London Attractions Historical Tour – A Royal Day
Discover London’s rich royal heritage and history in this exciting trip plan. What are the London things to do when you visit in London? Explore the rich history of London by visiting some of the city’s most beautiful places and London tourist attractions.
The best way to discover the rich, royal history of London is to travel around on foot. Here I have put together some of the best places you need to visit as a tourist, but also the ones that you might not necessarily think of. London can feel like a large and overwhelming city sometimes, but this route shows you just how easy it is to navigate around and see all the top spots that the royals frequent as well as those that you don’t want to miss!
- Houses of Parliament
- Westminster Abbey
- Buckingham Palace
- Claude Bosi – Lunch
- Royal Albert Hall
- Kensington Palace
- The Victoria and Albert Museum
- Hyde Park
- Franco Manca Earls Court – Dinner Option 1
- The Shed Notting Hill – Dinner Option 2
- Maggie Jones’s Restaurant – Dinner Option 3
- The Hayden Pub and Rooms
- The Victoria, Paddington
Houses of Parliament
A tour around the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Visit in London the famous location which is the meeting place for both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. This event as a package is number one in London things to do list.
The House of Parliament is one of the most iconic locations in London and is well worth a visit for an awe-inspiring start to your trip. Popular with both tourists and locals alike It was first built in 1097 to 1099 by William II. It took around thirty years to build and was remodelled and extended by numerous residents until the 1500s. It is somewhere that you can take your time wandering around and learning all about its rich past from your tour guide or your self-guided tour. You can buy tickets here: https://www.parliament.uk/visiting/ Opening times vary, please call ahead of time.
I personally love the Houses of Parliament to visit as it is a place steeped in history and a great way to immerse yourself in the culture of London. When you take a tour of the Houses of Parliament, your route will guide you through the same journey taken by the Monarch at the State Opening of Parliament. You can immerse yourself in the grandeur of the building by viewing the Royal Gallery, the Lords Chamber, the Central Lobby, and the voting lobby. You can see the spot where Guy Fawkes was tried for attempting to blow up the houses of Parliament and where many famous figures have spoken in recent years.
There are facilities here such as toilets and a gift shop that you can utilize.
It is suggested to walk here. The Houses of Parliament is within easy reach of London Victoria station by tube, bus, or foot and is the perfect spot to wander and explore the rest of the city too.
- Photo Point – Be sure to get some photos outside of the Houses of Parliament as it is such a stunning piece of architecture.
- Read – There are many signs around the Houses of Parliament that will show you information about where you are. Try to read as many as you can to get the best idea of the information and history of the location.
- Don’t take too much time in one room – you want to make sure you see as much as you can in your time here!
Bonus: Sir Winston Churchill Statue – Parliament Square
Visit a statue of one of the UK’s most famous political leaders.
Situated in Parliament Square, this bronze sculpture is well worth a visit on your royal day trip. Crafted from bronze by Ivor Roberts-Jones it is situated in the spot that Winston Churchill himself wanted as he said in 1950.
Bonus 2: Big Ben
Visit the city’s most famous clock! While Big Ben is one of the most famous landmarks in the city, many don’t know that the structure itself isn’t called Big Ben, instead, it’s actually the nickname for the Great Bell within the clock.
Visit the most royal church in London, steeped in history spanning over a thousand years. This stunning, gothic church is one of the most iconic buildings in London as one of the London attractions. It has played host to many a royal wedding and service and is unmissable on your royal day out themed trip to the city
The architecture at Westminster Abbey has to be seen to be believed. It is absolutely stunning and will blow your mind – no matter if this is the first time you are visiting, or if you have frequented it regularly. You can’t take pictures when you are inside the Abbey itself, but luckily there are many opportunities to take photos from outside Parliament Square. Be sure to check out the many paintings, textiles, books, and sculptures inside the Abbey and leave plenty of time to take in the stained glass windows.
Westminster Abbey is one of London’s most famous landmarks and seeing as it has hosted many royal events and been around for over a thousand years, it is clear see why. Try to head there early in the morning to avoid the queues, particularly if you are going on a weekend or during the school holidays. There is so much to see, from the Coronation Chair that was commissioned by King Edward I in 1296, to the Chapter House, Poet’s Corner, and the Grave of the Unknown Warrior.
