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Have you ever wanted to live like a prince or princess? Our London Tour for Kids in Kensington Palace will take us into the former London residence of Queen Victoria and Princess Diana and current home to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Here we will learn about the rebellious princess who ran from an arranged marriage into the arms of love, and more. These stories are woven into the fabric of the palace through theatrical performances, art installations, fashion, and music, against the backdrop of the historic State Apartments.
Kensington Palace has a rich history that begins with the first monarchs to live there, William III and Mary II, who invaded England and took the throne in 1689 after the Glorious (and allegedly bloodless) Revolution of 1688. Suffering from severe asthma and in need of clean country air rather than the stench and dirt of London proper, William and his wife rebuilt a small country house which became Kensington Palace, home of monarchs.
We will hear about their lives, but also of the lives of their often forgotten consorts, Queen Mary the collector, Sophia Dorothea, who never saw England and was imprisoned in a castle for 30 years, and Queen Caroline, an intellectual and one of the most powerful women in British history. After George II, the official residence of the monarch in London moved to Buckingham Palace, though Kensington Palace remained a home for royals. It was here that Princess Victoria spent her childhood and discovered, early one morning in 1837, that the king had died and that she was now Queen Victoria at the age of 18.
Today, the palace is associated with perhaps its most famous residents, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge William and Kate and their children, George and Charlotte.
With the help of our map, the clues, and the palace guardians we will search for these stories and many more. We will enter the world of Kensington Palace and come away having learned about the lives and stories of this magical residence.
Who lives in the Palace? Will we see William and Kate?
Current residents include TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who moved in to Princess Margaret's former apartment with their son Prince George. They have now been joined by Princess Charlotte, born 02 May 2015. Prince Harry also now lives in a separate apartment within Kensington Palace. Their residences are not open to the public, however, we have caught glimpses of the Royal family in the past.
Can I take pictures inside Kensington Palace?
Yes, photography is allowed in Kensington Palace. Please be mindful of both the delicate fabric of the building and of other visitors.
Hop on a train from London to Hampton Court Palace, and visit the most well-known home of infamous Henry VIII. On this Hampton Court Tour, led by a local British historian, we will both appreciate the opulence and historical significance found throughout the grounds. Together, we will inspect the impressive Tudor frontage, the Great Hall, with its remarkable hammer-beam roof, and the huge kitchens that were once used to cook meals for over 1,000 people. We will also be able to see vestiges of several of Henry VIII's six queens, further informing our understanding of the history of the place—Catherine of Aragon’s symbol, the pomegranate, can be seen above a door frame, Jane Seymour’s arms decorate a ceiling, and it is in the Great Watching Chamber that Catherine Howard’s adultery was announced, leading to her execution.
On the tour, while we will discuss Henry VIII and the Tudor palace, we will also discover that there is much more to glean about British history by visiting Hampton Court. We'll start our tour by disembarking the train and crossing the River Thames, where we will discuss the importance of the river to monarchs over the centuries. Upon entering the palace, our discussion will move to how, in 1236, the Knights Hospitallers of St. John Jerusalem acquired the Manor of Hampton and used it as a grange, or center, for their agricultural estates before it was leased in 1508 to Cardinal Wolsey, Henry VIII’s Chief Minister. Wolsey carried out vast building works and turned the manor into a magnificent palace; as such, we will discuss both his architectural innovations and his life.
In the late 1600s, Hampton Court was adopted by the joint monarchs, William III and Mary II. They hired the great Baroque architect Sir Christopher Wren (the subject of our Christopher Wren Churches Tour) to rebuild the King’s and Queen’s Apartments. We will see the rooms that they used for public ceremonies as well as for private moments. while discussing the functions of these rooms and the daily lives of the monarchs who used them.
The Prince and Princess of Wales, the future George II and Queen Caroline, also lived at Hampton Court and redecorated the apartments using fashionable architect and interior designer William Kent. On our travels through the apartments, we will also see great works of art from the Royal Collection, including paintings, precious sixteenth-century tapestries, and the Renaissance masterpiece by Mantegna, "The Triumphs of Caesar."
Then we will move onward to the gardens, where we will discuss the history from the Tudors to today and wander through the many different areas, from the formal gardens to the orchard, from the 200-year-old Great Vine to the Rose Garden, as well as to the site of Henry VIII’s tiltyard where tournaments were held. At the end, if you still have the energy, you might like to get lost in Hampton Court’s famous maze.
Looking for more royal splendor? Try our Tower of London Tour.
For private tours we can organize a bike excursion to Hampton Court and a lesson of Real Tennis at the Royal Tennis Court. Please ask our office for more info.
Where do we meet? Where does it end?
