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4.5 star rating: Recommended 127 Reviews

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

Highlights

  • 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

Best 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 August 2015

Absolutely AMAZING!! We had the BEST tour guide ever!!! We will definately be booking our future tours through Viator!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Excellent tour guide and very informative and friendly. Unknown to us their is various changing of the guards that happen daily. Our guide was able to show us these different guard changes. You do a lot of walking on this tour and sometimes need to move fast to see the different changing of the guards. So would not recommend for the less mobile. The tour of Buckingham palace very interesting and my family enjoyed it. The afternoon tea was excellent and very filling. So do not eat a lot before going on the tour. Very relaxing sitting and enjoying the tea. Our guide sat and talked with us during the tea and was nice to get his perspective of London.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

The reason why I am giving this tour 5 stars is because of our wonderful tour guide, Kieran from City Wonders. The tour of the palace was nice, but I was not really impressed. I assumed that we would be able to see the Royal living and work quarters since the Queen was on her Scottish holiday. But, it was just the state rooms. Although, the exhibit theme was interesting as it was based on the idea that the visitor was an important foreign dignitary invited to dinner with the Queen. So, the dining ballroom was fancied up so beautifully, so formally and elegantly. NOw, going back to Kieran, he was amazing!!! Kieran knew SO much about the guard ceremony - in detail, about the Palace, about the Royal family and British history. He explained everything so specifically and was SO knowledgable. I learned so much from Kieran. Kieran was so great at relating what was going with current events and other tidbits in British history. The best part was that Kieran was entertaining!!! I wish he was my history teacher when I was still in school. The Afternoon Tea was excellent as well. Kieran gave us history about how it came about and why it started and how it became an important part of English culture. I loved Kieran so much that when we go back to London next year, we will inquire about tours that Kieran is leading at City Wonders and take those tours! That is how brilliant he is! I just hope he is still there next summer. Thank you so much, Kieran, for making our visit to London so memorable.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Once in a life time opportunity.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Very well organised and tour guide was first class

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

We had a fabulous time on this tour. Our guide Georgia was wonderful and so full of history lessons for us. The palace was breathtaking and the afternoon tea was wonderful. We really enjoyed this day.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

It had everything for a great day, the guide was excellent

Dr. Dolly
United States of America

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Inside Palace visit was a treat! Tour guide was very helpful in ensuring that my husband who uses a walker was able to get around and find elevator. We are so happy we were there when the palace was open to visitors.

The tea service was tasty, but wish we were not stuck in a separate room with no windows. Would have prefered to sit in the main tea room which was much more tranquil and bright. I am glad we had a chance to experience English tea.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

The tour was terrific. The changing of the guards was a remarkable experience. Well guided.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

This was a pleasant surprise. We had a great time. Buckingham Palace was simply beautiful. We saw the changing of the horse guard and walked through St. James Garden then into the palace. We were with our guide 45 minutes before entering and he was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. You have audio guides inside. We also saw the Queen's garden. The tea was at a lovely hotel about 20 minutes from the end of the palace tour. It was a nice walk. The tea and sandwiches and pastries were delicious. We were ready for food by then.

From USD $ 139.86

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Tour code: 6295LOBPG

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