FROM: Playhouse Yard

to: The Tower of London

DISTANCE: 1.4 miles


The Tower of London

Henry viii's london

directions - leg 3

Turn back on yourself and run along Ireland Yard until you reach the end. Turn right down St Andrew’s Hill and left along Queen Victoria Street. Cross the road and turn right down Peter’s Hill, eventually descending the steps below Millennium Bridge.

Turn left at the bottom of the steps and follow the Thames Path all the way to the Tower of London, just before Tower Bridge. Sometimes the path turns away from the river but keep following the signs for the Thames River Path.

Quite often there are diversions but again, keep following the signs and you’ll get back on the right track. After London Bridge the path continues until Water Lane where you find yourself back on Road. Turn right at the end of Water Lane onto Lower Thames Street. Keep going straight when the area becomes pedestrianized and veer right through the gates. Stop at the Tower of London, a few metres after the gate.

3RD STOP - WHAT happened here?

Anne Boleyn – possibly not the most attractive woman in court, but many reported her to be very sexy. Though born in England, she was exotic having grown up in the French courts. She drove Henry mad, refusing to be his mistress and only settling for Queen. He was obsessed.


With Catherine out the way, Anne was crowned queen in June 1533. 


According to many accounts, Anne and Henry were happy together for a couple of years, but as with her predecessor, after giving birth to a girl (Elizabeth), Anne struggled to produce a male heir, being thought to have had at least one miscarriage and a still birth of a male heir.

By 1536, Henry’s attention had turned once more, this time to Jane Seymour – one of Anne’s Ladies-in-Waiting! In early 1536 Catherine of Aragon died. This made Anne vulnerable – Henry could annul their marriage without having to go back to Catherine. 


ANNE BOLEYN 1501-1536

But annulment wasn’t enough. Henry said that he had been put under a spell by Anne and had her arrested for witchcraft, adultery and incest. Five men, including her brother were arrested for having relations with the Queen.

Despite the shaky evidence, all parties were found guilty. Anne was then imprisoned in the Tower of London (where you’re now standing) and beheaded on the 19th May 1536. Her treat? A French swordsman was brought in to do the honours, rather than the axe (which could take a few attempts to get the head off).

Now it was time for Jane to take her turn as Queen. How long did she last?




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