If there’s one question I receive more than any other, it’s about how to decide where to spend your time within London during a trip. London is a huge city compared to many North American cities, especially considering that you won’t be driving during your visit.
In an effort to help you make the most of your time in London, I’ve put together a series of guides about specific London areas and neighborhoods, including this Tower Hill guide. These resources are meant to help you dive deep into a specific part of London that I consider an essential area to visit – and that I know well to ensure you have the best recommendations possible.
Tower Hill takes its name from one of the most important sites in London, the Tower of London, and you’ll probably visit even if you know nothing about the area (especially if it’s your first visit, because I do think the Tower of London is worth it!). Rather than just breezing through, use this guide to explore more of Tower Hill and the surrounding area, discover new sights and experiences, and maybe you too will consider it one of the best parts of the city.
Ready to learn everything you need to know about visiting Tower Hill? Let’s explore together!
Practical Tips for Visiting Tower Hill
Let’s cover some basics quickly before diving deeper into the area. As you’ll see Tower Hill is definitely worth visiting during your London trip – and it’s easy to do so!
📍 Location: Tower Hill is located within The City of London (which itself is part of Greater London), on the southeastern border of The City. It is bordered on the south by the River Thames.
🏰 Landmarks: The most famous landmarks in Tower Hill are the Tower of London (from which the area takes its name) and the iconic Tower Bridge.
🏺 History: Tower Hill is a significant location in London’s history in that it is home to some of the oldest evidence of civilization in London. Two-thousand-year-old Roman ruins can be found throughout the area, and it has been continually inhabited since.
🚇 Public Transit: Tower Hill has great access to public transit, especially by bus. A number of buses run through the area, most notably the #15 which connects to Trafalgar Square. Tower Hill Station is serviced by the District and Circle lines of the London Underground, and Tower Hill DLR Station is a terminus for the Docklands Light Railway which allows you to visit East London and Greenwich.
✈️ Nearest Airport(s): Tower Hill is pretty far from the major London-area airports (Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted), but is actually close to London City Airport. This small airport doesn’t have many services but can be very convenient if you’re traveling within the British Isles and to some European destinations.
Tower Hill Guide Map
Open this map to accompany the rest of my Tower Hill guide – it features many of the activities, dining and drinking establishments, and the top hotels I recommend for the area.
Top 5 Things to Do in Tower Hill
For a small area in the grander scale of Greater London, Tower Hill sure packs a lot in. You can easily spend an entire day here – or several days of your trip! Tower Hill includes some of the city’s top sights, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time to explore the area and its importance to the city as a whole (it’s actually where London as a city began!).
1. Climb & Cross Tower Bridge
As you might imagine from its name, Tower Bridge is one of two iconic sights to see – and attractions to visit – in the Tower Hill area. Tower Bridge offers breathtaking views of London’s cityscape, including the famous St Pauls, The Shard, and Canary Wharf. Tickets start from £12.30 for adults and £6.20 for children; Tower Bridge is included in the London Pass if you want to visit for free!
2. Visit the Tower of London
The Tower of London is a World Heritage Site and a must-visit for history lovers. The ticket isn’t cheap, but there’s so much to see and do, it’s well worth the price. Your ticket includes a guided tour by a Yeoman Warder (also called Beefeaters). The tours run every half-hour, with the last one held at 15:30, so don’t visit too late! Tickets start from £33.60 for adults and £16.80 for children; the Tower of London is included in the London Pass if you want to visit for free!
3. Explore St. Katharine Docks
This former dock, which dates back to the 12th century, has been revitalized and now houses offices, apartments, and restaurants. Despite being very close to the Tower of London, St. Katharine Docks is a little hidden away so it’s relatively tranquil, compared to the hustle and bustle over at Tower Bridge.
4. Board a Thames Cruise
Tower Pier is a great spot to board a variety of Thames River cruises. From taking a speedboat, a historic wheeler, a hop-on, hop-off sightseeing cruise, or a lunch and dinner boat ride, there’s something for everyone. I’ve got a guide to the best Thames River cruises to help you choose.
5. Learn about the Gunpowder Plot
The Gunpowder Plot is by far one of the best things to do in the area, for history aficionados and theater buffs. It’s an immersive Virtual Reality meets theater experience that takes you back to the smells, sights, and sounds of London in 1605.
Need even more ideas?
In case that’s not enough or doesn’t quite fit what you want to do in London, I’ve got even more ideas – and these are some of my personal favorites rather than the crowd pleasers.
- Visit All Hallows by the Tower
- See a Ghost Tube Station
- Do the London Wall Walk
- Take a Jack the Ripper Tour
- Board the HMS Belfast
- Picnic in Potters Field Park
To learn more about these activities, be sure to check my list of top things to do in Tower Hill and near Tower Bridge.
Where to Eat & Drink in Tower Hill
If you’re hungry or thirsty before or after exploring Tower Bridge, visiting the Tower of London, or trying one of the other things I recommend in Tower Hill, here are some tips for where to go!
First, you might want to start the day with a caffeine fix – Londoners love their coffee too, so there are lots of great choices in the area. Some of my favorites are WatchHouse Tower Bridge (for a posh start), Tower Bridge Cafe (right along the river), and The Cat & Cucumber Cafe (a more casual option with great food too). Here are all of my suggestions for starting your day right in Tower Hill.
There are also great spots for lunch and dinner in both Tower Hill and adjoining (and a bit quieter) St. Katherine’s Dock. If you just want to know the best, here are my picks: Bodean’s has fantastic views of Tower Bridge along with great food, and Côte St Katharine Docks is good for a delicious lunch, especially their prix fixe menu.
Lastly, pubs are an important part of British culture and should definitely be on your list while exploring London. In the Tower Hill area, my absolute favorite is The Dickens Inn for its history and character but if you’re looking for something a bit more posh, The Liberty Bounds and The Horniman at Hays are also good choices. On my very first London trip (back in 2011!), I tucked into The Minories, which is super close to the Tower of London.
Where to Stay in Tower Hill
While most people just visit Tower Hill for the day, you can stay in this area – I actually stayed a stone’s throw down the hill during my September 2022 trip! There are some lovely hotels in the area, and it’s really a matter of what your budget allows and your travel style. Some of my personal favorites are:
- citizenM Tower of London – Right above Tower Hill Station and with views of the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, and the London Wall.
- Hotel Indigo – A trendy spot a bit more off the beaten path – and thus a little bit cheaper each night.
- The Tower Hotel – I strongly considered staying here, but you can opt for a Tower Bridge view room for one of the best hotel views in the entirety of London.
Check out my full list of recommended hotels in Tower Hill, if these sound good but aren’t quite right.
Other Resources about Visiting Tower Hill
Want or need even more information about visiting Tower Hill and the Tower Bridge area? Each of these articles dives into the area in even greater detail to help you have an incredible time.
Have any more questions after reading my Tower Hill guide? Let me know in the comments below – I can add more info to this guide or write a whole new article to help you!