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Are you wondering how to visit the Tower of London by the tube? Do you worry that navigating the tube might be too stressful as an autoimmune warrior or a trauma survivor?

Well, you have nothing to worry about. I did it as a solo female traveler, autoimmune warrior and trauma survivor. In fact, I know all about triggers in these types of high-stress settings. So if I can do it, you can too.

Navigating The Underground

The underground train in London has many names. The tube, the Underground, and the subway are just a few of its monikers. Regardless of what you call it, one thing remains the same. It’s cool, economic, and hip to master riding the tube in London. Some consider it a badge of courage and accomplishment. This badge is waiting for you. I’m confident that you can do this thing, because if you find a moment of doubt, turn to the service staff for help. They are everywhere all around you. Furthermore, they’re extremely helpful and courteous. 

General Info

This comprehensive guide maps your route with Paddington Station, Praed Street as your starting point. This London Underground station is served by the Bakerloo, Circle and District lines, and is located on south of Paddington mainline station. It has entrances from Praed Street and from within the mainline station. We’ll start at the Praed Street entrance.

Good To Know

Trains run about every two minutes, and if you leisurely make your way through the station til the time you arrive at Tower Hill, it will take about 40 minutes.

Tower Details

There is so much more to the history of the Tower that goes beyond beheadings and Henry IIIV. You will find some interactive displays for children, such as pressing a button and hearing sounds or words. There’s even a game that can be played like watching TV. Another little known fact about the tower of London is the way in which it was used throughout history. For example, there’s much literature and artifacts about the Tower from World War I, 1914 through 1918. Another room will explain the details around the London Fire.

Navigating Stress

The reality is, reading maps, finding platforms, and switching routes can be very intimidating. This can lead to stress, which can lead to physical, emotional, and mental health triggers. That’s why I did all the work for you.

In this guide you’ll find photographs of every step of the journey along with meticulous notes. I documented this information for you, because I want to inspire and encourage you to stretch your comfort zone. In the process, you will overcome your fears which promotes self healing. Last but not least, you’ll save money, empowering you financially as well.

Beginning Your Route

This is the entrance for Paddington station that you need to take for Tower of London.

Paddington Station
To reach the Tower of London, enter at Praed Street

Maps To Guide You

If paper maps work for you, grab one and get a pen. A helpful service personnel member will likely be kind enough to etch out the route for you. If you prefer online maps, there are many available. Finally, there are dozens of signs within the station to guide your every step.

Tube Map
Tube Map

People To Guide You

Once inside Paddington Station, you’ll see vast welcoming space to navigate your next steps. First, is your ticket. There are self-serve ticket kiosks, however, you actually don’t need to purchase a ticket. Simply tap your contactless bank card or credit card and the gate will swing open. In fact, according to the staff, it is cheaper than a ticket from the booth.

Paddington Station
Help for any question is available.
Paddington Station

The Circle Line East

If you are starting your trip from Praed Street, you’ll be traveling the Circle Line to reach Tower Hill Station. From the main entrance, you will take the escalator or lift downstairs to board the Circle Line. Once you reach the bottom, you’ll be at the platform for the Circle line.

Circle line tube

To get to the Tower of London via the Circle Line, you will be heading East.

Follow the signs for Platform 1.

sign Tube

 sign for correct line on the tube

Once you get on the train, you will immediately approach the stop at Edgeware Road. It’s the end of the line, so you have to get off and switch trains.

It’s literally only a one minute ride to Edgeware Road.

Over the intercom, you’ll hear directions telling you to get on the Circle line via Kings Cross. Follow the walkway for platform 1 to continue your route to the Tower of London.

tube passengers rushing up stairs

Don’t worry when you get off at Edgeware Road, the doors only open on one side. So you can’t get off on the wrong side.

Walk up the stairs to platform 1 which is Kings Cross St Pancras. 

tube interior view with a few passengers
Easy calm ride on the tube. It’s also a perfect place to jot in your journal.

There are six stops from Edgeware to Tower Hill station. The seventh stop is Tower Hill. At each stopping point, there’s audio and visual instructions to aid your navigation.

The ride from Edgeware to Tower Hill takes about twenty five minutes. Again, the train only opens on one side, so you can’t go the wrong way. As soon as you step off, this is what you’ll see:

Sign in tube for passenger information

Walk up to short flights of stairs, and you’ll come to the platform where you need to tap your card again.

tube sign for passenger information

And you’re there!

Tube sign for passenger information

Outside The Tower Of London

Make a left out of the station and follow the walkway signs that will lead to the front door.

Give yourself at least a half an hour to stop and take pictures and see the sites before you’re due for your ticket.

If you have to go to to the restroom, you probably want to wait until you enter the Tower of London. That’s because the train station bathrooms charge a small fee. However, once inside, it’s free. Toilets are available at the following locations: Brick Tower, behind the Jewel House (male, female, accessible toilets and baby changing facilities) Salt Tower (male toilets) Cradle Tower (female and accessible toilets). Most have water fountains as well.

You’ll find a comprehensive souvenir shops as well as a KFC restaurant along the way.

Tower of London on a beautiful cloudy day

When you reach the entrance, you’ll enter through Middle Tower.

Inside The Tower Of London

I highly recommend beginning your experience of the Tower of London with a Beefeater tour, a fun way to learn. This foundation will help navigating the 1,000 year history of the Tower and its people. There is a tour every half an hour, at the top of the hour and half past. As soon as you walk through the archway, make the left toward the moat, and wait.