It is important to book tickets ahead of time to ensure entry on the day of your visit. Visiting ends one hour after the last entry.
Westminster Abbey is just a three-minute walk from Sir Winston Churchill’s statue, making it super easy to get to.
- See – Westminster Abbey is the resting place of over thirty kings and queens from over the years. Make sure to check out the different tombs where you can read a bit more about the famous monarchs from the past.
- Photo Point – Take photos from outside in Parliament Square as no photos can be taken inside the Abbey.
- Don’t forget to look up! The ceiling is an incredible piece of architecture you don’t want to miss.
Bonus: Crimea and Indian Mutiny Memorial
Visit a murial dedicated to wars gone by. The Crimea and Indian Murity Memorial is situated just opposite the entrance of Westminster Abbey. A tall column made from marble and stone commemorates nineteen pupils from the Westminster School who died in the aforementioned wars. Have a look at the memorial on your way to or from the Abbey.
Visit the Royal Family’s residence, London’s most recognizable palace. This gorgeous palace is one of London’s most famous places and a must-see for a royal day out!
Try to visit Buckingham Palace outside of peak hours to appreciate the vistas without the throng. The palace is easily accessible from Victoria Station and is only a short distance away. Take some shots while standing on the steps of the Queen Victoria Memorial since the vista is spectacular!
The major reason to visit Buckingham Palace during your London tour is that it is the home of the longest-serving British Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. She’s lived here for the majority of her life, and you can tell she’s home when the Royal Standard flag is flying. With its sweeping white architecture, the famous royal guards out front, and the gorgeous fountain, the palace’s facade is one to behold. If that isn’t enough, go inside to see the nineteen staterooms, some of the most famous royal art, and the palace gardens, where the Queen is known to conduct garden parties.
To get from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace you can take the 148 or 211 bus from Parliament Square/ Westminster Abbey directly to St James’s Park Station (Stop SD) and then do a 9-minute walk. Alternatively, you can take a 14-minute walk straight there.
- See – If you don’t want to do the whole tour, you can get a ticket for just the gardens. This is slightly cheaper and still enables you to get a real feel for Buckingham Palace.
- Buy – There is a gift shop on-site where you can purchase a range of royal-themed memorabilia such as mugs, notebooks, and pens.
- Photo Point – Standing on the steps of the Queen Victoria Memorial gives you the best height viewpoint for a photo of the Palace exterior.
- Don’t forget to keep an eye out for which flag is flying to find out if the Queen is in or not!
Bonus: The Royal Mews
See London’s most famous, historical stables. Situated within the grounds of Buckingham Palace is The Royal Mews, a collection of equestrian stables that belong to the royal family. Around 198 members of staff and their families live here and it is also a working brand responsible for road travel by car horse and carriage for the royals. It is also where the royal horses are trained for duty.
Bonus 2: Queen Victoria Memorial
Check out a memorial for one of London’s more prestigious royal queens. The Queen Victoria Memorial is situated in front of Buckingham Palace and was erected and designed by sculptor Sir Thomas Brock. It was unveiled in the year 1911 and completed in 1924 to commemorate Queen Victoria.
Bonus 3: The Queen’s Gallery
Visit some of the city’s most memorable artwork from the Royal Collection. The Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace is home to over 450 pieces of artwork. It first opened in 1962 and has regularly changing exhibitions for you to see.
Bonus 4: Buckingham Palace Changing Of The Guard
Discover a historical event that happens outside the palace every day. Be sure to witness the changing of the guard! This is a ceremony that occurs every day and marks the moment when the soldiers change duty. It is free to watch, no ticket is required, and is something not to be missed when you are visiting Buckingham Palace – just be sure to check out the timings ahead of your visit so you don’t miss it.
Claude Bosi – Lunch
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Visit this famous oyster bar to add a touch of France to your day. An opulent lunch or dinner restaurant specializing in oysters and other exquisite meals.
I enjoy Claude Bosi’s because it is a lovely and sophisticated setting for lunch or dinner. You may spend your afternoon resting, knowing that you will receive excellent service and memorable food and drink.
