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GoWithGuideFind your perfect tour guide at GoWithGuide. Relax and cherish unforgettable tours with loved ones. Create personalized tours for a truly memorable trip!

Your In-depth Guide To Buckingham Palace

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by GoWithGuide travel specialist:Chloe M.

Last updated : May 29, 20247 min read

Things To Do

When thinking of London, the first image that may come to mind may be the Royal Family. This is why for many tourists, a trip to Buckingham Palace is a must. As the official residence of the Royal Family, it is no wonder the palace is seen as one the most iconic buildings in London. 

 

If you find yourself in London, make sure to add the palace to your itinerary. GoWithGuide offers a plethora of private and customizable tours to ensure an enjoyable and seamless experience. Our guides are experts and will give you valuable information about the palace’s eventful history, beautiful architecture, and elegant rooms. In this article, we will share with you the ultimate Buckingham Palace experience. 

 

History

 

Buckingham Palace has been the official residence of the British sovereign since Queen Victoria’s ascension in 1837. Long before that, it was a marshland that ran through the Tyburn River. The site of the palace saw many alterations in its time, being acquired by King James I, who then used the land as a mulberry plantation for rearing silkworms. 

 

Although the land has had many owners, it was ultimately transformed into Buckingham House by the Duke of Buckingham in 1703, giving it its name. The house was continuously passed on to kings and queens, including King George III, who commissioned a £73,000 renovation on the palace. Later on, George IV’s successor King William IV opted not to reside in the house, and so in the 1830s Buckingham House had a respite for being the royal residence.

 

A decade later, the British Parliament voted to refurbish the palace for official royal residence use. Queen Victoria then became the first monarch to reside in Buckingham Palace. Shortly after she took up residence, she lamented the lack of space available to entertain guests and foreign dignitaries. And so, the construction of grand state rooms and handsome ballrooms commenced. Today, the palace holds 775 rooms, 19 of which are State Rooms, 52 royal and guest bedrooms, and 92 offices. 

 

Aside from being the official working residence of the Queen, Buckingham Palace also exhibits art from the Royal Collection, including works from Leonardo da Vinci, authentic Faberge eggs, and historical ceramics and textiles from across the empire. This makes the palace and its principal landmarks a noteworthy location to visit and explore. 

 

Must-see attractions

 

Every summer, the palace’s State Rooms open for public viewing, so you can sashay through the very same chambers as the Queen and the monarchs before her. These rooms were initially built as public rooms to entertain guests and receive subjects. In modern times, the State Rooms are used for ceremonial occasions, Royal photoshoots, and other official affairs. 

 

1. The Grand Staircase

One of the first sights you’ll see entering Buckingham Palace will probably be the Grand Staircase. True to its name, this masterpiece stands not only as a historical landmark (it was built for Queen Victoria in 1898), but is also an artistic tour de force. Queen Victoria made sure to line the upper walls with portraits of members of the Royal Family. The double balustrade is made of bronze, and the whole staircase is illuminated by a heavenly glass dome ceiling. 

 

2. The Throne Room

As you scan the majestic red walls and curtains of the Throne Room, you will notice a pair of throne-like chairs elevated on the dais. These are the exact same chairs designed for the Coronation of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh in 1953. You will also see various other chairs made for and used by members of the Royal Family. If you find the Throne Room familiar, it may be because it has been used as a background for many a royal wedding photo, including those of Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh in 1947.

 

3. The Ballroom

The Ballroom is the largest and most extravagant of the State Rooms. Complete with a musician’s gallery, this 37 meter long and 18 meter wide room is used for investitures and state banquets. The room also holds various objects such as sphinxes bordering the central arch, a medallion featuring Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, as well as two tapestries from Windsor Castle. 

 

Important information

 

For access to the State Rooms, one adult ticket would cost £30, young persons aged 18-24 can enter at £19.50, and a ticket for people with disabilities and children aged 5–17 costs £16.50, while children under 5 can go in for free. Make sure to book online through the official site in advance as there is a timed admission system. 

 

When 

The palace is open from July to October every year, with tours available during the summer. Opening and closing times differ for the first and latter half of the four months. For July and August, the public can enter from 9:30am and need to vacate the grounds by 7:30pm. In September and October, on the other hand, closing time is an hour earlier at 6:30pm. If you would like to ensure a stress-free trip to the palace, you can be joined by one of our guides who will provide you with all the proper information and an enjoyable time to boot. 

