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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 25 June, 2023
Expert travel writer: Sarah Barrell

Britain’s capital is perhaps most famous worldwide as the home of the monarchy, from the colourful tales of King Henry VIII and Queen Victoria to their modern, paparazzi-snapped descendants. Dotted all over town are historic royal palaces, residences and historic monuments that symbolise the long history of the British Monarchy.

Thankfully, most have been updated and adapted for the demands of modern tourism, and are at least partly accessible to visitors. Each reveals, through museums, guided tours and interactive exhibits, some different aspect of the truth and legends that make up Britain’s extraordinary and unique royal history.

Recommendations

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Buckingham Palace

London, United Kingdom (UK)

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Bucket List Experience
Exterior view of the palace during the daytime

The world’s most famous royal palace and home of the British monarchy since Queen Victoria, is a fairly bland affair. Go in summer months to see the State Rooms and gardens, and stay to see the Changing of the Guard with enjoyable, entertaining fanfare.

Best for ages 8+

Hampton Court Palace

London, United Kingdom (UK)

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Bucket List Experience
Exterior view of the palace on a sunny day

England’s greatest Tudor estate and the former home of Henry VIII and his succession of wives, preserved for the public to explore.

Adult price: £25

Best for ages 4+

Kensington Palace

London, United Kingdom (UK)

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Bucket List Experience
View of the palace behind the gate

Birthplace of Queen Victoria, this regal 18th-century palace in Hyde Park is now the official residence of TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children.

Adult price: £17

Best for ages 13+

London’s Royal Parks

London, United Kingdom (UK)

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Bucket List Experience
Aerial view of the spacious park surrounded by the London metropolitan area during dusk

With royal heritage dating back centuries, London’s eight Royal Parks are much-loved breathing spaces for both locals and visitors, each with a character of their own.

Best for ages 4+

The Royal Mews

London, United Kingdom (UK)

The Diamond Jubilee State Coach in the daytime

These grand old stables are home to royal transport in all its finery: gilded carriages, the nodding heads of Windsor Greys and some vintage Bentley State Limousines.

Adult price: £14

Best for ages 18+

Tower of London

London, United Kingdom (UK)

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Bucket List Experience
View from afar of the tower during the daytime

The world’s most notorious medieval fortress, rich in gruesome history dating back to the 11th century. Now home to the Crown Jewels and the enigmatic, colourful Beefeaters.

Adult price: £25

Best for ages 4+

Trooping the Colour

London, United Kingdom (UK)

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Bucket List Experience
Rear view of dozens of soldiers heads, dressed in the red uniforms with black furry hats

World-famous, incomparable military parade dating back to the 17th century, involving thousands of soldiers, horses and musicians in full regalia, occurs each June to mark the Queen’s official birthday.

Best for ages 8+

Duration: 2.5 hours

When: Saturday in June

Frequency: annually

Logistics

Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: +
When: All year around

Who to go with: organised tours

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Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

Buckingham Palace Entrance Ticket with Royal London Walking Tour

London

Buckingham Palace Entrance Ticket with Royal London Walking Tour
Take advantage of this rare opportunity to explore the State Apartments of Buckingham Palace; they are only open for two short months each year. Tickets are limited, and demand is high! Here we include a guided stroll down The Mall and through one of London's most beautiful royal parks, as well as a glimpse into the lives of the Royal Family.

Price: £69

Min age: 0

Rating 4.15 / 5 [79 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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British Royal 3 Hour Walking Tour!

London

British Royal 3 Hour Walking Tour!
This tour is a gentle stroll through some of the most famous streets in the world. We will tell you amazing stories about the Monarchy and you will see the Monarchy in action with the Changing of the Guard and the Horse Guards on Whitehall. Quintessentially British walking tour! We meet at Green Park Underground station where we will walk through Green Park to Buckingham Palace (Green Park is one of three Royal Parks in the area) We will watch the world famous changing of the guard. This tradition has been going on for centuries and the British are the best at displaying pomp and glory. We then walk up the Royal Mall  where we will pass two more Royal Residences (Clarence House & St James Palace) At the top of the Royal Mall we arrive at Admiralty Arch and Trafalgar Square. We then walk down Whitehall, past Downing St, to Westminster Palace. Please note: The Changing of the Guard Ceremony is only on certain days during the Winter Months (Sept to June. Mon, Wed, Fri & Sun)

Price: £21

Min age: 0

Rating 4.54 / 5 [35 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Royal London Sightseeing Tour and Thames River Cruise

London

Royal London Sightseeing Tour and Thames River Cruise
This fantastic half-day tour provides the perfect introduction to London's major landmarks. See the best bits of London in only half a day and learn all about London's history with your Expert Tour Guide. Plus, watch the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace, an event steeped in tradition and ceremony. Enjoy a River Cruise after your guided tour and see the sights of London from a different angle.

Price: £53

Min age: 0

Rating 4 / 5 [25 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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The Crown Private Royal Tour London

London

The Crown Private Royal Tour London
Join an experienced tour guide who is just as passionate about The Crown as you are. Discover, walk and talk about some of London's famous Royal and political buildings featured in this popular Netflix show. - Take in the splendour of some of The Crown's landmarks. - Share the story and what you think of what’s you’ve watched so far. - Tour with an experienced and knowledgeable guide who delivers many other tours including those to castles too - Find out how your guide met Prince Philip and Prince Charles - Exchange fascinating facts about the Royal Family - Privately guided tour (Free for accompanied children, 10 years old and under; however, not suitable for infants)

Price: £112

Min age: 8

Rating 4.88 / 5 [9 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Destination guides

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Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

London

Greater London, United Kingdom (UK)

view of houses of parliament at night

World-class culture, fashion, music, food and history – and a mind-boggling array of bucket list experiences – packed into one extraordinary, incomparable destination.