The walk begins at Hampton Court station and ends inside the palace grounds. Your confirmation email will have the exact meeting point details along with a map, and emergency phone number. Hampton Court is very easy to get to by train. South West Trains run direct from London Waterloo to Hampton Court. The journey only takes 35 minutes.
Can I take pictures?
Yes, photography and/or filming is permitted in all areas of the palace with the exception of the Chapel Royal, Royal Pew and Cumberland Art Gallery.
Is this tour good for kids?
Yes! We have some excellent family friendly docents who can appeal to the learning styles of children. Please book privately if you have children under 13. Feel free to provide us with information about your children such as favorite school subjects, and hobbies. This way we can match you with the best possible docent.
Will you pre-purchase tickets?
We pre-purchase tickets to Hampton Court. Your docent will have them on hand.
What if it’s raining?
Tours operate rain or shine, but in the case of inclement weather, your docent will modify the tour so more time is spent indoors. It never hurts to have an umbrella on hand.
Is Hampton Court accessible?
Hampton Court Palace is an historic building and, therefore, has uneven surfaces. We therefore recommend that wheelchair users bring their own wheelchair for comfort and ease. Most of the routes within the palace are accessible to visitors unable to climb stairs as there is a lift to take visitors to the State Apartments on the first floor. Staff and docents will be happy to help. However, many of the staircases are wide and shallow (having been built for William III who was asthmatic).
Is this a walking intensive tour?
The walk is at a leisurely pace. There are occasional opportunities to sit, use the restroom, and get something to drink if needed.
Leaving Windsor Castle (visit at own expense), the medieval castle favored by reining monarchs since the 11th century you will take the short and direct Shuttle ride to Hampton Court Palace. Your journey follows the River Thames where passengers will see several notable sites.
Soon after leaving Windsor you will be driven through Runnymede where the Magna Carta was signed by King John in 1215. This riverside meadow is recognized as one of the most important events in English history as it marked the road to individual freedom, parliamentary democracy and to the supremacy of law. Today the Magna Carta is commemorated by a monument donated by the American Bar Association. Alongside the Magna Carta monument stands the John F Kennedy memorial opened by the Queen in 1965.
Approaching Hampton Court Palace you pass several Victorian reservoirs constructed to supply water to London and its surrounding suburbs, as well as passing the riverside home of David Garrick an 18th Century actor, playwright and theatrical producer. You also observe the Temple which he constructed to commemorate the genius of William Shakespeare. Finally you pass the former home of Sir Christopher Wren, the architect who is famously associated with the design of St. Paul's Cathedral in London.
The Shuttle arrives immediately outside the main entrance to Hampton Court Palace approximately 30 minutes after leaving Windsor Castle. Visit to Hampton Court Palace at own expense.
Hampton Court Palace has much to offer visitors; discover the magnificence of Henry VIII's favorite royal residence. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the bustling Base Court and marvel at the breath-taking grandeur of Henry's State Rooms. Tickle your taste buds in the vast Tudor kitchens, stroll through over 60 acres of enchanting gardens, lose yourself in the famous maze and appreciate the beauty of one of the greatest palaces on earth.
East Molesey which is just a short walk over Hampton Court bridge on your way to the railway station which has an abundance of shops, restaurants and pubs which visitors may wish to visit before returning to their final destination later in the day at their own pace. Return to London by train from Hampton Court Station which is only a short walk across the bridge.
After an early start, you'll visit Windsor Castle, where more than 900 years of royal history await. Windsor Castle, the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world, is today one of the official residences of Her Majesty The Queen. Walk through the magnificent grounds and explore the State Apartments. If you're lucky you may catch the official Changing of the Guard or soak up the splendor of St. George's Chapel. After your visit to Windsor, you'll take a drive through Runnymede, where King John signed the Magna Carta.
Next, immerse yourself in the lavishly furnished rooms from the Royal Collection at Buckingham Palace! The palace hosts many official events and receptions held by the Queen, so areas are exclusively opened for limited time only during the summer so book early!
Buckingham Palace has served as the official London residence of Britain's sovereigns since 1837, and today it is the Queen's official residence. Take the audio tour and learn about the royal history. Your visit is independent and will conclude here so you can explore at leisure.
Diamonds: A Jubilee Celebration
This spectacular exhibition shows the many ways in which diamonds have been used by British monarchs over the last 200 years. It includes a number of The Queen’s personal jewels - those inherited by Her Majesty or acquired during her reign. The exhibition reveals how many of these extraordinary stones have undergone a number of transformations, having been re-cut or incorporated into new settings during their fascinating history.
The morning begins with a private tour of Hampton Court before it opens to the public. An expert State Apartment Warden will give a unique insight to the waking palace taking the group through the tranquil gardens and into the courtyards and cloisters of the magnificent Tudor palace once the favourite residence of Henry VIII. The tour of Hampton Court Palace will include some courtyards and cloisters not accessible to the public during the day as well as the fascinating Tudor Kitchens where Henry’s banquets were prepared.
