A trip to London is simply not complete unless you have experienced a regal day out visiting the capital’s greatest royal attractions. Follow in the footsteps of the monarchy and delve into a part of the country’s history which many travel far and wide to experience.
If you are a little unsure where to begin your regal day out, we have some information about the best royal attractions that are (literally) fit for a king.
Kensington Palace is still a working Royal residence and is currently home to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their son, prince George, as well as their loveable dog Lupo.
Although we can’t guarantee that you will bump into either William or Kate, we can be sure that you will have a wonderful time visiting the Palace, which has been the home to many members of the Royal Family since the 17th century.
Make sure to explore the Queen’s State Apartments, which were made for Queen Mary II and have been well preserved for the public to see. You must ensure that you head to the Queen’s Closet as well as the Queen’s Dining Room in which Queen Mary II and her husband, King William III would dine on fish and beer in the 17th century.
After taking to the Queen’s Gallery, which is filled with a wonderful collection of royal treasures, marvel at the difference between the Queen’s Staircase and the King’s, which lead down to the Palace’s beautiful gardens. The King’s Staircase was painted by William Kent and depicts a recreation of George I’s court, filled with a number of interesting characters. See if you can spot William Kent himself- he can be found on the ceiling holding an artist’s palette.
The Palace Gardens are well worth visiting, especially on a pleasant day as the tranquillity and beauty of them are incredibly relaxing and have undoubtedly been used as a place for royalty to get away from the stresses of palace life.
The Sunken Garden was planted in 1908 and is modelled on a garden at Hampton Court Palace, with a number of vibrant and exotic plants offering a unique experience. Wander around the Cradle Walk from which you have excellent views of the Sunken Garden, before heading to the Formal Gardens which were developed by Queen Caroline.
Kensington Palace also hosts a number of fun exhibitions, such as Fashion Rules and Victoria Revealed, which are worth experiencing if you have the time.
Getting to Kensington Palace from The Montcalm London Marble Arch is rather easy – just take the underground on the Central line from Marble Arch to Queensway, from which it is a short walk to the Palace.
The Household Cavalry Museum
Pay tribute to the wonderful soldiers who fought for the country on horseback at The Household Cavalry Museum, which can be found in the heart of Horse Guards in Whitehall.
Find out the history of The Household Cavalry, from the original 18th century stables to the first hand accounts of the tiring and rigorous training that the troopers have to go through. The building is actually a living museum and acts as the headquarters of the Household Division, in which people still work on a daily basis, which is quite an achievement to say that it is one of the city’s oldest buildings, having dated back from 1750.
The collection of rare and unique artefacts, which include ceremonial uniforms, musical instruments and silverware is absolutely phenomenal and a must-see.
Visiting The Household Cavalry Museum, you cannot help but to be very aware that you are in the presence of a very important and traditional part of the Royal Family, as for over 350 years, the daily ceremony of the Queen’s Life Guard is performed there and the Cavalry still guard The Queen throughout various occasions to this day.
To get to The Household Cavalry Museum from The Montcalm London Marble Arch, simply take the Central line to Oxford Circus before changing to the Bakerloo line to Embankment, from which it is only a short walk.
Hampton Court Palace
A regal trip to London is not complete until you have been to Hampton Court Palace, which happened to be one of the favourite royal residences of the most well known Tudor himself, Henry VIII.
With this in mind, it is only fitting that you discover some of Hampton Court Palace’s Tudor furnishings, of which we are sure King Henry VIII was a fan of its kitchens. In fact, these were the largest kitchens of Tudor England, and were designed to feed at least 600 people (including the Royal Family and Henry’s court) twice a day.
Take the time to explore Henry’s State Rooms, which include the breathtaking Great Hall, Horn Room, Great Watching Chamber and the Haunted Gallery, where you can trace the steps that his many ex-wives will have taken. You can even experience some parts of the palace that were so private and hidden that King Henry VIII’s guests were not allowed to enter them.
There is even a re-creation of King Henry VIII’s crown on display, while daily costumed tours and talks take place for all to experience and enjoy.
When visiting Hampton Court Palace, it is almost compulsory that you try out the famous maze in its wonderful gardens. The maze, which is the UK’s oldest surviving hedge maze, was designed by George London and commissioned in the 18th century. Depending on how skilled you are when it comes to escaping mazes, you may need to add on a little extra time to your visit as it covers a third of an acre.
As Hampton Court Palace is a little further out of central London, it is advised that you catch a train there from Waterloo, which takes approximately 35 minutes. To get to Waterloo from The Montcalm London Marble Arch, hop on the Central line to Oxford Circus before catching the Bakerloo line to Waterloo.
Buckingham Palace is perhaps the most well-known royal residence in the country and is Queen Elizabeth’s official London home in the borough of Westminster. Originally built in 1705 for the Duke of Buckingham, it has been the royal home since 1837 and is also the administrative headquarters of the Monarch.
Although Buckingham Palace is still used for official events which are held by The Queen, its 19 State Rooms, ballroom and gardens open to visitors every year during the summer while The Queen is in Balmoral.
Between December and February, exclusive guided tours are available in which an expert guide takes you through the State Rooms, offering a wealth of information and showing you the famous Royal Collection, before ending the tour with a delightful glass of champagne in the Grand Entrance.
The Queen’s Gallery is well worth a visit while at Buckingham Palace and here you will be able to see some of the most exquisite pieces of art and interesting photographs from the Royal Collection.
Even if you are short on time or visiting while the Palace is closed to the public, make sure that you plan to at least see Buckingham Palace during your royal visit to London, and if possible get there for 11.30GMT to watch the Changing the Guard in the forecourt. This takes place every day in the summer, and every other day in the winter.
Buckingham Palace is only a 30 minute walk from The Montcalm London Marble Arch and the views of Hyde Park that you can take in are well worth the journey if you are heading to Buckingham Palace from the popular 5 star hotel London.