What goes on in the Tower of London

What goes on in the Tower of London

Tower of London is a fascinating landmark in the heart of the city that attracts millions of visitors a year but we are living in uncertain times these days. As means to keep you informed with inspiring stories of the iconic Tower, “What goes on in the Tower of London” brings together a set of TV series by the Historic Royal Palaces for you to view at your leisure – hear the stories on what goes on in the Tower from the very people who live, manage and are the heartbeat of the traditions at this magnificent Tower of London.

Quick facts about the Tower of London:

map with pin on london | ultimate guide to Tower of London
51.5081° N, 0.0759° W

Location: St Katharine’s & Wapping, London EC3N 4AB | London Borough of Tower Hamlets

Area: 16 acres

White Tower: Height: 27 metres (89ft);

Built: 1078

Expansion: Inner Ward: 1190s, rebuilt 1285;

Protected: UNESCO;

Importance: Cultural;

Guard: Yeoman Warders;

Managed: Historic Royal Palaces (charity)

Anne boleyn
Hever Castle Kent England

Learn more on What goes on in the Tower of London from these TV series by Historic Royal Palaces : Available to view until June 18 2025

Click on the images

Tower of London | Best Guide to What you need to know \ Beyond the Walls of the Tower

HRP: Inside the Tower Ep 1

Yeoman Warders at the Tower of London  | Beyond the Walls of the Tower of London

HRP: Inside the Tower Ep 2

HRP: Inside the Tower Ep 3

HRP: Inside the Tower Ep 4

TOWER OF LONDON

Tower of London as it stands today.
Stay Connected! Sign up to our monthly e-column and for the latest travel stories

For more inspiring stories on London and on the History of Britain, you may like to read the following on the blog:

Tower of London | Photo by Georgina_Daniel

ROYAL PALACES

**All photos are property of timelesstravelsteps | georgina_daniel

What’s New on the Blog

Navigate to all articles on Timeless Travel Steps

Keep exploring…

Scotland - Ultimate guide
Discover Japan
Inspiration for Italy
USA - Chicago

Pin this post on Pinterest!

What goes on in the Tower
What goes on in the Tower
What goes on in the Tower
line breaker

What goes on in the TowerWhat goes on in the Tower

Beauchamp Tower London

Beauchamp Tower London

Beauchamp Tower is easily missed as visitors seem focused on the White Tower and the Jewel Tower. Moreover, if you are limited to time, you may give Beauchamp a miss but I suggest that Beauchamp is worth a visit and deserving of a place on your list.

I discovered Beauchamp Tower on my visit as I retraced my footsteps in London. I have been to Tower of London many times before but had never visited this tower. I learnt so much of historic England from my visit here which I share with you here.

Read about the Tower of London – the Best Guide before your next visit.

Beauchamp Tower London

Beauchamp Tower sits next to the dark timbered Queen’s House overlooking the Tower Chapel and the Tower Green | © mytimelessfootsteps | Image by Georgina_Daniel

Beauchamp, pronounced as “beecham” is one of the twenty-one towers at the Tower of London and forms part of the inner defensive wall of Tower of London. It was built between 1275 and 1281 towards the end of the first leg of modernisation of the Tower, under the reign of King Edward I.

The tower’s close proximity to the Lieutenant’s lodgings (now, the Queen’s House) made Beauchamp Tower a significant and a perfect place throughout history to accommodate high-ranking important prisoners.

There are other towers within the walls of the Tower of London which also became home to very important high status prisoners. Read about the prisoners of the Bloody Tower at the Tower of London here and the Jewel Tower, home to the Magnificent Crown Jewels.

Prisoners of the Beauchamp Tower London

Amongst the important prisoners at Beauchamp were John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland and his four sons. One of the sons was Guildford Dudley, the husband to Lady Jane Grey. Here’s a brief look at the Dudleys and Lady Jane Grey.

About the Dudleys

John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland was imprisoned at the Beauchamp Tower along with his four sons because he wanted his daughter-in-law, Lady Jane Grey to be Queen of England.

John Dudley and his sons were condemned as traitors in 1553. He was executed for treason at Tower Hill on August 22, 1553. Guilford Dudley, husband to Lady Jane was executed in February 1554. Following his execution, the three brothers were pardoned and released.

About Lady Jane Grey

Lady Jane Grey - on her Coronation
Lady Jane Grey on the day of her procession to be Queen of England. Lady Jane Grey (1536-54) after a painting by Herbert Norris, © Lebrecht Music & Arts/Alamy Stock Photo
Archives: Historic Royal Palaces

Lady Jane inherited the throne from Edward VI and was Queen of England for just nine days. She was deposed by Catholic Mary I, on July 19, 1553 and was imprisoned in the Queen’s House.

On the morning of 12 February, 1554, from her window, Lady Jane watched her young husband, Guildford Dudley, leave Beauchamp Tower for his execution at Tower Hill, and his headless body return for burial at the Tower Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula.

Later, on the very same day, Lady Jane was executed at Tower Green. She was seventeen years old.

About Guildford Dudley

Guildford Dudley, born in 1535 was an English nobleman who married Lady Jane Grey in an elaborate celebration about six weeks before the death of King Edward VI. Guildford and Jane spent their brief rule together at the Tower of London until they were condemned to death for high treason, thereafter in separate quarters.

On the morning of their execution, Guildford requested to see Lady Jane one last time. Jane refused, saying:

“would only … increase their misery and pain, it was better to put it off … as they would meet shortly elsewhere, and live bound by indissoluble ties.” 

Guildford Dudley was executed at Tower Hill on the morning of February 12, 1554.

The Beauchamp Tower, Tower of London is next to the right of the Queen's House. The Dudley's were imprisoned here
The Beauchamp Tower, Tower of London is next to the right of the Queen’s House. The Dudley’s were imprisoned here. © mytimelessfootsteps | Image by Georgina_Daniel

Other prisoners at Beauchamp Tower London

Other notable prisoner at Beauchamp Tower was Lady Jane Rochford, lady-in-waiting to Queen Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of King Henry VIII. Lady Rochford’s confession was instrumental in the tragic death of Catherine Howard. Her interrogation drove her insane and she was executed on the same day as Queen Catherine on February 13, 1542.

As the tower was used throughout English history as a prison, there were other prisoners as well such as William Tyrrel and Thomas Peverel. Most recently, it accommodated several German spies during the World Wars.

You may wish to know more about the German spies and you can access information here. The last person to be executed at the Tower was Josef Jakobs, also a German spy at the end of WWII.

Graffiti in the Beauchamp Tower

What makes Beauchamp Tower London famous these days is the discovery of graffiti beneath the many layers of history on its walls. These graffiti on the wall were left by prisoners.

The inscriptions were made during the 16th and 17th century when the religious and political turmoil was at a height and the prison was home to many high-ranking and important prisoners such as the Dudleys, William Tyrrel and Thomas Peverel. Some of these inscriptions are bold reflecting painstaking carving while others are thin and somewhat spidery. They are a few that seem to cluster in specific locations of the Tower.

Inscription of William Tyrrel in 1541 in Beauchamp Tower, Tower of London
William Tyrrel (1541) In Italian “Since fate has chosen that my hope should go with the wind I now want to cry for the time that is lost and I will be sad and unhappy forever”
Graffiti left by prisoners in the Beauchamp Tower, Tower of London
Cluster of Graffiti: 29 – Thomas Myagh: Tortured because of his association with Irish rebels. 29a – Unknown 31 – Thomas Peverel (1571)
Graffiti in Beauchamp Tower
62 – Attributed to Thomas Peverel

All images © timelesstravelsteps | by Georgina_Daniel

Graffiti on the walls of Beauchamp Tower, Tower of London
Graffiti on the walls of Beauchamp Tower, Tower of London | © mytimelessfootsteps | Image by Georgina_Daniel

These sombre inscriptions represents thoughts of the prisoners and a powerful need to leave some form of record of their existence. A record, so they are not lost forever. It is an assertion of their beliefs and identity but above all, a strong will of defiance not to be cowed by political and religious tyranny. Some prisoners were held in gloomy cells, while others could move freely within the Tower grounds. Their treatment and fate depended on their social status and their crime.

*Lady Jane Grey was given access to the garden in December 1553.


Timeless Travel Steps says: When I visited, there were a number of people here so I could not take a closer look at the graffiti. I am intrigued by these inscriptions and am motivated to discover more on this part of history at the Tower of London.


