If you're thinking about visiting Buckingham Palace then you might like to stump up a bit more money and include a tour of the Buckingham Palace gardens as well.
The Summer Opening allows you to see inside 19 of the State Rooms where all of the official functions are held. The self-guided tour begins in the Quadrangle and then enters the Grand Entrance and up the Grand Staircase to the Ball Supper Room and Ballroom (where they hold the investitures).
After that comes the State Dining Room, Blue Drawing Room, Music Room, White Drawing Room, and into the Picture Gallery with paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, Vermeer and Canaletto.
Then you get to see Her Majesty's Throne Room, before descending the stairs into the Marble Hall and Bow Room, before stepping out onto the veranda overlooking the vast lawn.
At this point we would normally recommend enjoying a cup of Earl Grey tea in their tented cafe, before strolling to the exit via the western path of the garden (which is very bland and boring). But if you pay for a Garden Highlights Tour then you will be able to explore the eastern half of the garden instead, which is where all the landscaped grounds and flowerbeds can be found. This path runs roughly parallel with Constitution Hill towards Wellington Arch, and the guide will explain the history of all the plants and the garden buildings as you walk along.
Among the highlights will be the Rose Garden, Palace tennis court, and spectacular views of the three-acre lake.
Craig has been to the Summer Opening on numerous occasions (read his most recent review) and has also tried the Garden Highlights tour as well. You can read his review of the Garden Tour on our Buckingham Palace page.
> Craig’s review of this event – “There's an excited line of tourists outside Buckingham Palace. Half of us are dressed for a society ball and the other half the shops. There are people here who seem to believe you need to dress up to get inside. (Trust me, you don't.) The Queen must dread the Summer Opening. It's a bit like having a million in-laws come round your house at Christmas. But she's got a… continued”
Buckingham Palace Summer Opening – 20 Jul to 29 Sep 2019 – Step inside Buckingham Palace and see the lavishly decorated State Rooms and all the treasures from the Royal Collection
41-gun salute to mark Prince Philip’s birthday – 10 Jun 2019 – The KTRHA will be firing a 41-gun salute for Prince Philip in Hyde Park to mark the Duke of Edinburgh's 98th birthday.
RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show – 2 to 7 Jul 2019 – The annual RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show takes place in the grounds of Henry VIII's Tudor Palace.
Outdoor cinema: Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump – 31 Jul 2019 – Luna Cinema will be showing Forrest Gump on a big outdoor cinema screen in Victoria Embankment Gardens
Outdoor cinema: The Devil Wears Prada – 6 Aug 2019 – Luna Cinema will be showing The Devil Wears Prada on a big outdoor cinema screen in Victoria Embankment Gardens
Watch Labyrinth at an outdoor cinema – 7 Aug 2019 – Luna Cinema will be showing David Bowie's Labyrinth on a big outdoor cinema screen in Victoria Embankment Gardens
Look for more Royal Family events in July
If you enjoy Buckingham Palace then you might like to visit Clarence House (you can walk it in 6 mins), Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace (catch the train from St James’s Park to Queensway), Royal Mews (you can walk it in 4 mins) and Windsor Castle
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