Beefeater speech explaining the Tower
Yeoman Warders have been guarding the Tower of London since Tudor times.

Despite the crowds, the Tower Of London is very easy to navigate. This is partly due to the fact that all entrances and exits are one way. In addition, people are extremely polite, which makes sharing space with large crowds much more pleasant. You’ll also find benches for seating when you get tired of walking and standing.

Buildings and Towers

Like many castles in England, the Tower of London offers an abundance of history and information to explore. For just the towers alone, you could spend an entire day reading and researching. I highlighted some handsome buildings that created stately photographs, as well as some hidden gems you won’t want to miss. Each area on the grounds is worthy of its own post, and the images capture the imagination.

Fusiliers Headquarters

The Fusiliers headquarters is a neo-medieval building, built by Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington and secondarily the winner of the Battle of Waterloo.

Tower of London capturing people enjoying their day
Headquarters of fusillers
Tower of London aerial view photo

The building in the far left corner is the famed White Tower, the most famous castle keep in the world. It was built to subdue and terrify Londoners, and to deter foreign invaders. Along with the rest of the Tower fortress, the White Tower is part of a World Heritage Site.

Also in this photograph is the Headquarters of fusillers, the Hospital, and the Workshop. Although these buildings are beautiful, they are also some of the lesser known. There is nothing special to see, however, the logistical layout of the architecture is appealing.

The Tower of London functioned as a fortress, prison, and royal palace. It consists of the Inner Ward and Outer Ward.

Two hidden gems in the tower, are the Cradle Tower and St. Thomas’s Tower (the medieval tower). The Cradle Tower, you may have heard, was once the entrance for the king to come straight from the River Thames. It has actual place settings allowing you to use your imagination to expand your experience.

Tower of London sunset

The Cradle Tower

Built by Edward III (1327-1377), the Cradle Tower was made as a new private river port to directly connect the king’s dwellings. It is therefore located along the shore.

Cradle Tower description sign

It’s easy to imagine a drawbridge dropping and him entering.

cradle tower from historical perspective sign

Compared to the other towers, the Cradle Tower is unique in that it is intimate, both in space size and decor. It creates a personalized look at the monarchs who lived there.

Cradle Tower dinner place setting

Another thing that makes it unique is that you very well might have it to yourself, it doesn’t seem to get a lot of fanfare.

St. Thomas’s Tower

The St Thomas Tower is a medieval palace. Nowadays, the furniture is reconstructed as it was in the time of Edward I, in the thirteenth century. One can see in particular a giant bed, an imposing chimney, candlesticks, and brightly colored fabrics. These pieces are replicas for the most part, the furniture is not of period.

Medieval Tower historical sign

St.Thomas’s Tower, the Wakefield Tower and the Lanthorn Tower are known collectively as the Medieval Palace.

Medieval Tower sign

The medieval tower is unique because it has the bedroom of King Edward I.

Medieval Tower bedroom

There is sound effects for a fire crackling in the fireplace. In addition, is more of a living museum.

The daily life of the human people that lived there, made more intimate by showing us their bed and eating utensils.

Medieval Tower place settings

The Medieval Palace also has outdoor walkways once used as battlements. When you get to the top, you will have a spectacular photo opportunity of London Bridge and the River Thames.

Tower Bridge at night

Exiting The Tower Of London

You’ll pass by the same souvenir shops as when you entered. There are also eateries for every budget.

The Circle Line West

When you’re done for the day, head back to Tower Station. To get there, you will take the walk to the traffic light, cross, and find the sign that says Underground. Head down the steps.

The moment you walk down the stairs, you will be herded it into a line that says, District and Circle lines. Tap your card.

Now you will go to the Westbound Platform 1.

passengers rushing for the tube train

This gets a little confusing, but all you have to remember is take the Circle Line via Victoria.

Tower Of London By The Tube sign tube

There are two Westbound platforms. Platform 1 is to your left. Use the board to follow the Circle Line via Victoria.

Tower Of London By The Tube sign

When you exit the train takes the main hallway straight all the way through until you reach the main station You will have to tap out again and you just follow the signs that say way out with an arrow. There are elevators to the left or just go straight up the stairs.

If you lose your direction, just keep looking for the signs and errors that say way out. However, if you keep walking straight and turn left, you will come across escalators that will bring you down. Again, you’ll find signs that say way out with an arrow.

After you come down the escalators, you will have to actually take the escalators back up to exit.

We Made It!

There may have been some moments of small panic, but it’s true… We Made It!

Despite autoimmune challenges and any emotional triggers as a trauma survivor, traveling mindfully can be done.

Also to add to the drama, somehow, someway, I managed to lose my reading glasses in Paddington Station. This was at the start of my journey. This was stressful, made more so because although London doesn’t have a lot of sun, they have a lot of sunglasses for sale. But not a lot reading glasses.

So despite checking all of the souvenir shops, none sold readers. I took a deep breath to regroup. Rather than feel frustrated, I went into problem solving mode. Since most of my necessary reading would be on my phone, I made a plan. On most phones, in Settings >Display and Brightness>Text Size and Bold Text, you’ll find accessibility options. If you click around you’ll increase the text size substantially and make your screen readable.

Final Thoughts On Tower Of London By The Tube

There may have been some moments of small panic, but it’s true… We Made It! Knowing when to ask for help, having everything you need as an autoimmune warrior, and practicing proactive self care for your triggers has paid off. Bravo. Record all of your travel wins in your journal to remind yourself how badass you truly are.

So what’s next? How about while you’re in the British Isles, adding Ireland’s public transportation to your bucket list?

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