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Royal Day Out in London
- Monday October 2nd 2023
- Big City Saver
- Royal Family, Secret London, Royal Day Out
A Royal Day Out: London’s Must-see Royal Attractions
• Introduction: Your guide to a royal day out in London
• Royal things to do in London
• Visit London’s famous royal museums & galleries
• Visit London’s renowned Royal Parks
• A royal day out in London FAQs
Introduction: Your guide to a royal day out in London
The impressive capital city of London is known for a great many things, but the one thing that most of the world associates with the capital (and the UK as a whole) is royalty. Buckingham Palace, the home of Kings and Queens of England for centuries, is placed proudly in the centre of the city, and draws people into the city of London from all over the world to experience a piece of royalty. So, if you fancy a royal day out in London, we’ve created a guide to help you see all of the regal history and attractions that this great city offers.
Royal things to do in London
With so many royal things to do in London, one day is simply not enough. However, it is possible to cover the royal essentials, the Royal Palaces and the Royal Family themselves.
As the official residence of the monarch himself, King Charles, Buckingham Palace is the royal attraction in London to visit. Home to national and royal celebrations alike, it is also the backdrop to the regular Changing of the Guard Ceremony. And what’s more, for 10 weeks of the summer, you can go inside and explore the incredible State Rooms. If you’re not lucky to get a ticket on one of these days, the Royal Palace itself is quite a sight to behold. Whilst you’re there, you can also say a small hello to one of the King’s Royal Guards (the people with the big hats) but don’t expect an answer, they’re usually pretty busy protecting the building.
London Eye and Windsor Castle
With a circumference of 424 metres and a height of 135 metres, the marvel of modern ingenuity that is the London Eye is a perfect stop on your royal day out. The view from the top of one of the London Eye’s 32 climate-controlled pods (numbered 1 to 33, with the number 13 missing for good luck) is absolutely stunning and will allow you to see up to 40 kilometres in all directions. So, not only will you see the home of the King himself, Buckingham Palace, but you will also be able to see (on a clear day) Windsor Castle (another famous home of the Royals) in the distance.
Not too far away from the King’s humble abode sits Kensington Palace. As well as being a popular Royal Palace to visit, it is also the official London residence of TRH Prince William and Princess Catherine of Wales and their children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. This royal landmark was also the childhood home of the famous Queen Victoria (the great, great, great, great grandmother of Prince William and Prince Harry). We recommend booking your tickets online for this royal tour so you can guarantee your entry.
As probably the world’s most famous clock, Big Ben (the name was actually given to the large 13-tonne bell housed in the clock tower itself) is a favourite royal landmark that was lovingly renamed the Elizabeth Tower in June 2012 in honour of the late Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee. It is both a favourite sightseeing spot for tourists and royal enthusiasts alike for this reason. The clock tower itself has had a rich history since its foundations were first laid in 1843 (surviving a bomb going off near it during the Blitz) and remains an important cultural symbol for Londoners as well as the people of the UK.
Meet the Royal Family at Madame Tussauds
Now, obviously, it’s not possible to meet the real Royal family (the King’s Guard would have something to say about that). However, it is possible and incredibly fun to get a ticket to Madame Tussauds and take a selfie with the entire Royal Family replicas, from Charles to Diana and even Queen Elizabeth I. Whilst you’re there, we also recommend seeing the rest of the attraction. Many visitors come to London just for a day out in Madame Tussauds because of its iconic collection. A standard online ticket will cost you £36 and will grant you entry at the designated time slot. If any of the above is of interest to you, Big City Saver offers a pass for the London Eye and Madame Tussauds for £50 when you book online. If you want to visit Buckingham Palace, the London Eye and Madame Tussauds in one day, Big City Saver also offers a sightseeing pass in partnership with Big Bus London (with a hop-on-hop-off service and audio guide) for £70. And if you can’t see everything you wanted to in one single trip, don’t worry because your tickets will remain valid for up to 90 days - all you need to do is choose a date to visit your first experience, and the rest can be decided later. You’ll also have the opportunity to reschedule for free if something comes up.
