5 Must See Tudor Attractions in and Around London

The Tudor Dynasty started with King Henry VII and ended with Queen Elizabeth I. Their legacy lives on in these 5 attractions that fans of their reign should not miss while visiting London.

1. Tower of London

The Tudor Connection

If you know one thing about Henry VIII, it is that he had six wives and that he had two of them beheaded when they displeased him. At the Tower of London, visitors can see where those wives, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard were beheaded. To be executed here was a bit of an honor, since only those of high rank could be spared the indignity of a public death. All in all, only six people were executed by Tudors on this spot. The others were Margaret, Countess of Salisbury, Jane Boleyn, Lady Jane Grey and Robert Devereux.

Things to See

Get a tour with a Beefeater, or as they are more properly known Yeomen Warders. Beefeaters have been guarding The Tower of London and the crown jewels since 1485, so you know they have some good stories to tell.

2. Westminster Abbey

Tudor Connection

See where all of the Tudor Monarchs were crowned. Several Tudors are buried here as well, most notably Elizabeth I. Her effigy was made from her death mask and is said to be the most accurate likeness of her in existence.

Things to see

Stand in the spot where every Tudor monarch was crowned. King Edward’s Chair, or the coronation chair can be seen in the Abbey as well. Visit the tombs of Elizabeth I, Mary I, Henry VII and Edward VI. Also, be sure to stay until 5pm on weekdays (3pm on weekends) to hear Evensong.

3. Globe Theatre

Tudor Connection

Queen Elizabeth I loved to attend the Globe Theatre, but not to see the plays. She enjoyed performances of The Globe Theatre plays in the privacy of her palace. She attended The Globe Theatre for the bear-baiting. This was one of Elizabeth’s favorite amusements. Inside the Globe museum you can see skulls of dogs and bears found on the grounds of the original Globe.

Things to see

For as little as 5 pounds you can see a performance at the Globe Theatre. Be sure to get your tickets in advance, as they tend to sell out. Tours are given of the theatre, call ahead to make sure the performance schedule does not interfere with the tours.

4. Hever Castle and Gardens

Tudor Connection

Hever Castle was the girlhood home of Anne Boleyn. After the Boleyn family fell out of favor with King VIII, the residence was taken away from the Boleyns. It was later given to Anne of Cleves, Henry VIII’s fourth wife.

Things to see

The gardens are a main attraction of this castle. Guests can also see a Book of Hours that once belonged to Anne Boleyn. Her signature can be found on the book.

There is also a display of instruments of torture and execution at Hever Castle. Devices to keep unruly women from speaking their mind can be seen here. Hever Castle has many rotating events going on throughout the year such as Water Mazes and Lake Walks.

5. Hampton Court Palace

Tudor Connection

Hampton Court Palace was given to King Henry VIII by Cardinal Wosley shortly before the Cardinal fell out of favor with the King. Hampton Court Palace was Henry’s favorite palace and visitors will quickly see why.

Things to see

The Hampton Court kitchens which are still used from time to time, could feed up to 600 people. They are the largest Tudor England kitchens in existence. Visitors can get lost in the oldest surviving hedge maze in the UK. The maze covers 1/3 of an acre and is open year round. Guided tours are given daily by costumed characters.






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