Claude Bosi’s oyster bar is an attractive and airy French seafood cafe that is a must-visit if you are searching for some fine cuisine. The primary attraction on the menu is shellfish.
Booking through their website is advised, particularly at weekends as it can get busy.
From Buckingham Palace to Claude Bosi, simply take the district line from St James’s Park to South Kensington, or it is a 34-minute walk.
- Taste – Don’t leave without sampling their mouthwatering oysters.
- Photo Point – Leave time to take photos of the exterior of this iconic building as it is simply beautiful!
- Don’t leave without taking the time to sample a few different dishes. (or planning a return visit to come back and try something new!)
Royal Albert Hall
Visit one of the most historic royal theatres in the UK. Visit one of the UK’s most distinctive concert venues, located in South Kensington. It is unquestionably one of the best sites to visit in London.
The Royal Albert Hall is a Grade I listed building, so take some time to explore both the exterior and interior of this spectacular place. On the façade, there is an 800-foot-long terracotta mosaic depicting “The Triumph of Arts and Sciences,” to which the hall is dedicated. The Royal Albert Hall is free to enter, however donations are appreciated.
The Royal Albert Hall was founded in 1871 by Queen Victoria and has since hosted some of the world’s most talented artists. It is the major venue for the Proms performances and also hosted the Royal Variety Performance’s 100th anniversary, which was attended by HM Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Duke of Edinburgh. The royal family is rich in history, and this is an excellent place to begin if you want to learn more about them.
This is a fantastic exercise regardless of the weather. Why not see a show while you’re here? Or should I come back later and watch one?
You can either walk or take the subway to the Royal Albert Hall. South Kensington and High Street Kensington are the closest tube stations.
- See – The architecture on the exterior of the building is not to be missed!
- Do – Look out for the Queen’s royal suite and box where she sits during the shows that she attends.
- Don’t forget to buy tour tickets in advance for a cheaper price. You can walk around the Royal Albert Hall unguided, but if you do want a tour it can be worth it to find out even more information and see extra spaces.
Visit the birthplace of Queen Victoria and the residence of the young royals. Immerse yourself in another of London’s most famous palaces, where you can view Queen Victoria’s house and now the home of her ancestors.
Kensington Palace is a welcome respite in London compared to many other tourist attractions. The grassy area outdoors is ideal for relaxing with a picnic and getting away from the rush and bustle of the city.
Kensington Palace is a stunning stately mansion with a rich royal family history. Queen Victoria was born there, and many other monarchs have resided there throughout the years, including Will and Kate and, more recently, Harry and Megan. There is artwork to be found, plenty of information on Queen Victoria’s life, various chambers to explore, and grounds not to be missed. I recommend having lunch on the lawn outside and soaking in the ambience while looking out at the palace.
You may walk to Kensington Palace, but the nearest tube stations are High Street Kensington or Queensway Station, both of which are a ten-minute walk away.
- Taste – Why not try their delicious afternoon tea in the cafe? It is a quintessentially British treat that will round off your trip perfectly!
- Buy – There is a gift shop where you can buy many souvenirs for yourself or as a gift for a loved one.
- Photo Point – Take some photos from the ground of the stunning palace itself from the outside.
- Don’t forget to book your ticket ahead of time to ensure you get the best price and to guarantee entry.
The Victoria and Albert Museum
Visit one of London’s most royal-themed museums. This is the place to be if you want to learn more about London’s Victorian legacy while also immersing yourself in cultural and historical events.
The fact that there is always something new to see at the Victoria & Albert Museum is one of its best features. The architecture throughout is beautiful, and you may spend as little or as much time as you desire taking it all in.
The Victoria and Albert Museum is the world’s premier museum of design, art, and performance, and is dedicated to Queen Victoria and her husband Albert. There is so much to see here, and with an ever-changing timetable and calendar of exhibitions, there is always something new to view. The museum is located near Hyde Park and is stunning on both the inside and outside.
P.S.: The visiting hours are from Wednesday to Sunday, 10 am to 5.45 pm.
The nearest underground stations are South Kensington and Gloucester Road. It is also easy to get to London Victoria and Hyde Park or other main points of interest.
