The Bloody Tower at Tower of London

The Bloody Tower at Tower of London

Historical background to the Bloody Tower at Tower of London in a nutshell

The Bloody Tower, Tower of London
The Bloody Tower, Tower of London

Built in the 1220s under the reign of King Henry III, the Bloody Tower is located on the south side of the fortress, facing the Thames River, adjacent to the Wakefield Tower. which was formerly home to the royal apartments.

Spiked portcullis at the Bloody Tower, Tower of London |  © mytimelessfootsteps, georgina_daniel

When it was built, the tower was intended to control the main river entrance to the Tower of London. However, in 1280, under Edward I, the outer defensive wall was built which meant the entrance via the Bloody Tower was now land locked. Consequently, the tower’s entrance archway became the main access point between the inner and the outer ward with a narrow cobbled passage on the ground floor. The entrance archway is blocked by spiked portcullis, controlled with a lifting mechanism that still remains in operation today. The Bloody Tower, like many of the medieval era has both an upper and lower chamber.

The Tower underwent further expansions between 1360 – 1362 under the reign of Edward III but the most significant changes came in the 17th century when the prison Tower became home to Sir Walter Raleigh, his family and his servants.

Origin of the name ‘Bloody Tower’

The Bloody Tower was originally known as the Garden Tower, which was related to the Constable’s Garden. No one really knows how, why or what inspired the name ‘Bloody Tower’ but all research seems to suggest a strong association with the mysterious disappearance and supposed murder of two young princes in 1483. The Tower derived its name from the 1560s when it was believed that the princes were murdered. More on this below.

Prisoners of the Bloody Tower at Tower of London

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There were a number of prisoners at the Bloody Tower. Archbishop Tudor Cranmer, Bishops Ridley and Latimer, Protestant martyrs condemned to death in 1556 by Queen Mary I who was Catholic. Thomas Overbury, poet and courtier was poisoned in Bloody Tower in 1613. Judge Jeffreys died at the Tower in 1688. Amongst all of the prisoners, the most notable high status ones were Sir Walter Raleigh and the two young princes.

Sir Walter Raleigh

One of the most famous prisoner of the Bloody Tower was Sir Walter Raleigh. He was an Englishman, an officer, an explorer and a poet who fell from grace and was imprisoned by James I.

Raleigh had an inquisitive mind, a passion for poetry and science.

Raleigh was a prisoner of high status. He spent thirteen years here. The Tower was extensively renovated to accommodate his wife, his two sons and he was allowed three servants. He was given access to a courtyard outside the Bloody Tower. This was an opportunity for Raleigh to do his daily exercise and to cultivate a small garden in which he could grow some exotic plants that caught his interests while travelling in South America.

Raleigh's Garden at the Bloody Tower
Garden at the Bloody Tower, Tower of London | Photo credit: https:hrp.org.uk

In his garden, he grew plants to create medicinal potions. Today, a visit to the garden at the Bloody Tower and you shall see plants such as mint, bistort and rosemary which Raleigh had used in his remedies.

A visit to the Tower of London today and take a look inside the Bloody Tower, Sir Walter Raleigh’s Study | Photo credit hrp.org.uk

Now, after 400 years since his execution, a visit to the Bloody Tower reveals a complex and a brilliant man, who famously introduced “potato” to English tables, and less famously, tobacco. It all appears that he was just an adventurous man whose spirit was crushed by imprisonment.

Sir Walter Raleigh

Sir Walter Raleigh was denied his liberty but not his comfort. He was assigned two rooms on the second floor of the Bloody Tower. His family could visit and he could grow plants. He was in captivity for thirteen years. During his imprisonment he wrote a book, “History of the World” which was published in 1614. Sir Walter Raleigh was beheaded four years later in 1618 at the Old Palace Yard, Palace of Westminster.

Walter Raleigh, © akg-images / De Agostini Picture Library

hrp.org.uk

Read more on Sir Walter Raleigh

Sir Walter Raleigh’s book, History of the World is available for purchase on Amazon as reprint or as cloud versions. Options below.

An Abridgment Of Sir Walter Raleigh’s History Of The World: In Five Books (1698) Paperback. 470 pages. Published 2010

by Walter Raleigh (Author)

This scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment for protecting, preserving, and promoting the world’s literature in affordable, high quality, modern editions that are true to the original work.

Kessinger Publishing

The History of the World Kindle Edition

418 pages. March 29 2016

by Sir Walter Raleigh  (Author), C.A. Patrides (Editor) 

Download the Kindle version or buy it in Hardcover or Paperback.

This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923. This book may have occasional imperfections
such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact,
or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections,
have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works
worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book.

Palgrave MacMillan

Princes at the Tower | Edward V and Richard Duke of York | Murder and Mystery at the Bloody Tower

Despite the many prisoners who had seen their last days in the Bloody Tower, by far the saddest and most gruesome of events that made the Bloody Tower infamous was the mysterious disappearance of the two young princes.

The two Princes, Edward V and his younger brother, Richard Duke of York – sons to King Edward IV were under the guardianship of their uncle, Richard Duke of Gloucester who was their Lord Protector. They were brought to the Tower of London and was confined to the walls of the Bloody Tower. According to the Yeoman Warder tour I joined, the Princes may have watched from the top floor windows of the Bloody Tower the Coronation procession of their uncle, Richard Duke of Gloucester, proclaimed as King Richard III when it should have been Edward V, the older prince. The two Princes were last seen alive in June 1483. Mystery surrounds their disappearance.

The two Princes - Edward and Richard

The two Princes, Edward V and his younger brother, Richard Duke of York – sons to King Edward IV . The two Princes were last seen alive in June 1483. Mystery surrounds their disappearance.

Photo credit hrp.org.uk

It is said that their disappearance is so because they were murdered in the late summer of 1483. There are conflicting theories as to who ordered their murders.

According to the traditionalists theory, it is believed that the Princes were killed on their uncle Richard’s orders. On the other hand, the revisionists argue that his successor, Henry VII had equal cause to remove the two Princes, as they stood as much in his path to the throne as they did in Richard’s. (Richard III was defeated at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 by the Lancastrian Henry Tudor, who ascended to the throne as King Henry VII.

About two-hundred years or so later since the disappearance of the Princes from the Bloody Tower, skeletons were discovered behind the stairs leading to the White Tower in 1674. These were later removed to the Henry VII Chapel at Westminster Abbey at the command of Charles II.

Georgina says: There are inundated stories of the Tower being haunted by the many poor souls who lost their lives here. One such story/legend is that the Bloody Tower is haunted by the ghosts of the two princes. It was reported back in the 15th century where the Tower Guards spotted shadows of two small figures gliding down the stairs in white night shirts. The figures were said to stand silently, hand in hand, before fading back into the stones of the Bloody Tower.

The skeletons were re-examined in 1933. It proved to be those of two boys aged about 12 and 10, the same ages as the Princes when they disappeared. The disappearance of the Princes still remains a cold case as to who was responsible for their death.

If you wish to learn more and delve deeper into the mystery of the missing princes in sinister circumstances, the following books either in print or cloud is highly recommended.

The Princes In The Tower by Alison Weir (2008-06-05) Paperback – 1 Jan. 1823

Avaialble on Kindle, Hardback and Paperback

The stories of the Bloody Tower, as are all other stories of prisoners in other accommodations within the Tower of London grounds such as the Queen’s House and the Beauchamp Tower are spellbindingly intriguing. Even though there are so many books, articles, blogs dedicated to the iconic fortress, palace and prison, it still holds many secrets, unsolved mysteries and ghosts that linger the grounds of the Tower of London. It is hard to keep away from the Bloody Tower, and the wider Tower of London, especially if you are a history buff. For visitors generally, the Tower of London reflects the journey of 1000 years of British history and it is a destination not to be missed.


If you have enjoyed reading this article, you may also be interested in other London related articles:

Discover London | London MyCityMyTown | Christmas in London | All posts on the blog


I sincerely hope that this post is valuable to you in planning your visits to the Bloody Tower at Tower of London. If so please let me know in comments below or via Contact Form, I would love to hear from you. Subscribe to join us at My Timeless Footsteps to receive all the latest news and events. As always, I am contactable at ggdaniel166@gmail.com for any further info or to design your itinerary for you.

Have a splendid time exploring London

Georgina xx

Books on Prisoners of the Bloody Tower
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A beginner's guide to the secrets and unsolved mysteries at the Bloody Tower of Tower of London | Tower of London | Princes at the Tower | English History | British history | English monarchs | Sir Walter Raleigh | Walter Ralegh | Visit London | London | Landmarks in London | UNESCO listed in England via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/A beginner's guide to the secrets and unsolved mysteries at the Bloody Tower of Tower of London | Tower of London | Princes at the Tower | English History | British history | English monarchs | Sir Walter Raleigh | Walter Ralegh | Visit London | London | Landmarks in London | UNESCO listed in England via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/

Books on Prisoners of the Bloody Tower | Intriguing tales of Prisoners of the Bloody Tower

Books on Prisoners of the Bloody Tower | Intriguing tales of Prisoners of the Bloody Tower

Audible: audiobooks, podcasts & audio stories – Free Download Available Instantly


About the Bloody Tower at Tower of London

Built in the early 1220s as access gateway to the Thames, the Bloody Tower was originally known as the Garden Tower because it was next to the Constable’s garden. The Tower was not intended to be a prison but it became home to a number of prisoners, notably Sir Walter Raleigh and the two princes. The tower gained its reputation in the 16th century as the Bloody Tower when the notorious murders of the princes, Edward V and Richard Duke of York that supposedly took place within the walls of the tower were discovered. To learn more about the Bloody Tower, navigate to The Bloody Tower at the Tower of London, while on this page, there are carefully selected and recommended reading items – books on the prisoners of the Bloody Tower should you wish to delve deeper into learning more about the famous prisoners that resided here, Sir Walter Raleigh and the royal princes.

*Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page

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

Sir Walter Raleigh

Sir Walter Raleigh
Walter Raleigh, © akg-images / De Agostini Picture Library

Walter Raleigh (also spelled as Ralegh) was an English gentleman, writer, poet, adventurer, politician, courtier and a soldier who introduced ‘potato’ to the English dinner tables. A charming nobleman, he was one of the most famous explorers during the reign of Elizabeth I. He pioneered the colonisation of North America and helped defend England against the Spainish Armada. Raleigh was rewarded handsomely by the Queen and received his knighthood in 1585.

When Queen Elizabeth I died, James I succeeded to the throne in 1603 who imprisoned Raleigh at the Tower of London. While confined to the walls of the Tower, he wrote ‘History of the World‘. In 1616, Raleigh was released to head an expedition to South America, during which his men attacked a Spanish settlement. He was forced to abandon his mission. Upon his return, he was imprisoned at the Bloody Tower to appease the Spaniards until his beheading in 1618.

Suggested reading: Bloody Tower at the Tower of London

Below is a selection of books, some written by Walter Raleigh himself which are available as reprints and some books written about him. Enjoy perusing each of the carefully selected books to learn more of this infamous adventurer. You can purchase them as Paperback, Hardcover or instant download on Kindle.

Books on Sir Walter Raleigh

Sir Walter Raleigh: In Life and Legend Kindle Edition – by Mark Nicholls +  P. Williams  

The Poems of Sir Walter Raleigh: Now First Collected (Classic Reprint) Paperback – 27 Jun. 2012

The Roanake Voyages 1584-1590: Vol II: English Voyages to North America Paperback – 28 Mar. 2003

The Letters Of Sir Walter Ralegh Hardcover – Illustrated, 1 July 1999


Sir Walter Raleigh 174 Success Facts – Everything You Need to Know about Sir Walter Raleigh Paperback – 5 Jun. 2014

The Discoverie of the Large, Rich and Bewtiful Empyre of Guiana by Sir Walter Raleigh (Exploring Travel) Paperback – 4 Dec. 1997

An Abridgment Of Sir Walter Raleigh’s History Of The World: In Five Books (1698) Paperback – 10 Sept. 2010

Sir Walter Raleigh A Biography Kindle Edition. Also available in Paperback and Hardcover

Click on the images to view the synopsis and Buy on Amazon


The Princes – Edward V and Richard Duke of York

The two princes, Edward and his younger brother, Richard mysteriously disappeared in 1483 from the Bloody Tower. The princes, sons of Edward IV were brought to the Tower by their uncle and Lord Protector, Duke of Gloucester for their ‘own protection’. Duke of Gloucester later became King Richard III. The princes were never seen alive again.

Below is a list of books written on the mysterious disappearance and the sinister plot that may have transpired during this fifteen century era. There are various opinions as to who was responsible for their disappearance and/or murder. This mystery remains unsolved till today.

Books on the Missing Princes at the Tower

Richard III and the Princes in the Tower Paperback – 7 Aug. 2014 by Alison Weir

The Survival of the Princes in the Tower: Murder, Mystery and Myth Kindle Edition by Matthew Lewis (Also available in Paperback and Hardback)

The Mythology of the ‘Princes in the Tower‘ Kindle Edition by John Ashdown-Hill (Available in Paperback and Hardback as well)

The Princes in the Tower : Cold Case Re-opened Kindle Edition by Mark Garber (Available as Audiobook as well)

The Killer of the Princes in the Tower: A New Suspect Revealed Hardcover – 30 Jun. 2021

Pre order Price Guarantee

The Princes in the Tower: Did Richard III Murder His Nephews, Edward V & Richard of York? Kindle Edition by Josephine Wilkinson

Richard III and the Princes in the Tower: The Possible Fates of Edward V and Richard of York Paperback – Illustrated, 30 Oct. 2016 by Gerald Prenderghast

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Click on the images to view synopsis and Buy on Amazon


What do you think of the selection above? Have you read any of these books? I sincerely hope that the selection is valuable to you in knowing more about British History and in particular about the Tower of London. Do share your thoughts in comments below. The following related articles may also be of value to you in planning your visit to the Tower of London.

Tower of London-The Best Guide to What you need to know

Tower of London-The Best Guide to What you need to know

A fortress, royal palace and an infamous prison

View of Tower Bridge from the grounds of Tower of London © mytimelessfootsteps | georgina_daniel

The Tower of London

Tower of London is one of the most visited castles and tourist attraction in Britain with 2.86 million visitors in 2018. With such popularity and often referred as a “fortress, royal palace and an infamous prison”, I had wondered of its continued significance and how much of the past history or traditions the Tower continues to exhibit. My thoughts were spurred on as I retrace my footsteps on the royal palaces as part of my 3rd instalment in London Series, MyCityMyTown, retracing my footsteps – Royal Palaces and Royal Parks which this article represents.

What is known about the Tower of London

Entrance to the Tower of London | © mytimelessfootsteps | Image by Georgina_Daniel

I had always known that the Tower was historically important, built by the Normans after the 1066 invasion and it was once occupied by reigning monarchs. In 1988 it was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Given it’s historical importance and it’s popularity, the Tower offers various activities throughout the day to entertain visitors, both young and old. As a visitor on previous occasions, I had gone along with the flow, joining in the activities and observing without really giving it much thought. I don’t think I had even seen ALL of the towers and castle grounds! So, my re-visit on this occasion was an opportunity to see, explore, discover and learn more of this magnificent castle. I share my experiences in this article in the hope that you would find this to be the Best Guide to What You Need to Know about the Tower of London.

What I discovered about the Tower

In a nutshell, my visit was a whole new world of discovery! It was all too much to ignore and for me to try to condense it into one post will not do justice to English history and to this monument or to you, as reader of this article and/or as a visitor to the Tower of London. Therefore, I address the Tower’s historical significance in this article which is the Best Guide to What you need to know about the Tower of London together with links dotted throughout the article where you can navigate for a more informative post on that particular section.

This may seem like taking a step into history but I think it is a much needed one to help you fully immerse yourself in the context of the Tower’s 1,000 years of history.

I shall address “The traditions at the Tower of London” which will be published in a future article.

My visit to the Tower of London was yet another perfect opportunity for me to use the HRP annual membership and not pay an entry fee.

Best Guide to What you need to know about the Tower of London

The Tower of London has been many things during its life. Today, a visit to the Tower of London along River Thames allows a visitor to discover its many layers of history. I shall limit my contribution to the areas famously attributed to the castle as a “fortress, royal palace and an infamous prison”.

Tower of London as a “fortress, royal palace and an infamous prison”

My starting point was to look at the Tower’s significance today as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and trace it’s history to understand what factors contributed to its recognition as an iconic monument.

1 | The Tower of London is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Tower of London is of Outstanding Universal Value and gained its recognition as a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. Through my research, I discovered that this 11th century fortress is the most complete castle still remaining in Europe. The Tower reflects the last military conquest of England, thus symbolic of royal power since 1066. It’s imposing architecture, it’s strategic sitting on River Thames and it’s many layers of history stood for protection and control of the City of London as well as the gateway to the new Norman kingdom. The Tower resembles fostering of closer ties with Europe, language and culture.

As a symbol of royal power, the Tower of London has an interesting history that goes way back to medieval England.

2 | The Tower of London is a historical landmark

The primary significance of the Tower of London as a UNESCO Site is that it is a historical landmark with an interesting history that goes way back to the Norman conquest in 1066. 1066 is a popular date/year in Britain’s history and a date/year that is hard to forget. It marks the end of Anglo-Saxon rule and the last successful invasion by force of England, hence the “beginning” of England as we know today.

This historic castle was constructed in the wake of the Norman conquest by William the Conqueror. Since then, the Tower has dominated the pages of English history and London’s skyline. Let’s take a look at how it came about.

Timeless Travel Steps says: Join one of the Beefeater Tours which is FREE. They run for 45 minutes and is filled with facts, gory details and humour. More details in Useful information below.

2.1 The Norman Conquest and the Story of the Tower of London

According to history, castles were at the heart of William of Normandy’s strategy to conquer England. As he captured towns, villages and strategic points, he built castles to secure his acquisitions and as means to provide defensive structures to guard against the Saxons. His conquest can be traced by the castles he built in Pevensey (his first capture), then Dover and Hastings. William won the Battle of Hastings by defeating King Harold, which ended the Anglo Saxon rule of England.

As a victor of the Battle of Hastings meant that William had invaded a country with a population of 2 to 3 million people with only 10,000 men. William had to move very swiftly to take control of England. To gain full control of England, William realised that he first must have control of the City of London, which was a major power centre that held the purse strings of the country.

To learn more of its history while you walk, get an audio guide.

The “Negotiation”

To gain control of the City of London, William negotiated a deal with the leaders of the City – if he was accepted as King of England, he would give the City certain rights that would allow them to function independently as a state within a state. The City leaders accepted the deal. William of Normandy was crowned King William 1st of England in Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day 1066. Having been crowned the King, William wanted to make a statement to the people of England that he is here to stay.

3 | The Tower of London is a fortress

To make that statement, King William ordered the construction of a fortress on a huge mound at the eastern side of the City of London, both to protect London and to show Norman military strength. This fortress would become the Tower of London. William built three fortresses, Baynard’s Castle, Montfichet Castle and the White Tower. Baynard and Montfichet are long gone.

