Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London

, Tower Hill, London 51.508599 -0.076331
Dates & Time:
Every night
9.30 PM to 10.05 PM
Tickets & Cost:
Free to attend, but you still need to order a ticket beforehand
Try and apply for tickets at least three or four months in advance, because it gets booked up very quickly
See for details about how to apply
The contact number for Tower of London is +44 (0) 203 166 6000
Book a minicab near Tower of London
The following bus routes go near Tower of London: 15, 42, 78, 100, RV1
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The best London underground train stations to visit Tower of London are Aldgate Tower Gateway Tower Hill
Note: The actual closest train station to Tower of London is Tower Hill
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Disclaimer: London Drum has no association with Tower of London. Whilst we make every effort to ensure the event information is accurate, events in London are sometimes cancelled or amended without us being notified. You should always reconfirm the event with Tower of London before making plans
The Tower of London is #8 in our London Bucket List

Craig’ London blog> Read Craig’s review  I’ve tried this event myself and posted some photos and a review on my blog

Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London Easy to get to? Good for kids?
Value for money? free Worth a visit? 3 0 3

Here's your chance to be part of an ancient ceremony -- a truly ancient one -- because the Ceremony of the Keys has been taking place every night, without fail, for at least 700 years.

What you'll be witnessing is the locking up of the Tower of London after everybody has gone home. The importance of securing this 1,000 year old fortress is still very important because, whilst the monarch no longer resides at the royal palace, the Crown Jewels and many other treasures still do.

The evening will begin when one of the Yeoman Warders (better known as the Beefeaters) escorts you into the Tower after it has closed. He will take you straight up Water Lane towards Traitor's Gate and the Bloody Tower, where you'll hear some gruesome tales about the Tower's history. He'll tell you all about Guy Fawkes and William Wallace, where they they got locked up and tortured, and where they found the bones of the two little princes buried under the stairs.

Hopefully it will be a cold, dark night, because the best thing about this parade is the atmosphere. The Tower will be totally clear of tourists and the only lights you'll see are the dusty yellow lamplights swinging from the lampposts. You will be standing there in the cold whilst the traditional locking of the gates happens all around you... you'll see the lone guard marching down to the Byward Tower, and get challenged for the password by an armed sentry. Then you'll march through the Bloody Tower arch, and hear the Last Post sound out in the shadow of the White Tower.

Craig has actually been to this ceremony himself, and thinks that it is one of the best things you can do in London. It really is that good. Read his Ceremony of the Keys review before you go, so you can get a feeling for the atmosphere and the kind of things you'll see on the night. Feel free to ask a question about the Ceremony of the Keys, or write your own review on the forum. You might like to read Craig's review of the Tower of London as well.

There are always plenty of other events at the Tower of London. You might like to come back during the day and have a tour with one of the Beefeaters (the Yeoman Warders). Or how about attending a church service at the Tower of London? You can sit in the same chapel that houses the bones of Anne Boleyn!


Got a question? – Talk about this event

 Guest – “I should like to bring a coach party of Lea Valley U3A members to the Ceremony of the Keys in early summer at a date to be agreed. I should like to arrange a meal as well in the Tower.I know several coach parties that have done this, and greatly enjoyed the event. I would be grateful if you could let me have details of times, cost of meal and dates in May or June which are available.My friend, coach driver Gary Whitfield had offered to arrange this event for me as he has arranged these events in the past, but I have not heard from him. I don't know whether he has made a provisional date already?I look forward to your reply and our visit,Kind regards, Elizabeth Brown (Mrs.)”

Admin – “We're not the Tower of London — we're a London tourist website. It sounds like you meant to contact the Tower. There's a link to their website in the post above yours.”


More parades · More military events · More history events · More free events · All events at Tower of London

If you like at Tower of London, then you might also like these other London events…

Yeoman Warder tour, at the Tower of London – Every dayOne of the best ways of seeing the Tower of London is alongside a Yeoman Warder (better known as the "Beefeaters").

62-gun salute for Prince Charles’ birthday – 14th November 2017The HAC will be firing off a 62-gun salute at the Tower of London, to make sure everyone knows it's Prince Charles' birthday.

Wounded: Conflict, Casualties and Care – 29th June 2016 to 15th January 2018The Science Museum's 'Wounded: Conflict, Casualties and Care' exhibition will look at medicine during the Battle of the Somme.

Edmund Clark: State Control and the War of Terror – 28th July 2016 to 28th August 2017The Imperial War Museum will be putting on an exhibition by Edmund Clark, exploring State control and the War on Terror.

Afghanistan: Reflections on Helmand – 21st December 2016 to 26th November 2017'Reflections on Helmand' will explore how Britain got caught up fighting the Taliban in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Changing the Guard at Horse Guards – Every dayChanging the Guard at Horse Guards is similar to the ceremony at Buckingham Palace, but is usually a lot less crowded.

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