Enjoy three quintessential British experiences on a 4.5-hour royal London tour, combining the legendary Changing of the Guard ceremony with an audio tour of Buckingham Palace and an afternoon tea. After learning all about the British Royal Family from an expert local guide, stroll to a prestigious central London hotel to finish the tour with scones, finger sandwiches and an oh-so-British cup of tea. Buckingham Palace is only open for select dates in July, August and September each year, so book now! Tours to this top London attraction sell out fast.
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.