3.1 | The White Tower – The beginning of a fortress

The White Tower, Tower of London .
The White Tower | Tower of London | © mytimelessfootsteps | Image by Georgina_Daniel

The White Tower is the same White Tower that you see today in the centre of the Tower grounds, with grey turrets and flag pole. Construction of the White Tower began in 1078 and was completed in 1097, eight years after Williams death in Rouen. The White Tower is so named because in those Middle Ages days, it would have been whitewashed to give it a clean, shining and gleaming appearance.

White Tower, Tower of London
The White Tower-the first tower built by the Normans sits in the middle of the Tower of London grounds | © mytimelessfootsteps | Image by Georgina_Daniel

Visiting the White Tower is an opportunity to witness the sophisticated architecture of the 11th century. It represents the Normans cutting edge military building technology of its time. If you are into details, you will note the depth of the walls, giving this incredible monument the uniqueness as a secure fortress to protect the residents of the castle and deter any invasion.

Admission to the White Tower is included in your entry ticket to the Tower of London. Purchase your ticket here.

3.2 | The Story of the fortress – Tower of London as a fortress

Over the following centuries, a vast complex of twenty separate towers were added, primarily by Henry III in the 1200’s. This phase of extension to the Tower is said to be up to the middle wall, identified by the white drain pipes. The third and final phase of extension is said to be by King Edward in the 1300’s which is the outer wall. This extension can be identified by the black drain pipes. Edward added the moat which became heavily polluted and was drained in the 19th century. These additions included a perimeter wall connecting each tower encircling the castle.

About 20 towers were built over the centuries, to surround the White Tower.
About 21 towers were built over the centuries, to surround the White Tower | © mytimelessfootsteps | Image by Georgina_Daniel
The entrance to the Constable Tower at the Tower of London
The entrance to the Constable Tower at the Tower of London. Initially built in 1240, later rebuilt in the 19th century | © mytimelessfootsteps | Image by Georgina_Daniel

These later additions also displays an intricate architecture. You can notice these on areas surrounding the doorways and the narrow stairs. As you visit each tower, it does give you a feel of Tudor times.

The map below shows the layout of the Tower of London, 21 towers and main structures.

As a fortress, the Tower became the most secure castle of the land.

Tower of London as it stands today.
Tower of London as it stands today | Image: georgina_daniel

4 | The Tower of London as a Royal Palace

The next significance of the Tower of London is that it has always been and still is a Royal Palace. It was and still is the most secure castle in the land. It had protected the royal family in times of war and during rebellions. The White Tower was built not only as a symbol of Norman strength, a fortress but also as a grand palace and served as a royal residence in its early history.

4.1 | Norman Fireplaces

It had four fireplaces to provide sufficient warmth to the residents – like the one in the picture below.

One of the four Norman fireplaces which you can see today in the White Tower | © mytimelessfootsteps | Image by Georgina_Daniel

The White Tower has four floors – the ground, the first, the second and the third. The first, second and the third floors were designed the same with a large room to the west, and a smaller room in the northeast.

4.2 | A place of Christian worship

As a place of royal residence, King William wanted a place of a Christian worship to be built in the White Tower. Religion was an important part of his royal image, so, a private chapel, St John’s Chapel, was built on the second floor. The Chapel was used for private worship by the royal family for about 900 years and the tower community as well.

The Chapel of St John, White Tower, Tower of London
The Chapel of St John, White Tower, Tower of London | © mytimelessfootsteps | Image by Georgina_Daniel

The beautiful Romanesque Chapel of St John is the finest of Norman church architecture that exist today. The Chapel is vaulted with a plain arch, four massive columns on either side and four in the apse. Arches are supported by thick, round piers. Its decorations are simple carvings of scallop and leaf designs.

Although the Chapel was built for William the Conqueror, it was not completed before his death. His son, William II was the first royal to use it. In 1240, King Henry III added stained glass windows depicting the Virgin Mary and the Holy Trinity. The chapel was also provided with a gold-painted cross in Henry’s reign. The Chapels current unadorned appearance is reminiscent of how it may have looked in the Norman era.

4.3 | The Tower was the starting point of a Royal procession

The Tower of London was significant as a Royal Palace as early as the 14th century right through to King Charles II (1630-1685) where a royal procession on the coronation of the king was held from the Tower to Westminster Abbey. In addition to being a Royal Palace, it became a menagerie, a treasury, an armoury, and more famously, a prison.

4.4 | A menagerie

A menagerie at the Tower of London

The very first zoo is said to be housed at the Tower of London. For over 600 years, the Tower was home to wild and exotic animals given as royal gifts. The Tower menagerie included lions, polar bear, elephants and tigers.

Learn more about the menagerie here.

4.5 | Royal Mint

The Tower of London was both a treasury and home for the Royal Mint. The Mint made the coins of the realm for over 500 years. The coins were minted from the reign of Edward I (1272-1307) who installed it in a dedicated area within the Tower walls in c1279 until 1810.  The area became famously known as Mint Street.

As one can imagine, back in the day, working at the Mint was a deadly business. It involved using toxic chemicals and working with fiery furnaces to melt the metal. Coins were all made by hand. Health and safety of the workers was not a priority. Loss of fingers and eyes were common. The coins carried the face of the monarch and if anyone were to tamper, forge or shave off the silver from the edges of the coin were punished for treason.

Join one of the Beefeater Tours which is FREE. They run for 45 minutes and is filled with facts, gory details and humour. More details in Useful information below.

5 | The White Tower at the Tower of London is An Armoury

Over the years, the Royal Palace became to be used as a storage facility. The Royal Armoury began life occupying buildings within the Tower, storing arms and artillery even as early as the existence of the White Tower itself. However, the first recorded items to the Tower Armouries was in 1498. Today, you can visit, admire and explore the magnificent collection of royal arms and historical artefacts of armouries in the White Tower. A long flight of spiral staircase from the third floor to the basement takes you to the Storehouse.

The spiral staircase has a lot of steps and rather narrow at some curves. Not wheelchair accessible.

Below are just a few photos to give you an idea of what it looks like.

All images © mytimelessfootsteps | Image by Georgina_Daniel

Learn more on the history of the Royal Armouries here

Admission to the Royal Armouries in the White Tower is included in your entry ticket to the Tower of London. You can purchase your ticket here.

6 | The Tower of London is home to the Crown Jewels

As the most secure castle in the land, the fortress as well as a royal palace, The Tower of London was the one place best suited to protect the Crown Jewels. The Tower of London is home to The Jewel House which now guards the Crown Jewels.

St Edward’s Crown – the most important and sacred crown | Image: St Edward’s Crown, 1661.  The magnificent solid gold frame makes it a very heavy and tiring crown to wear, even briefly, as it weighs 2.23kg (nearly 5lbs). © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2001/Prudence Cuming Associates

To learn more about the Crown Jewels and the exhibition, navigate here to Jewel House at the Tower of London.


Timeless Travel Steps: The entry ticket to the Tower of London includes entry to the Jewel House. It is reasonably priced at £25.00 for Adults and £12.50 for Child, valid for one day. Alternatively, if you have an annual HRP membership, your entry is free.

Timeless Travel Steps suggests: Plan your visit to the Jewel House, either first thing in the morning, or towards the end of the day. Anything in between, you may encounter a queue. The Exhibition is on the ground level, no stairs whatsoever! Possibly wheelchair accessible. For accessibility information, navigate to Tower of London

Timeless Travel Steps says: Plan your visit and make the most of your day. Read more on 5 Reasons Why Travel Planning is Important and Pretravel Planning-25 Top Tips for a Stress-free Vacation


Visiting the Jewel House is definitely a highlight and I would highly recommend that you do too. There is more a reason to do so if you were visiting the Tower of London as once in a lifetime occasion/bucket list experience. You would not want to miss walking in the footsteps of history at the Jewel House. Do not let the queue put you off from visiting the Jewel House – just plan your visit and make the most of your day.

Timeless Travel Steps says: Skip the line and buy your entry tickets here for a day. If you want flexibility with time and attractions, over several days, then buy a great value package here.


So far, I have listed the significance of the Tower of London as a fortress and as a palace. Now, lets discover why it is more famously known for stories of those who have gone beyond the walls and never came out – a Prison and a place of torture.

7 | Tower of London as a Prison and a place of Torture – Discover the stories behind the walls of the Tower of London

Besides being a mighty fortress, and a palace, the Tower of London was an infamous prison, a place of torture and executions. The Tower of London was a symbol of fear. Many men and women, including royals and the famous, rich and poor who entered the walls were never returned to the outside world. Some stayed for only a few days, others for many years, uncertain of their faith. Ghosts of many are said to haunt the castle corridors.

Murder and mystery surrounds the Bloody Tower, one of the twenty-one towers that makes up the Tower of London Castle. The Queen’s House and the Beauchamp Tower were used for royals and high-ranking prisoners

The Bloody Tower, Tower of London
The Bloody Tower, Tower of London | Image: georgina_daniel
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 | Image: georgina_daniel
The Queen's House, Tower of London - Where Lady Jane Grey, Queen Anne Boleyn and Guy Fawkes were help captive.
The Queen’s House, Tower of London

With over 1000 years of history, there are many stories to be told. You will find some of them written in the following articles:

Read more about the Bloody Tower and its prisoners by navigating to Bloody Tower at the Tower of London. As well, learn more about the Forgotten storie royal prisoners at Queen’s House

Timeless Travel Steps says: The torture basement next to Wakefield Tower is signposted but can be easily missed. The entrance is narrow, dark and a few steps down, you will come to face the torture devices. For some it can give the chills. Stands displayed is the RACK torture device and information on SCAVENGER’S DAUGHTER which is another form of torture. Both are extreme. **Personally, I will not recommend for children to visit this basement.


Other points of Interest at the Tower of London which should not be missed

8 | Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula at Tower of London

The Parish church of St Peter ad Vincula in the Inner Ward of the Tower of London is a quaint and unique place of worship with an extraordinary history.

Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula, Tower of London
Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula, Tower of London | © mytimelessfootsteps | Image by Georgina_Daniel

This Tudor chapel dates from 1520 but it is said that there had been a place of worship at this spot for over a thousand years, predating the White Tower itself. During the Victorian renovations in the 18th century the resting places of Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard and Lady Jane Grey were discovered in the chancel, near the altar. This led to the chapel gaining its reputation as the “saddest spot on earth”. This discovery led to the permanent memorial for Anne Boleyn and others to be dedicated at Tower Green. The Chapel you see today is the result of extensive renovations carried out in 1970-71 and in 2014.

Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula, Tower of London
Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula, Tower of London

Georgina: There is a certain warmth here despite its sad history. It is airy and seems to have the right amount of light coming through. I noticed not many visitors to the Tower came here possibly because it is tucked away from the other main/touristy parts of the grounds. I would highly recommend that you don’t miss it when you visit.


Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula is open to the public for worships and visits. You can book it for private functions such as baptisms and weddings. Sunday Services at the Chapel: 09:15 a.m. – Holy Communion | 11:00 a.m. – Mattins & Sermon.


9 | The Fusilier Museum at the Tower of London

The building that is the Fusilier Museum at the Tower of London is also home to the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers’ Regimental Headquarters and the Officer’s Mess, where formal dinners take place.

The Fusilier Museum, Tower of London
The Fusilier Museum, Tower of London | © mytimelessfootsteps | Image by Georgina_Daniel
The Fusilier Museum, Tower of London
The Fusilier Museum, Tower of London | © mytimelessfootsteps | Image by Georgina_Daniel

The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers was formed on 20th June 1685, when King James II issued a Royal Warrant to raise an infantry force from the existing Tower of London Garrison. The first Commanding Officer was the Constable of the Tower. The Fusiliers’ intended role was to guard the guns at the Tower of London. The force later fought in Belgium and Spain, and in the American War of Independence.

Notable exhibits here are the:

  • 12 Victoria Cross Medals won by the Regiment;
  • The uniform and bearskin of King George V (a former Colonel-in-Chief of the Regiment);
  • An Eagle Standard of the 82nd Regiment of the French Line captured by the Royal Fusiliers during the Napoleonic Wars.

Today, garrison duties are undertaken by the Yeoman Warders and a rota made of three London District regiments.


Entry to the Fusilier Museum 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. However, you may wish to purchase combined tickets that allows a visit to several attractions over a few days. Personally, I find these combined tickets to be extremely good value for money and offers flexibility that I need over several days. Take a look at one such example for London, here.


10 | St Thomas’ Tower

St Thomas' Tower, Tower of London
St Thomas’ Tower | Tower of London | Image: georgina_daniel

St Thomas’ Tower is one of the three towers that forms the Medieval Palace. The other two are Wakefield Tower and the Lanthorn Tower.  Built by Edward I between 1275-1279, it was formerly a royal residence. Richly decorated, comfortable and grand.

11 | Traitor’s Gate

The Traitor's Gate, Tower of London
Traitors’ Gate | Tower of London | Image: georgina_daniel

Traitors’ Gate was originally called Water Gate. It was built in the late 1270s and was used by Edward I and other royals to get into St. Thomas’s Tower by water. The Tower began to be used as a prison, more so for prisoners accused of treason, who were brought to the Tower by water. The name “Traitor’s Gate” was first used in 1544.

12 | Fun for Family and kids

Explore and discover the 1,000 year old history of the Tower of London on a family fun day out together with your kids – There are activity trails and digital mission which you can complete with your kids. Activity Trails are filled with fun quizzes, activities, facts and illustrations – available throughout the year.

Digital missions are interactive adventures played on a mobile device. Kids can meet characters from history, solve problems by tackling a series of challenges which helps with exploring the Tower.

Find out more about the digital mission here.


13 | Walk along the perimeter of the Tower of London for views of London’s Skyline

Finally, don’t forget to walk along the perimeter of the Tower for some amazing views of London’s skyline, even if the sign says, “No Entry”.

No Entry sign to the perimeter of the Tower of London
“No Entry” | © mytimelessfootsteps | Image by Georgina_Daniel
London's skyline
London’s skyline | © mytimelessfootsteps | Image by Georgina_Daniel
London's skyline and the Walkie Talkie in the distance
London’s skyline – the Walkie-talkie in the distance | © mytimelessfootsteps | Image by Georgina_Daniel
View of Tower Bridge from Tower of London
A walk along the perimeter of the Tower of London gives some breathtaking views not seen elsewhere. Try and make time for it. | © mytimelessfootsteps | Image by Georgina_Daniel

Thoughts so far…

The Tower of London has attracted much attention due to a mixture of its legends/myths of ghosts and the fearsome reputation it holds for inflicting torture on its prisoners. The prisoners who enter the walls of the Tower never really return to the outside world. However, according to history, torture was used only for relatively a short period of time during the Tudor era in the midst of political turmoil.

Although the Tower of London is no longer used as a prison, it is still a place that attracts much attention from tourists or local visitors because of its dark history and legends. It is now a secure “storage” unit for documents, armaments and jewels. However, this is only part of the story that makes Tower of London a #1 destination to visit. The more entertaining part lies in the 700 year old traditions of the castle itself which are fascinating and incredible. As mentioned earlier in the article, I will share these traditions in a future article.

As a tourist/visitor to the Tower of London, you simply have to witness it at least once.


There is so much more to see and experience at the Tower of London where you would want to feel the money’s worth. For many visitors, the Tower of London is a must see attraction and you may not wish to spend a lot of time waiting in line to purchase tickets. To maximise your time as a visitor to the Tower of London, you could purchase your ticket/s online and avoid this wait. Prior to my Annual Membership with the Historic Royal Palaces, I often purchased these day tickets or combined tickets that allows a visit to several attractions over a few days. I do still look for combined tickets to attractions not covered by the membership. I find these combined tickets to be extremely good value for money and offers flexibility that I need over several days. Take a look at one such example for London, here.


The queue at the ticket office to the Tower of London.
The queue at the ticket office to the Tower of London. You don’t have to do this! Get your tickets online | © mytimelessfootsteps | Image by Georgina_Daniel

My final say…

No journey to England is ever complete, in my opinion, without a visit to at least one ancient castle. I highly recommend the Tower of London. As you can see, the Tower of London has been many things in its life – a rich, complex and diverse institution popularly known as a “fortress, a palace and a prison.” It’s role as a prison, the centre for torture and execution as do the ghost stories had and continues to intrigue and attract visitors from all over the globe. Some of the Tower’s traditions such as the Ceremony of the Keys, the need to maintain six ravens and the Yeoman Warders are still very much present today – more on this in Part 2.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post on the historical significance of the Tower of London and agree that it is The Best Guide to What you Need to Know on this ancient castle. If you do, please leave a comment below, I would love to know what your views are. If it was not helpful, you can say that, too. Either way, I would love to hear from you.

Useful information for when you visit the Tower of London

Getting here:

Tower of London, London, EC3N 4AB

Nearest Station:

Tower Hill Underground Station

Opening hours:

Tuesday-Saturday: 09:00-17:30
Sunday-Monday: 10:00-17:30

Yeoman Warders Tours: FREE | 45 Minutes

Tickets & Prices:

Buying online is cheaper and convenient. Entry to Tower of London includes entry to the Crown Jewels Exhibition, the White Tower and the Beauchamp Tower.

£25.00


Due to lockdown measures in the City of London as a result of Covid-19, some attractions may be closed or operate on restricted hours. In most situations you may need to pre-book a time slot for your visit. Check the following website for visits to the Tower of London: https://hrp.org.uk/tower-of-london/

Updated February 2021

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If you have enjoyed reading this, you may also be interested in reading further articles on the Tower of London:

Bloody Tower at the Tower of London | Books on the famous prisoners of Bloody Tower

Have a splendid time discovering London 🙂

Georgina xx


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The Bloody Tower at Tower of London

The Bloody Tower at Tower of London

Historical background to the Bloody Tower at Tower of London in a nutshell

The Bloody Tower, Tower of London
The Bloody Tower, Tower of London

Built in the 1220s under the reign of King Henry III, the Bloody Tower is located on the south side of the fortress, facing the Thames River, adjacent to the Wakefield Tower. which was formerly home to the royal apartments.

Spiked portcullis at the Bloody Tower, Tower of London |  © mytimelessfootsteps, georgina_daniel

When it was built, the tower was intended to control the main river entrance to the Tower of London. However, in 1280, under Edward I, the outer defensive wall was built which meant the entrance via the Bloody Tower was now land locked. Consequently, the tower’s entrance archway became the main access point between the inner and the outer ward with a narrow cobbled passage on the ground floor. The entrance archway is blocked by spiked portcullis, controlled with a lifting mechanism that still remains in operation today. The Bloody Tower, like many of the medieval era has both an upper and lower chamber.

The Tower underwent further expansions between 1360 – 1362 under the reign of Edward III but the most significant changes came in the 17th century when the prison Tower became home to Sir Walter Raleigh, his family and his servants.

Origin of the name ‘Bloody Tower’

The Bloody Tower was originally known as the Garden Tower, which was related to the Constable’s Garden. No one really knows how, why or what inspired the name ‘Bloody Tower’ but all research seems to suggest a strong association with the mysterious disappearance and supposed murder of two young princes in 1483. The Tower derived its name from the 1560s when it was believed that the princes were murdered. More on this below.

Prisoners of the Bloody Tower at Tower of London

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There were a number of prisoners at the Bloody Tower. Archbishop Tudor Cranmer, Bishops Ridley and Latimer, Protestant martyrs condemned to death in 1556 by Queen Mary I who was Catholic. Thomas Overbury, poet and courtier was poisoned in Bloody Tower in 1613. Judge Jeffreys died at the Tower in 1688. Amongst all of the prisoners, the most notable high status ones were Sir Walter Raleigh and the two young princes.

