Active Activities

This summer families can plot their escape from the Tower of London

This summer, the Tower of London will recreate notorious prisoner John Gerard’s dramatic escape from the capital’s formidable fortress.

We love London Palaces! It’s a great way to learn about London’s history and have fun with the kids.

For hundreds of years rebels, plotters, heretics and spies filled the Tower of London’s cells and dungeons, including two of King Henry VIII’s ill-fated wives. However, with the right blend of cunning, ingenuity and disregard for danger, escape was sometimes possible.

Throughout August families can watch one of history’s truly great escapes, as Gerard abseils down the Tower’s historic walls with Tower Escape. Gerard was a secret Catholic priest, a dangerous occupation in Elizabethan England and in 1597 was transferred to the Tower as a ‘heretic’. He famously hatched an escape plan sending secret notes to his rescuers in invisible ink using orange juice. Visitors can discover for themselves whether Gerard managed to outwit his captors.

With family trail cards available, families are encouraged to gather clues and devise their own escape plans, or face languishing in the dungeons. Along the way, there will be opportunities to meet other notorious prisoners from the Tower’s past too, including Arbella Stuart, resourceful royal rival to the monarchs and her husband Willam Seymour. 

On selected days, little escapologists can delve deeper into the Tower’s prison stories with a range of hands-on activities. Kids can have a go at writing in invisible ink, just like John Gerard, as well as trying on a range of props and disguises – the perfect foil for any aspiring escape artist.      

Tower Escape is a 30-minute daily live performance, running three times a day and unshackles the story of imprisonment at London’s iconic fortress like never before.

When: Daily until August 31st 2019 at 11:30, 1pm and 3.30pm
Where: Tower of London
How much: £24.70 for an adult, child 5-15 £11 and under 5s free family tickets available. More info & booking here.

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