 

How to get there

Buckingham Palace is at a convenient location, and can be reached by tube, train, bus, coach, or taxi. Use Victoria, Greek Park, and St. James’s Park stations if you plan to visit by tube. Take London Victoria Station and Charing Cross if you are going by train. Prepare your walking shoes, as the palace is an 8-10 minute walk from all stations. If you plan on getting there by bus, you can take the 11, 211, C1 and C10, as they all stop on Buckingham Palace Road. Lastly, if you choose to travel coach, then Victoria Coach Station is a 10-minute walk from the palace. 

Address: London SW1A 1AA, United Kingdom

 

Tips

If you purchase your tickets directly from the Royal Collection Trust, you can get 12 months complimentary admission. This is perfect for those who plan to visit London on the regular. You should also know that the changing of guards actually happens daily, but make sure you get a good spot before 11:30am.

 

Conclusion

 

If you’re planning a trip to London, don’t miss out on some of the most fascinating artifacts, artworks, and architecture of the city by visiting Buckingham Palace. Join a group tour, or customize a tour of your own with GoWithGuide. Our expert guides are ready to assist you throughout your adventure!

London Tour Guide - Vivien S.

Vivien S.

5.00 / 5
(2 reviews)
United Kingdom (UK)

I LOVE London! But I really KNOW London too... I'm proud to be a Blue Badge Tourist Guide, one of a select few who have passed the highest criteria to become a fully qualified London guide. I hold other London guiding qualifications - I am a City of London Guide and Lecturer, A Westminster Guide and a St Paul's Cathedral Guide. I specialise in private, customised (to YOUR requirements) London tours, giving in-depth insight into the best locations such as Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, Windsor Castle, Hampton Court, St Paul's Cathedral, the Churchill War Rooms, Kew Gardens, Buckingham Palace (summer opening), the British Museum, National Gallery and many more. .... and we can discover hidden alleyways, explore ancient churches, stand where Dickens or Shakespeare or the Romans would have stood...London's many secrets from so many centuries. Guiding is my passion, but I am also a dog-loving, countryside-walking, museum junkie, knit-aholic, who loves to curl up with a good book (I collect old London books) with a lovely cup of tea and a slice of something nice on the side. Come with me to discover London. Whether this is your first visit or you've been here before, I will make sure that you have a wonderful time and take home memories to cherish - and lots of fabulous photos!                                                                                                                                  

London Tour Guide - Ian F.

Ian F.

5.00 / 5
(1 reviews)
United Kingdom (UK)

I am a lawyer, historian and official City of London and Westminster tour guide. Introducing guests to the splendours and secrets of my hometown is my passion. I try to make my tours a mixture of fun and fact (with some of the facts being funny and some of the fun being factual). I would love to arrange a private tour that will make your visit to London truly memorable. All of my income from tour guiding is donated to charity - currently World Jewish Relief's Ukraine Crisis Appeal.                                                                                                                                  

London Tour Guide - Laura A.

Laura A.

United Kingdom (UK)

I'm a qualified London guide now offering History Walks with Gender, Sex and Class. Walks focus on the lives of poorer working people rarely described in historical accounts except as criminals or objects of charity. When there’s an opportunity to talk about women I’ll take it, and social class is always on the table. I've been a writer, researcher and critical historian all my life, and I've been a Londoner since the 1960s, although I've left to live in other towns and countries. Author of Sex at the Margins: Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry, for many years I've focused on getting the stories out of women and others marginalised because of being poor, foreign, ‘different’ or doing jobs some folks think are Wrong, in the present and in the past. I'm known as The Naked Anthropologist.                                                                                                                                  

London Tour Guide - Irene K.

Irene K.

United Kingdom (UK)

Hello, I started working as a guide fifteen years ago, while studying at the University of Oxford. I collaborated with Oxbridge tours travel company where I acted as a tour guide for four years until I moved to London. I hold an M.A in art history and I taught art history at Sotheby's Institute of Art and the University of Glasgow. My tours are intended for history and art lovers. I take my guests around art galleries and British country houses. However, I will also be delighted to take you on a walking tour around London or Oxford, and show you some hidden gems most visitors do not know of or have no access to. I will customise your tour to make it a unique and memorable experience. I normally offer tours in English.                                                                                                                                  

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