Sir Walter Raleigh

One of the most famous prisoner of the Bloody Tower was Sir Walter Raleigh. He was an Englishman, an officer, an explorer and a poet who fell from grace and was imprisoned by James I.

Raleigh had an inquisitive mind, a passion for poetry and science.

Raleigh was a prisoner of high status. He spent thirteen years here. The Tower was extensively renovated to accommodate his wife, his two sons and he was allowed three servants. He was given access to a courtyard outside the Bloody Tower. This was an opportunity for Raleigh to do his daily exercise and to cultivate a small garden in which he could grow some exotic plants that caught his interests while travelling in South America.

Raleigh's Garden at the Bloody Tower
Garden at the Bloody Tower, Tower of London | Photo credit: https:hrp.org.uk

In his garden, he grew plants to create medicinal potions. Today, a visit to the garden at the Bloody Tower and you shall see plants such as mint, bistort and rosemary which Raleigh had used in his remedies.

A visit to the Tower of London today and take a look inside the Bloody Tower, Sir Walter Raleigh’s Study | Photo credit hrp.org.uk

Now, after 400 years since his execution, a visit to the Bloody Tower reveals a complex and a brilliant man, who famously introduced “potato” to English tables, and less famously, tobacco. It all appears that he was just an adventurous man whose spirit was crushed by imprisonment.

Sir Walter Raleigh

Sir Walter Raleigh was denied his liberty but not his comfort. He was assigned two rooms on the second floor of the Bloody Tower. His family could visit and he could grow plants. He was in captivity for thirteen years. During his imprisonment he wrote a book, “History of the World” which was published in 1614. Sir Walter Raleigh was beheaded four years later in 1618 at the Old Palace Yard, Palace of Westminster.

Walter Raleigh, © akg-images / De Agostini Picture Library

hrp.org.uk

Read more on Sir Walter Raleigh

Sir Walter Raleigh’s book, History of the World is available for purchase on Amazon as reprint or as cloud versions. Options below.

An Abridgment Of Sir Walter Raleigh’s History Of The World: In Five Books (1698) Paperback. 470 pages. Published 2010

by Walter Raleigh (Author)

This scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment for protecting, preserving, and promoting the world’s literature in affordable, high quality, modern editions that are true to the original work.

Kessinger Publishing

The History of the World Kindle Edition

418 pages. March 29 2016

by Sir Walter Raleigh  (Author), C.A. Patrides (Editor) 

Download the Kindle version or buy it in Hardcover or Paperback.

This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923. This book may have occasional imperfections
such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact,
or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections,
have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works
worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book.

Palgrave MacMillan

Princes at the Tower | Edward V and Richard Duke of York | Murder and Mystery at the Bloody Tower

Despite the many prisoners who had seen their last days in the Bloody Tower, by far the saddest and most gruesome of events that made the Bloody Tower infamous was the mysterious disappearance of the two young princes.

The two Princes, Edward V and his younger brother, Richard Duke of York – sons to King Edward IV were under the guardianship of their uncle, Richard Duke of Gloucester who was their Lord Protector. They were brought to the Tower of London and was confined to the walls of the Bloody Tower. According to the Yeoman Warder tour I joined, the Princes may have watched from the top floor windows of the Bloody Tower the Coronation procession of their uncle, Richard Duke of Gloucester, proclaimed as King Richard III when it should have been Edward V, the older prince. The two Princes were last seen alive in June 1483. Mystery surrounds their disappearance.

The two Princes - Edward and Richard

The two Princes, Edward V and his younger brother, Richard Duke of York – sons to King Edward IV . The two Princes were last seen alive in June 1483. Mystery surrounds their disappearance.

Photo credit hrp.org.uk

It is said that their disappearance is so because they were murdered in the late summer of 1483. There are conflicting theories as to who ordered their murders.

According to the traditionalists theory, it is believed that the Princes were killed on their uncle Richard’s orders. On the other hand, the revisionists argue that his successor, Henry VII had equal cause to remove the two Princes, as they stood as much in his path to the throne as they did in Richard’s. (Richard III was defeated at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 by the Lancastrian Henry Tudor, who ascended to the throne as King Henry VII.

About two-hundred years or so later since the disappearance of the Princes from the Bloody Tower, skeletons were discovered behind the stairs leading to the White Tower in 1674. These were later removed to the Henry VII Chapel at Westminster Abbey at the command of Charles II.

Georgina says: There are inundated stories of the Tower being haunted by the many poor souls who lost their lives here. One such story/legend is that the Bloody Tower is haunted by the ghosts of the two princes. It was reported back in the 15th century where the Tower Guards spotted shadows of two small figures gliding down the stairs in white night shirts. The figures were said to stand silently, hand in hand, before fading back into the stones of the Bloody Tower.

The skeletons were re-examined in 1933. It proved to be those of two boys aged about 12 and 10, the same ages as the Princes when they disappeared. The disappearance of the Princes still remains a cold case as to who was responsible for their death.

If you wish to learn more and delve deeper into the mystery of the missing princes in sinister circumstances, the following books either in print or cloud is highly recommended.

The Princes In The Tower by Alison Weir (2008-06-05) Paperback – 1 Jan. 1823

Avaialble on Kindle, Hardback and Paperback

The stories of the Bloody Tower, as are all other stories of prisoners in other accommodations within the Tower of London grounds such as the Queen’s House and the Beauchamp Tower are spellbindingly intriguing. Even though there are so many books, articles, blogs dedicated to the iconic fortress, palace and prison, it still holds many secrets, unsolved mysteries and ghosts that linger the grounds of the Tower of London. It is hard to keep away from the Bloody Tower, and the wider Tower of London, especially if you are a history buff. For visitors generally, the Tower of London reflects the journey of 1000 years of British history and it is a destination not to be missed.


If you have enjoyed reading this article, you may also be interested in other London related articles:

Discover London | London MyCityMyTown | Christmas in London | All posts on the blog


I sincerely hope that this post is valuable to you in planning your visits to the Bloody Tower at Tower of London. If so please let me know in comments below or via Contact Form, I would love to hear from you. Subscribe to join us at My Timeless Footsteps to receive all the latest news and events. As always, I am contactable at ggdaniel166@gmail.com for any further info or to design your itinerary for you.

Have a splendid time exploring London

Georgina xx

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A beginner's guide to the secrets and unsolved mysteries at the Bloody Tower of Tower of London | Tower of London | Princes at the Tower | English History | British history | English monarchs | Sir Walter Raleigh | Walter Ralegh | Visit London | London | Landmarks in London | UNESCO listed in England via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/A beginner's guide to the secrets and unsolved mysteries at the Bloody Tower of Tower of London | Tower of London | Princes at the Tower | English History | British history | English monarchs | Sir Walter Raleigh | Walter Ralegh | Visit London | London | Landmarks in London | UNESCO listed in England via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/

Anne Boleyn The Most Magnetic and Enduring of Tudor Queens

Anne Boleyn The Most Magnetic and Enduring of Tudor Queens

Some say she was a predator, a sinner while others that she was so sadly wronged and the most courageous queen ever lived. She was the first English monarch to be executed publicly. After five hundred years, the name ‘Anne Boleyn’ and her tragic death still commands attention and further research. She haunts us and we don’t seem to have enough of her! We just do not know what to think of a girl who stole her King’s heart, did not sleep with him for almost seven years and was sent to the block, with no traces of her ever existing. However one thinks of her, I sum her up as Anne Boleyn The Most Magnetic and Enduring of Tudor Queens.

An intriguing figure in British history, and also known as Queen for Thousand Days, Anne Boleyn’s personality and her story draws you in. She did so back then, had done so for five hundred years and continues to do so now. She continues to inspire historians, writers, filmmakers and ordinary citizens. This, by far, makes Anne Boleyn the most magnetic and enduring of Tudor queens.

This is her story.

Anne Boleyn: Biography

Born: c1501 | Blickling Castle, Norfolk

Died: May 19 1536, Tower Green, Tower of London | Executed

Reigned: June 1533 – May 1536

Coronation: June 1 1533

Parents: Sir Thomas Boleyn and his wife, Elizabeth Howard, daughter of Duke of Norfolk

Spouse: Henry VIII

Children: Elizabeth I

Succeeded by: Jane Seymour, Henry VIII’s third wife

Anne Boleyn | The most magnetic and enduring of Tudor Queens

Anne Boleyn | The most fascinating of Tudor Queens
Portrait of Anne Boleyn (1507-1536), 2nd wife of King Henry VIII/Unknown Artist, England, 16th century/NGI.549

Anne Boleyn’s Early Days

Blickling Hall, Norfolk as it stands today, built on the ruins of the old Blickling Manor, home of the Boleyns | wikimedia.

Anne Boleyn, the most magnetic and enduring of Tudor queens was born at Blickling Manor, Norfolk, c1501 to Sir Thomas Boleyn (later Earl of Wiltshire) and his wife, Lady Elizabeth Howard, daughter of Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk. Anne also had a royal connection. Her aunt was the youngest daughter of King Edward IV of England.

Anne’s exact date of birth is unknown because records are lacking in this respect.

Hever Castle, Kent

Anne spent her childhood in her family home, Hever Castle in Kent. She was educated in Netherlands and at the age of twelve, she went to France. She learnt to speak French fluently, acquired a taste for French fashion, poetry and music. Anne returned to England in 1522. Soon afterwards, she established herself as a maid of honour to Catherine of Aragon, King Henry VIII queen consort.

