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“Wow! Advance planning really paid off”

Ceremony of the Keys
Ranked #54 of 343 Concerts & Shows in London
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Portsmouth, Virginia
Level Contributor
92 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Wow! Advance planning really paid off”
Reviewed August 19, 2014

We had a great day at the Tower during a quick visit to London with our grown kids. Wrote away months in advance for tickets (google ceremony of the keys tower of london). Spent the morning hours at the Tower and lucky enough to see the poppies too. But after dark with about onyl 20 people on the "Ceremony of the Keys" ... it was magical. A Beefeater gives all the background and guides everyone as observers watching the Tower get locked up for the night. A ceremony conducted every night for over 700 years! Not recommended for very very small children (the kids in our group were very well behaved but it is necessary to keep a respectful silence during the ceremony).

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Mariner65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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231 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
54 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“So underrated!”
Reviewed August 17, 2014

I visit London once a year, so i've pretty much done it all as far as touristy activities, but this one is seriously cool. I had to submit my request for tickets in writing with a self-addressed stamped envelope using UK postage--what a pain!! But it ended up being so worth all the effort to get tickets. First you arrive after hours and given a brief tour by a Yeoman before the ceremony begins. It is seriously moving to observe a bit of history. There's nothing like it. I can't believe it's not more well-known as a 'must-do'. By far the best cultural activity I've done in London. Highly recommended.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank RelationshipGeorge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
130 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“Beautifully haunting, historic and no photography/videos whatsover”
Reviewed July 16, 2014

We had planned in advance and wrote for tickets to attend this 700+ year-old nightly ceremony. We arrived as requested and waited to be brought in. We were about 40-50 people in our group and got the best view, even though there was a VIP group who came in afterwards to the right of us. The entire ceremony lasts about 25 minutes and it is so beautiful to watch. They are incredibly strict about not allowing photography or videos, so please respect that. Once the ceremony concluded, our Yeoman Warder stayed back with a few of us for any questions and then we walked out the little doorway on the closed gate.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank sylvrgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moscow, Russia
Level Contributor
45 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Incredible step back in time and history”
Reviewed July 12, 2014

A must do if in London. The ceremony of the keys is truly an experience not to be missed. Must book in advance as dates get reserved months ahead. We went for my son's 4th birthday and he was made to feel very special. The ceremony itself is interesting as we watched first hand the tradition that has been taking place for over 700 years. A must do whatever your age and there is no charge.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Basziszta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
88 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“A piece of history”
Reviewed July 12, 2014

We applied for tickets for this a year in advance; didn't know if this was perhaps too far in advance however the tickets were issued to us. The ceremony itself is very formal as you would imagine, no noise, no photographs and you must follow the instructions given. Your bag will also be searched before entering the grounds of the Tower. However it is a piece of history that if you get the chance to witness you should not miss.

We took our 2 sons aged 7 and 5 and they enjoyed it but the youngest was a little scared at first of the 'shouting' of the guards. Once we explained that they were the good soldiers and were protecting the Tower he was ok. I wouldn't recommend taking children any younger than this.

The Sergeant Major who gave instructions to us also explained what would happen and was very informative giving other information whilst we waited for the ceremony to begin. A nice touch was the acknowledgement he gave to a Scottish soldier from another regiment attending the Ceremony, specifically calling him out by name and welcoming his colleague to the Tower.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank kirkykid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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