Visit London’s famous royal museums & galleries
If it’s royal history that you’re after, then we’ve got you covered with our selection of the best royal museums and galleries in the city.
Tower of London
As iconic as it is steeped in rich history, this World Heritage Site has been used as a fortress, a palace (for around 500 years), a notorious dungeon, a home for the Royal Mint and the Royal Armouries (and even a zoo at one point in time). However, the Tower of London is best known today for housing His Majesty’s Crown Jewels (since 1661), the evening Ceremony of the Keys and is the workplace of the legendary Yeoman Warders. This magnificent world-famous collection of royal history is a must-see on your royal day out.
The Queen’s Gallery
For a truly regal set of art unlike any other, we recommend going to the Queen’s Gallery on your royal day out. Located inside Buckingham Palace, the gallery was originally designed as one of Buckingham Palace’s three identical conservatories. This conservatory was converted into a private chapel for Queen Victoria in 1843 but was unfortunately destroyed in an air raid in 1940. However, at the suggestion of The Queen Elizabeth and The (then) Duke of Edinburgh, the ruined chapel was given new life as a gallery for the Royal Collection in 1962.
The Queen’s House
This art gallery is more of a hidden royal secret as it’s located outside of the centre of London. Tucked away in Greenwich, the Queen’s House is home to an internationally renowned art collection that’s perfect for a royal day out. The building is itself an architectural masterpiece and it is also the first ‘Classical’ building in the UK. As expected, it has also housed many Queens in its time but now opens its doors to the public as a renowned art gallery, intimate concert hall and an ice rink during the winter months.
Visit London’s renowned Royal Parks
If you’ve visited London a few times, it’s quite possible that you’ve stood in a Royal Park and not realised it. If this is your first time, let us guide you around the best of London’s Royal Parks.
Sitting right in the heart of the centre of London, the world-famous Hyde Park offers an array of spectacular events, concerts and festivals, whilst giving its visitors plenty of quiet places to relax and unwind. On a warm summer’s day, we recommend dipping your feet in the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain, or swimming in the beautiful lake Serpentine. If you’re not looking to get wet on your royal day out, you can simply sit in the park’s café and take in the wonderful view.
Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill
The Regent’s Park and the iconic picnic spot Primrose Hill are a stunning combination of tree-lined pathways, formal gardens and the odd children’s playground. In Regent’s Park, you’ll see more than 12,000 roses in Queen Mary’s Gardens, an array of flora and fauna, and can even hire a rowing boat to join all the ducks on the lake. From atop Primrose Hill, you will see (what is considered to be by most Londoners) the best views of the nation’s capital that you can find.
Victoria Tower Gardens
Again, another hidden royal gem, Victoria Tower Gardens is a well-hidden pocket of green space tucked away in the heart of Westminster, between the Houses of Parliament and the River Thames. Easy to access from Big Ben and the Elizabeth Tower, it’s worth taking a look at the two freedom memorials, the Buxton Memorial (marking the abolition of slavery) and Rodin’s Burghers of Calais (marking freedom from oppression). A great slice of culture and history on your royal day out in London.
A royal day out in London FAQs
Unfortunately, due to the tragic passing of the Queen in 2022, you will not be able to see her in her Royal Palaces or Windsor Castle. However, you can pay your respects at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle and see her replica at the famous London attraction Madame Tussauds.
You can visit all of the Royal Palaces in London and even go inside some of them. The official Royal Residence of King Charles, Buckingham Palace, is open to the public for 10 weeks of the year. We recommend visiting the exterior and the famous Tower of London.
As the most famous, the best palace to visit in London is Buckingham Palace, the current residence of King Charles. Home to the King’s Royal Guard and the Royal Changing of the Guard Ceremony, Buckingham Palace is a must-see on a royal day out in the city.
Yes, you can see Buckingham Palace from the top of the London Eye. In fact, on a clear day, you can see up to 40 kilometres in all directions from one of the London Eye’s 32 climate-controlled pods, which is as far as Windsor Castle.