The most famous prehistoric monument in the world. Stonehenge stands alone in the vast empty tract of Salisbury plain. Its origins date back nearly 5,000 years. Who were the people who carried and carved these 40 ton rocks? Come and unlock the secrets for yourself. Then you will have time to enjoy a picnic style lunch at the new Visitors Centre restaurant.
Finally head for the Georgian city of Bath. Bath is a beautiful Georgian city with delightful crescents, terraces and architecture. Following our scenic drive into the heart of the city and a short walking tour with your guide, there is free time to explore. Perhaps visit the Roman Baths that were built nearly 2,000 years ago, visit Bath Abbey or simply treat yourself to an afternoon tea in one of the many quaint tea houses.
Following your Hampton Court Palace visit, hop aboard your shuttle service at 12:15pm or 1:45pm, and relax on your 35-minute journey along the Thames River to Windsor Castle.
Along the way, pass Victorian reservoirs constructed to supply water to London and see the riverside home of 18th-century actor, playwright, and theatrical producer David Garrick. As you approach Windsor, drive through Runnymede — where the Magna Carta was signed by King John in 1215.
Arrive into the center of Windsor, then head onward independently to visit Windsor Castle (own expense) — the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world, and one of the official residences of the Queen.
See where King Henry VIII wooed his many wives with fast-track entry to Hampton Court Palace. Even better, by purchasing your ticket ahead of time you'll enjoy priority entrance. Don't waste time waiting in lines on vacation!
Flamboyant Henry VIII is most associated with this majestic palace, which he extended and developed after acquiring it in the 1520s. The palace's many royal occupants have ensured the palace has fabulous furnishings, tapestries and paintings. It is set in beautiful formal gardens, which include the famous maze and the Great Vine.
Hampton Court has a designated Family Room, where parents and young children are invited to take a rest from the bustle of the palace. The play equipment is suitable for children aged under five. Family Trails guiding children around the palace are available at the Information Center.
The palace is pushchair friendly and a lift is available if you'd like to access the upper floor without using the stairs.
Hampton Court is just half an hour from Central London by direct train and is a great place to spend a relaxing afternoon out of the city!
At least three hours is recommended for your visit to Hampton Court.
Do you want to visit more Royal sites?
Upgrade to the Royal Palaces Pass, including the Tower of London, Hampton Court and Kensington Palace. Your pass comprehends one visit to each attraction and is valid for two years. You'll have plenty of time to explore the stories and intrigues at each site at your leisure, as part of you own itinerary.
Special Offer - Save up to 14% on attraction admissions by booking the Royal Palaces Pass! Special applies to adult pricing only. - Book Now!
London's Kensington Palace has been a royal home for over 300 years, and parts of the palace still remain a private residence for members of the Royal Family today. Following a major renovation project, the palace now unveils many secret stories of past royal figures, painting Kensington Palace as the setting for many noteworthy events and dramas in royal history. Make your way through the spectacular King’s and Queen’s State Apartments, adorned with paintings from the Royal Collection, and stroll through the Kensington Palace Gardens at your leisure.
Explore the permanent exhibition, ‘Victoria Revealed,’ which is set within the rooms where Victoria grew up. Queen Victoria was born in the palace, and it was here that she learned she had become queen at just 18 years of age. She also held her first Privy Council meeting in Kensington Palace’s Red Saloon. Inspired by her own journals and featuring displays of personal objects, ‘Victoria Revealed’ gives an intimate account of Queen Victoria, exploring her life and reign through her own words.
Do you want to visit more Royal sites?
Upgrade to the Royal Palaces Pass to include admission to the Tower of London and Hampton Court. Your pass includes one visit to each attraction and is valid for two years. You'll have plenty of time to explore the stories and intrigues at each site at your leisure, as part of your own itinerary.
Special Offer - Save up to 14% on attraction admissions by booking the Royal Palaces Pass option only! Special applies to adult pricing only. - Book Now!
Book in advance and jump the queue at the Tower of London, Hampton Court and Kensington Palace. Don't waste time waiting in lines on vacation! Your pass is valid for one visit to each attraction and is valid for two years. You'll have plenty of time to explore the stories and intrigues at each site at your leisure, as part of your own itinerary.
Tower of London
Home to the Crown Jewels, the Tower of London reverberates with dark secrets, where priceless jewels glint in fortified vaults and pampered ravens strut the grounds. Founded by William the Conqueror in 1066, and enlarged and modified by successive sovereigns, the Tower of London is one of the world's most famous and spectacular fortresses. Discover its 900-year history as royal palace and fortress, prison and place of execution, mint, arsenal, menagerie and jewel house.
