Royal palaces and mansions

The best palaces to visit are Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, Hampton Court and the Tower of London. Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and Clarence House can be visited afterwards. You might also like to check out our guide to Royal Family events and the daily parades and ceremonies.

London Pass gives you cheap entry, free entry, free guided tours or a free guidebook at 60+ attractions

Top 10 Royal attractions in London If you have an interest in the British monarchy then here’s our pick of the best Royal palaces and attractions for tourists to visit in London.Buckingham Palace
Windsor Castle
Hampton Court Palace
Tower of London (Crown Jewels)
Westminster Abbey
Kensington Palace
Clarence House
Kew Palace
Royal Mews
St. James’s Palace

Recommendations Craig recommends… Every tourist should try a Buckingham Palace tour, but I’d rather go to Hampton Court and Windsor Castle myself. And don’t forget the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London!

Admiralty House

This impressive building occupies one whole side of Horse Guards parade ground. It used to be home to the Admiralty but now it’s just government offices.

Apsley House

The former home of Arthur Wellesley, better known to history as the 1st Duke of Wellington, and the general who beat Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo.

Banqueting House

Banqueting House is famous the huge Rubens on its ceiling, and as the spot where Charles I stepped out onto the scaffold to be executed after the English Civil War.

Buckingham Palace

The Queen’s residence is open to the public during the summer, when they can visit the famous Throne Room, Ballroom and enjoy a cup of tea on the veranda.

Changing the Guard

If you don’t mind standing around for an hour in a crowd of thousands then watching the Changing the Guard ceremony on Buckingham Palace forecourt is worth a try.

Clarence House

Best known as the former home of the Queen Mother, Clarence House is now the official London residence of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.

Guildhall

The Guildhall has been at the centre of London politics since Saxon times. Inside the Great Hall are statues of the two legendary guardians of the City: Gog and Magog.

Hampton Court Palace

Henry VIII’s Tudor palace contains his State Apartments and two rooms that are definitely worth a day-trip: the Great Hall and Chapel Royal.

Kensington Palace

Best known as the Royal residence of Queen Victoria and Princess Diana, Kensington Palace is now home to Prince William, Prince Harry and Princess Catherine.

Kenwood House

This 18th-century mansion was built by Robert Adam and contains a fine collection of artworks in its ornate library, including a Rembrandt, Van Dyck and Turner.

Lancaster House

Occupying a spot right at the end of The Mall, the impressive interiors of Lancaster House are used for government conferences and receptions.

Mansion House

Mansion House is the official residence of the Lord Mayor of London, who gets to live in it for his/her solitary year in office. The Egyptian Hall is one of the finest rooms in London.

Marlborough House

This was the former home of one of the England’s greatest-ever generals, the Duke of Marlborough, who beat Louis XIV of France at the Battle of Blenheim.

Princess Diana Memorial Fountain

Designed like a stone necklace with water bubbling round it, the Princess Di fountain can be found on the south side of the Serpentine in Hyde Park.

Queen’s House

Built by the legendary architect Inigo Jones in the early 17th-century, Queen’s House once formed part of the now demolished Tudor palace at Greenwich.

Queen Victoria Memorial

Unveiled by George V in 1911, this impressive marble monument stands outside the gates of Buckingham Palace at the end of The Mall.

St. James’s Palace

Whilst Buckingham Palace remains the monarch’s official residence in London, St. James’s Palace has seniority when it comes to the most important Royal palace.

Somerset House

The cafe and dancing fountains on the forecourt of Somerset House are worth a visit, as are the world-reknowned Impressionist paintings inside the Courtauld.

Spencer House

Spencer House was originally built for the 1st Earl Spencer, one of Princess Diana’s ancestors, and is one of London’s finest surviving 18th-century town houses.

Syon House

Built by Robert Adam on the site of the medieval Syon Abbey, Syon House and its 200-acre park are now owned by the Duke of Northumberland and his family.

Tower of London

This Royal palace, fortress, prison and mint was originally built by William the Conqueror in 1066, and has been standing guard over the city of London for 1,000 years.

Trooping the Colour

If you want to see some pomp and pageantry in London then you can’t do better than Trooping the Colour with its mounted soldiers, marching bands and RAF flypast.

Westminster Abbey

Some of England’s greatest kings and queens are buried here: everyone from Edward the Confessor and Edward III, to Henry V, William III and Elizabeth I.

Windsor Castle

The Queen’s favourite residence is not Buckingham Palace, it’s actually Windsor Castle – believed to be the largest and longest-occupied castle in the world.
 
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