- See – Check out the special exhibitions which are on display as these are constantly changing.
- Do – Be sure to visit the fashion gallery if that is your thing – it’s something that you won’t want to miss!
- Don’t miss out on the events that they put on throughout the year – check the schedule ahead of time to book your visit.
Bonus: Serpentine Gallery
One of the city’s best free galleries. If you are looking for something free and fun to do, then the Serpentine Gallery is a great choice. With contemporary artwork and a great location in Hyde Park, it is one of the best spots in the city.
Bonus 2: Princess Diana Memorial Garden
A memorial garden dedicated to the UK’s most loved princess. The Princess Diana Memorial Garden is a must-visit when in Kensington. With beautiful flowers and many places to sit and relax, you can wander around and take in nature, or just enjoy a drink and rest.
This is one of the best gardens in London and should not be missed. With its spreading grass, gorgeous flowers, and enough to see, this is a wonderful area for both relaxation and touring.
There are numerous reasons why people enjoy Hyde Park, and you will undoubtedly enjoy it as well. It is a free location where you can go to get away from the rush and bustle of the city.
Hyde Park is one of my favorite places in town. It is one of London’s largest parks, with plenty to see and do. When you first arrive, walk through the main vegetation, which is perfect for ball sports and sunbathing. Further down, you’ll find the Hyde Park rose garden and the boating lake. There are several places to get a coffee or ice cream, as well as watch the local birds and fauna.
It’s easy to lose track of time here, so keep an eye on your watch to make sure you don’t miss the rest of your plans! I’d also suggest bringing a picnic blanket to sit on.
To get from Kensington Palace to Hyde Park it is a simple ten-minute walk. You can take in the scenery as you wander through Kensington Gardens and across the Serpentine.
- See – Wander through the rose and flower gardens, being sure to take lots of photos!
- Buy – You can buy a range of snacks such as ice creams or drinks.
- Don’t miss the boating lake for a great chance to see the city from another angle.
Bonus: Statue of Achilles
Visit London’s Wellington Monument which represents his victories in the Napoleonic Wars. The statue of Achilles is situated in Hyde Park and is well worth visiting on your walk past. Inaugurated on the 18th of June in 1822 it is an example of London’s historical past. Be sure to take plenty of photos and read the plaque that details its purpose.
Bonus 2: Marble Arch
One of the most famous arches in the city, this spot is well worth checking out on your trip. A 19th-century march-faced arch, Marble Arch was first opened in 1827 to be the state entrance to Buckingham Palace. It was moved in 1851 as it was too narrow for the Queen’s state coach to pass through and has been situated where it is ever since. It’s a beautiful structure that is well worth getting some photos of and taking a look at when you pass.
Franco Manca Earls Court – Dinner Option 1
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Immerse yourself in Italian flavors from the heart of London. Look no further than this restaurant for a taste of real Italy in the heart of London.
Personally, I adore Franco Manca, owing to their emphasis on fresh vegetables and delicious recipes that never fail. It is conveniently located and easy to get to, with many of seating options and pizzas to select from.
Nothing beats a good pizza, and after a long day of visiting the city, Franco Manca is on standby to deliver a scrumptious pizza that is guaranteed to satisfy. With all of their dishes made fresh on-site and a variety of delectable toppings, you won’t be disappointed. The restaurant itself is cozy but full of ambiance, making it an ideal spot to unwind, refresh, and have a good time.
Franco Manca prides itself on their authentic Italian pizza.
Tip as you feel – there is no set amount.
From Hyde Park, it is just 9 minutes on the Picadilly Line to get to Franco Manca for dinner. Walking would be 41 minutes so is doable but would take much longer!
- Taste – Don’t miss their mouthwatering range of sides to accompany your pizza.
- Buy – Their recipes are something else that you don’t want to miss! There is a wide range on offer, sure to suit any tastes!
- Don’t forget to ask them to pack your pizza if you can’t finish it – it can be a great snack for later on and would be a shame to waste it!
The Shed Notting Hill – Dinner Option 2
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Dine at one of the capital’s best-kept secrets. This restaurant is popular with both residents and visitors, and it features a sustainable farm-to-fork menu that you won’t want to miss.
