No visit to London is complete until you have partaken in a series of its quintessential traditions and institutions: the Changing of the Guard, afternoon tea and last, but surely not least, catching a glimpse into the lives of the Royal Family. This tour is the only one to include all three iconic London experiences. Your guide will navigate to secure you a spot with a prime view of the Changing of the Guard, after which 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. Your experience rounds out with a traditional English afternoon tea in a luxurious setting near the Palace. Take advantage of having an expert local guide at your side to learn the secret to living these experiences like a real Londoner would!
Your royal London experience begins with the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. This world-famous ceremony is the oldest tradition at Buckingham Palace and is held either here or at the Horse Guards Parade, depending on the day. Enjoy commentary regarding the history and pageantry behind the ceremony – where the Queen’s easy-to-spot Foot Guards, with their red tunics and unmistakable bearskin hats, march to Buckingham Palace together with the military band, or if you book on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday, enjoy the Household Cavalry change the guard at Horse Guards Parade, with their silver-plumed helmets and mounted on their magnificent horses.
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 private residence of the Royals. Though no guides are allowed to speak inside the palace, your guide will take the time to arm you with plenty of background information and advice before you set off on your own. This is the real home of Queen Elizabeth II, 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.
After such an eventful start to our tour, it’s time to slow down the pace with a relaxing stroll to a luxury hotel for traditional afternoon tea. Your guide will walk you through the tradition as only a true local can, as you work your way through a selection of finger sandwiches, before enjoying the classic scone with thick clotted cream and homemade preserves. The highlight of the meal is the selection of freshly-made cakes and pastries, elegantly displayed and, of course, delicious!
Immerse yourself in London’s traditions with the precious knowledge and expertise of a local guide on the Buckingham Palace Tour, including the Changing of the Guards and Royal Afternoon Tea.