About Anne Boleyn and her courtship with King Henry VIII

Anne Boleyn | r. 1533-1536 | Hever Castle

Anne Boleyn was dark-haired, slim, sophisticated and well educated. She captivated those around her and became one of the most admired ladies of the court. Women at court copied her sartorial style. She attracted much attention from men as well, including Henry VIII and Henry Percy, 6th Earl of Northumberland. She dazzled the court with her wit and her French flair. When the King heard of Henry Percy’s desire to marry Anne, he ordered against it. At some point Henry himself fell in love with Anne, who was introduced to him by Anne’s sister, Mary, one of Henry’s mistresses.

Around 1525, Henry VIII wrote love letters to Anne. In one of them, he wrote:

If you…give yourself up, heart, body and soul to me…I will take you for my only mistress, rejecting from thought and affection all others save yourself, to serve only you

King Henry VIII, 1525

Anne, did not want to become a pawn in a game of thrones, and she rejected King Henry’s proposition. However, she carefully explained her rejection, saying that she intends to be married and not be a mistress. She replied:

Your wife I cannot be, both in respect of mine own unworthiness, and also because you have a queen already. Your mistress I will not be.

Anne Boleyn

Henry VIII desperately wanted to be with Anne and he found a way to annul his marriage with Catherine of Aragon.

Catherine of Aragon

Catherine of Aragon | biography

Catherine was a Spanish princess whom Henry married in June 1509 when he was eighteen years old. Catherine had married his older brother, Arthur in 1501 but he had died the following year. Henry and Catherine were happy in the early years of their marriage. The queen had six children but only one survived infancy, a girl, Mary. Mary was born in February 1516.

Henry blamed Catherine for not having a healthy male heir to the throne. Catherine was also six years older than Henry and the age difference began to show by the mid 1520s. The King wanted to be with a younger person who could bear him a son, heir to the throne.

King Henry VIII set about annulling his marriage with Catherine of Aragon, which he called “a grave matter” one that proved to be difficult and had far reaching consequences.

In his petition for an annulment, Henry relied on an excerpt from the Book of Leviticus:

“If a man shall take his brother’s wife, it is an unclean thing…they shall be childless.”

Leviticus 20:21

After many years of debate, the Pope Clement VII refused to annul the marriage. Finally, the marriage was decreed as invalid on May 23 1534 by Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury. Thereafter, King Henry VIII broke away from Catholicism and Rome to set up Church of England.

While the debate on annulment was going on, Henry and Anne continued to meet discreetly. In early 1533, Anne discovered that she was pregnant. In January 25 1533, they were married in a secret ceremony, without the blessings of the Pope, by Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury.

In June 1533, a lavish coronation ceremony was held for Queen Anne. She stayed at her Queen’s lodgings during the days before her coronation. She rode in a golden carriage, and wore a scarlet robe heavy in jewels.

Queen Elizabeth I | Three portrait slant | Royal Museum Greenwich

Anne Boleyn | The most magnetic and enduring of Tudor Queens as Queen of England

Anne Boleyn | Hever Castle
Anne Boleyn | Hever Castle

In short, the public did not take to Anne due to their allegiance to Catherine of Aragon. The public saw Anne as a status seeker and sexually promiscuous. For her own part, Anne was not a passive element of the royal court. She was well-educated and supported church reform. She helped with the distribution of Bibles, translated to English. She played the traditional role of Queen and was sincere in her efforts to help the poor and social reforms. She was renowned for her stylish wardrobe which followed the French fashion trends of that time. Even so, England never warmed up to their queen and Anne remained disliked until her death. Her strong mindedness did not help her either, as she alienated a lot of powerful men, one being Thomas Cromwell.

As wife to Henry VIII, their marriage was a happy one for the first year or so. Henry pursued other women and was sexually involved with two of her maids-of-honour, Madge Shelton and Jane Seymour. Anne was enraged by her husband’s behaviour and promiscuity. In return, Henry blamed Anne for his adulterous behaviour in not bearing a son as heir to the throne. He did not like to be questioned of his whereabouts which resulted in resentment, eventually leading to the marriage falling apart.

Anne gave birth to a stillborn, a boy in January 1536 which finally led Henry to decide it was time for wife number three! He quickly set about to annulling his marriage with Anne and settled to taking Jane Seymour as his third wife.

Charges, Trial and Execution of Anne Boleyn | The most magnetic and enduring of Tudor Queens

Charges

The case against the Queen was trumped up by Thomas Cromwell, Chief Minister to the King and who was also one of Anne’s former friend.

Anne was accused of incest with her own brother, George also known as Lord Rochford, four adulterous liaisons, conspiracy to poison her husband and witchcraft. Confessions and implications were extracted under torture from all those named in the tale. All maintained their innocence and denied the charges brought against them except for Mark Smeaton, who confessed under torture.

Despite her innocence, Henry ordered Anne to be confined in her lodgings at the Tower of London on May 2 1536. Ironically, these were the same lodgings Anne stayed in before her coronation ceremony three years earlier.

While in prison, the saddened Queen wrote an impassioned letter to the King, pleading not to allow:

“that unworthy stain of a disloyal heart towards your good Grace ever cast so foul a blot on me, or on the infant Princess, your daughter” 

Jones, 178

Trial

Events moved very quickly and Anne hardly had time to protest. She was tried on May 15 1536. All charges were denied by Anne, as did all her ‘lovers’. Despite her plea and all the unsubstantiated evidence against her, she was found guilty by a court of noblemen and peers, headed by her uncle, Duke of Norfolk. It has been said that her father, Thomas Boleyn watched Anne being sentenced and did nothing to stop it. The Queen was sentenced to execution.

Anne was allowed to respond and voice her thoughts on her sentence and she responded with the following:

I think you know well the reason why you have condemned me to be other than that which led you to this judgement. My only sin against the King has been my jealousy and lack of humility. But I am prepared to die. What I regret most deeply is that men who were innocent and loyal to the king must lose their lives because of me.

Jones, 180

Anne offered to retire to the nunnery if the King would show mercy, but he did not. The only ‘mercy’ Henry showed was for the queen to be beheaded by a sword instead of being burnt on a stake like witches were at that time. Anne was to have a skilled executioner from France who would behead her with a sword instead of an axe.

Her marriage to King Henry VIII was annulled on May 17 1536. Henry declared his daughter, Elizabeth as illegitimate.

Execution

Execution of Anne Boleyn | An artist impression | History

Henry wanted a new scaffold built specifically for Anne’s execution. On May 18 1536, work began on the building of a new scaffold “before the House of Ordnance” which is believed to be between the White Tower and what is now the Waterloo Block, home to the Jewel House.

Anne’s execution was initially scheduled for May 18 but was postponed to the next day, awaiting for the skilled swordsman to arrive.

At 8 o’clock in the morning of May 19 1536, Anne Boleyn, was taken to Tower Green scaffold to be executed by a skilled French swordsman. Anne took care of her appearance. She dressed in a robe of black damask, an ermine trim on her robe to confirm her status, and wore a traditional English gable hood.

When on the scaffold, Anne made a simple speech:

Good Christian people, I have not come here to preach a sermon; I have come here to die. For according to the law and by the law I am judged to die, and therefore I will speak nothing against it. I am come hither to accuse no man, nor to speak of that whereof I am accused and condemned to die, but I pray God save the King and send him long to reign over you, for a gentler nor a more merciful prince was there never, and to me he was ever a good, a gentle, and sovereign lord. And if any person will meddle of my cause, I require them to judge the best. And thus I take my leave of the world and of you all, and I heartily desire you all to pray for me.

Before the blade fell, Anne said the following:

The king has been good to me. He promoted me from a simple maid to a marchioness. Then he raised me to be a queen. Now he will raise me to be a martyr

With a single stroke, the executioner beheaded the queen.

Anne Boleyn | Burial

Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula, Tower of London
Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula, Tower of London | Georgina_Daniel

Anne was not provided a coffin. Her body was wrapped up in white cloth, and placed in an old elm chest fetched by a Yeoman warder from the Tower armoury.

Queen Anne Boleyn was queen for three years and thirty seven days since her coronation and was buried in the chancel, near to her brother, Lord Rochford at the Tower Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula,

All involved in the tale were tortured, tried and found guilty. Anne Boleyn’s brother and her four ‘lovers’, musician Mark Smeaton, Francis Weston, William Brereton, and Henry Norris were all executed for committing adultery with the queen, two days prior to her own.

Henry VIII married Jane Seymour just eleven days after Anne’s execution.

No trace of Anne Boleyn | The most magnetic and enduring of Tudor Queens

Much has been written about Anne Boleyn, the most magnetic and enduring of Tudor Queens since her execution but very few indisputable facts remain. Her date of birth and her appearance remains a fascinating subject. Though there are portraits of Anne that exists today, these were commissioned during the reign of Elizabeth I of her mother. These cannot be relied upon as her true image. No one really knows what and how she looked like.

After Anne’s execution, Henry VIII ordered everything that reminded him and the people of England of Anne to be destroyed. They are no mementos or contemporary portraits of Anne when she was alive that exist today. Henry made it illegal for anyone to be in possession of anything ‘Anne’.

A few may have missed the path of destruction and exist here and there.

One such example and the only undisputed image of Anne Boleyn is on a 38mm lead disc in storage at the British Museum. The disc is known as “The Moost Happi Medal” which was created in 1534 as a prototype when Anne was pregnant, in anticipation of a male heir to the throne. However, the commission was abandoned when her pregnancy was unsuccessful.

Anne Boleyn | The most fascinating of Tudor Queens
“The Moost Happi Medal” of Anne Boleyn at the British Museum

As well, there are very little documentary traces of Anne Boleyn existing. What is known of her is mainly accounts of others which are mostly marred by prejudices.

Only a few letters written in her own handwriting were found. A letter written to her father in 1514 and one written to Wolsey, along with letters written to her husband, King Henry VIII while she was in prison.