Finding hidden gems like this one is one of the best parts of visiting London. You will feel well taken care of and enjoy dishes that are cooked to perfection while also being beneficial for the environment.
The Shed, located in Notting Hill, is the flagship of the ‘Local & Wild’ group. The Gladwin brothers founded this restaurant chain with the goal of bringing a taste of Sussex countryside to West London. In a beautifully crafted menu, you may bite into delectable delicacies and freshly made seasonal food – it is a supper you are sure to enjoy.
It is worth booking a table ahead of time to ensure that you get a seat!
Tip as you feel – there is no set amount. A discretionary service change of %13.5 is added to every bill.
You can get to The Shed from Hyde Park in just 13 minutes by taking the 52 or 452 bus from Palace Gardens Terrace/ Notting Hill Gate. You can also get the Circle and Picadilly line from Notting Hill gate or walk directly there in 21 minutes.
- Taste – Ensure you taste their signature recipes either as an aperitif or an accompaniment to your meal!
- Photo Point – Check out the beautiful Notting Hill houses on your way to The Shed – there are some great photo opportunities!
- Do – Try their six-course tasting menu! This will take you on a journey of the Sussex land and sea, showcasing some of the best flavors.
- Don’t leave without making plans to return! Trust us, this isn’t a restaurant you can only visit once!
Maggie Jones’s Restaurant – Dinner Option 3
Have some drink and take your evening up a notch. Once you have eaten your dinner at Franco Manca, why not head somewhere else? Maggie Jones is a historical and small local spot that has been loved by those around for over forty years. This is one of my favorite spots as it is a true hidden gem that unless you know about it, you probably won’t stumble across it. It has a warm and friendly atmosphere and a delicious menu to match.
The Hayden Pub and Rooms
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Visit one of London’s hidden jewels for a drink. The Hayden bar and rooms are conveniently located in Westbourne Grove, making it easy to visit and enjoy the experience. It is a welcoming environment for both locals and tourists. They allow walk-ins, but it’s best to reserve ahead of time to ensure you get a table. Prices vary depending on what you purchase, but they aren’t too pricey, especially given the location and quality.
The Hayden Pub and Rooms is a nice area where you can rest your legs after a long day of strolling around London. This London location is one of my favorites because it embodies a true neighborhood spirit, where you can remain for as long or as little as you like and know you’ll be well taken care of.
This is the ideal location for calm post-dinner beverages and a traditional British pub experience with high-quality cuisine and drink. This location is also a hotel, so if you need somewhere to stay, this is an option!
The Hayden Pub and Rooms is about a 15-minute walk from Franco Manca Earls Court. Simply take the District Line from Earl’s Court Station to Bayswater, then a ten-minute walk. If you have time to kill, you can alternatively take the 328 bus or walk in 40 minutes.
- Taste – Try one of their local recipes that you can enjoy.
- Do – Make sure that you take plenty of pictures and mark the location so you can remember to visit again on your next trip.
- Don’t feel afraid to ask the staff for their recommendations – they’re super friendly!
The Victoria, Paddington
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A cozy, opulent 19th-century bar serving wonderful meals. Head to a traditional British pub for a comfortable atmosphere and the perfect way to end your evening.
I adore the Hayden Rooms Paddington because it embodies the best of British culture. You can enjoy a truly pleasant ambiance, a delectable selection of drinks, and just feel calm from the moment you walk in. Booking isn’t required, but if you’re traveling on a weekend, it’s suggested because it can get busy.
If you’re looking for a relaxing drink to end your evening, look no further than The Victoria in Paddington. It is a well-established, much-loved pub frequented by both locals and visitors to the city. It was named pub of the year in 2007 and 2009.
It can get crowded here, so if you’re going on a weekend, make a reservation. If you forget, walk-ins are also available.
The Victoria, Paddington, is easily accessible via Franco Manca. Simply take the district line from Earl’s Court for 22 minutes. If you have the time, you can walk there in 43 minutes, but I recommend taking public transportation to save time.
- See – Check out the authentic decor such as their fireplace.
- Taste – Try one of their many recipes!
- Don’t leave in a hurry! Take your time here, soaking up the atmosphere and just enjoying the space.