Hampton Court Palace
Flamboyant King Henry VIII developed this majestic palace after acquiring it in the 1520s. The palace has fabulous furnishings, tapestries and paintings, and is set in formal gardens, which include the famous maze and Great Vine.
Generations of royal women have shaped this stylish palace and elegant gardens, from Queen Mary to Victoria, and more recently, Diana, Princess of Wales. Today, the palace also houses a stunning collection of fashionable formal dress worn for state and royal occasions.
Start your day by making your own way to Victoria Coach Station to meet your guide. Settle into your seat aboard a luxury coach, then relax on the journey to Oxfordshire, a picturesque county roughly 1.5 hours away.
Make your first stop at the UNESCO-listed Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Sir William Churchill. With your headset switched on to ensure you can hear your guide’s commentary clearly, set off on a tour of the lavish State Rooms. Delve into the history of the 18th-century manor house, and get up close to priceless works of art and tapestries. Then, enjoy a stroll through the landscaped gardens.
Next, hop back inside your coach and gaze out of the window as you journey through the Cotswolds, a region of outstanding natural beauty characterized by charming parishes and thatched villages. Stop in Bibury, and walk with your guide to Arlington Row, a set of pretty cottages that date back to the 14th century.
Continue on to the ‘Little Venice’ of the Cotswolds, Bourton-on-the-Water. Have your camera ready as you wander down the high street, lined with shaded greens. Then, feel the tranquility wash over you as you head across arched stone bridges for views of River Windrush.
After, head to Bampton, a quintessentially English village that featured as Downton village in the hit TV show Downton Abbey. See the church where Lady Mary and Matthew Crawley married, and the house that was once the Crawley family home. Pass Downton hospital and take in other sites such as the fictional Grantham Arms pub.You'll also have the opportunity to stop in at a local restaurant or cafe for lunch (own expense).
When the time comes, return to your coach for the journey back to London, where your day trip concludes at Victoria Station.
Start your day by making your own way to Victoria Coach Station to meet your guide. Settle into your seat aboard a luxury coach, then relax on the journey to Oxfordshire, a picturesque county roughly 1.5 hours away.
Make your first stop at the UNESCO-listed Blenheim Palace (entry not included), the birthplace of Sir William Churchill. With your headset switched on to ensure you can hear your guide’s commentary clearly, set off on a tour of the lavish State Rooms. Delve into the history of the 18th-century manor house, and get up close to priceless works of art and tapestries. Then, enjoy a stroll through the landscaped gardens.
Next, hop back inside your coach and gaze out of the window as you journey through the Cotswolds, a region of outstanding natural beauty characterized by charming parishes and thatched villages. Stop in Bilbury, and walk with your guide to Arlington Row, a set of pretty cottages that date back to the 14th century.
Continue on to the ‘Little Venice’ of the Cotswolds, Bourton-on-the-Water. Have your camera ready as you wander down the high street, lined with shaded greens. Then, feel the tranquility wash over you as you head across arched stone bridges for views of River Windrush. You'll also have the opportunity to stop in at a local restaurant or cafe for lunch (own expense).
After, head to Bampton, a quintessentially English village that featured as Downton village in the hit TV show Downton Abbey. See the church where Lady Mary and Matthew Crawley married, and the house that was once the Crawley family home. Pass Downton hospital and take in other sites such as the fictional Grantham Arms pub.
When the time comes, return to your coach for the journey back to London, where your day trip concludes at Victoria Station.
Leave London’s Victoria Station by comfortable coach for a short drive to Windsor, home to the royal family for 900 years and official residence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Windsor Castle's fortified walls dominate the delightful town that has grown up around it over the years (own expense). You will see the lavishly decorated State Apartments and St. George's Chapel.
Your host will show you to the entrance, leaving you for roughly two hours to explore independently and perhaps grab lunch (own expense).
In the afternoon, your tour continues to Hampton Court Palace in southwest London, approximately one hour away. With two hours to explore at leisure, you’ll learn all about the lives of famous monarchs who’ve lived in the palace like Henry VIII, plus admire the beautiful Tudor architecture and gardens. Lose yourself in the famous Hampton Court maze or relax with a coffee in the quaint Titlyard Café (own expense). Your tour returns to London Victoria by coach, where you’ll arrive in the early evening.
Treat yourself to that quintessentially English tradition, afternoon tea, in an elegant lounge with views of Buckingham Palace's Royal Mews. Over the 2-hour experience that's fit for a queen, feast on finger sandwiches, fresh-baked scones, and mouthwatering sweet treats at The Rubens at the Palace hotel, a classically English boutique hotel. The Rubens can accommodate most dietary requirements: please advise in advance.
