Buckingham Palace is one of the most iconic buildings in England. This gorgeous residence is steeped in history and set in the beautiful, upmarket City of Westminster, with the whole city at its doorstep.
The main residence and workplace of the modern Royal Family, Buckingham Palace is an immense set of stately buildings in the heart of London.
It’s interesting to note that the palace hasn’t always been the main home of the royals. Based in Westminster, grand homes have been on the site for centuries, until Buckingham House was built in the early 18th century. Queen Victoria was the first monarch to live in the palace, hosting lavish affairs in the house and the extensive private gardens, still the largest of their kind in England complete with a private lake, right up until the death of Prince Albert.
Since then, the palace has been restored to its former glory and opened to the public. You can visit the richly appointed state rooms at set points in the year, and the palace serves as an art gallery and major tourist attraction.
There are so many extravagant places to stay close to the palace, so if you’re looking for 5-star luxury, you’re in luck. High-end hotels near Buckingham Palace include Hotel 41 and Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences. But there are some more budget-friendly options too, like The Sanctuary House Hotel and The Z Hotel Victoria.
Dining out near the palace is a fun experience too. Closer to home, you can enjoy afternoon tea at The Rubens at the Palace, charming little local cafés include Buckingham Coffee Lounge and Le Signore, Bbar is a popular eatery serving African food, and you can eat lovely British fare at The Goring Dining Room.
The City of Westminster is alive with fun places to see, so you’ll never get bored during your stay.
To fully immerse yourself in the palace and everything around it, schedule some time to watch the Changing of the Guard. You can also visit the Guards Museum to find out all about them, and even see Wellington Barracks where they’re housed.
To escape palace life, take a trip to St James Theatre. This award-winning arts centre always has something on to enjoy. You could even stop in at Westminster Cathedral too if you like the idea of soaking up some breathtaking architecture. The cathedral is the mother church of Catholicism in England and Wales and it’s a great example of Neo Byzantine style from early 20th century.
Or, to kick back in style and perhaps relax in the sun if the weather’s good, nip to Green Park just behind the palace, where you can sometimes watch the Royal Gun Salute if you time it right.