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.

Top 10 Royal palaces in London Best Royal attractions in LondonBuckingham Palace
Windsor Castle
Hampton Court Palace
Tower of London
Westminster Abbey
Kensington Palace
Clarence House
Kew Palace
Royal Mews
St. James’s Palace

Recommendations Craig recommends… Every tourist should try a tour of Buckingham Palace, but I’d rather visit Hampton Court and Windsor Castle myself.

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 Duke of Wellington – the general who beat Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo.

Banqueting House

Banqueting House has a huge Rubens on its ceiling, and is where Charles I stepped out onto a 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 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 is definitely worth a try.

Clarence House

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


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

Hampton Court Palace

Henry VIII’s Tudor palace contains the State Apartments of several kings and queens, and the spectacular 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 and Prince Harry.

Kenwood House

This 18th-century mansion was built by Robert Adam and contains a fine collection of artworks 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 during their term of 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 was victorious at the Battle of Blenheim.

Princess Diana Memorial Fountain

Designed like a stone necklace with water bubbling around it, this fountain can be found on the south side of the Serpentine lake.

Queen’s House

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

Queen Victoria Memorial

Unveiled by George V in 1911, this impressive marble monument stands outside the front gate of Buckingham Palace.

St. James’s Palace

Buckingham Palace is the monarch’s official residence in London, but St. James’s Palace actually has seniority over it. It is closed to the public.

Somerset House

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

Spencer House

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

State Opening of Parliament

The Household Cavalry leads the Queen to Parliament so she can read out the government’s program for the coming year.

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.

Tower of London

Built by William the Conqueror in 1066, it has been standing guard over London for 1,000 years and has been a Royal palace, fortress, prison and mint.

Trooping the Colour

If you want to see some pomp and pageantry then try Trooping the Colour with its mounted soldiers, marching bands and RAF flypast.

Westminster Abbey

Some of England’s most famous monarchs are buried inside here: 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 – the largest and longest-occupied castle in the world.
Russia: Royalty & The Romanovs The 'Royalty & The Romanovs' exhibition will explore some of the works of art that passed between British and Russian Royal families.
62-gun salute to mark Prince Philips birthday The HAC will be firing off a 62-gun salute by Gun Wharf at the Tower of London to honour Prince Philip's 98th birthday.
Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace is one of the must-see sights in London for every tourist's itinerary.
41-gun salute to mark the Queens Coronation The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery will be firing a 41-gun salute to mark the 66th anniversary of the Queen's Coronation.
Review Royal Mews You really have to be a fan of the Royals to like the Royal Mews. Either that or you need to love horses, because there's not a lot to see inside. I'm a bit of a Royal nut, but even I would…
Review Clarence House Nowadays Clarence House is the official residence of Prince Charles and Camilla, but most of us still associate it with the Queen Mother. Every time her birthday rolled around she used to to…
Copyright © 2019 London Drum · Contact us · Cookies / Privacy policy · Search / Site map
London city guide