Arrive at The Rubens at the Palace Hotel at 2:45pm in time for tea service in the lounge at 3pm. As befits the prestigious location, this is a classically styled afternoon tea with the occasional modern twist.
Enjoy your choice of tea (or coffee) – perhaps an Earl Grey, or an English Breakfast? - served on elegant china as you await the arrival of your feast. Savor finger sandwiches in classic English high tea flavors, such as egg and cress, ham and mustard, and cucumber and cream cheese; indulge in fresh-baked scones with clotted cream and homemade strawberry preserve. Then treat your sweet tooth to the finest The Rubens' talented pastry chef has to offer: expect inventive pairings like white chocolate and passionfruit, or jasmine and mango.
There are few things more magical than watching a child enjoy their first afternoon tea. The Little Prince and Princess Tea (for children aged 5-11) includes bite-size sandwiches, fresh-baked scones, selected pastries, and a choice of milkshake, hot chocolate, tea, or soft drink.
Whichever special someone you bring with you, you'll finish your tea around 5pm.
Take a scenic 3-hour bike ride around the beautiful grounds of Hampton Court Palace* with this fun guided tour along a gentle eight mile (13 km) route. Start exploring the stunning Royal Bushy Park, see where Eisenhower had his WWII base and look for deer that are direct descendants from ones bred by Henry VIII.
Stop by a local pub for some refreshments (not included) before cycling to the end of the Long Water, taking in the iconic view of Sir Christopher Wren's baroque masterpiece. Travelling alongside the River Thames, arrive at the Palace's grand riverside entrance and learn about the colourful history that dates back over 500 years.
The cycle ends close to the entrance for ease of access to the Palace or train station - a blissful trip out of the city.
*Please note: Entrance fee to the Palace is not included.
Depart from Fountain Square (123-151 Buckingham Palace Road) in London and make your way to Blenheim Palace. Arrive early in order to ensure a nearly private visit of the fairy-tale mansion. View the impressive State Rooms, walk through the well maintained gardens designed by Capability Brown, and grab a photo opportunity at the lake.
Head next through the Cotswolds, taking in the countryside, sleepy villages, and bustling market towns on a tour of one of England’s most pretty regions. Drive to the sleepy town of Burford, built on a steep high street leading to the River Windrush and its medieval bridge. A lunch pack will be included.
See the picturesque village of Bourton-on-the-Water, also known as the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’. Take time to explore the low bridges and wander along the Main Street.
Top off the day with a visit to the enchanting Stow-on-the-Wold, the highest town in the Cotswolds. Estimated arrival time back to London is around 6.30pm.
Leave London’s Marble Arch by air-conditioned minivan, and travel west to the rolling limestone hills of Oxfordshire. On the journey, your guide will keep you entertained with tales and trivia about the Downton Abbey TV series that has a fan base spread all over the world.
Filmed mostly in and around Oxfordshire, the British period drama of Downton Abbey documents the dramas and scandals of the fictional Crawley family and their servants in the days leading up to and after World War I. Hear insider gossip about characters such as Lady Mary, and discover little-known facts about the shooting locations included on your tour. Stop at a farm nestled in the hills near Cogges and enjoy a hot drink (own expense) in the farm’s rustic cafe before you check out filming locations around the farm.
Continue to Bampton in the Cotswolds. The stone cottages and leafy, twisting streets in this quintessential English village might look familiar; scenes depicting the Downton village are often shot here and appear throughout the entire series. On a walking tour, see the village church — the site of Lady Mary’s wedding to Matthew Crawley — and the house that was once used as the Crawley family home. Stroll along the main street, spotting shops and the fictional Grantham Arms pub that appear in many episodes.
Travel onward to the historical village of Shilton to explore its center, including a quaint village pub that is surrounded by ponds, medieval bridges and wells. From Shilton, travel to a pub in Swinbrook for lunch (own expense) where Lady Sybil eloped with the family chauffeur Branson; enjoy a quick stop in the village of Bladon to see the graves of Sir Winston Churchill and his wife; and finish the tour at Blenheim Palace — a UNESCO World Heritage site.
While not used as a Downton Abbey filming location, one can imagine the palace's stately grandeur that would impress the Crawley family. Take a walking tour that delves into the history of Winston Churchill's ancestral home, originally given to the first duke of Marlborough as a gift from the English Parliament. Wander through the State Apartments, and then explore a section of the beautiful landscaped gardens that feature the Temple of Diana. Finally, return to your minivan and travel back to London where your tour finishes.
After a pick up 7:30am pick up from a central location, travel just a short time from London city life and watch as the scenery changes to stunning countryside, streams and honey-colored cottages. The tour will drive through beautiful villages until arriving at Burford, the elegant market town known as the 'Gateway to the Cotswolds'. Here you will take a guided walk to the 900 year old church of St John the Baptist and see unique woolsack tombs and historic memorials.
