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Visiting the Tower of London and the Cutty Sark

During our trip to London, England, my son had a list of attractions he wanted to visit, including the Tower of London and the Cutty Sark. We planned our first international mother-son trip around my niece's wedding, and we wanted to make the most of our time there by visiting as many tourist attractions as possible. Although I had been to London several times before for work or to visit family and friends, it was my son's first trip, and I was determined to make it as memorable as possible. You can read about our trip to Stonehenge and Bath here.

Mother and Son Trip to London, England | Simply Amazing Living

Tower Bridge

Tower of London

What is a trip to London with a child without a visit to the historic Tower of London?  The Tower of London was built in the 1900s and it is one of the world’s most famous fortresses.  Over the years, it served many purposes such as a royal palace, a prison, an armory, and even a zoo at one point in time.

My son hasn't studied a lot of England's history as of yet so he was surprised to learn from our tour guide's detailed stories of Henry VIII ordering the death of two of his wives and how others had been locked in the Tower for their religious beliefs or suspected treason. 

One of the most known facts about the Tower of London is that it was used as a place of imprisonment, torture, and execution over the centuries.  There is a display within the tower of the methods, devices, and instruments used for torturing but we didn't spend much time in this area as my son wanted to move on to something less gruesome.  Bless his heart.

Mother and Son Trip to London, England | Tower of London

Tower of London

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My son with one of the Beefeaters.


The Beefeaters, who are ceremonial guards, are responsible for guarding Her Majesty's Crown Jewels, which are on display for visitors to see. Additionally, they also serve as tour guides for the various attractions in that area. The term “Beefeaters” originated during the reign of Henry VII, when his guards were allowed to eat as much beef as they desired from the King's table.

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Attractions at the Tower of London include:

The White Tower
The White Tower holds the Royal Armouries, Britain's oldest national museum, and an 11th-century Romanesque chapel – the Chapel of St. John.

Crown Jewels
The Crown Jewels are the coronation regalia used in the coronations of kings and queens in England over the years.  It is one of the most important symbols of British culture and monarchy.  I love that there is a people mover around the Crown Jewels to help with the traffic flow. 

The Royal Mint
The Coins & Kings exhibition details the history of where the country's coins were made for over 600 years.  We loved learning about what life was like on Mint Street with all of the outdoor installations and
interactive displays.

White Tower

Tower of London | Simply Amazing LivingTower of London | Credit: Historic Royal Palaces/

Historic Royal Palaces

The Tower of London operates under the banner of Historic Royal Palaces.  Historic Royal Palaces is an independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace, and Hillsborough Castle.

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Tower of London view from the London River Bus

London River Bus

One of the many ways to get around London is by taking the London River Bus.  You get to see amazing views of London along the way and beat the central London traffic. 

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Onboard the Cutty Sark

Cutty Sark

My son is a big fan of nautical history, so I made sure to include the Cutty Sark in our list of tourist attractions. This iconic and historic sailing ship, known to be the fastest of its time, is now a renowned visitor attraction in Greenwich, London, which is just around 30 minutes away from Central London. The Cutty Sark is the world's only surviving tea-clipper and in 2019 it celebrates its 150th year of existence. 

The Cutty Sark embarked on its first official voyage in February of 1870, carrying a large cargo of wine, spirits, and beer to the destination of Shanghai. On its return journey, the ship was loaded with 1.3 million pounds of tea.

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Credit: © National Maritime Museum, London

Life Onboard the Cutty Sark

The Cutty Sark is an amazing attraction that children will love. Once you're on board the ship, you can watch a film that covers the ship's history and all the challenges and successes it faced during its prime. There are many interactive exhibits for kids to explore, including the world's largest collection of ship figureheads. Visitors can also take the helm at the wheel, explore under the hull, and step inside the captain's chambers to experience what life was like on this iconic boat.

Royal Museums Greenwich

Cutty Sark is a tourist attraction that comes under the umbrella of Royal Museums Greenwich. Royal Museums Greenwich houses several other tourist attractions such as the Royal Observatory Greenwich, the renowned historic sailing ship Cutty Sark, the National Maritime Museum, and the Queen's House art gallery. All the attractions are situated near each other and are easily accessible on foot, within the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Visiting The Tower of London and The Cutty Sark




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  • I love that picture!!! It’s great they have things for kids! So Cute.

  • The Tower of London is full of history, both good and bad. I would love for our family to visit there and learn more about it.

  • I love your photos. London is so beautiful. I’ve seen the Tower of London but not the cutty sark.

  • What a fantastic trip and it looks like you had a wonderful visit. I’ve never been to the Cutty Sark and I will have to make it a priority during my next visit.

  • I can’t wait to finally visit London! You guys looked like you had the time of your lives there! Love it!

  • I’m from the UK and have visited London many many times but still have not been to the tower or London!! I must make more of an effort to go next time.

  • I haven’t been in London! There’s so many things I want to see like the Tower of London and the Big Ben!

  • Nnnniiiiicccceeeee….I have never been to London but if the opportunity presented itself for me to go there, I’d drop EVERYTHING to go.

  • Up until reading this post I had no idea what the Cutty Sark was. Sounds like you had an amazing mother son International trip. So awesome! I love reading about travel ideas and tips. We have yet to visit England and I am so overdue for that trip. I have been wanting to get there since I was in high school.

  • i love a trip to the tower of london. i was lucky enough to plant the (fake) poppies when they had a remembrance sunday display.

    Joy at The Joyous Living

  • So many great choices, and hurrah that your son got to go! My son wants to see London. I’d love to take him to some of these places.

  • Melanie williams
    October 9, 2019 3:09 pm

    Looks like you had an amazing time at the Tower of London. We loved our visit too xx