There is a permanent exhibition at the Beauchamp Tower.
There is a permanent exhibition at the Beauchamp Tower | © mytimelessfootsteps | Image by Georgina_Daniel
Spiral stairs leading to the permanent exhibition of the prison in Beauchamp Tower.
Lots of stairs! Spiral stairs leading to the permanent exhibition of the prison in Beauchamp Tower | © timelesstravelsteps | Image by Georgina_Daniel

One thing to bear in mind when visiting here is the narrow entrance and the narrow spiral stairway – there is only one of these, so visitors going up as well as those exiting the exhibition use it. If you are at the bottom of the stairs, waiting for the moment to get up – don’t! Don’t wait because you shall be waiting for a long time (like I did!) and others behind you will get ahead of you regardless of your politeness!


Entry to the permanent exhibition in the Beauchamp Tower is included in the entry ticket to the Tower of London. It is reasonably priced at £25.00 and is valid for one day – take a look here.


Learn more about Beauchamp Tower from this book: In Inscriptions and Devices, in the Beauchamp Tower, Tower of London

UK Readers

Published by the British Library, the book contains a short historical sketch of the building, and the prisoners formerly confined therein: collected from State papers, records, and other authentic sources: by W. R. Dick.


I sincerely hope that you have enjoyed reading this article and have found it valuable towards planning your visit to Beauchamp Tower. Do share your thoughts in comments below.

The Tower of London is vast and offers a thousand years of history within its walls. If you are in a rush, you may not experience all of what Tower of London has to offer. It is highly recommended that you spend at least four to five hours (subject to the time of day and the season you choose to visit) when you visit. Have a break in between and enjoy the hospitality at the cafe.

Learn more about the Tower of London by taking these virtual tours > Inside the Tower of London by the Tower of London | Historic Royal Palaces.

You may also enjoy reading other articles on London and here are a few that you may like:


Plan a trip to London – here are some ideas for you

Travel resources at a Glance

Planning your dream vacation? Excellent! Here are all the Resources and Practical information you need for your self-guided or guided vacation.

Legal entry/Tourist travel Visa

Check Visa requirements with iVisa, a leading independent company in the travel documentation industry.

Flights

I have a few choices. Search Google flights because they offer very competitive prices. You could also try Opodo for cheap airfares. For special experiences, go to On the Beach and Jet2Holidays. My all time favourite has been Qatar Airways for long-haul flights for the comfort and their first-class service. I use British Airways as well. For all other global deals >> kiwi.com

Accommodations

My favourite website for booking hotels is booking.com – I love their flexible cancellation policy which means I’m covered till the last minute. I also like that the totals show up for the whole stay so it helps me budget better. Other favourites of mine are Millennium & Copthorne Group of Hotels and Resorts for their consistent high quality accommodations and service. You could also take a look at the Radisson Hotels chain that caters for all budget. For accommodations in UK that has a personal touch and affordable luxury, stay at Hotel du Vin.

Unique experiences & tours

My all time go to resource for unique experiences and tours is Get your Guide. I am also a fan of Viator for their special deals. You shall find suggestions on recommended tours sprinkled throughout TTS on each experience I write about.

Travel insurance

Never travel without travel insurance and never overpay for travel insurance! I use and recommend World Nomads for your travel insurance needs. They even insure on the go. Before purchasing any any travel policy, read through the terms to ensure that the plan is right for you and your trip.

Travel essentials

Never travel without these! I use and fully endorse all the products on this page but especially: High powered wireless power bank, Universal travel adapter and unlimited portable pocket wifi.

Discover more of London

Discover London
St Paul's Cathedral #1 London mycitymytown series
Christmas in London
Tower of London | History and Traditions

Learn more of our World

Italy | Timeless Travel Steps
Japan | Timeless Travel Steps
Scotland | Timeless Travel Steps
USA

Pin me for later!


Beauchamp TowerBeauchamp Tower

Windsor Castle and Windsor in 1 day-what to see, do and experience in 1 day

Windsor Castle and Windsor in 1 day-what to see, do and experience

A trip to the UK or London is never complete without a trip to Windsor, the home of the historic Windsor Castle. Windsor Castle has been home to the British Royal family for over a thousand years and is one of the most visited attraction in UK. Windsor Castle and Frogmore House attracted 1.65 million paid visitors in 2018-2019, making it the most popular of the Royal Estates.

To make the best of Windsor Castle and Windsor in 1 day will require some prior planning. You may also need to have some knowledge of the highlights at the Castle which should not be missed especially if your visit here is just for the one time.

In this article, you shall find some of the highlights of this iconic and historic castle and the town of Windsor. Practical information is included to support your planning.

Town of Windsor

The Town Square at Windsor
The Town Square at Windsor | Image: georgina_daniel

Windsor is a historic market town in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead in Berkshire, Southeast England.

It has a lively atmosphere with great shopping and restaurants. It sits on River Thames, just west of London, and is under an hour’s journey from London. You will find Windsor at:

51°29’1.19″ N 0°36’9.59″ E

1 – day at Windsor Castle and Windsor

The day began with a train journey from London, Waterloo Station to Windsor & Eton Riverside. Exiting Windsor & Eton Riverside, it is a rather pleasant short walk up a slight hill. The street is lined with shops and the castle in sight. The Town Square to your right. A walk-up a further slight hill on your left will lead you to the ticket office. If you are here during the peak season, you will see a queue from the high-street. 

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle, Berkshire: View from the Cambridge Gate
Windsor Castle, Berkshire: View from the Cambridge Gate | Image: georgina_daniel

Windsor Castle, built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, is the residence of the British Royal family for over 1000 years and is said to be the Queen’s favourite weekend getaway residence. In fact, if you see the Royal Standard flag flying from the Castle’s Round Tower, it indicates that the Queen is in residence.

Throughout history, Windsor Castle has been the home to thirty-nine monarchs and is the largest and the oldest occupied castle in the world. It has recently hosted the Royal wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle on 19th May 2018. With so much history just on one site, Windsor makes a perfect destination for a special weekend break or a day trip. 

Can easily opt for a horse & carriage ride around Windsor.
Can easily opt for a horse & carriage ride around Windsor.

Windsor Castle grounds

Windsor Castle is the largest and the oldest occupied castle in the world. The Castle floor area is 13 acres (5 hectares) and has 1000 rooms. It comprises of two-quadrilateral-shaped building courts that are separated by the Round Tower. The two building courts are called Lower Ward and Upper Ward 

Round Tower, Windsor Castle

Round Tower_Windsor Castle_Berkshire
Round Tower, Windsor Castle, Berkshire

The Round Tower, as the name suggests, is a circular tower, massive and is built on an artificial mound. The court in the west of the Round Tower is called the “Lower Ward” and the court to the east is the “Upper Ward.”

The Round Tower, Windsor Castle built on artificial mound.
The Round Tower, Windsor Castle built on artificial mound | Image: georgina_daniel

Lower Ward Windsor Castle

Includes St George’s Chapel and the Albert Memorial Chapel, more on these below.

View from the Lower Ward-St George's Chapel on the left and the Round Tower on the right.
View from the Lower Ward-St George’s Chapel on the left and the Round Tower on the right.

Upper Ward, Windsor Castle

Includes the private apartments of the Queen and the private apartments for visitors. It also houses the Royal Library which contains collections by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and other famous artists.

The Inner Courtyard of the Upper Ward is home to private apartments in Windsor Castle.
The Inner Courtyard of the Upper Ward is home to private apartments in Windsor Castle | Image: georgina_daniel

The Northeast corner of the Upper Ward was destroyed by fire in November 1992 which included over 100 rooms and St George’s Hall. This area has been successfully restored and was completed in 1997.

Highlights at Windsor Castle Berkshire

When exploring Windsor Castle, it would be best to begin with the Changing of the Guard ceremony. Afterwards, you can explore the castle grounds by commencing your tour of the interior of the Castle. I would suggest that you start with the State Apartments, at Henry VIII’s North Terrace. You may encounter a queue here, but they get through very quickly. After the State Apartments, you can visit the beautiful St George’s Chapel and other parts of the Castle.

1 | Changing of the Guards Ceremony

The Changing of the Guard Ceremony is one of the highlights of visiting Windsor Castle. The ceremony takes place at 11:00 in the Lower Ward within the Castle grounds. The times can change and there may be occasions when the Ceremony may take place without music because of other duties and demands on the guards.  The guards return to their barracks at 11:25.

This is one highlight when visiting Windsor Castle that you should not miss. It is less crowded than the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, so it allows you a better view of the ceremony itself.

As it takes place at 11:00 prompt, it is best to plan your visit to arrive here before it begins so you get a good view.

2 | State Apartments and Semi-state Apartments

This part of the Castle is a grand building with opulent furnishings and intricate ceiling paintings. There are many art-work on the Royals and is home to the infamous Queen Mary’s Doll House.

