Historic Home in London
Make your own way to Parliament Square, where a bevy of London’s most famous sights, including Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, await. Then, meet your guide outside Westminster Abbey and head inside to begin your tour.
Walk along the same aisle that Prince William and Kate Middleton took their first steps on as a married couple, and get up close to the Coronation Chair, where the British Royals have been crowned for hundreds of years. Stroll through the cloisters and see College Garden, thought to be the oldest garden in England, along with the graves of Dickens, Hardy and other famous writers.
After touring the abbey, make the short stroll to the Houses of Parliament, which sits resplendent along the banks of the Thames River. Marvel at the golden spires and statues that stud the building’s grandiose facade, and learn about the much-snapped Elizabeth Tower, which houses the Big Ben bell. Then, continue inside and enjoy a roughly 1.5-hour tour. Take in highlights such as Westminster Hall, Queen’s Robing Room, the Royal Gallery and Lords Chamber, and gain a fascinating insight into Britain’s modern-day politics.
Your tour then concludes outside the Houses of Parliament, leaving you free to continue sightseeing independently or make your own way back to your accommodation.
Walking along Knightsbridge, London's famous shopping center where Harrods is located, you will reach No.1 London, the name given to Apsley house. Built by Adams in 1775 for Baron Apsley and acquired by the Duke of Wellington in 1817, he aggrandized the house with the help of architect Wyatt who gave it the Corinthian temple front and faced it in gold bath stone. It became the grand mansion of the Duke of Wellington, the victor of Napoleon. You will find the treasures regaled to the Duke by the European Monarchs returned to their thrones after the defeat of Napoleon. As you enter the house in the inner hall is the nude marble statue by Canova of Napoleon in the guise of Apollo. See silver and porcelain sets, jewels and snuff boxes surrounded by the Duke's furniture. Upstairs are the paintings which he collected and the old masters from the Royal Spanish collection found in Giuseppe Bonaparte's coach as he was abandoning Madrid. These were given to Wellington by the King of Spain. Among them are paintings by Velazquez, Rubens, Murillo, Ribera and Goya.(On Mondays and Tuesdays when Apsley House is closed more time will be spent in the V&A Museum.)
This private tour is hosted by a professional guide specializing in art history. Please list any special interests you have (art, architecture, history) at time of booking to alert our guide so that he or she can better prepare for your private tour.
Please note: Apsley House will be closed until March 31, 2015, more time will be spent at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Make you own way to the Banqueting House, located near the Thames River and 10 Downing Street, where the British prime minister lives and works. This 17th-century building is the only remaining part of the Palace of Whitehall, a vast royal complex that was burnt to the ground in 1698.
Before you enter, pause outside the front of the building on the pavement. This is the spot where Charles I was beheaded on a brutally cold day in 1649, after being convicted of high treason. Head inside to learn more about Charles I and to explore the interior. Architect Inigo Jones designed the Italianate Renaissance-style building and took inspiration for the design from a recent trip to Italy, .
Wander through the impressive banqueting hall, which would have been used as a venue for entertainment. Look out for a bronze bust of James I, which sits above the door in the banqueting hall. The bust was designed by Hubert Le Sueur, who also made the equestrian statue of Charles I in Charing Cross, near Trafalgar Square.
Take some time to soak up Rubens' impressive canvases — exuberant masterpieces that adorn the ceiling of Banqueting House. Commissioned by Charles I, the paintings glorify his father, King James I.
Spend as long as you want in the palace. Once you leave, make your own way back to your accommodation or continue sightseeing.
Afternoon tea in London is an institution, owing its origins to Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford – one of Queen Victoria’s ladies-in-waiting. As an elite member of Victorian society, she was accustomed to eating large breakfasts, small lunches and large dinners -- the latter served very late each night. To satisfy her afternoon hunger pangs, she summoned her servants to bring tea and cakes.
So delightful was the experience that it became a daily meal and the trend caught on – all over London.
Still going strong today, afternoon teas are served all over the capital, with the most prestigious ones taking place in top hotels -- like the 5-star Grosvenor House Hotel where your afternoon tea experience takes place. Simply choose from one of the following options and relax in an atmosphere of genteel refinement:
Traditional Afternoon Tea:
Enjoy a traditional light afternoon tea, served in style in the Grosvenor House’s library. Taking place between 3pm and 6pm, the light feast includes a pot of classic English tea, traditional (crust-removed) sandwiches, pastries, and scones with clotted cream and fruit preserves.
