Having lived in 50 minutes from London my whole life, it’s shameful to say that I’ve never entered some of the most iconic monuments in the beautiful capital city. My sister is a chef and she recently did two weeks work experience at Windsor Castle, so to keep up the royal theme and see where she could ended up working in the future, we took a tour of Buckingham Palace for my mum’s birthday.
The Tour Facts
Tours of Buckingham Palace only take place in the months that the Queen isn’t in residency. This means that you can usually enter the palace each year in August and September while Queenie is visiting her private residence Balmoral Castle in Scotland.
There are a few different tours that you can do and each vary in price. We opted for the “State Rooms Tour” which is approximately £20 and covers 19 of the beautiful state rooms with an amazing audio guide (one of the best that I’ve ever had – it didn’t drag on and definitely kept your attention the entire time).
Unfortunately photos aren’t allowed inside the palace, so I don’t have much to show of the interior. The two above photos show the back of the palace and also the immediate garden you see as you exit the palace. Unfortunately it started raining just as we got to the garden, so we didn’t spend too long exploring and instead headed to the fantastic gift shop!
However if you want to see some photos head over to the Google Images page to see what sorts of things you’ll be able to see!
Got time to kill? check out my tips below for things to do while you’re waiting for your tour!
While I was waiting for my tour I heard a Welsh girl say “I can’t believe that THAT is it? Buckingham Palace is so disappointing”. What was she expecting? Fireworks shooting out of the flagpole? I have heard that a lot of people have been disappointed with the palace and I can’t understand why!
The palace is HUGE. While the aforementioned Welsh female wasn’t impressed, I really love the ornate gates, the traditional guards and the real sense of grandeur.
The palace is usually heaving with tourists, but if you manage to visit at the right time and there are fewer tourists around, you’ll be able to creep to the front of the crowds for the iconic photo in front of the gates!
Changing of the Guards
The changing of the guard ceremony happens at 11.30 every morning and lasts for about 45 minutes. Prepare for the streets to get seriously busy. However, I think that the hustle and bustle adds to the atmosphere. These guards are very disciplined, you won’t see a foot out of line! Plus… who doesn’t love a man in uniform.
St James’ Park
If it’s a sunny day, head over to St James’ Park for a wander. The park is right next to the palace, so you have no excuse to not pay a visit! If you’re feeling a little bit more adventurous, why not rent a bike to explore the park? While it’s not the most interesting park that London has to offer, it’s nice to have a little bit of time to relax somewhere peaceful in the hustle and bustle of the city.
Memorial Gates, Wellington Arch and various other War Memorials!
If you walk in a straight line between Buckingham Palace and St. James’ park you’ll stumble across Memorial Gates, Wellington Arch and an abundance of other war memorials. I am
a bit of an absolutely massive nerd when it comes to anything related to the two World Wars. So I love roaming around looking at the memorials and getting to grips with the history. So while you’re waiting for your tour of the palace, you’ll find me being a nerd and reading all of the war memorial plaques!
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and all thoughts are my own.
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