London has long history as the Royal seat of the United Kingdom, and although their role has diminished in modern times, their legacy lives on. Many thousands of people in fact visit the British capital every year to learn more about the royal history of the country. If you intend on visiting London and would like to experience the best Royal attractions the capital has to offer but do not know where to begin, then you have come to the right place. We will now discuss 5 of the best places you can visit in and around London to discover more of the country’s rich Royal heritage.
Buckingham Palace – The Queen’s House
Since 1837 the royal family has used Buckingham Palace as its main London home. Throughout the year the palace hosts receptions, banquets and other official events, as well as being the administrative headquarters for the Queen and the work she does for the country. The two main things you can do in and around Buckingham Palace is firstly that you can watch Changing the Guard, which is essentially what happens between May and July when guards stationed outside the palace finish their work and swap with the next lot. It is a long standing tradition and gives you an insight into the how things connected to the royal family are done. Secondly, you can actually tour inside a section of the palace known as The State Rooms, where there many pieces of exquisite porcelain, antique furniture, sculpture and art.
Hampton Court Palace – The Favoured Residence of King Henry VIII
During his reign, the infamous King Henry VIII stayed at Hampton Court, along with each of his 6 wives. Historically, the Palace is the place where he proposed to his third wife Jane Seymour. You can visit the palace where costume guides will transport you back in time and show you what it was like to be royalty 500 years ago. When the tour is finished you are free to walk around the grounds of the palace and see how long it takes you to make your way through the enormous maze.
Kensington Palace – Learn All About Queen Victoria’s Historic Life and Reign
This is perhaps one of the most intriguing of all the royal palaces as it tells the story of Queen Victoria through the Victoria Revealed exhibition. You can also wander round the King’s State Apartments and learn how to play games that were played in the court of the King or Queen. It’s not just the royalty of old that are celebrated, there is a chance to take a peek through some of Princess Diana’s dresses and you can learn secrets from the past of a fragile dynasty in the Queen’s State Apartments.
Tower Bridge And the Tower of London – Discover More About The Execution Tower And Jewel House
Like Big Ben, this is one of the most recognizable of all of London’s landmarks and probably the most well-known royal landmark. You can take a tour of the tower following a Yeoman Warder and discover its remarkable history as a palace, prison and execution tower, arsenal, zoo and of course the jewel house where the prized Crown Jewels are kept! You will be spellbound at the beauty and craftsmanship when you see the Crown Jewels up close and can take a meander through the King’s bedchamber and look up at the White Tower.
Windsor Castle – Visit One of the World’s Largest and Oldest Inhabited Castles
During its long history as a Royal castle, Windsor was home to a total of 39 kings and queens and was built by William The Conqueror. When you visit you will be able to climb the world famous Round Tower, gaze at the technique used to create the Gothic structure of St George’s Chapel and look through the State Apartments which offer a teaser to the luxurious life experienced by the kings and queens of old. While there, it is also worth taking some time to look at Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House. This is a fully functioning miniature house. There is also in celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee the new exhibition named The Queen: 60 photographs for 60 years. These photographs have been taken by many of the world’s best press photographers during her reign as Queen.
The list above is by no means exhaustive and there are other royal attractions that you should try and visit when staying in or around London. However, this list does give you at least a starting point to work from, some great ideas to set out an itinerary for your trip to London. No matter where you choose to go, you certainly will get a flavour of the rich royal history that United Kingdom holds.
Travel Article by:
Samuel Grey, a travel blogger from London who absolutely loves to talk about his home town to anyone who’ll listen!