Anna’s Champagne Afternoon Tea:
Sit down in Grosvenor House’s Park Room, which overlooks Hyde Park, and relax to elegant music from the resident pianist. Created as a testament to Duchess Anna’s legacy, this luxury afternoon tea comprises dainty finger sandwiches, buttermilk scones, cream puffs and pastries -- all served with your choice of fine English tea and a glass of all-important Champagne.
Head inside the Household Cavalry Museum in London with your entrance ticket, and then browse the extensive museum at your own pace. Open since 2007, the exhibition showcases the history and role of the Household Cavalry — a senior corps formed of the Life Guards and Blues and Royals regiments.
Formed during the reign of King Charles II in the 17th century to act as the king’s protection, the Household Cavalry now has multiple tasks; while best-known for its ceremonial duties guarding Buckingham Palace, the regiment also fulfills a reconnaissance role and assists in combat duties on the front line of battles around the world.
Explore the 18th-century former vaulted stables, and learn all about the Household Cavalry’s close association with the British Royal Family while browsing the museum’s impressive collection of rare military exhibits. High-profile members of the royal family, such as Prince Harry and the Queen, are currently part of the regiment and Prince William also served within it. Read first-hand accounts about the soldiers’ rigorous training schedules, see pictures from battles, and learn about units deployed in active service as international peacekeepers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Look into the working stables of the Queen’s Life Guard through a glass screen and see today’s troopers working with their horses. If you want, try on parts of the regiment’s uniform and pose for a photo! Make use of a state-of-the-art handheld multimedia guide as you walk around, and enjoy a greater insight into the history and accomplishments of the elite Household Cavalry.
Many people find two hours sufficient to look around the museum, but your ticket enables you to spend as long as you like inside. There are no cafes on site, but there is an extensive gift shop if you wish to shop for souvenirs and postcards.
Take a trip through the beautiful English countryside and visit the gorgeous Hatfield House estate, home of the legendary Queen Elizabeth I, just a short drive north of London in Hertfordshire County.
After being collected from your accommodation in London or at a convenient meeting point in the city, you will take a short but scenic drive to Hatfield House. Stroll through its formal period gardens, featured in many famous films through the years, take a walk through the vast acres of woods and landscaped gardens, or visit one of the several exhibitions at the estate.
If you'd like a whole day out, consider adding the nearby Knebworth House to see a totally different style of country house.
After meeting at your hotel or at a convenient meeting point in north London, travel by private car through the beautiful English countryside to the stately home of Knebworth House, where the aristocratic Lytton family lived for centuries.
One of the most recognizable stately homes in Britain, Knebworth House lies in the beautiful Hertfordshire countryside just outside London. Its foreboding exterior has made it a popular setting for films like Batman but it is the beautiful interiors and vast gardens that make this a must-see.
Savor the peaceful estate and its many treasures and works of art as you explore the grounds, and once the tour is complete, travel back to your starting point in London in a private car.
Rarely can any man have been so talented, he being also a distinguished writer and notable historian as well as former soldier. No visitor to Great Britain should miss the home of perhaps one of the most famous leaders in world history as well as his glorious landscaped gardens.
With a hotel pickup around 9am depending on your location, this private tour sets off in a comfortable new Audi vehicle. Your guide and driver for the day oversees every aspect of all tours personally so you can be assured for a flexible and friendly professional service.
We will arrive at Chartwell around 10.30am after which we can explore some of the wonderful gardens of Chartwell House, some of which designed and created by Sir Winston Churchill himself. Around 11.30am you will get to go inside Chartwell House, exploring the rooms and seeing the house as it was when the Churchill family lived here. During the visit there is the opportunity to see treasures and memorabilia from around the world that were gifted to the leader of the free-world.
Chartwell House as a lovely cafe/restaurant which isn't included in the price but the chance to experience a cream tea and scone shouldn't be overlooked or perhaps a visit to Churchills Art Studio with dozens of his paintings on display is better if you're watching your figure. Churchill would no doubt have a few words to say on that subject! Finally the drive back to the starting point and you should be back around 3-3.30pm.