** Queen Mary’s Doll House is sometimes closed to public viewing. Best to check before your visit.

3 | St George’s Chapel

The side entrance to St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.
The side entrance to St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

My favourite part of the Castle! Being here, in St George’s Chapel which is rich in history and in royal tradition is, at moments, simply overwhelming. It is unique in that it has a Perpendicular Gothic-style architecture. Construction of the Chapel began in 1475 by Edward IV and was completed by Heny VIII in 1528.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were married in this Chapel in May 2018, which makes this Chapel even more special.

The architecture inside St George's Chapel_Windsor Castle_Berkshire
The architecture inside St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, Berkshire | Image: georgina_daniel

The interior of the Chapel itself is not huge but the architecture is absolutely breath-taking! You need to see to experience it. Cameras are not allowed in the Chapel but I quite simply had to steal a moment to capture this jaw-dropping wow sight for keeps.  

4 | The Inner Courtyard

The Inner Courtyard is home to the private apartments of the Queen and the private apartments of the Queen’s visitors. It is of Gothic architecture quadrangle with a green grass square in the middle.

The Inner Courtyard of the Upper Ward_Private Apartments of Windsor Castle, Berkshire (2)
The Inner Courtyard, Upper Ward_Private Apartments of Windsor Castle, Berkshire | Image: georgina_daniel

**Lunch

I spent quite a lot of time walking around the grounds at leisure and then lunch at the nearby pub. Afterwards, a walk up to the parks and down to Albert Road to view the Long Walk.  

5 | Home Park, Windsor

To the Eastern side of Windsor Castle is Home Park which was previously known as Little Park. It is approximately 655 acres (265 hectares) of parkland privately owned by the Crown Estate.

Frogmore House is in this Park and is only open twice a year, May and August. If you want to visit Frogmore House and its grounds, schedule your visit during these two months in the year. 

6 | Great Park, Windsor

Great Park is situated towards the South of Windsor Castle. It is approximately 5000 acres (2,020 hectares) which includes a deer park. Parts of this Park is open to the public.  

7 | The Long Walk

The Main Entrance to Windsor Castle, view from the Cambridge Gate, Windsor Castle, Berkshire.
The Main Entrance to Windsor Castle, view from the Cambridge Gate, Windsor Castle, Berkshire | Image: georgina_daniel

A short walk from the Castle, the Long Walk is crossed by A308 (Albert Road) to Old Windsor. This is what I wanted to see and capture the essence of the moment – The Long Walk!

The Long Walk is the straight path that links Windsor Castle with Snow Hill in Windsor Great Park, the foot of the statue of King George III (The Copper Horse). It is approximately 3 miles (5 kilometres) in length.

According to legend, King Henry VIII sat and waited at Snow Hill for news of execution of his second wife, Anne Boleyn.

The Long Walk, view from Cambridge Gate, Windsor Castle, Berkshire
The Long Walk, view from Cambridge Gate, Windsor Castle, Berkshire | Image: georgina_daniel

However, the path and the landscape as we know it today only came much later, an improvement to what was by King Charles II and Queen Anne. King Charles II had 1,652 Elm trees planted in double-rows the entire length of the route and Queen Anne had a road constructed down the centre of the tree lined landscape, so the coaches could head into the park comfortably.  


Winding-down the day

There is a quintessentially English pub at the quiet corner here by Park Street gates (which leads to the Long Walk and Cambridge Gate, entrance to Windsor Castle), a peaceful cul-de-sac where you can stop for a hearty pint! It’s called the Two Brewers, one of the smallest pubs in Windsor. Established in 1792 although the building dates back to 1709.  


On a final note…

Windsor Castle is uniquely beautiful, set in a lively town, with accommodation to suit every individual, couples or family, It has great shopping choices and restaurants to fulfil every palate a destination that will surely not disappoint.

Practical information

At Windsor Castle – What you need to know

  • There are guide maps available free at the counter. Just pick one. Given the vast area where one needs to walk, I found the map to be extremely helpful.
  • If you gift-aid your entrance ticket, you get a 12-month pass to return. Just ensure that you write your name and address and get it stamped at the designated area near the exit.
  • Commentary on the audio, for the most part is good and informative but sometimes too elaborate. It is also sometimes hard to navigate to the number of the room.
  • Give yourselves between 3 to 3.5 hours although the recommended hours are 2.5 to 3.

Facilities:

  1. Audio guides are available in all major languages.
  2. Induction loop on Audio tour is provided to hearing impaired visitors.
  • Guide dogs are permitted
  1. Toilets for disabled visitors
  2. Areas are wheelchair accessible.

Tickets:

                                                         Regular (£)            During closure of State Apartments (£)

Adult                                                       21.20                                      11.70

Family [2 adults + 3 under 17s]         54.70                                       30.60

Senior/Student                                      19.30                                       10.60

Under 17/Disabled                               12.30                                         7.20

For up-to-date information on Windsor Castle, you can look-up their official website here: https://www.rct.uk/visit/windsor-castle

Getting to Windsor

From London by train:

Getting to Windsor Castle from London by train is the most convenient and cheaper mode of transport. 

There are 2 services:

  1. London Paddington to Windsor Central – services are provided by Great Western Railway, need to change at Slough for the shuttle service to Windsor & Eton Central. The shuttle service runs every 20 minutes and will have extra charges.

Return Adult Fare is £10.20

      2. London Waterloo to Windsor & Eton Riverside – services provided by South              Western Railway are 4 services per hour, at 20, 28, 50 and 58 minutes past the hour. Return Adult Fare is £10.50

Buy Train tickets from Trainline

If you are driving:

Parking:

  1. Castle car-park is a ‘Pay & Display’ car-park, so you will need coins. £14 for 5 hours;
  2. Car-park next to Windsor & Eton Riverside Station – £4 All-day if you arrive after 10:00. You can pay by phone            

Is this post valuable to you in planning your visit to Windsor Castle and Windsor? If so, let me know in comments below or via Contact Form, I would love to hear from you.

Happy adventures!

March 2021, Update

March 2021, Update

Anne boleyn
St Paul's Cathedral #1 London mycitymytown series
5 rewarding ways to experience st paul's
What activities will you do when you visit your chosen destination?
London - Tours of Parks and Gardens

Latest articles

Keep exploring…

Inspiration for Italy
Scotland - Ultimate guide
Canada - Niagara Falls
USA - Chicago

Pin me on Pinterest!

Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle
Windsor CastleWindsor Castle

Victoria-An intimate look at the Woman behind the Crown and her childhood

Victoria-An intimate look at the Woman behind the Crown and her childhood

It was the first day of the Discover the real Victoria, made in Kensington Exhibition, 24th May, a glorious day of summer sunshine and the Palace grounds were a busy sight! People sunbathing, reading or just relaxing.

The queues to the ticket office was long…

Kensington Palace: The queues at the ticket office for, Discover the Real Victoria exhibition was long!
Kensington Palace: The queues at the ticket office for, Discover the Real Victoria exhibition was long!

Fortunately for me, I did not have to wait in queue to get a ticket with a timed entry. As a Member of the Historic Royal Palaces, I get to visit at anytime and as many times as I wish. You can read more on the benefits of this Individual Membership here

Here’s how my day went at the exhibition in Kensington Palace.

Discover the Real Victoria Exhibition

The exhibition was in two parts – Victoria: Woman and Crown and Victoria: A Royal Childhood.

1 | Victoria: A Royal Childhood

Victoria, A Royal Childhood was the first of the two exhibitions where I began my tour.

It was not overwhelmingly crowded as I anticipated it to be. I had plenty of time on my hands and I did not want to rush through. The exhibition allowed the visitors to follow a route through a suite of rooms and it did give me a feel of how Victoria grew up. There were many rooms here, and these have been curated to reflect how they would have been when young Victoria grew up. I will just mention a few that is of interest and which relates to the exhibition particularly the Red Saloon room, the Dance room, the Baby room, and the Playrooms.

Read: Kensington Palace – Why you should visit this 18th century historical gem

1.1 | The Red Saloon room

Victoria's first meeting with her senior ministers in the Red Saloon Room
Victoria’s first meeting with her senior ministers in the Red Saloon Room

The Red Saloon Room was where Queen Victoria held her first meeting with the Privy Council, the most senior ministers and advisors, on 20th June 1837.It was laid out with pretty little miniature figurines on top of the large long table, depicting the scene as painted by Sir David Wilkie (1785-1841) in 1838.

Kensington Palace: Red Saloon Room - First Council Meeting of Queen Victoria by Sir David Wilkie in 1838
Kensington Palace: Red Saloon Room – First Council Meeting of Queen Victoria by Sir David Wilkie in 1838

1.2 | The Dance Room where Victoria had her first dance with Albert

The dance room was dimly lit with a piano in one corner of the room.

I thought that the room was rather small. It was a little crowded here, so I walked briskly through to the next room.

