A private walking tour covering St James' and Buckingham Palaces in London and the royal palaces of Henry VIII and William III at Hampton Court.
A right royal day out!
It is wonderful news that Hampton Court is open again following the coronavirus pandemic. Entry is by timed ticket only and details of this are explained in the 'Bookings' section of the website. For the foreseeable future, all visitors follow a one-way route which takes in highlights of Henry and William's palaces and the Georgian Rooms. Do read on for information about these areas but bear in mind that not all rooms will be open.
Have you ever wondered about England's Royal dynasties? Do you want to get to grips with who's who in the royal family, past and present? Well this is the tour for you!
Your tour starts in St James' and after looking at some of the shops that have supplied the royals and the gentry with hats, shoes and goodness knows what else for well over three hundred years, you reach St James' Palace, the scene of many key royal events. With a bit of careful planning, we can even time your visit to coincide with that most ancient of ceremonies, the Changing of the Guard, assuming of course that it is scheduled for the day of your tour! Once the pageantry is over, the next stop is Buckingham Palace, home to the Queen when she is in London. This is your chance to see the world famous balcony where royal celebrations are shared with the world.
The tour moves on to Horse Guards which remains the official entrance to both palaces but to get there, we'll walk through St James' Park, one of the most beautiful royal parks in London with its abundance of wild life on the ornamental lake. A combination of kings from Henry VIII to Charles II and George IV have made it what it is today.
From Horse Guards, we travel to London Waterloo station to take the over ground train to Hampton Court. The journey takes about 30 minutes so plenty of time to fill in any gaps in your royal knowledge or maybe relax and give your brain a rest! By the way, I haven't forgotten food! You are welcome to have lunch whenever or wherever you please. There's a lovely crypt about 5 minutes walk from Horse Guards which is a special place to eat (and quite quick - I will need to check if this is open bearing in mind Covid restrictions) or, if you prefer, we can buy sandwiches at Waterloo station to eat on the train, it's up to you entirely.
You really are spoilt for choice at Hampton Court because not only do you have Henry VIII's magnificent palace including his vast kitchens and Great Hall and William III's sumptuous apartments adorned with the best and most exquisite furnishings money could buy, but also, there are the Georgian apartments, Hampton Court's hidden secret! If the six wives of Henry VIII are not enough to cope with, the Georgians, or Hanoverians as they were also known, were the most dysfunctional family you could ever hope to meet. So between them all, you are in for a sensational visit to Hampton Court filled with drama, intrigue, passion and downright royal oddness!
This will be a busy day but as ever, your comfort is my priority and I am happy to rest/eat/drink whenever you would like to do so.
The meeting place for the Four Palaces walking tour is under the Colonnade of the Ritz Hotel, Piccadilly next to Green Park underground station.
Palaces galore on this private walking tour!
London's St James' and Buckingham Palaces from the outside
Henry's and William's Hampton Court palaces from the inside
A day not to be missed!
If you have never heard of Henry VIII, you will be an expert by the end of the day!
This seven to eight hour tour costs £320.
I am currently only taking bookings for family units of up to 5 people meaning that the maximum group sizes is 6 - so, 5 guests plus me.
If you would like to book a tour, please click the button below.