Top 12 Must See Royal Residences To Visit While In London
Royalty and the history behind British royalty seem to be two big allurements for travelers visiting London. There are several royal palaces, castles and other attractions throughout London visitors can see and explore to get a taste of what it’s like to be a British king or queen.
Below are the top 12 royal places in London we think will ensure you have a royal good time.
1. Buckingham Palace is one of the few remaining working royal palaces in the world today. It’s the London home of The Queen that also serves as her administrative headquarters. The State Rooms of Buckingham Palace are open to the public during the summer, but you can see the famous Changing The Guard ceremony throughout the year.
2. Hampton Court is most known as a royal home to Henry VIII and where each of his six wives stayed. Besides seeing the obvious architectural beauty of this palace and its rooms, you can explore its beautiful gardens and do your best to venture through the Hampton Court Maze. And don’t miss out on tasting some delicious foods in the Tudor kitchens.
3. Kensington Palace is a British palace where many royal women have spent their lives. Discover the stories from Queen Victoria’s life told in her words in the Victoria Revealed exhibition or see with your own eyes the gorgeous royal dresses Princess Diana wore. Marvel at the extraordinary paintings from the Royal Collection in the King’s and Queen’s State Apartments in Kensington Palace.
4. Kew Palace is an intimate royal palace built as a private house and used by the royal family during the 1700s and early 1800s. The area around this attraction is lush and green as it’s located inside the botanical gardens, and don’t forget to see Kew Palace’s historic kitchens, which haven’t been touched since Queen Charlotte’s death in 1818.
5. Tower of London has more than 900 years worth of history as a royal palace, prison, fortress and jewel house. This notorious building is complete with 200 towers — the must-see one being the White Tower. Take the time to go on a Yeoman Warder tour around the Tower of London to hear different historical tales of this landmark.
6. Windsor Castle is a residence of the Queen, as well as one of the oldest occupied castles. Ten monarchs are buried here at St. George’s Chapel, and something very unique you’ll find at Windsor Castle is Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House. It’s a dolls’ house unlike any other you’ve ever seen or had.
7. Balmoral Castle is the Scottish home to the Royal Family and has been so since the mid 1800s. The gardens are quite the sight to see at Balmoral Castle, which consist of formal gardens and a water garden. Visitors are allowed between April and July.
8. Sandringham House is The Queen’s country retreat and has also been a private home to four generations of British monarchs. You can see the Sandringham House itself when you visit, as well as its museum and elegant gardens.
9. The Chapels Royal was first referred to as an establishment of a body of priests and singers who spiritually serve the Sovereign. The Chapels Royal now relates to various chapels used for worship by monarchs, two of which are at St. James Palace.
10. St. James’s Palace is viewed as the senior palace to the Sovereign and has been the royal residence and household office to many members of the Royal Family. Several important events throughout the Royal Family’s history have taken place here, and today St. James’s Palace is still a working palace where ceremonial, formal and entertainment occasions take place.
11. Edinburgh Castle is the oldest building in Edinburgh sitting on top of an extinct volcano. It’s open year round but stays open an hour later during the winter months. Some highlights of Edinburgh Castle are the One o’clock Gun, Scottish Crown Jewels, Stone of Destiny and National War Museum.
12. Somerset House has numerous arts and cultural things you can see and do right in the heart of London. Those visiting in the winter can ice skate on a popular ice rink, while the summer travelers get to see 55 dancing fountains in the courtyard. Somerset House is also known for being the home to London Fashion Week.
Everyone deserves to know what it’s like to be a king or queen for the day, or several days depending on how long your trip is, so don’t delay this royal experience any longer. Admire these wonderful royal attractions and book yourself a lavish hotel right in the middle of London to receive the full royal treatment.
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