After some free time you will depart and drive over to Bibury "the prettiest village in England" according to the art critic and writer William Morris. You can walk along the picturesque Arlington Row, one of the most photographed group of cottages in the country dating back to the 17th century, alongside clear trout filled streams and the village green. A single track country lane will take you up further up the Coln Valley and onto the 2,000 year old Roman Fosse Way. Along this delightful secluded valley the tour will make a stop at the ancient stone church at Coln St Dennis, then onwards to Bourton-on-the-Water, the 'Little Venice of the Cotswolds' with its stream running through the center of the village and a series of stone bridges. Picture postcard houses nestle either side of the River Windrush as the tour follows the narrow lanes up to Stow-on-the-Wold, the highest town in the Cotswolds. This attractive market town was the center of the wool trade in the area when up to 20,000 sheep would be bought and sold at the annual fairs! It is the highest of the Cotswolds towns standing on the 800 feet high Stow Hill. there will be time to explore the wide town market square and the views from the hilltop before our traditional lunch at one of the oldest inns in the country.
You will then continue the guided tour down to Woodstock and the magnificent Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. This stately home was designed by Sir John Vanbrugh and built between 1704 and 1722 for Sir John Churchill as a reward for defeating the French in the Wars of Spanish Succession. Beautiful landscaped grounds designed by Lancelot Capability Brown surround the Palace. Explore the opulent interior, see the room where Sir Winston Churchill was born and marvel at the great dinning hall and library. A wonderful way to end the day before our return to London.
On the return to London your driver will drop you at Victoria Train Station in the city center. This is one of the largest transport stations in London, with excellent connections to all parts of London and beyond.
Meet your host in central London and make your way to Buckingham Palace, which has served as the official London residence of the British Royal Family since the 19th century. Receive your prebooked ticket from your host, and then head inside independently to explore the home of Queen Elizabeth II, a rare opportunity only available to the public for approx. eight weeks of the year.
Plug in your audio guide and marvel at the grand chandeliers, extravagant furnishings and treasures from the Royal Collection as you stroll through the State Rooms. You’ll also see the stunning Throne Room, where formal royal wedding photographs are traditionally taken. As you wander, listen to the audio commentary for more insightful information about the palace’s royal residents, history and traditions.
After your audio tour, leave the palace and join back up with your host. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the beautiful St James’s Park to a nearby hotel, where you’ll enjoy afternoon tea. As you walk, learn how the quaint tradition is thought to have been started by one of Queen Victoria's ladies-in-waiting.
On arrival, make for the hotel’s ornate dining room. Recline in one of the plush armchairs and be delighted as the waiting staff present you with a delectable spread of dainty finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and homemade preserves, freshly made cakes and pastries, and a selection of tea.
Your tour ends inside the hotel. With your sweet tooth soothed, bid your host a fond farewell before making your own way back to your hotel or next destination.
Meet your guide at Waterloo Place, central London, and stroll the short distance through beautiful St James's Park to Buckingham Palace, a monument that has served as the official London residence of Britain’s sovereigns since the 19th century.
Stop at either Horse Guards Parade or directly in front of the palace (depending on the weather) to watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony from a prime viewing spot. The world-famous ceremony involves a march by the Queen’s Foot Guards, with their cherry-red tunics and bearskin hats, in time to drumbeats from a military band. Soak up the glorious pomp and pageantry, and listen to your guide to learn about the history behind the event.
After watching the ceremony, follow your guide to the entrance of Buckingham Palace, a site only open to the public for two months each year. Guides are not permitted to speak inside the palace, so listen to your guide’s insightful commentary outside so that you’re armed with all the background information.
Then, head inside with your prebooked ticket, plug in your audio guide, and explore the public rooms of the palace that Queen Elizabeth II still calls home today. Gaze in wonder at sparkling chandeliers, decadent furnishings and treasures from the Royal Collection such as exquisite Sèvres porcelain, and listen to the audio commentary for more information on the palace’s royal residents, history and traditions.
After your audio tour, leave Buckingham Palace and enjoy a leisurely stroll to your next event: afternoon tea at one of central London’s prestigious hotels. As you walk, learn about Britain’s afternoon tea tradition from your guide. Believed to have been started by one of Queen Victoria's ladies-in-waiting, the custom of ‘taking tea’ in the afternoon became well established with high society in the 18th century, and its popularity later spread into a tradition favored by most of the country.
Visit either Rubens at the Palace or St Ermin’s Hotel in Westminster and enjoy an afternoon tea of delights. Nibble on scones laden with thick clotted cream and jam, sip on classic English tea and bite into dainty finger sandwiches while chatting about your afternoon’s experience. Your tour ends inside the hotel, so bid your guide goodbye after finishing your tea.
