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5 star rating: Highly Recommended 176 Reviews

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  • Location:London, United Kingdom
  • Duration:4 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

Buckingham Palace Tour Including Changing of the Guard Ceremony and Afternoon Tea

Enjoy three quintessential British experiences on a 4.5-hour royal London tour, combining the legendary Changing of the Guard ceremony with an audio tour of Buckingham Palace and an afternoon tea. After learning all about the British Royal Family from an expert local guide, stroll to a prestigious central London hotel to finish the tour with scones, finger sandwiches and an oh-so-British cup of tea.

Buckingham Palace is only open for select dates in July, August and September each year, so book now! Tours to this top London attraction sell out fast.


  • 4.5-hour royal London tour including afternoon tea, led by an expert local guide
  • Stroll through St James' Park and watch the famous Changing of the Guard ceremony outside Buckingham Palace
  • Use a prebooked ticket to visit Buckingham Palace, a landmark only open to the public for two months each year
  • Explore the ornate palace on an audio tour and learn about Queen Elizabeth II and the British Royal Family
  • Learn about England’s famous afternoon tea tradition from your guide
  • Finish with afternoon tea at either Rubens at the Palace or St Ermin’s Hotel in central London

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Buckingham Palace Tour Including Changing of the Guard Ceremony and Afternoon Tea

Enjoy a traditional afternoon tea after your Buckingham Palace tour

Meet your guide at Waterloo Place, central London, and stroll the short distance through beautiful St James' Park to Buckingham Palace, a monument that has served as the official London residence of Britain’s sovereigns since the 19th century.

Stop at either Horse Guard’s Parade or directly in front of the palace (depending on the weather) to watch the Changing of the Guards ceremony from a prime viewing spot. The world-famous ceremony involves a march by the Queen’s Foot Guards, with their cherry-red tunics and bearskin hats, in time to drumbeats from a military band. Soak up the glorious pomp and pageantry, and listen to your guide to learn about the history behind the event.

After watching the ceremony, follow your guide to the entrance of Buckingham Palace, a site only open to the public for two months each year. Guides are not permitted to speak inside the palace, so listen to your guide’s insightful commentary outside so that you’re armed with all the background information.

Then, head inside with your prebooked ticket, plug in your audio guide, and explore the public rooms of the palace that Queen Elizabeth II still calls home today. Gaze in wonder at sparkling chandeliers, decadent furnishings and treasures from the Royal Collection such as exquisite Sèvres porcelain, and listen to the audio commentary for more information on the palace’s royal residents, history and traditions.

After your audio tour, leave Buckingham Palace and enjoy a leisurely stroll to your next event: afternoon tea at one of central London’s prestigious hotels. As you walk, learn about Britain’s afternoon tea tradition from your guide. Believed to have been started by one of Queen Victoria's ladies-in-waiting, the custom of ‘taking tea’ in the afternoon became well established with high society in the 18th century, and its popularity later spread into a tradition favored by most of the country.

Visit either Rubens at the Palace or St Ermin’s Hotel in Westminster and enjoy an afternoon tea of delights. Nibble on scones laden with thick clotted cream and jam, sip on classic English tea and bite into dainty finger sandwiches while chatting about your afternoon’s experience. Your tour ends inside the hotel, so bid your guide goodbye after finishing your tea.

Please note: if there is heavy rain on the day of your tour, the Changing of the Guard ceremony will be replaced with a visit to the Guard’s Chapel.

Customer Reviews


5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2015

We arrived for vacation in London on September 25 and the next day, September 26, was my wife's birthday. We celebrated on her birthday by taking a tour of Buckingham Palace. The tour included the Changing of the Guard, an interior tour of the Buckingham Palace State Rooms and High Tea at St. Ermin's Hotel. The whole day was a wonderful experience and we have to give a lot of the credit to our guide, Augusta Harris. She kept our group well organized, got us to excellent viewing positions for the Changing of the Guards, provided us very clear information to insure that we got the most out of our tour of the staterooms and walked us to the hotel for High Tea. It was an excellent way to celebrate a birthday!

Diane S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2015

This was a fantastic tour which is only available in August/September when te Queen is at her residence in Balmoral. Our guide was womderful....she was a wealth of information and timed everything perfectly to maximize our view of the spectacular horse guards and then a stunning tour of Buckingham Palace which was truly jaw dropping! Then off toma lovely high tea at a charming hotel.... A quintessentially British day indeed!!!!! Highly recommend this itinerary!

Donald Curtis S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Very informative tour. The inside view of the life of the royals was fanastic.

Vicki C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Excellent experience. Great guide.the palace was amazing and afternoon tea at St Ermins was lovely.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Our guide was excellent. She learned all of our names. She talked non stop with history, stories and jokes so we were all entertained and educated. We didn't really see the changing of the guard, but I didn't care. Inside the palace was the highlight for me. Afternoon tea was nice, again an entertaining education.

Regina S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Experienced delightful tour guide. Buckingham Palace well worth visiting

Stuart L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

we enjoyed the tour very much. tour guide was very knowledgeable and entertaining

Carl L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Great Guide! Very knowledgeable and made the experience a great one.

Franco G Australia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

The Tour Guide, Phillip,was very knowledgeable and made you feel welcome. Very good!

Maria Y

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Well worth the money and time! Augusta was our guide and she was fantastic, knowledgeable, funny and an expert at navigating the crazy crowds around Buckingham Palace. She knew exactly where to go for a view of the horse guard while avoiding the masses of people at the Palace gates. Budget more time for this tour. Felt a bit rushed leaving tea to make it to a 4pm tour of Parliament.

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Tour code: 6295LOBPG


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