In her day, Anne Boleyn was known as a ‘witch’, an evil scheming woman, a woman, whose name not to be spoken of.

Anne Boleyn – The Forgotten Queen Resurfaced | The most magnetic and enduring of Tudor Queens

Queen Elizabeth I | r. 1558-1603 | royal.uk

This forgotten queen resurfaced when her daughter, Elizabeth, inherited the throne from Mary I in November 1558, to become Elizabeth I, Queen of England and Ireland. Questions were asked then, about the validity of the lurid charges of adultery, and about Anne’s support for Protestantism which has become the State’s religion.

The twentieth and twenty-first century saw historians giving voice to Anne’s independence of mind, her interest in sex and a young woman whose desire was to do as well as she could. Her assertiveness was admirable, seen as modern and non threatening. Described as “brutal and effective politician” by historian, David Starkey, “intelligent” by Alison Weir and “clever, articulate, principled and highly educated” by Hilary Mantel, Anne certainly had numerous qualities admired today. She keeps us drawn to her fascinating story.

There has been so much written about Anne Boleyn and her relatively short life as Queen of England but it is hard to know exactly what she was like.

The other side to Anne Boleyn | The most fascinating of Tudor Queens

Apparently, there is a ‘other side’ to Anne Boleyn. She is said to be vindictive, bad tempered, and failed to conform to the expectations that of a Queen.

Anne persuaded Henry to summon the arrest of Cardinal Wolsey, her nemesis. As well, not only did she manage to unseat Catherine, Queen of Aragon but she bullied Mary, Catherine’s daughter mercilessly, to the extent that Lady Mary became convinced that Anne was trying to poison her. Lady Mary never saw her mother again.

Anne’s headstrong personality and quick temper won her few friends. She did not make alliances to encircle her, instead she quarrelled and distanced herself from almost every important person at court. Anne alienated her uncle, the powerful Duke of Norfolk. She also threatened the Chancellor, Thomas Cromwell.

By the time Cromwell retaliated and persuaded King Henry to commit Anne to trial, she was surrounded by enemies who were very happy to see her go.

Seeing all the support failing around her, Anne did not reinvent herself to bring long term success. She stood her ground and to her principles, which some historians say may have led to her own condemnation.

The theories behind the Execution | Why Anne Boleyn, the most magnetic and enduring of Tudor Queens was executed

Modern historians believe that Anne Boleyn did not have any affairs which led her to be executed by King Henry VIII. She may have been a notorious flirt but it did not go beyond that. There is absolutely no reliable proof that Anne was unfaithful to her husband, King Henry VIII.

It appears that Anne was an innocent victim framed by her husband, King Henry VIII who wanted to move on with his life with his mistress, Jane Seymour with whom he hoped to have a male heir, or Thomas Cromwell, the Kings loyal servant who felt Anne stood in his way of his plans for the monasteries.

Henry painted a picture of his wife being a reckless cheat and that he was a wronged husband so that Anne’s image, reputation and legacy was forever tarnished in his kingdom. However, historian Tracy Borman argues that research shows Henry VIII was a villain. His cold and calculated manner, to oversee every detail of Anne’s execution, giving precise orders to the Constable of the Tower of London exposed his real personality.

Cromwell wanted an alliance with the Holy Roman Empire but Anne disagreed with his plans. Her pro French stance on diplomacy was also a problem for Cromwell.

Whatever the theories are and which of these one may wish to believe, the underlying question appears to be:

Was she wrong in failing to produce a male heir and refusing to rein in her headstrong personality?

The fascination with the life and death of Anne Boleyn lives on, it is enduring. I cannot for a moment imagine what she would have gone through psychologically and emotionally while in prison awaiting her execution. Her glittering life, her fall from grace, her tragic end. She may have vanished from history for a while as the discarded wife of a heartless king but her enduring glamour lives on. What touches many, I am sure, is the grace with which she faced her tragic end. Her careful dressing to meet the end of her life, and her collected little speech on the scaffold speaks no less of her dignity, eloquence and bravery. She has the power to draw us in, to fascinate and captivate us.

Much is still not known…

Their marriage ensued a political and religious upheaval which led to the English Reformation, changing the course of British history, and Anne’s execution for adultery and treason made her a popular figure since. Yet, there is much that is not known of her, as a person, as a queen and as a mother. Photos and records of her are scarce. All of her portraits were cautiously created during the reign of her daughter, Elizabeth I.

Perhaps, out of all of Henry VIII six wives, Anne Boleyn is the most fascinating, intriguing and famous queen associated with the Tudor King – one that continues to have a magnetic pull by drawing us to her story, her life as she continues to be an enduring queen.

The following poem is attributed to Anne Boleyn, one that she wrote in the days before her execution. I shall leave her words to speak to you:

O Death, O Death, rock me asleepe,
Bring me to quiet rest;
Let pass my weary guiltless ghost
Out of my careful breast.
Toll on, thou passing bell;

Ring out my doleful knell;
Thy sound my death abroad will tell,
For I must die,
There is no remedy.

My pains, my pains, who can express?
Alas, they are so strong!
My dolours will not suffer strength
My life for to prolong.
Toll on, thou passing bell;
Ring out my doleful knell;
Thy sound my death abroad will tell,
For I must die,
There is no remedy.

Alone, alone in prison strong
I wail my destiny:
Woe worth this cruel hap that I
Must taste this misery!
Toll on, thou passing bell;
Ring out my doleful knell;
Thy sound my death abroad will tell,
For I must die,
There is no remedy.

Farewell, farewell, my pleasures past!
Welcome, my present pain!
I feel my torment so increase
That life cannot remain.
Cease now, thou passing bell,
Ring out my doleful knoll,
For thou my death dost tell:
Lord, pity thou my soul!
Death doth draw nigh,
Sound dolefully:
For now I die,
I die, I die.

Anne Boleyn


How to learn more about Anne Boleyn the most magnetic and enduring of Tudor Queens

If you are as fascinated as I am regarding Anne Boleyn and the Tudors, there are plenty of resources for you to explore. I recommend the following:

Watch the following on Amazon Instant Video | Click on the images to Buy

The Other Boleyn Girl

Anne of the Thousand Days

Henry VIII & Anne Boleyn

Watch ‘The Tudors’ tv series on Amazon Prime. Click here

Alternatively, you may wish to purchase the following books:

Anne Boleyn: 500 years of Lies

The Anne Boleyn Papers

Anne Boleyn: Fatal Attraction


More stories related to the History of Britain

New on Timeless Travel Steps

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Resources used in this research

Jones, Nigel. Tower. Griffin, 2013.

Phillips, Charles. The Complete Illustrated Guide to the Kings & Queens of Britain. Lorenz Books, 2006.

Turvey, Roger. The Early Tudors. Hodder Education, 2020.

Cannon, John. The Kings and Queens of Britain. Oxford University Press, 2009.

Ives, Eric; The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn
National Portrait Gallery of Ireland

annboleynfiles

Even after 500 years the name Anne Boleyn commands attention and research making her the most magnetic and enduring of Tudor Queens. Read her story | Anne Boleyn | History of Britain | Tudor Queen | Tower of London | via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/Even after 500 years the name Anne Boleyn commands attention and research making her the most magnetic and enduring of Tudor Queens. Read her story | Anne Boleyn | History of Britain | Tudor Queen | Tower of London | via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/

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Best places to eat Stroopwafels in Amsterdam

Best places to eat stroopwafels in Amsterdam

While we work hard to be accurate, and provide the best information possible, we also encourage you to please always check before heading out.

Stroopwafels are one of world’s best cookies! These best-known Dutch cookies are amazingly sweet and chewy, consisting of a thin layer of caramel sandwiched between two thin wafers – you try one, you will definitely try another…and another… They taste absolutely divine alongside a cup of coffee or tea and there’s no better place to taste this heavenly treat than in Amsterdam, where you can eat stroopwafels made to its original recipe. Here’s a little background to stroopwafels in Amsterdam, and the best places to eat stroopwafels in Amsterdam.

places to eat stroopwafels in Amsterdam
stroopwafels in Amsterdam
Stroopwafels in Amsterdam

Originated between the 18th and 19th centuries from Gouda, Netherlands a city better known for its cheese, stroopwafels was discovered accidentally by a baker who wanted to avoid wastage. He mixed-up leftover cookie crumbs into a dough and made them into thin crispy layers of waffles, then adding sweet gooey syrup, a deliberate sweet treat. It became so popular that other bakers across Netherlands followed and stroopwafels became a national staple. Just know that every baker will have his/her own touch to the stroopwafel but the essence of this sweet treat is the wafer-thin gooey sandwich.

stroopwafel on a cup of tea | stroopwafels in Amsterdam
stroopwafels on a cup of tea | stroopwafels in Amsterdam

Stroopwafels are best eaten when freshly made, chewy and gooey. If you can’t get hold of freshly made ones, try the packaged ones instead. Although the packaged ones are a little brittle, place them on cups of coffee or tea, and allow the steam to gently soften them up so you could bite into the gooey caramel. These heavenly cookies are available at bakeries, patisseries, cafes, supermarkets, markets and stores throughout Netherlands.

So, when visiting Amsterdam, do not leave town without tasting this Dutch speciality – here are three of the best places to eat stroopwafels in Amsterdam.

1 | Lanskroon

stroopwafels.amsterdam.lanskroon | stroopwafels in Amsterdam
© Lanskroon | stroopwafels in Amsterdam

The highly recommended one by the locals is Lanskroon, located in the centre of Amsterdam. Lanskroon is popular for its giant-size stroopwafel – about 12 cm in diameter. These crispy waffles are freshly made throughout the day, extremely tasty and come in two flavours of syrup, honey or coffee-caramel.

