Probably one of the most recognisable places in the UK. Buckingham palace is the official home of the Queen and the centre of any national celebration. No visit to London would be complete without a visit to this iconic landmark.
To get to the palace, the best underground stops are Victoria. St James’s Park, Green Park and Hyde Park Corner. If you are going directly from the Darlington Hotel, then you have a couple of options. It’s eight stops around the Circle line from Paddington station to St James’s Park. If the weather is nice, you might want to enjoy a stroll through Hyde Park.
Changing of The Guard
The changing of the guard is a British tradition. It is the ceremony where one regiment of guards takes over guard duty at the front of the palace. The new guards march from Wellington Barracks to Buckingham Palace accompanied by music.
If you want to watch the ceremony, then you need to make your way to the palace for 11 am. As long as the weather is fine, the changeover of the guard will happen every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. During the summer the ceremony occurs daily. To be sure of catching the event, you can check the schedule at the website of the British Army.
Visiting the State Rooms
For ten weeks of the summer, 20 July - 29th September, you can tour the magnificent staterooms. If this is something you’re interested in, then you should book a ticket in advance. Entry is on a timed basis, with slots starting on 15-minute intervals.
Along with the ticket you get access to a multimedia guide. The guide comes in a wide range of languages as well as materials for both blind and deaf visitors. The whole visit takes about two hours and includes a walk through the gardens.
Buckingham Palace Shop and Cafe
The palace has its own gift shop and cafe. So you can round your visit out with a bit of souvenir shopping. Or, a proper cup of tea and delectable pastry by the palace lawn.