Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London

Address:
, 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
Telephone:
The contact number for Tower of London is +44 (0) 203 166 6000
Minicabs:
Book a minicab near Tower of London
Buses:
The following bus routes go near Tower of London: 15, 42, 78, 100, RV1
London bus fares 2017
Trains:
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

Pictures give an impression of the event only

Read The London Craig blog> Read Craig’s review  I’ve seen this ceremony myself. Check out my London blog for a full review, with photos.  Feel free to ask me a question about this event

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 Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London

 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 events:
Tower of London events in London

If you like events 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 to mark the Queen’s Coronation – 2nd June 2017The HAC will be firing a 62-gun salute by the Tower of London, to mark the anniversary of the Queen's Coronation in 1953.

62-gun salute, to mark Prince Philip’s birthday – 10th June 2017The HAC will be firing off a 62-gun salute by Gun Wharf at the Tower of London, to honour Prince Philip's 96th 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.

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.

4 O’Clock Parade, or Dismounting Ceremony – Every dayThe Dismounting Ceremony (or 4 O'Clock Parade) is a short ceremony that takes place every day at the Horse Guards.

 

If you like Tower of London, then you might also like…

> Hampton Court Palace events If you like the Tower of London then you might like these events at London’s Hampton Court Palace as well
> Tower Bridge events If you can’t find any events at the Tower of London then maybe you can try the Tower Bridge in London
 

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