Lanskroon is a family-run business and has been baking batch after batch of cookies, cakes and pies for four generations. They also do several homemade ice-cream which you may also want to try. When you visit Lanskroon, take a seat in their charming, cosy and traditional tearoom overlooking the Singel Canal and watch the world go by…

Lanskroon

Address: Singel 385 (near ‘het Spui’), Amsterdam.

Opening hours: Monday till Saturday from 9.00 – 17.00
Sunday from 10.00 – 17.00

2 | “the guy in Albert Cuypmarkt” – Rudi’s Original Stroopwafels

original rudi's truck | stroopwafels in Amsterdam
rudi's stroopwafle in Amsterdam

Images: © Rudi’s Original Stroopwafels

Stroopwafels in Amsterdam from “the guy in Cuyp” is one that you must absolutely try! “The guy” sells the mouthwateringly delish cookie from an old-school cookie truck at Albert Cuypmarkt. The stroopwafels are freshly made to the secret recipe handed down to him by the original baker in Gouda. The authentic Gouda-style stroopwafels in Amsterdam is said to be the most delicious stroopwafel in Netherlands and has gained many loyal fans worldwide. A visit to Rudi’s Original Stroopwafels at Albert Cuypmarkt is an opportunity to taste this time-honoured gooey-sweet-treat straight from the grill, and to buy some pre-packed in pretty little tins to be shared with friends.

Read the story of Rudi’s Original Stroopwafels and pay them a visit:

Address: At the middle of the Albert Cuypmarkt, Amsterdam, near #182 (the historical building with the golden angel on top.

Opening times:

Monday to Friday > 11:00 to 17:00

Saturday > 10:30 to 17:30

Sunday: Closed

3 | Melly’s Stroopwafels in Amsterdam

Melly's Stroopwafels in Amsterdam
Melly’s stroopwafels

Melly’s is a family business that has been operating from a cute cottage-like shop, making fresh, warm and delicious stroopwafels in Amsterdam. The fusion of cinnamon and caramel will just make your mouth water as you bite into the crispy, gooey waffle topped with crunchy toppings of your choice. Choose from Smarties, chocolate chunks, or toasted nuts.

Melly’s Stroopwaffles in Amsterdam is open 7 days a week, so you can’t miss it on your visit at any day.

Address: Nieuwezijds voorburgwal 141
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday: 10:00 to 22:00

Sunday: 09:00 to 22:00

Other places to eat stroopwafels in Amsterdam

In addition to the best of the best already mentioned above, stroopwafels in Amsterdam are available at almost everywhere and you could try the following places as well:

Croissanterie Hans Egstorf, Spuistraat 274, Amsterdam Centrum, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Stach, 1A Nieuwe Hoogstraat, Amsterdam Centrum, Amsterdam, Netherlands


Practical tips for when visiting Amsterdam

1 | Travelling to Amsterdam by Air

If you are planning a trip to Amsterdam by air, then you may want to look up EasyJet, Jet2 and On the Beach for best on budget air travel. For long-haul travel with comfort, Etihad is one of the best – look them up by clicking the link below.

2 | Travelling to Amsterdam by Rail

Eurail is a global provider of train tickets and partners with European rail networks to bring you the best in train travels. You can select the best to suit your itinerary by clicking the link below. Book well in advance to secure best value tickets.

You could also try Trainline for best offers on UK and European rail fares.

3 | Upon arrival

If you are travelling by air, you would arrive at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS). There are several ways to reach Amsterdam central either by private transfer or public transport. Amsterdam boasts a comprehensive train network and you could reach Amsterdam Centraal in 15 minutes or if you take the bus/shuttle, you will reach Amsterdam city in 35-40 minutes.

Travelling by train means that you shall be arriving at Amsterdam Centraal Station and from here it is easy to hop onto a taxi or tram to get to your accommodation.

4 | Places to Stay in Amsterdam

Amsterdam has a multitude of places for unique experiences and beautiful places to stay for timeless memories. Take a look at this carefully selected hotels and book a stay ahead of time to lock-in the low price.

5 | Things to do in Amsterdam

Whether you are visiting Amsterdam for a weekend or for longer stay, there a great many things to do in Amsterdam, both the popular touristy activities and off-the-beaten-path. Take a look at what you could do in 48 hours and the Unmissable 28 best things to do in Amsterdam.

6 | Planning a road trip?

Planning a road trip around Netherlands and you need a set of wheels? Well, best value does not come any better than Travel Supermarket! Travel Supermarket is a price comparison site that finds the best and cheapest value for the length of your itinerary in real time. Ensure you book and lock-in the best value by clicking the link below:

7 | Visa | Entry requirements

If you are a non-European resident, you may need a Visa to visit Netherlands. Check requirements with iVisa.

8 | Travel Insurance

Never leave home without travel insurance! World Nomads is highly recommended as you can buy and claim on the go. Their cover is comprehensive and you could select one that best suits your itinerary.


Sincerely hope that this guide has been valuable in your search for the best places to eat stroopwafels in Amsterdam. If so, use the links embedded in this article to book your travels, place to stay or activities you intend to do. TTS earns a commission from your bookings at no cost to you and, as always your support is highly appreciated to keep this blog going. Do get in touch if you have any questions.

Have a great time biting into the warm, crispy gooey heavenly strropwafels in Amsterdam over coffee 🙂

xoxo

Quick facts on Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam on world map
52° 22′ 40.6416” N and 4° 53′ 49.4520” E

City: Capital of Netherlands

Population: 1,149,000

Mayor: Femke Halsema (since 2018)

Zone: Central European Time Zone | Central European Summer Time

Elevation: -2m (-7ft) – Dam Square

Nearest Airport: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS)

Train Station: Amsterdam Centraal Station

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places to eat stroopwafels in Amsterdam
places to eat stroopwafels in Amsterdam
places to eat stroopwafels in Amsterdam

Best places to eat Stroopwafels in Amsterdam first published at timelesstravelsteps.com


You try one, and you will try another, and another...there is nothing that quite beats the warm, crispy, gooey time-honoured stroopwafels in Amsterdam and here are the best of the best 3 places to try them | Best stroopwafels in Amsterdam | Stroopwafels | Where to eat the best stroopwafels in Amsterdam | Gouda Stroopwafels | Must-try stroopwafels | Incredibly delicious stroopwafels in Amsterdam | via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/You try one, and you will try another, and another...there is nothing that quite beats the warm, crispy, gooey time-honoured stroopwafels in Amsterdam and here are the best of the best 3 places to try them | Best stroopwafels in Amsterdam | Stroopwafels | Where to eat the best stroopwafels in Amsterdam | Gouda Stroopwafels | Must-try stroopwafels | Incredibly delicious stroopwafels in Amsterdam | via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/

Best Public Transport from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam City

Best Public Transport from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam City

Whilst we work hard to be accurate, and provide the best information possible, we also encourage you to please always check before heading out.

If you are travelling to Amsterdam by air, then you shall be arriving at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS), the city’s main airport. Informally known as Schiphol Airport, it is one of the busiest airports in the world, and the third busiest in Europe by passenger numbers. The airport is a base for KLM (Dutch flagship carrier) and its subsidiary, Transavia. Several European budget airlines use Schiphol Airport as well and you could travel easily to Amsterdam with some pretty cheap deals from within Europe for a weekend. Schiphol is also an important hub for Dutch rail network as you can get to anywhere in Netherlands by train travel. Free WiFi is available throughout the airport.

Located at a stone’s throw of Netherlands capital, at just 9 kilometres southwest of Amsterdam, in the municipality of Haarlemmermeer, means that the city is easily reached by its impressive network of public transport, trains and buses/shuttle. The best public transport from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam City comes with several money saving ticket options available to public transport users upon arrival at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam.

What to expect from this article on Best Public Transport from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam City

This article on best public transport from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam City aims to provide you with a complete guide to how you can navigate your journey from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam city using primarily public transport and the alternate option of by car. This detail guide is particularly useful for first-timers to the city of Amsterdam as well as for repeat visitors.

How to travel from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam City

Best public transport from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Travelling from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam City could not be easier either by road or rail. Whether you are hiring a car to get around, arrange an airport pick-up for a ‘door-to-door’ service or opting for public transport – there are good connections to the city and great deals to have. The journey time varies from 20 minutes to 40 minutes, so is the costs for the journey, from €5.00 to €60.00 depending on the mode of transport selected.

If you elect to drive, the driving distance from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam City varies depending on the route you take. Below is an approximation from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam Centraal Station:

1 | The distance is 27.6 km (approximately 17 miles) via A10 or 18.3 km (approximately 11 miles) via A4. The journey time via A10 and A4 is estimated at 20 – 25 minutes depending on traffic.

2 | If you take the A5 route, then the journey is set for about 36.4 km (approximately 22 miles) and time taken is estimated at 40 minutes.

Best ways to travel from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam City

Amsterdam train

There are 3 best ways to travel from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam City – by car, train and bus/shuttle. The fastest way to travel from Schiphol Airport to your destination at Amsterdam City is by car and the longest journey will be by bus. The most convenient way to travel to Amsterdam city is by direct train and this is both cheap and fast. You could also opt for a combination of train and metro if you take the train to Amsterdam Zuid.

Public transport in Amsterdam

There are two main points to note about the public transport in Amsterdam:

1 | Contactless

Best Public Transport from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam City
Contactless in Amsterdam

The public transport in Amsterdam and wider Netherlands uses a contactless ticket system, the OV-Chipkaart which had replaced the old-style paper tickets (hence, you pay a surcharge for disposable tickets!). The OV-Chipkaart is in use in all public transport – trains, trams, buses and metros. Therefore, it is mandatory to check-in and out of your journeys using the yellow card readers that are located at entry and exit points.

2 | Cashless