4.5 star rating: Recommended 135 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 September 2015

What a great way to spend our last day in London. We had a lovely leisurely stroll through St James Park stopping to watch the changing of the Horse Guards. Our guide was very mindful of the older people in the group and those who had trouble walking fast and kept to a comfortable pace. He certainly knew all about his city and kept us entertained while on the walk. The tour through Buckingham Palace was amazing and although the guide wasn't able to take us through you are supplied with an audio guide which has heaps of information and is easy to use. After a short stroll through the palace back garden we then went to The Ruebens, only a short walk around the corner, for a lovely High Tea.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Outstanding Tour. The Guide could have walked a little slower. A little difficult to keep up with.

Robert M
United States of America

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Seemed to be just the right amount of time to do a look through the palace. The changing of the guard is worth seeing but not entirely necessary to pay for it though having a guide to explain different things was nice. It was a bit of a walk overall so I wouldn't recommend it to someone who has trouble walking but it wasn't a marathon by any means. The tea afterwards was a nice ending. Claudia our guide was well informed and gave us a very good tour. She was also careful with the group as several were a bit older and were having trouble with the walk.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Our guide for this tour was Phill, and he was excellent! Not only was he very friendly and knowledgeable, he made the tour very interesting with many personal antecdotes. We started out with the Horseguards Parade, which was a very cool ceremony followed by a lovely walk through the beautiful St. James Park. Buckingham Palace is gorgeous on the inside and it was an added bonus to be able to skip ahead in the line with our advanced ticket. We wrapped up our day with a delicious afternoon tea at the historic and beautiful St. Ermin's Hotel. This was an excellent tour and I'd highly recommend it!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

It was awesome. A rare chance to see Buckingham palace. One of the best audioguides I have ever had.

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

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Tour code: 6295LOBPG

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