Please note: if there is heavy rain on the day of your tour, the Changing of the Guard ceremony will be replaced with a visit to the Guard’s Chapel.
Experience two top London sights and one of Britain's best traditions on this full-day combo tour. Visit Westminster Abbey; get an inside look at Buckingham Palace, the Queen's official London residence; and watch the Changing of the Guard, a wonderful display of British pageantry. Then, cap your day with an indulgent afternoon tea at a luxury London hotel.
Meet your guide by the column opposite the west entrance of Westminster Abbey, one of the world’s greatest churches and the site of royal coronations for 1,000 years.
Step inside this 700-year-old monument for a guided tour highlighting its most important and fascinating features. Learn how the abbey is a significant structure in British history, welcoming kings, queens and statesmen, and playing host to state funerals and royal weddings — most recently the marriage William and Kate.
Next, follow your guide to see the Changing of the Guard. Depending on the day, you'll either watch the ceremony at Buckingham Palace or at House Guards Parade. Your guide will make sure you’re in a prime position to get the best views and regale you with details on the history and pageantry behind this beloved event. Please note: In heavy rain, the Changing of the Guard does not take place.
After a break for lunch (own expense), it’s time to visit Buckingham Palace, the residence of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, for an audio-guided tour. See the balcony where the royal family appears during major events, and hear stories of intruders and princes scaling the walls to get both inside and out. Then, separate from your guide and head inside to see the magnificent State Rooms, which are only open to the public for two short months out of the entire year.
Join back up with your guide, and then end the day with a sumptuous afternoon tea. Savor delicious scones topped with jam and clotted cream, a selection of sandwiches and cakes, and a pot of fresh tea, all served on fine china in the magnificent setting of a traditional London luxury hotel.
Meet your local guide not far from the Palace, who will welcome you and take you on a walking tour of this most royal part of London. They will provide fascinating background information about the palace and the royal family, as well as the magnificent St James's Palace, built by Henry VIII and the official residence of the Queen - send her a letter and it will arrive here! You'll also visit the beautiful St James's Park, once home to the royal zoo, the Mall, built to resemble a giant red carpet leading up to the Palace, and pass by Clarence House, also a Royal palace and home to Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. After your relaxing walking tour you’ll have the rare chance to visit the inside of the royal residence: Buckingham Palace. The palace opens its doors to visitors for a limited time each year and it seems that just about everyone would like to get inside.
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh open the doors of Buckingham Palace to visitors just once a year for two months. This is a unique opportunity to catch a rare glimpse into the London residence of the Royals. Tickets are hard to come by but your entrance is pre-booked, which means access is guaranteed and there will be no lines to wait in. This is where Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II extends a royal welcome to visitors, boasting lavish apartments, sparkling chandeliers, and sumptuous furnishings. These rooms house some of the greatest treasures of the Royal Collection, such as exquisite pieces of Sèvres porcelain and some of the finest English and French furniture in the world. With the official Palace audio guide you’ll learn all about the palace residents, history, and traditions as well as the stories of the furnishings and ornaments. Many of these items were gifts from Heads of State spanning both the centuries and the globe.
A team of professional photographers will plan your Buckingham Palace session with you. You'll get an insider perspective on the location and amazing photos of you as we explore and enjoy the highlights around Buckingham Palace.
Teams of 1 or 2 photographers will guide you through the city and use the subway and walking where appropriate. Visit many iconic landmarks around the palace and take in the sights of the city as you are guided around and have fun getting gorgeous photographs of you and your loved ones. This customizable experience is perfect for couples, groups, friends, singles and families looking for professional styled photos in London.
With easy and early access, you’ll enter Kensington Palace for a fully guided tour of this incredible Palace home to royalty for over 300 years. Enter the Royal Palace before the crowds arrive to view the State Apartments as well as visit the stunning regal and commanding Royal Gardens. Your guide will then take you on an incredible journey unveiling the life of young Princesses including Princess Diana & Princess Kate.
You will enjoy breathtaking scenery while listening to historical and sensational stories of Princesses past and present. Your tour will continue to the unique palace garden setting, the Orangery Restaurant. Here you will enjoy a decadent afternoon tea reception offering hand-prepared cakes and pastries and more than 10 specialty teas while sitting in one of the most elegant venues in London.
This tour has all the ingredients for the perfect fully guided tour covering all the highlights of Kensington Palace including the Royal Gardens for a 2 hour guided tour before afternoon tea for approximately one hour relaxing in the Orangery Restaurant in the Gardens. Be sure to bring your camera to take some of the most memorable photos of any visit to one of London's most popular royal palaces.
