The Summer Opening at Buckingham Palace is well-worth attending, but here's something even better... an exclusive evening tour in the company of a Royal expert.
What separates this tour from the Summer one is that it takes place after hours, in a much smaller group (max 14 people), so you don't have to share the space with hundreds of other tourists. And you don't have to wear a pair of headphones, either -- all the talking is done by a human guide. That means they can go into much greater detail and take some questions during a sit down in the big Ballroom.
You'll get much more information about the history and use of the State Rooms, and learn a lot more about the paintings, the furniture, sculptures and porcelains, alongside some interesting stories about the Royals who once lived here.
At the end of the tour you'll have a chance to mingle with all the other guests whilst enjoying a glass of champagne. You will also receive a copy of the official guidebook and 20% off any items you buy in the shop.
Craig has been on this tour himself and he definitely recommends it. He has been to the Summer Opening several times (ie. the normal daytime tour with hundreds of other tourists), but if you can afford to stump up the extra money for this then it is 100x better. Not only do you get a real human guide instead of listening to some history on the headphones, but you also get to experience the empty rooms in low light -- and they really do look pretty when they're not heaving with hundreds of others people.
Craig’s review – “I thought I'd pop in and see the Queen tonight because she's putting on one of those Evening Tours of Buckingham Palace. It cost me £75 quid so it should be good. That's quite a lot of money so hopefully the Queen will be leading us around herself. If we end up with Prince Edward then I want a refund. I'm sitting in St. James's Park at the moment, which is as good a… continued”
The Original Tour — Open-top sightseeing bus – Every day – The Original Tour is one of London's most popular sightseeing buses, and it's also a great way to travel around the capital.
London Bus Tour — open-top sightseeing bus – Every day – This traditional open-top bus tour will take in all the best landmarks and attractions, with a free river cruise and guided walk.
TRS river cruise, from Big Ben to Greenwich – Every day – Spend a leisurely afternoon on a TRS river cruise from Big Ben to Greenwich, and see some of the sights along the river.
Boat trip down the Thames, with City Cruises – Every day – City Cruises offer one-way, return or all-day boat trips between Westminster and Greenwich, stopping off at Tower Bridge.
Roar down the Thames in a speeding boat! – Every day – A trip on a Thames Rocket is something you'll never forget, speeding down the river underneath the London's bridges.
Ghost Bus Tour, around London’s dark past – Every day – The Ghost Bus Tour will take you on a journey through London's gruesome past, and into the dark heart of the capital.
See London by night — on a sightseeing bus – Every day – The 'See London By Night' bus tour will show you London's most famous landmarks beautifully lit up in the night sky.
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
Disclaimer: Event details can change at short notice and you should reconfirm everything before making plans