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Castle & palace tours

Buckingham Palace and Changing of the Guard with English tea

Based on 10 reviews
Availability: Daily
Duration: 4 hours, 45 minutes
Language: English
Mobile voucher accepted
Do this because
  • A rare opportunity - open for two short months
  • Skip the lines with pre-booked tickets
  • Experience two quintessential London activities: the Changing of the Guard and afternoon tea
  • Avoid the crowds with groups of 25 people or fewer
  • Enjoy a pleasant guided stroll through St James's Park
  • Make the most of your visit with an expert guide
What to expect

No visit to London is complete until you have partaken in a series of its quintessential traditions and institutions: the Changing of the Guard, afternoon tea and last, but surely not least, catching a glimpse into the lives of the Royal Family. This tour is the only one to include all three iconic London experiences. Your guide will navigate to secure you a spot with a prime view of the Changing of the Guard, after which you’ll have the rare chance to visit the inside of the royal residence: Buckingham Palace. The palace opens its doors to visitors for a limited time each year and it seems that just about everyone would like to get inside. Your experience rounds out with a traditional English afternoon tea in a luxurious setting near the Palace. Take advantage of having an expert local guide at your side to learn the secret to living these experiences like a real Londoner would!

Your royal London experience begins with the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. This world-famous ceremony is the oldest tradition at Buckingham Palace and is held either here or at the Horse Guards Parade, depending on the day. Enjoy commentary regarding the history and pageantry behind the ceremony – where the Queen’s easy-to-spot Foot Guards, with their red tunics and unmistakable bearskin hats, march to Buckingham Palace together with the military band, or if you book on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday, enjoy the Household Cavalry change the guard at Horse Guards Parade, with their silver-plumed helmets and mounted on their magnificent horses.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh open the doors of Buckingham Palace to visitors just once a year for two months. This is a unique opportunity to catch a rare glimpse into the private residence of the Royals. Tickets are hard to come by but your entrance is pre-booked, which means access is guaranteed and there will be no lines to wait in. Though no guides are allowed to speak inside the palace, your guide will take the time to arm you with plenty of background information and advice before you set off on your own. This is the real home of Queen Elizabeth II, boasting lavish apartments, sparkling chandeliers and sumptuous furnishings. These rooms house some of the greatest treasures of the Royal Collection, such as exquisite pieces of Sèvres porcelain and some of the finest English and French furniture in the world. With the official Palace audio guide you’ll learn all about the palace residents, history and traditions as well as the stories of the furnishings and ornaments. Many of these items were gifts from Heads of State, spanning both the centuries and the globe.

After such an eventful start to our tour, it’s time to slow down the pace with a relaxing stroll to a luxury hotel for traditional afternoon tea. Your guide will walk you through the tradition as only a true local can, as you work your way through a selection of finger sandwiches, before enjoying the classic scone with thick clotted cream and homemade preserves. The highlight of the meal is the selection of freshly-made cakes and pastries, elegantly displayed and, of course, delicious!

Immerse yourself in London’s traditions with the precious knowledge and expertise of a local guide on the Buckingham Palace Tour, including the Changing of the Guards and Royal Afternoon Tea.

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What's included
  • Expert, English-speaking tour guide
  • Entrance ticket to Buckingham Palace
  • Afternoon tea
  • Headsets when appropriate, so that you can always hear your guide
What's not included
  • Gratuities
  • Hotel pick-up/drop-off
Reduced price
  • Children (ages 5-14): reduced
  • Infants (0-4): free

10 Carlton House Terrace, St. James's, London SW1Y, UK

Meeting point:
  • PLEASE NOTE: THE MEETING POINT IS NOT AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE. Meet your guide under the Duke of York Column at Waterloo Place, 9 Carlton House Terrace. This a tall column with a statue on top
  • Arriving by tube: Take the tube to Piccadilly Circus and take the exit No.3 onto Regent Street/St James. Walk south down Regent Street towards St James Park (do not walk north towards Oxford Street). Waterloo Place is at the end of Regent Street. You will see the tall column with a statue on top. You can also arrive via Charing Cross Station. Walk down the Mall towards Buckingham Palace, you will see the statue on your right at the top of some steps
  • GPS Coordinates: 51.5063159, -0.1317662000000155
What to remember
  • Extra measures may be implemented due to heightened global security. As a result, you may experience delays in getting through mandatory security checks. Extra measures may also restrict the size of bags that can be brought inside. To avoid disruptions or possible denied entry, it is strongly suggested to avoid bringing large purses, bags or backpacks on this tour
  • This tour is unable to accommodate guests with wheelchairs or any impairments requiring special assistance as well as strollers or baby carriages
  • The Changing of the Guard does not operate in heavy rain. If this happens, it will be replaced with an extended walking tour or a visit to the Guard’s Chapel. On occasional Sundays, the Changing of the Guard may be rescheduled to early morning and will not be part of the tour
  • Photography is not permitted within Buckingham Palace but is allowed within the gardens
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  • 20 July - 29 September, Daily
  • Sunday
    • 9:45am
  • Monday-Saturday
    • 10.30am
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City Wonders
Booking fee
Good news! No extra fees are applied to this booking.
Cancellation policy
Receive a 100 % refund if you cancel up to 1 day before the activity begins.
What people say about this experience
Based on 10 reviews
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