1.3 | The Baby Room where Victoria was born

Kensington Palace: A Royal Childhood - The Baby Room where Victoria was born
Kensington Palace: A Royal Childhood – The Baby Room where Victoria was born | Image: georgina_daniel

The baby room where Princess Victoria was born was one of the highlights of my visit.

The room was dressed in green wallpaper which, perhaps, reflects her maternal Leiningen heritage. It was gently warm, the drapes neatly pulled back and the sunlight coming through. It was not difficult to imagine for a moment, stepping back into history, where the room was the same, and the glorious sunshine streaming through on a very ordinary Spring morning, same day in May, 200 years ago. Described as “a pretty little Princess, as plump as a partridge” by her Mother, the Duchess of Kent in a personal letter, the heir, fifth in line to the throne was born.

Queen V_3
Victoria, Duchess of Kent with Victoria, later Queen Victoria, c.1824 (enamel on copper), Henry Bone (1755-1834) / Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2018 (credit to: http://blog.bridgemanimages.com/

I remained fascinated with the unfolding of her story as I continued on to Her playrooms.

1.4 | Victoria’s Playroom

Her playrooms were well laid out with a toy box in the centre of the room. There was an invitation for children to sit on the carpet and play with the toys from the toy box, a gesture which I thought was unusual. I have visited many palaces and castles during my visits and usually there are signs that says “please do not touch” – I was pleasantly surprised that here, and I welcome the idea too, to engage children-visitors to get the feel of how Victoria played.

I was enchanted with Victoria’s doll house, with its miniature furniture and pretty colours. It was an ordinary London townhouse. It is thought that it was probably made by the palace staff with household bibs and bobs and scrapes of pretty pink palace wallpaper.

Kensington Palace: A Royal Childhood - Victoria's Doll House
Kensington Palace: A Royal Childhood – Victoria’s Doll House

The Ten Wooden Peg Dolls caught my attention. Victoria started collecting these when she was 11 years old. After two years, she had 132 dolls, each with a name and its own background story either after her favourite dancers or imaginary ladies.

1.5 | Victoria’s Journal and Kensington System

Victoria had vivid imagination and would describe the characters in detail. She was lost in writing her own stories.

IMG_2231 (2)
Kensington Palace: A Royal Childhood – Kensington System Rules

The rooms displayed her journal entries and, in some instances her handwritten entries. These captivated my interests and I spent some time reading them. The sight of “Kensington System” hung on the wall and the distressing effects of these rules did not go amiss but I remained fascinated by her story.

1.6 | Theatre Room

There was a Theatre room which was cute. Victoria loved the theatre, and she attended the concerts and the theatre shows as often as she could. It was one way to escape the constraints of the “Kensington System”.

Kensington Palace: A Royal Childhood - The Theatre Room where Victoria visited to escape the Kensington System
Kensington Palace: A Royal Childhood – The Theatre Room where Victoria visited to escape the Kensington System

From the Royal Childhood of Victoria, the exhibition continued on to Woman and Crown Exhibition.

Read: Kensington Palace Gardens – an idyllic getaway from chaos of the City

2 | Victoria – Woman and Crown (1819-1901)

Kensington Palace: Victoria - Woman and Crown (1819-1901)
Kensington Palace: Victoria – Woman and Crown (1819-1901)

There were a lot of information exhibited here and dresses she wore. This exhibition was aimed at unveiling the private life of Queen Victoria behind the carefully controlled public image of her role as queen, wife, mother and empress.

2.1 | Victoria as a Woman

IMG_2328 (2)
Kensington Palace: Victoria – Woman and Crown Exhibition, The Secret Portrait of Queen Victoria, by Franz Xaver Winterhalter in 1843, Lent by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for the exhibition.

As a woman, Victoria was totally in love with Prince Albert. She commissioned a secret portrait of herself as a surprise gift to Prince Albert for his 24th birthday. The portrait shows Victoria in a simple ivory gown, looking relaxed, with her long hair round her shoulders in a sensuous manner – intended for his eyes only!

2.2 | Victoria as a Woman

As a wife, Victoria adored her husband, Prince Albert. In her words, he was “an angel whose brightness shall illuminate my life” – she submitted to the choices of her husband in all matters.

The dresses and the jewellery she wore was often designed and chosen by Albert. They both often appeared in public together which made them popular with the nation. 

IMG_2320 (2)
The original colour of this dress was bright pink . Queen Victoria wore a bonnet so as not to upstage her husband.

One of the displays exhibited a gown worn by Victoria which was originally in bright pink and fashionable at that time. Queen Victoria always wore a bonnet when in public with Prince Albert because she did not want to upstage her husband who had no right to wear a crown. A stark contrast to the black gowns, and widow’s bonnet which she was so famous for wearing later in life.

2.3 | Victoria as a Mother

As a mother, I think her views can best be attributed to one of her journal entries in 1952: 

“Children, though often a source of anxiety and difficulty, are a great blessing and cheer and brighten up life, and to see us after 12 years surrounded by this blooming family is a source of great gratitude”

2.4 | Victoria as an Empress

IMG_2345 (2)
Kensington Palace: Victoria, Woman and Crown Exhibition – Victoria’s love affair with India takes centre stage at the Exhibition | Image: georgina_daniel

As an empress of the world’s largest empire, the exhibits displayed the story behind her love affair with India, the Koh-i-Noor diamond, her friendship with deposed Maharajah Duleep Singh.

IMG_2343 (2)
Kensington Palace: Victoria, Woman and Crown Exhibition – Personal diary of Queen Victoria with inscriptions in Urdu | Image: georgina_daniel

There were exhibits of her personal diaries inscribed in Urdu.

2.5 | Victoria’s love affair with the Scottish Highlands

There were further exhibits on her visits to the Scottish Highlands and Balmoral. The couple’s first visit was in 1848 and she captured their first moments in her journal entry where she wrote:

“All seemed to breathe freedom and peace, and to make one forget the world and its sad turmoils”

They loved the mountains, the people, the highland games and the dances.

Queen Victoria published a book in 1868, ‘Leaves from the Journal of our Life in the Highlands from 1848 – 1861’ – this book were of extracts from her journal, of her time in Scotland with Albert.  The book sold 80,000 copies in the first 3 months. You can purchase a copy by clicking the link below:

Read more on 200th Anniversary of Queen Victoria’s Birth – this blog contains a video on Balmoral Castle which gives a splendid view of the beauty of Scottish Highlands.

2.6 | Victoria’s love affair with Isle of Wight

Queen Victoria once said of Osborne House, that “it would be impossible to imagine a prettier spot” and one could not agree with her more! Osborne House became her permanent home till her death in 1901.

Read: Isle of Wight and the Victorian Love Affair with the island

Travel tips and Useful information:

Tickets

Visiting during Covid-19 and adhering to safety measures – Pre-booking and selecting a specific time slot is required prior to the day of your visit. All related information are here for you to peruse.

Tickets are £17.50 for Adults    and     £8.70 for Child

The ticket covers entry to Kensington Palace and the Discover the Real Victoria – Made in Kensington Exhibition.

You may wish to consider purchasing an Annual Membership with the Historic Royal Palaces which grants you unlimited access to 6 Royal Palaces including Kensington Palace.

Opening Times

Monday-Sunday: 10:00-18:00

Last admission: 17:00

Getting here

Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens,

London W8 4PX

Public Transport

London Underground and trains

High Street Kensington station (10 – 15 minute walk) – for the District, Circle and Piccadilly lines

Queensway station (10 – 15 minute walk) – for the Central line

Notting Hill Gate station (20 – 25 minute walk) – for Central, District and Circle lines

Paddington station (20 minute walk)

Bus

Routes 70, 94, 148, and 390 stop along Bayswater Road

Routes 9, 10, 49, 52, 70 and 452 stop along Kensington High Street


Is this post valuable to you in aiding your travel plans to Kensington Palace? if so, let me know in comments below or via Contact Form. I would love to hear from you.

Happy adventures!