Private Guided Tour of Hampton Court Palace. Follow in the footsteps of King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth. Explore the magnificent rooms and see fantastic treasures and works of art. See the huge kitchens and try out the famous Hampton Court Maze!
Hampton Court Palace is one of the best days out imaginable. We meet you at either your hotel or mutually convenient station at around 9am then travel by private car to Hampton Court Palace, sat in a beautiful location on the River Thames.
With your ticket included, we would explore all that Hampton Court has to offer. Hampton Court is famous for being a home of King Henry VIII, and we will visit his massive royal kitchens and ancient Great Hall. Then we will visit the beautiful Chapel Royal before visiting The Cumberland Gallery, which is full of paintings by some of the leading artists in Europe such as Rembrandt and Caravaggio.
The palace has been lived in for centuries, and we can see more recent periods of royal residency including the magnificent state apartments of King William III and the chocolate kitchens.
Finally, Hampton Court is surrounded by some of the most beautiful gardens anywhere, and we can have a walk in the fresh air before visiting the world-famous Hampton Court Maze.
The tour will end with us returning by car back to our starting point.
This is a totally unrushed and bespoke tour, very different from the busy and quick coach tours.
Discover the vast estate of Blenheim Palace in the Oxfordshire village of Woodstock on a half-day tour from London, traveling by private car. The only non-royal or religious palace in the UK, Blenheim is the ancestral home of the dukes of Marlborough, and was built between 1705 and 1722.
Upon arrival, marvel at the sumptuous interior, and discover a masterpiece of Baroque architecture. Once home to Winston Churchill, the palace rooms include the imposing Great Hall and the state apartments. See stunning portraits and tapestries, as well as period furniture and porcelain displays.
Then, wander among more than 2,000 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and grounds. See the water terraces of the Formal Gardens, and take on the challenge of the Marlborough Maze in the Pleasure Gardens. Walks around the grounds will take you to the Pump House, rose gardens, Boathouse, and more.
Join us on a private tour to the beautiful and entirely unique Eltham Palace. For centuries a Royal Palace sat atop of a hill overlook beautiful countryside and more latterly in the leafy London suburbs.
There is nowhere else quite like Eltham Palace. Situated in SE London, it is a unique marriage between a medieval and Tudor palace and a 1930s millionaire’s mansion. From the 14th to the 16th century it was an important royal palace, where monarchs often stayed and hunted in the surrounding parks.
Much of Eltham Palace fell into disuse and large sections of it had to be taken down but happily the Great Hall remains and it is one of the finest in the country, up with that at Westminster Palace and Hampton Court Palace.
What really makes Eltham Palace unique however is that after centuries of neglect, Eltham was leased to Stephen and Virginia Courtauld in 1933 and they spent £20 million on building a state of the art home here that incorporated the Great Hall with their magnificent Art-Deco creation. The result was a masterpiece of 20th-century design.
Finally, Eltham surrounded by beautiful gardens, a wonderful moat and ancient brick bridge which anywhere else would be a tourist destination in its own right.
The tour will end with us returning by car back to our starting point.
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.
Start the day off at your hotel or at a convenient meeting point at a north London train or tube station, and travel by private car through the beautiful English countryside to the stately home of Hughenden Manor.
Hughenden Manor was home to Queen Victoria's favorite Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, who was a very forward-thinking politician at a time the British Empire was at its peak, and the only Jewish British Prime Minister in history. Set in the rolling wooded Chiltern Hills, an official area of outstanding beauty but only 30 miles from central London. Hughenden Manor is a surprisingly personal home, filled with formal gardens, acres of woodland, as well as an ancient church.
As you explore the estate, enjoy some light refreshments along the way, and when the day is done, get dropped off at a convenient location in London.
Begin the day at your hotel in London or at a convenient meeting point (such as a north London train or tube station) and enjoy a scenic ride through the beautiful English countryside to the stately home of Woburn Abbey, where the family of the Duke of Bedford have lived for centuries.
Situated on a massive estate filled with immaculate gardens and populated by thousands of deer, Woburn Abbey is a sight to behold. The house itself is sumptuously decorated and just when you think you have seen it all, the wonders of the family treasure vault await you. Enjoy some complimentary beverages while you explore the grounds, and then relax as you are driven back to your residence in London.
The generic British word for dessert is "pudding."
In the 19th century, the "g" was sometimes pronounced as a harder "k." Sometimes, the "n" got dropped. Sometimes that was shortened by slicing off the "pud."
In other words, small, incremental changes resulted in pudding->puddink->puddik->dick.
It's not meant to be dirty; it's just a Victorian synonym for "dessert."
Pepper a cake with currants or raisins, and you get "spots" in your pudding, hence: spotted dick.