Visit these 7 must-see royal attractions in London

Enjoy a taste of royal living unique to England’s proud capital and explore attractions steeped in history and culture. Find out about the infamous history unique to the Tower of London and explore the lavish staterooms found in Buckingham Palace. Roam the stunning palaces, parks and gardens to discover royal London.

1. Westminster Abbey

London landmark, Big Ben clock tower and the Houses of Parliament, view from above at dusk. Westminster Abbey and the River Thames.

© Julian Elliott

Westminster Abbey boasts striking 11th century Gothic architecture, and has become a key landmark of British royalty. Explore the site of Britain’s royal coronations, burials and weddings alike, including the momentous nuptials of William and Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Immerse yourself in Britain’s rich heritage as you roam the tombs and memorials dedicated to standout figures such as Sir Isaac Newton and numerous monarchs that reigned over medieval Britain.

Westminster Abbey is a 5-minute walk away from St James’s Park Underground station serviced by the District and Circle lines.

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Westminster Abbey

2. Tower of London

Tower of London seen from the River Thames. Exterior view of the White Tower, built in the 11th century.

© VisitEngland/HRP

The Tower of London houses a grim history within its defensive walls. Inside you’ll discover the residence of Britain’s mightiest sovereigns as you venture into the Tower built under the orders of William the Conqueror. Serving as a comfortable lodging for monarchs, the Tower is steeped in rich and regal history. Marvel at the striking Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom and explore the eerie dungeons. Discover the origins and the extraordinary stories contained within the fortification that once served as barracks, armoury, prison and today, the site for the Ceremony of the Keys.

The Tower of London is a 5-minute walk away from Tower Hill Underground station serviced by District and Circle lines.

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Tower of London

3. Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace, a royal residence in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London, England. Statue of Queen Victoria in white marble.

©VisitBritainImages/HistoricRoyalPalaces

Having served as the state apartments for Kings and Queens alike, Kensington Palace is stocked with royal history. The palace served as the childhood home of Queen Victoria herself, where she met her soon-to-be husband Prince Albert. Boasting a stunning Royal Collection of paintings as well as Queen Caroline’s Cabinet of Curiosities, the palace is a prime location to lose oneself in British history and art. Kensington Palace continues to serve its long-spanning royal lineage as the current home to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Don’t forget to meander through the Sunken Garden, a tranquil setting full of fountains, ponds, ornamental plants and colorful flowers.

Kensington Palace is a 15-minute walk away from High Street Kensington Underground station serviced by Circle and District lines.

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Kensington Palace

4. Buckingham Palace

The Red Arrows aerial display team flypast over Buckingham Palace

©VisitBritain/Tom Weightman

Home of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Buckingham Palace is an unparalleled insight into the British Royal Family. Marvel at the bronze Grand Staircase and exceptional paintings from the likes of Van Dyck and Rubens as you roam the 775 rooms. Don’t miss the chance to stop by the Throne Room – a chamber that has seen countless ceremonies take place and is lavishly decorated to accommodate such special occasions like the Queen’s Jubilee. Be sure to plan your visit for the summer, as Buckingham Palace is only open to the public July through September.

Buckingham Palace is a 9-minute walk away from St James’s Park Underground station serviced by District and Circle lines.

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Buckingham Palace

5. Royal Botanic Gardens

Kew Gardens, also known as the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in West London.

©VisitBritain/ Andrew Pickett

The Royal Botanic Gardens, also known as Kew Gardens, is a must-visit for those seeking a royal experience and a bit of fresh air. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kew Gardens is a haven of stunning botanical beauty bursting with a vast and diverse range of plants, trees and flowers. Explore the Palm House, a massive Victorian glasshouse filled with tropical plant life unique to rainforests. The Treetop Walkway will take you through the woodland floor and tree tops for some striking views of the Gardens making for an unmissable experience.

Royal Botanic Gardens is a 5-minute walk away from Kew Gardens Underground station serviced by the District line.

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Royal Botanic Gardens

6. Houses of Parliament

View from Shell Building with part of the London Eye ferris wheel, and the Houses of Parliament, River Thames, and Westminster Bridge.

©VisitBritain / Pawel Libera

It might be most commonly known as the Houses of Parliament, but the Victorian Gothic masterpiece dominating London’s skyline is properly called the Palace of Westminster. Seeing significant changes to the structure after the Great Fire of 1834, architect Charles Barry constructed the royal fortress you see today. The Lords Chamber is a lavishly decorated room featuring stained glass windows and the gilded Royal Throne. Discover the fascinating history of the Commons Chamber, from the Speaker’s Chair to the story of Black Rod. Take a guided tour of the Chambers to get up close and personal with British royal and political history, you could even watch a session of Parliament from the public viewing area if you’re lucky!

The Palace of Westminster is 3-minute walk away from Westminster Underground station serviced by Jubilee, Circle and District lines.

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Houses of Parliament

7. St James's Park

St James Park in autumn, London, England, UK.

©VisitBritain / Britain on View

Immerse yourself in 58 acres of pure greenery in the heart of London. With historical monuments scattered around the grounds, the Duke of York Statue makes for a striking sight as it towers over St James’s Park. Feel like royalty as you walk down The Mall, a processional route that has seen numerous coronations, weddings and state visits. Wander your way to the lake to feed the famous pelicans or get a quick bite to eat yourself at the café. Top it off with a stop at the Blue Bridge for a phenomenal sight of London’s classic landmarks including Buckingham Palace and Big Ben.

St James’s Park is only 2-minute walk away from St James’s Park Underground station serviced by Circle and District lines.

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St James's Park
24 Jul 2018(last updated)

Locations

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Westminster Abbey

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Tower of London

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Kensington Palace

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Buckingham Palace

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Royal Botanic Gardens

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Houses of Parliament

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St James's Park