are taken by phone or fax.

Groups are limited to 6 people at the height of the season. Usually, only about 30 people are allowed to attend the Keys Ceremony, each night. With your special tickets, you MUST arrive before 9:30 pm and are then escorted to the guard area. The ceremony is from 9:30PM – 10:05 PM. Late arrivals are not admitted.

No facilities are available.
No photography is permitted.

Ceremony of the Keys Office
Tower of London

This sight is extraordinarily rich-in-history which London visitors can enjoy year round.

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