Tick off London’s Royal Palaces

One of London’s main attractions is its extensive history, especially because it is so intrinsically linked with the royal family. Ever since 1066, London has housed the King or Queen of Britain and there have been many palaces built within the city, some which have survived, some of which haven’t. Today, you can take a trip to the four main palaces within the city, two of which are still used by Royals as living quarters.

The Royal family have been the centre of London since 1066 when William the Conqueror was crowned in Westminster Abbey. Since then, most of the 66 rulers have chosen London as their residence and, throughout time, there have been a fine selection of palaces such as Nonsuch Palace, Richmond Palace, Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, the Palace of Whitehall, the Palace of Westminster and Hampton Court; 4 of the 7 listed still remain today. If you’re a fan of the royal family or you’re fascinated by history, here are a few places you must visit while you’re in London.

After checking into one of London’s luxury hotels such as the The Montcalm At The Brewery London City, it is time to head out and explore the city. The best way to explore London is by relying on your own legs to get you around, especially when you have accommodation near Brewery Road London City. Don’t be put off by walking around London as everything is much nearer than you think, for example, if you start at Trafalgar Square, within a few hundred yards you have the National Gallery and the National Portrait Museum while a five minute walk away will take you the Leicester Square and the Westend, 10 minutes walk away will land you at Piccadilly Circus or, if you walk through Admiral’s Arch and walk through St James’s Park, you will be graced with the sight of Buckingham Palace, one of the main Royal residences

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace is one of the main living quarters of the Elizabeth II and so it has to take the top spot on the list. Buckingham Palace became the royal residence during the reign of Queen Victoria and has remained the royals favourite abode ever since with Queen Elizabeth spending most of her time at this palace. It is a very large, grand building which is made even more so by the red and black London guards standing to attention at the front; if you enjoy seeing the guards you may want to watch the changing of the guard, it really is a spectacular sight and the children love to watch it. In the summer months, the palace opens its doors to allow the curious public access to a small amount of its rooms so they can explore its breathtaking interior and hundreds of rooms which include an onsite post office, doctor’s surgery and state rooms. It is a beautiful palace and it is fascinating to see how the royal family live and spend their time.

Kensington Palace

A stone’s throw away from Hyde Park and surrounded by Kensington Gardens, Kensington Palace is breathtaking and it has been home to the royal family since the end of the 1600’s. It has housed and been renovated by King William and Queen Mary, Queen Anne, King George I and II; Princess Diana and now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. It is extensively open to the public who can take a stroll around its large apartments, some of which are refurbished and created to look like the homes of the Kings and Queens from the yesteryear. The grounds of the palace are breathtaking with fountains, lakes and statues commemorating Queen Victoria and the late ‘People’s Princess’ Princess Diana whose death created a carpet of over 5 million flowers over the ground of the palace in 1997. It may be one of the newer palaces but, what it doesn’t have in in depth history it most definitely makes up for in beauty.

Hampton Court

Easily accessible from hotels near Moorgate, Hampton Court is situated outside of London but is well worth the trip. This palace isn’t used as a royal home anymore but it is a full time historical attraction that attracts visitors worldwide. It can be found in East Molesey and it is a place that is steeped in rich tudor history as it was once the home of the esteemed Cardinal Wolsey before he bestowed it upon King Henry VIII and it became one of Henry’s main place of residence. You will most definitely need to put a whole day aside to look around, from early morning to late afternoon, mainly because there is a story to every little part of the palace and you will also need a good few hours to explore the exquisite gardens and to get lost in Hampton Court Maze. There is an entry fee but it is most certainly worth the money when you are guaranteed to spend most of your day within its walls exploring the history of Kings and Queens from nearly 500 years ago.

The Palace of Westminster

You cannot travel to London and not visit Westminster, where parliament is held and where the world famous Big Ben stands. The Palace of Westminster, or Houses of Parliament as it is now known, is the political hub of Great Britain and, because Britain is a democracy, it is open to the general public, even when the MP’s are in session. It is advised that you take a tour of the Houses of Parliament because the history is absolutely fascinating, it was the building that Guy Fawkes tried to blow up, trying to assassinate King James I, it was devastated by many fires in its lifetime and was the place where a Prime Minister was assassinated. You even get to venture into the House of Commons and the House of Lords and, if Parliament is in session, you are able to stand in the public gallery and watch the proceedings. Who knows, if you’re lucky you may even get a glimpse of the Prime Minister while you’re there.

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