Some of London’s most intriguing and popular attractions are those surrounding the monarchy. From William the Conqueror to Henry VIII, there are a string of palaces, stunning party halls and breathtaking architectural designs to see in London. Below is a list of some of the city’s most popular, visit at least one of them and experience the grandeur of London.
Probably the most famous palace in England, Buckingham Palace is the official residence of Queen Elizabeth II and the principal workplace of the Monarchy of the United Kingdom overall. The Palace holds summer openings annually in which the state rooms are open to the public between August and September. These are the rooms used by the family to host ceremonies as well as entertain guests. Come and admire unique gifts given to our current Queen, including paintings from Rembrandt, drawings from Salvador Dali and an embroidered silk scarf from Nelson Mandela.
Tower of London
Located on the north bank of the River Thames in Central London, The Tower of London is an historic castle dating back to 1078, and was built by William the Conqueror. That’s over 1000 years of royal history in one building! Learn of the classic tale of Queen Anne Boleyn and her journey towards her tragic fate. Be prepared to be in awe of Henry VIII’s display of armour and weaponry as well as the many exhibitions and re-enactments of history performed there. There is also the beautiful riverside backdrop to view and don’t forget to see the famous crown jewels located in the Waterloo Barracks.
The birthplace of Queen Victoria and once home to Princess Diana, Kensington Palace in West London is an excellent place to visit for learning London’s royal history. The exquisite interiors of the Victorian rooms, along with the original furnishings and family portraits are a sight to behold. See the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection and be floored by the dresses of both current day styling and those leading all the way back to the 18th century. The Sunken garden which in the past was used for entertainments is beautiful and deserves a look.
500 years of rich history is what you will find in one of London’s most well known palaces, Hampton Court. With both Tudor and Baroque styles gracing the the building architecture, it is a most excellent attraction. See the expansive Tudor kitchens and stroll around the 60 acre Riverside garden. Containing the worlds oldest and largest vines and key artworks from the Italian Renaissance era, Hampton Court should be on your list of essential palaces in London to visit.
Palace of Westminster
known more commonly as the Houses of Parliament, it is every bit as worthy a palace as it’s contemporaries. See Westminster Hall, one of the largest medieval halls in Europe, or see the stunning untouched 14th century vault inside the Jewel Tower. Of course, seeing up close the ever imposing and beautiful clock tower that adorns the Big Ben, is reason alone to visit this great attraction.