Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London

January 21st, 2017 / London, Tower of London / No Comments »

Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London

Here’s a chance to be part of a 700 year old tradition in operation at the Tower of London know at The Ceremony of the Keys…plus it’s FREE!  The Ceremony of the Keys is the traditional locking up of the Tower of London that takes place every night without fail and we recently went along to check it out for ourselves.

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Ceremony of the Keys at Tower of London

Ceremony of the Keys ©Martin Usborne


The Ceremony of the Keys; Tried & Tested

We were warned to arrive in good time for this ceremony to ensure entry as not surprising late-comers will not be admitted.  In 700 years, the Ceremony of the Keys has only been delayed on one occasion, (during World War II following a bomb explosion within the vicinity where proceedings were delayed..but only then by a few minutes!)

Dot on 9.30pm, we were ushered into the Tower of London, by our entertaining guide for the evening, who delighted us with tales about the Ceremony of the Keys. Our guide was exceptional good at engaging with the younger members of our group and managed to relay a context & history surrounding the ceremony.

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Ceremony of the Keys

Ceremony of the Keys ©Martin Usborne


Topdogdays Verdict; Certainly Worth A Visit

Within the darkness of the Tower, it was unnerving to find we were the only visitors within the Tower of London; one of the most popular visitor attractions in London!  At exactly 9.53pm, the ceremony begins from within the grounds of the Tower of London & witnessed by the lucky few.

Witnessing the exchange between the Sentry & Chief Warder followed by bugle call of The Last Post, this ceremony is steeped in history & tradition that few can resist.

By 10.05pm, the ceremony had ended and we were ushered out as the Tower of London went into full lock down for the night.




How to Apply for the Ceremony of Keys at the Tower of London

Not surprisingly, you cannot just turn up for this event but must book tickets in advance.

Bookings are now taken online.  Tickets are free with just a £1 booking administration fee.

There are strict requirements in place for group bookings depending upon the time of the year you are looking to visit.

For more details go to the Tower of London; Ceremony of the Keys.

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By Liz Walsh


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