March 2021, Update


March 2021, Update


More to read – navigate via the images

Tower of London | History and Traditions
BEAUCHAMP TOWER
Anne boleyn
Interesting books on the Boleyns
Books on Prisoners of the Bloody Tower
London - Tours of Parks and Gardens

Latest articles to peruse

Verona Wine | 11 Fine Garda Wines

An Easy Guide to Verona Wine – The Fine Garda Wines and Winery Experiences that you will love

A wine lover visiting Verona? Welcome! I am glad you are here. The one thing that you must do, amongst others, when visiting Verona is to indulge in their culture of wine drinking. Taste some of the very best Verona wine from one of the very best wine producing regions in the world. Unwind at the end of the day or week with a glass of wine and it does wonders! Complement a meal with the carefully selected wine, and you shall want more. Wine, somehow, magically relaxes one’s senses, body and mind. Wine is both delicious and potent, aptly described in one of Homer’s poem:

“[I]t is the wine that leads me on,
the wild wine
that sets the wisest man to sing
at the top of his lungs,
laugh like a fool – it drives the
man to dancing… it even
tempts him to blurt out stories
better never told.”
― Homer, The Odyssey

I love wine. A bit too much at times. I am passionate about red wines, especially Chianti, Amarone or Valpolicella DOC. There is something special about red wines. A dynamic red drink, with scents of fruits and spices, brought to greatest perfection, enjoyed lazily, savoured passionately, and pairs perfectly with seafood, steaks or risotto igniting greater appreciation of the bottle that sits on the table. Can’t imagine a meal without a red in Verona.

Though I am a little bias, as red is my favourite, I do, on occasions turn to Chiaretto or Soave to complement the dishes at hand.

Therefore, in this easy guide you shall find information on Verona wine, whether it is the full-bodied red, delicate rosé or the distinguished white to help you make simple choices when dining in the historic city. I have also included suggestions on matching your wine to the dishes in Verona. All in all, this easy guide is suitable for first-time travellers as well as repeat travellers to Verona. Whether you are a novice or an aficionado of wines, this simple guide to Verona wine is a handy resource for your trip to Verona.

For context, we begin with Verona, the crossroad to European wine trade. Followed by an overview on the history of wines in Italy, what makes Verona wine special, the rich tradition of wine-making, and the types of wine offered in this unique destination. Finally, ways in which you could have timeless Verona wine experiences. Read along all the way. However, if you are pressed for time,   you could bookmark the page, pin the post on Pinterest or skip ahead via the navigator below.

Verona wine | timelesstravelsteps.com

We may earn a commission from affiliate links at no costs to you at all. Read our Disclaimer


1 | A little about Verona

Verona Arena | Verona wine | timelesstravelsteps.com
Verona Arena

Verona, a small province in the Veneto region of Northern Italy is a leading wine city in Europe, producing the highest quality wines. This historic city is located at the foothills of the Lessini Mountains, protected by Lake Garda and dotted along the shores of the Adige River.

The best thing about the city’s unique geographical location is that Verona enjoys the perfect favourable weather conditions for the production of sumptuous wine all year round. It is also strategically located for the north-south and east-west European commercial traffic, hence garnering the reputation of being the major leading wine city in Europe and contributing to foreign trade. This is one reason why this city is special and features a myriad of Verona wine tasting activities along with vineyard visits.

Besides the Verona wine that you get to experience, this pretty city is one of its kind. Cobbled streets, narrow alleys, vibrant piazzas, ‘painted city‘, — all displaying the romance, culture and story of the passionate people of Verona.

Read: Your one-stop resource to the historic city of Verona.

Prefer an all-round experience of Verona?

Experience Verona in a unique small group History, Food & Wine tour in half-a-day. Includes lunch, snacks, wine, local guide and depending on the season of your visit, a funicular ride to Verona’s most scenic part of the city.

2 | A brief look at the History of Wines in Italy

Italy, once known as ‘Enotria’, the ‘Land of Wine‘ has its roots in vine growing and wine making going back to ancient Greek. The ancient Greek developed their wine through grape-drying methods. By drying the grapes, they ensured that the sugars in the grapes remained concentrated, hence ensuring longer shelf-life, higher alcoholic content and sweeter wines. Supported by the pleasant Mediterranean weather, vine growing thrived wherever they were planted and led to the production of the best wines. The love of wine innate to the Greek culture became one for the Romans as well. They brought it along to wherever they went.

2.1 | Vineyards and Wine-making Technique

As the Romans expanded in the mid-second century, so did the Roman vineyards throughout Italy. The local farms began to flourish, replacing traditional food farming with vineyards. The Roman winemakers advanced the growing of vines and the quality of it through wine making.

Wine was preferred over any other drinks and became a staple drink in their daily diet. The ancient Roman wines followed much of the winemaking processes developed by the ancient Greek, namely the grape-drying process to lock-in the sweetness and to produce high alcohol content. These strong wines were religiously diluted with water or other flavour changing properties. Salt water, honey, herbs and spices were used to flavour the wine. Storage methods were also developed to reduce the acidity and to flavour the final taste of the wine. A popular way to store the wines were in the Roman amphorae.

The wines produced using the grape-drying technique are still used today. These wines are simply called ‘passito’ wines which refers to the sweet dessert wine made from dried grapes. The word ‘passito’ comes from the word ‘appassimento’ which means ‘withering.’

2.2 | Producing Good Quality Verona Wine

This ancient culture was probably the first to understand that grape varieties produced different quality of wines due to the varying growing conditions. Thus, matching specific grape varieties to their ideal growing conditions and producing good quality wine. This selective cultivation of wine grape and vines is ancestorial to the grapes grown in Italy today, giving Italian wines its distinct native characteristics.

Given the wide ranging territories in Italy, from north to south, east to west with mountains, valleys, lakes, islands, sea and continental as well as Mediterranean climate, there are more than 500 varieties of Italian wines. Each variety, with its unique characteristics, having grown in a specific region for centuries with particular traditions in wine making. About 329 varieties of wine in Italy are labelled Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC), which means “designation of controlled origin” in English.

Some of the most popular varieties of DOC and high quality Italian wines originates in the Veneto region, northern Italy.

3 | Veneto and Verona Wine

Verona wine | timelesstravelsteps.com
hills of Lake Garda | Verona wine

Unsurprisingly, Verona with its central role during the Roman times, has a long-standing tradition in vine growing and wine making, inextricably linked to Veneto region’s history and culture.

3.1 | Verona Wine from the Hillsides of Lake Garda

It is the great grapes of Garda on the hillsides of Lake Garda, near Verona where some of the world’s most famous Verona wines are produced. such as the Amarone and Recioto of Valpolicella.

The Valpolicella area is located in the hills on the north of Verona. This area is crossed by three streams which flow from the Lessini Mountains towards the Adige River, creating three parallel valleys.

From the valleys of the Valpolicella comes three varieties of grapes – Corvina Veronese, Rondinella and Molinara. These are typically used to produce the Valpolicella wines.

Three further Verona wine producing areas in the hills of Lake Garda are Soave towards the east of Verona, Custoza to the south of Lake Garda, along with Lugana, which is also home to beautiful towns of Sirmione and Peschiera del Garda.

4 | What types of wine Verona is famous for? | The 11 Fine Varieties of Verona Wine from the hills of Garda

Verona wine | timelesstravelsteps.com
Veneto region | Verona wine

The region of Veneto in Northern Italy is vast and reputed as one of the best wine producing region in Italy. Broadly, Veneto is world famous for its Amarone, Valpolicella, Soave, Prosecco and Pinot Grigio. The Amarone is considered the most prestigious wine of the Veneto region. It is one of the Italian ‘big red’, which is also a little highly priced.

Below is a list of the most popular wine Verona is famous for which you could experience:

4.1 | Bardolino

Verona wine. timelesstravelsteps.com
Verona wine

Corvina Veronese and Rondinella are the two grape varieties used to produce this ruby red, fruity wine. Laced with cherry, strawberry, raspberry, red currant and spices, this unique wine is highly drinkable and goes well with almost any dishes.

If you wish to try the Bardolino, try the ‘Bardolino Classico’, a label exclusively reserved for production from the oldest area of origin, Morainic Hills, Lake Garda.

4.2 | Chiaretto

Verona wine | timelesstravelsteps.com
Verona wine

Chiaretto, meaning ‘pale’ in Italian is a rosé, variant of the Bardolino red wine family and made from the same grape varieties of Garda. This wine has been produced in the Veneto region since 1896.

Chiaretto is fresh and delicate, laced with wild berry and vanilla. Usually consumed as an aperitif or as a perfect accompaniment to light dishes such as appetisers, fish or pizza.

4.3 | Amarone

Verona wine | Amarone Valpolicella | timelesstravelsteps.com
Amarone della Valpolicella | Verona wine

Amarone della Valpolicella is certainly the best and one of the most famous of Italian red wines. Generally produced from Corvina Veronese, Rondinella and Molinara grape varieties but also at times, using the combination of Forselina, Negrara and Oseleta grape varieties.

Amarone is a passito wine. The grapes are left to dry for four months after harvest, during which time the sugar fermentation is completed. Thereafter, left to age in oak casks for two to four years.

Once matured, this vibrant red dry wine comes laced with scents of red fruits and spicy aromas. A full-bodied red goes well with meat dishes, mature cheese and game.

