Summer events at the Tower of London (to 31 Aug)

With so many special events celebrating the 500th anniversary of Henry VIII’s accession to the throne, there has never been a better time to visit the Tower of London, one of Historic Royal Palaces’ unique attractions.  And with the summer holidays just around the corner, the Tower of London is a fantastic family day out.

Here are just some events at the Tower this summer:

Exhibition Henry VIII: Dressed to Kill
Until 17 Jan 2010

A major exhibition in partnership with the Royal Armouries at the Tower of London.  The exhibition, displayed across all three floors of the iconic White Tower, brings together at the Tower of London for the first time since the reign of Elizabeth I, the largest number of objects and items known to have belonged to Henry VIII.

Henry VIII’s Coronation weekend
20 June

A spectacular Tudor river pageant with a flotilla of traditional skiffs on the River Thames will mark the 500th anniversary weekend of Henry’s coronation. King Henry VIII and his Queen will depart the Tower of London accompanied by around forty traditional oared craft destined for a party at Hampton Court Palace. Henry’s loyal subjects are invited to line the banks of the River Thames between central London through Richmond and down to Hampton Court, cheering the King and his entourage as they pass by on their journey.

Tower of London Henry VIII: music and monarchy
23 June

A unique concert by the Choir of the Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincula, exploring secular and sacred music of the reign of Henry VIII to celebrate the 500th anniversary in 2009 of his accession. The concert programme features some of the most iconic and innovative music of the Henrician period including the ‘Western Wind Mass’ by Taverner, the Coronation anthem ‘Te Deum’ by Shepherd, and ‘O Maria salvatoris Mater’ by Browne.  Prior to the concert, ticket holders will also enjoy a private view with curator of the Tower’s new exhibition Henry VIII: Dressed to Kill.  Tickets are priced at £25.00 each and are available by calling 0844 482 7795 or by booking online

Tudor Prisoners
4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26 July

Take part in a fun game. Will you make it alive out of the reign of Henry VIII or will you, like so many of his friends, lose your head at the Tower? We bring to life some of the actual stories of our famous prisoners. Pick up tips on what not to do!

Masters of the Sword
1 – 31 August

Knights in shining armour bring a mixture of chivalry and blood-thirsty combat to the Tower. The year is 1467 and King Edward IV is trying to bring peace between rival factions in the wars of the roses. Will this work or will bloodshed follow. Cheer on your rival knights and their squires and ladies.

Descriptive sessions: tours for visually impaired and blind visitors
Various dates – check for dates and times

Join one of the knowledgeable ‘vocal eyes trained’ wardens on a descriptive tour of the Jewel House or tighten your grip on ten centuries of Tower history – assistance will be available whilst you explore our exciting interactive hands on history exhibition on the top floor of the White Tower.  Tours include the use of raise image cards in the Jewel House and large print versions of the orientation leaflet and daily programme are available in the Welcome Centre on Tower Hill. Please enquire at the desk.

Descriptive tour of the Jewel House 10.30h (45 minutes) (Meet at entrance to Jewel House)
Assistance with Hands on History 11.45h (30 minutes) (Meet at entrance to White Tower)
Advance booking required, please contact Emma Whiteway T: 020 3166 6266

Where do I find out more information?
Fun Kids review of Tower of London