Best Timeless Experience: Amarone Wine Trail

4.4 Recioto

Verona wine | timelesstravelsteps.com
Verona wine

The Recioto of Valpolicella is a passito wine using the same grapes as Amarone. The grapes are left to dry, just as for the Amarone. However, the process of fermentation is interrupted to stop the lowering of sugar, resulting in a much sweeter wine than the Amarone.

The Recioto is a sweet Verona wine, deep red, with an intense floral and fruity aroma. Ideally paired with desserts and chocolates.

4.5 | Valpolicella

Verona wine | timelesstravelsteps.com
Verona wine

Valpolicella DOC is the product of Corvina, Corvinone Veronese and Rondinella. A superior brand, it needs to age for a minimum of one year. This smooth ruby red wine is laced with red cherries and sweet spices. Best with meaty dishes and mature cheese.

4.6 | Custoza

Custoza Verona wine | timelesstravelsteps.com
Custoza | Verona wine

Custoza is produced from Garganega, Trebbianello and Bianca Fernanda grape varieties. The combination brings about a fresh, aromatic and highly drinkable white wine laced with a straw-yellow colour to it.

This highly popular Verona wine is best enjoyed with fresh fish, deep-fried dishes, and tortellini di Valeggio.

4.7 | Lugana

Lugana.Verona wine
Verona wine

Classified as Superiore, Riserva or Vendemmia tardive (late vintage/harvest), Lugana was the first wine in Italy that was assigned the status, Lombard DOC.

Everything about Lugana is special. Grown in the southern shores of Lake Garda, this white wine is extracted from the indigenous grape variety Turbiana which are grown in the special clay soil produced during the last Ice Age, when Lake Garda was formed.

Ideal as an aperitif, Lugana perfectly complements pasta, rice dishes and pizza.

4.8 | Garda Classico Groppello

Verona wine | timelesstravelsteps.com
Verona wine

Garda Classico Groppello is a unique Verona wine, grown in a specific area of the Veneto region. This special wine is extracted from the Gropello grape variety native to the Lombardy region, specifically the Valtenesi, hills of western Lake Garda. Gropello has been cultivated since the 1500s.

Gropello is a delicate, spicy red wine laced with a fruity flavour. Best paired with meat dishes, or medium mature cheese.

4.9 | Soave

Verona wine | timelesstravelsteps.com
Soave | Verona wine

The majority of Soave produced today are simple, easy drinking white wine, and inexpensively priced. Soave makes up almost half of Verona wine production and has been around for a very, very long time.

Cultivated in eastern Verona, at the foothills of Lessini Mountains, primarily the Soave zone, as well as on the hills of Val d’Illasi, Val di Mezzane valleys and the Alpine valleys.

The production of the Soave Classico, a high-end, DOC labelled white wine comes from the hills of Soave. This prestigious white wine, when treated right and allowed to age for up to ten years or longer is a fine wine with a beautiful straw texture.

The principal grape varieties used for Soave is Garganega, while Trebbiano and Chardonnay are sometimes partnered in varying percentages.

In late autumn, the Soave region is affected by the flow of mist from the Po Valley. The mist brings along mold and other grape diseases. The Garganega grape variety is known for its late ripening properties and thick skin. Therefore it can withstand the mist.

Soave has a delicate aroma. It comes in straw yellow, extra dry and with a slightly bitter touch.

An easy drinking wine that can please everyone, often enjoyed with traditional regional dishes such as risotto, vegetable soups, white cabbage and celery, along with salami, fish dishes, and cheeses such as Taleggio and Grana Padano.

4.10 | Marzemino

This red Italian wine is primarily grown in the Isera area, south of Trentino, Lombardy and Veneto regions. Nicknamed “Mozart’s wine” for its mention in the ‘Don Giovanni’ opera, Marzemino is one of the oldest wines in Italy.

The Marzemino grape variety is susceptible to grape diseases and as such the vine requires a long growing season. The grape ripens late, produce light wines and slightly sparkling.This grape variety is often used as a blending variety, matched with Barbera, Groppello or Merlot.

The deeply ruby red Marzemino goes best with mushroom dishes, white and red meat and cold cuts.

4.11 | Prosecco

Verona Wine | timelesstravelsteps.com

Prosecco, an Italian sweet, fruity sparkling white wine is a product of the sprawling vineyards located between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene in the Veneto regions.

The grapes used to make Prosecco are Glera, a fruity, aromatic green grape. Glera is a thin-skinned green grape that has been grown in the Veneto region for hundreds of years. Prosecco wines contain at least 85% of Glera, blended with other grape varieties such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in smaller quantities.

Prosecco’s sweet and lightly sparkling glass of wine is best paired with seafood, savoury cheeses, cured meats and fruits. It also goes well with smoked salmon, sushi, Thai noodles and Indian curries.


Best Ways to Experience the artful creation of Verona Wine from the hills of Garda

Verona Wine and Winery Visits | timelesstravelsteps.com
Verona wine

Experience Verona from a different cultural perspective. The artful creation of Verona wine from the hills of Garda handed down from generation to generation is best experienced by joining wine tasting or winery visits activities.

Visit historic wineries that had stood in the very same place for hundreds of years. Take an insider look in the wine-making culture and learn about the local harvesting, history, and processes from an experienced sommelier first hand. Taste local cuisine paired with local wine for an authentic experience of Veronese wine-making culture.

While you are fully immersed in the tasting and learning of the various wines, you are further rewarded with the breathtaking views of the hills and valleys of the Garda area along with the sereneness of the countryside.

What you experience on your visit depends very much on what you select. You could take a half-day trip visit to a winery or join a wine tasting walking experience. Here are some of the very best Verona wine experiences you could go for:

Our Best Verona Wine Experiences that you may love

This sell-out event offers an all-round experience for wine lovers.

Visit a 17th century winery that has been in the family for 5 generation. Enjoy a peaceful stroll, taste a selection of local wines along with commentary on the wine-making processes.

verona wine | timelesstravelsteps.com

Add a visit to the picturesque wine region in Lake Garda to your itinerary. Taste up to 6 wines including Garganega and Chiaretto along with cold cuts, Garda’s extra virgin olive oil and bread.

* Visit to the vineyard and cellar is upon request.

San Giorgio Verona wine | timelesstravelsteps.com

Enjoy a peaceful stroll in the quintessential hamlet of San Giorgio that is home to a 12th century Romanesque parish church while experiencing this tour.

Taste four different wines that has been made here for centuries along with cold-cuts, bread and cheese. Learn about the local harvesting, wine-making processes and history from a professional sommelier.

More on Verona Wine and Food Tours

Click on the images below to learn more >>

food tours in verona
Verona by bike
Verona wine

Verona Wine | 11 Fine Garda Wines first published on timelesstravelsteps.com


Verona Wine pin2 | timelesstravelsteps.comVerona Wine pin2 | timelesstravelsteps.com

31 Best Things to do in Verona

Things to do in Verona | timelesstravelsteps.com

31 Awesome Things to do in Verona

Compiled by: Timeless Travel Steps Travellers

Visiting Verona but wondering what to do? No worries. I have you covered. In this post, you shall find the 31 best things to do in Verona, in Northern Italy.

best things to do in Verona | timelesstravelsteps.com

We may earn a commission from qualified purchases through our affiliate links at no cost to you at all. Read our Disclaimer


Timeless Travel Steps BEST TIPS:

1 | Want to learn all about the city that drips in old time romance? Discover its history at every turn – hear it first-hand from a local and you are sure to want to delve deeper.

2 | Why not go a little further? Discover Verona Food and Wine while seeing all the Highlights and Landmarks of the city, in half-a-day or so led by an expert.

Discover the incredible city that is more than the tale of the star-crossed lovers. The heritage of this city is rich. Home to a Roman open air amphitheatre, studded by bell towers, beautifully paved Piazza in pink marble liston, and layers upon layers of history still being unearthed, it is a city that offers something for everyone.

There are a range of dynamic restaurants offering the best local cuisines you can find in northern Italy. Along with this, there are a growing number of designer boutiques opening up between the frescoed churches which you wouldn’t want to miss. One thing to note though, is that when the lights go down, the city awakens. It becomes something of a haven for the young and old, especially the young lovers. So, it is worth bearing in mind that Verona is a city best enjoyed at night as well.

31 Very Best Things to do in Verona

Here are some of the remarkable things to do in Verona that includes best of the beaten track as well as some off-beat experiences. All suggested sites are easily reached, as Verona is compact and walkable. You don’t really have to go too far from the city squares but some sites may require about 20 to 30 minutes walk and are worth exploring. Most of the museums are centred around the piazzas. We have also included visits to vineyards, and exciting day trips as part of things to do in Verona, curated just for you.

Let’s get started:

1 | Juliet House

The story of Romeo and Juliet, though a myth has spurred the creation of the famous balcony and a soul-touching legend that keeps attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. The most popular visitor’s attraction in Verona has also inspired several movies. Learn more about the inspiration to Juliet House, the legends associated to this destination and take a sneak peek into this famous house before your visit. A complete guide to this popular visitor attraction, and as part of things to do in Verona awaits your perusal via the link below.

Read: The Story of Romeo & Juliet in Fair Verona.

Piazzas in Verona

2 | Piazza Bra

Read: Piazza Bra

3 | Verona Arena

The Verona Arena is a monument of 2000 years of history.  An unmissable attraction when in Verona, this ancient marvel sits adoringly in Bra, enticing all visitors to explore its ancient history. Explore one or two of the many ways to experience this ancient site as one your best things to do in Verona itinerary — a medieval marvel not to miss.

Read the complete guide to Verona Arena which includes an overview of its history

Timeless Travel Steps Best Tips:

With the Verona City Card, you will gain Priority Entry to the Verona Arena and the Lamberti Tower along with free local transportation – these and so many other benefits. Explore more and pre-purchase before travelling to Verona > Verona City Card.


Things to do in Verona around PIAZZA ERBE

4 | Piazza Erbe

Read: The Complete Guide to Piazza delle Erbe

5 | Piazza dei Signori

A charming and an elegant square, with the statue of Dante standing tall in the centre. Also known as Piazza Dante, the square encompasses diverse architectural styles — Gothic, Romanesque and Renaissance. Piazza dei Signori sits right next to Piazza Erbe and the Lamberti Tower. The Square is said to date back to 1330 at least, and it is an important part of the city worth seeing.

6 | Loggia del Consiglio

This Renaissance style open arched space is a pretty spot at Piazza dei Signori, just next to the historic Piazza Erbe. Built between 1476 and 1493, the Loggia del Consiglio presently houses the Provincial Council of Verona and is one of the best things to do in Verona.

7 | Climb the Tower

Learn more: Lamberti Tower

TTS Best Tip > Verona City Card includes entry to the Lamberti Tower

8 | ‘Painted City’

Once known as the ‘Painted City’, take pleasure in admiring the dwellings that stands testament to what Verona was in the Middle Ages. The colourful images painted by Cavalli tells a story and worth exploring.

Navigate to Mazzanti Houses in Verona for an overview of its history and where to find it

9 | The Baroque Palazzo Maffei

Standing gallantly overlooking the Piazza Erbe is Palazzo Maffei. This magnificent building was once a palace and a private residence belonging to the Veronese aristocrats, the Maffei family. Palazzo Maffei is presently a museum housing sculptures, paintings and furnitures.

If you are not into visiting the museum, perhaps you may wish to enjoy a wonderful evening, dining in their renowned restaurant which is tucked away from the main square. Prior reservation (well in advance) is highly recommended as getting a last-minute reservation is almost impossible!

Read the full guide to Palazzo Maffei and what to do here

10 | Majestic Gran Guardia

Visit this very large (86 metres in length) historic building that was built for military purposes but now, it is home to exhibitions and cultural events.

Read more on Gran Guardia >>

11 | Scaliger Tombs

There is not very much to see here except that the tombs comprise a group of funerary monuments that were built by the powerful Della Scala family who ruled Verona in the Middle Ages. The monuments are regarded as the finest Gothic architecture in Italy today.


Unmissable Ancient Landmarks

12 | Porta Borsari Gate

The Porta Borsari is an ancient gate believed to originate in 1st century BC. It is a significant piece of Verona’s history as it was the main entrance to the city. Built from Valpolicella white stone, Porta Borsari has two arches flanked by semi-columns, and an upper floor with twelve arched windows. See it as you walk through the city, and cross it off your list on things to do in Verona.

13 | Arco dei Gavi

Once an ancient gate to the medieval city, the Arco dei Gavi was built by the influential noble Gavia family around the 1st century AD. It was demolished by the French in 1805 to make way for their military mule trains. The Arch stones were stored safely at the Citadella Square for over a century. Using the original stones, the Arch was later rebuilt to stand where it does now, next to Castelvecchio. It faces the Adige River and not far from its original position. Just 1 minute walk from Castle Vecchio, an item worth listing on your unmissable things to do in Verona.

Address: Corso Cavour, 37121 Verona VR, Italy

14 | Castelvecchio

Castle Vecchio is a magnificent structure that dates back to the 14th century. It is quite an expansive site and lies within the city’s perimeters. This old castle is worth exploring unhurriedly and best to set aside some time when you visit. If you could, get an audio guide to fully appreciate the relevance, context and the particular areas in this vast site when you visit. When here, don’t miss looking out to the bridge nextdoor.

Address: 2 Corso Castelvecchio
Verona, 37121
Italy

15 | Ponte di Castelvecchio

Next to Castle Vecchio is the famous Ponte di Castelvecchio. Also known as Scaliger Bridge, it is often regarded as the most romantic bridge in Verona. It is a pretty bridge, best viewed when the sun slowly sets over the horizon.

Built by the Scaligeri family between 1354 and 1356 as a means to escape should they be attacked. The bridge connects the castle to the left bank of the Adige River.


Where to go for Epic Sunset Views over the City of Verona

16 | Teatro Romano Verona

Built during the latter part of the 1st century B.C. the Roman Theatre (not the Roman Amphitheatre at Piazza Bra) is located next to Castel San Pietro. This theatre is still used today, albeit for smaller scale performances due to its size. It is worth visiting and is one of the things to do in Verona as it adds to understanding the history of this passionate medieval city. There is an Archaeological Museum that offers a fascinating insight into the city’s history also.

Address: Regaste Redentore, 2, 37129 Verona, Italy | Opens: 08:30 AM

17 | Piazzale Castel San Pietro

Though popular, this is not frequented by many who visit the city for a short break but it is one of the best things to do in Verona. Piazzale Castel San Pietro is a medieval fortress set on a hilltop and requires a climb. With best views over the many spires of the city, and the glistening Adige River flowing through the heart of the city, this is one destination to head to if you could make it. For some magnificent views, head here at dusk for epic sunset hues.

Address: Piazzale Castel S. Pietro37129 Verona VR, Italy

*It is free of charge.


18 | Palazzo Giusti and Giardino Giusti

A beautiful, perhaps one of the best in northern Italy, the Giardino Giusti was created at the end of the 15th century. The garden is said to be one of the best examples of Italian gardens and it is right next to the Giusti Palace. One of the things to do in Verona, this makes an easy destination to while-away some time in Verona’s afternoon sunshine.

Address: Via Giardino Giusti, 2, 37129 Verona VR, Italy | Opens: 10:00 AM


Cathedrals & Basillicas

19 | Verona Cathedral

Tucked away in a quiet street is Verona Cathedral (Piazza Duomo di Verona), a magnificent hidden gem which you must absolutely see when you are in the city.

An outwardly simple Romanesque architecture is pleasantly inviting, but once indoors, you shall be struck with an incredibly magnificent surprise. A 12th century apse, admirable biblical depictions, space and harmony. We particularly appreciated the Church of Sant’Elena and the archaeological excavations.

Verona Cathedral sits on the site of the very first Christian place of worship in Verona that was established here in the 4th century. Verona’s rich history continues to be unearthed here.

*Must top “things to do in Verona” list.

Address: Piazza Duomo, 21, 37121 Verona VR, Italy

20 | The Basillica of Sant’Anastasia Verona

This is another impressive church in Verona which must be seen! An outstanding Italian Gothic architecture, the Basillica of Santa Anastasia in Verona is the largest church in the city. The Basillica had its first stone laid in 1280 by the Dominican Order. The interior extends over three isles and twelve impressive pillars, all in red Veronese marble. An absolute unmissable things to do in Verona.

Address: Piazza S.Anastasia, 37121 Verona VR, Italy

21 | Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore

This beautiful church is a little out of the centre of Verona, about 15-minutes walk. San Zeno Maggiore is worth visiting as it is one of the better preserved of Romanesque architecture in Northern Italy. The Basillica is certainly a must-visit destination for fans of the star-crossed lovers. The crypt here is said to be the setting where Romeo and Juliet were married according to the book.

Address: Piazza San Zeno, 2, 37123 Verona VR, Italy


Museums

As an ancient city, Verona’s long history lingers on its Roman ruins sitting next to medieval fortresses with Renaissance architectural delights in the foreground. The city’s rich history is everywhere, and most of them are found in the many museums that is dotted around Verona. If you love the opera, an art lover, or a history buff, head to one or more of these museums in Verona.

22 | Roman Theatre Archaeological Museum

The Roman Theatre (mentioned above #16) has an Archaeological Museum which opened in 1924. It is one of the best archaeological museums in Verona and worth exploring. The Museum showcases about 600 pieces of art.

Address: Rigaste Redentore, 2, 37129 Verona VR, Italy | Opens: 10:00 AM

23 | Juliet’s Tomb and the Museum of Frescoes

The Museum of Frescoes stands within the complex of a convent, San Francesco al Corso Monastery that dates back to the 13th century. In here, sits the mythological ‘Tomb of Juliet‘, which has become a major tourist attraction.

Besides the tomb, the museum is home to beautiful frescoes that decorated Veronese buildings in the 16th century. The frescoes are placed in their original arrangement. The Museum of Frescoes also showcases canvas works from 16th to 18th along with 19th century sculptures.

In the garden, there is a collection of Verona’s original sculptures, inscriptions and lapidary along with a collection of Roman amphorae from the first century BC.

Address: Via Luigi Da Porto, 5
37121 Verona | Opens: 10:00 AM

24 | Maffeiano Lapidary Museum

Established around 1738, by the long and passionate works of Scipione Maffei, the Maffeiano Lapidary Museum is in the heart of Verona and is one of the oldest public museum in Europe. The Museum has two floors and a courtyard.

There is a wide collection of carvings and inscriptions, with mostly of Greek, Etruscan and Roman. Tombstones with inscriptions from ancient civilisations are found here as well, some with original paints on them.

Address: P.za Bra, 28, 37121 Verona VR, Italy

25 | Palazzo Della Ragione

Located in the Lamberti Tower, the Palazzo della Ragione is a public gallery and houses a vast collection of paintings and sculptures representing modern art.

The entry ticket to the Lamberti Tower includes entry to the museum also.

Address: Cortile Del Mercato Vecchio, 10, 37121 Verona VR, Italy | Opens: 10:00 AM

Experience Verona’s Cuisine, and Culinary History

26 | Visit an Osteria

Verona’s cuisine and its culinary history is unique! From simple quick comfort dishes such as risotto, polenta, gnocchi and tortellini to horse and donkey meat cooked for hours if not days. Recipes are uniquely preserved by families, that has been handed down through centuries.

For an authentic experience, visit Osteria Sottocosta, in Piazza Erbe. We visitied on a not so busy rainy evening, had plenty of Bordolino and an easy serving of Bigoli bolognese.

Address: Piazza Erbe, 16, 37121 Verona VR, Italy

27 | Dine at Ristorante Maffei

Set at the top end of the historical Piazza Erbe is Ristorante Maffei. Set within a former palace and residential home of the famous and influential Maffei family in Verona. (#9 above).

The Maffei Restaurant serves typical Veronese cuisine, refined, to bring the best Italian tradition with elegance and brilliance. They even have a special ‘Romeo and Juliet’ room for romantic couples, for that timeless moments.

Maffei is renowned for its risotto dishes and it is said to have a vast collection of wines, one of the best stocked in Italy. To dine at this fine restaurant, ensure you book well ahead of time.

Address: Ristorante Maffei

Piazza Erbe, 38
37121 Verona (VR)
Tel. +39 045 8010015

28 | An all-round experience of Veronese Food and its Culture

things to do in Verona | timelesstravelsteps.com

If you want to know all there is about traditional Veronese food and its history, join a group food tour. I know there are quite a number of food tours available and it may be a little daunting to select the one that may give the best experience. You may wish to sign-up to either of the following two:

Recommended Read: 3 Flavoursome Food & Wine Tours in Verona


Wines of Verona

29 | Valpolicella Wines

things to do in Verona | timelesstravelsteps.com

Valpolicella is an area within the wider Veneto region in northern Italy. Its climate and geographical location has contributed to the production of quality wines in the world. The high-end Valpolicella Amarone, Reciotto and Soave DOC, amongst others, all comes from this Veneto region the hills of Garda. An area in Northern Italy where varieties of grapes have been matched to the soil and weather to produce some of the world’s best wines for centuries. Visiting Verona, the ‘wine city of Europe’ must surely call for an experience of the wine trail or a visit to a winery and vineyard.

Timeless Travel Steps Best Tips:

You may find the following three tips to be useful.

1 | Want an all-round experience of Verona — a touch of history, culture and all about Verona’s popular wines?

Be part of a Food & Wine Walking tour where you will learn about Verona’s local food, see the highlights of the city and sample some local wines.

2 | Visit a vineyard and a winery along with food tastings. Enjoy a serene stroll of the vineyards, learn about the wine-making process from grape to glass and visit a 17th century cellar >> Vineyard & Winery Tour

3 | Learn more about the Valpolicella wines — Join the Amarone Wine Trail

Day Trips from Verona

Verona’s ideal geographical location in northern Italy makes a great base for exploring other cities in the region. As well, with very good high-speed train links and road systems, these cities are easily reached within a couple of hours. Cities such as Milan, Venice, or Florence are highly doable destinations for a day-trip. However, if you are looking for something closer, Lake Garda, Sirmione and surrounds makes a perfect destination also.

30 | Lake Garda

Lake Garda is a picturesque area of the Veneto region and is one of Italy’s as well as Europe’s main tourist hub. With dramatic mountain backdrop, crystal clear waters and a collection of traditional villages, Lake Garda offers ample opportunities for a stroll, cruise, and to pick a spot on the lake front to sit and watch, over a gelato or spritz. While here, visit the nearby town of Sirmione also. Explore the medieval Scaligero Castle along with its narrow streets, and the serene Santa Maria Maggiore Church.

Don’t want to hire a car or take public transport to Lake Garda from Verona?

Timeless Travel Steps Best tips:

For a no-hassle, transport included trip, join a small group tour to Lake Garda and Sirmione. Tour includes a knowledgeable tour guide, plenty of time to explore, boat-trip and stops in nearby towns.

Book > Small group tour to Lake Garda and Sirmione from Verona.

*Georgina: We undertook this tour when we visited Verona and highly recommend it.

31 | Milan

Milan, the metropolis of fashion and design in the Lombardy region is easily reached by high-speed train from Verona Porta Nuova in a little over an hour. Make an early start and take the last train back. It is cheaper to prior purchase a point-to-point train ticket than on the day of travel.

Milan is a city that has so much to offer to its visitors and one day is by no means sufficient. If one day is all you have when visiting Verona, then visit the landmarks, such as the Milan Cathedral, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Piazza della Scala, Sforzesco Castle, Parco Sempione and dine at Biffi. No matter what you choose to do on one day in Milan, ensure that you visit the rooftop of Milan Cathedral at sunset (watch the video of the changing hues), enjoy a spritz at the Galleria and ride the historic wooden train.


… finally

These wonderful things to do in Verona are by no means exhaustive and we are sure to have missed some attractions. It only gives us an opportunity to return when possible. Verona is certainly a city that makes one yearn for more.

I hope that you found this article helpful and found answers to your questions/research on Verona. If so, use the links to book your activities and trips. We earn a commission from qualified purchases/bookings at no costs to you at all. As always, we, at Timeless Travel Steps appreciate your continued support. However, if you have more questions, please do ask and we will do our best to answer them.

Have a great time in Verona!

xoxo


What’s new


31 Best Things to do in Verona first published at timelesstravelsteps.com

things to do in Verona | pin 2things to do in Verona | pin 2

The Serene Patio de los Naranjos in Seville

Seville Cathedral, the fountain in Patio de los Naranjos

The Serene Patio de los Naranjos in Seville

In the midst of the sultry city of fun and historic Seville, there is an oasis of serenity, perfectly ideal for relaxation, prayer and to while away some time.

The quaint garden grounds of Patio de los Naranjos is one of the oldest spaces in Spain and is located within the distinguished grounds of Catedral de Santa María de la Sede. The rectangular space of tranquility was inherited from the Almohad mosque that once stood here in the 12th century.

patio de los naranjos seville

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a commission from qualified bookings and purchases at no cost to you at all. These links have no influence on the editorial content we produce.


An overview of Patio de los Naranjos in Seville

Seville Cathedral, the fountain in Patio de los Naranjos
the fountain in the centre of Patio de los Naranjos | Image:  © TTS photographer

The present Patio de los Naranjos has its origin in Muslim. It was an area that was built between 1172 and 1186 with seven arches in the centre which was the original entrance to the Almohad mosque. Many changes took place over the centuries, and the only remains of the Islamic era is the rectangular shape that measures 80 metres long by 43 metres wide.

arches patio de los naranjos seville
view of the arches at Patio de los Naranjos Seville

Although it is a small courtyard, there is a fountain in modern design, located in the centre, surrounded by orange trees. The fountain occupies the site of the old Sabil, (a public source where the Muslims would perform ritual ablutions before entering the mosque).

The “orange tree courtyard”

patio de los naranjos seville