I live less than half an hour away (by bus) from Buckingham Palace, I am practically the Royal Family's neighbour (well about 3 miles away with the River in between). Heheh. Lastminute.com are selling cheap tickets to enter Buckingham Palace at the moment whilst HRH The Queen is on holiday, and I found myself thinking I need to at least to do something this summer (because I'm not going on holiday until later in the year). So yeah, I'm going to Buckingham Palace.
I'm not a crazy fan on the Royal Fan, but I like the updates (from the media) of their lifestyle etc., etc... I find them as normal as any other family however richer with a status.
So I went on Sunday 17th (yesterday), the tourists were up and ready to explore London already. Most of us Londoners would be asleep at the time I went out (that was 9.15 am)! Most shops don't open at this time of day, but at least Buckingham Palace did ... I walked from Westminster, alongside St James's Park and just about to cross the road when a small army of guards appeared on horseback. ^^
|Guards on horseback|
The ticket office is right next door (to the left if you're entering via St James's Park) of Buckingham Palace Gate, all signs are very clear, so you can't miss a thing!
Got my ticket, and there was a little wait to enter (I think they opened around 5 minutes early), you will be going through a security check just like if you're at the airport... and the only unfortunate part of this tour is that you can't use your mobiles or take pictures inside the palace. :( So sad.
I took an audio tour (which is useful if you can't take pictures), and the tour takes about an hour and a half or less if you whizz around the rooms and don't stop to look at the displays and pictures... Just imagine yourself in a big castle and an art gallery combined together!
|Waiting in the queue|
I didn't buy any books or souvenirs, but I did stop by the Garden Cafe to enjoy some cakes and ice coffee.
The Chocolate Biscuit Cake caught my attention, so I had to get that... and I do like a Fraiser (unfortunately the strawberries were sour)... But the ice coffee was brilliant!! I think coffee shops need to have a taste of this, it tasted sweet and was definitely made with quality coffee. (I wonder what brand of coffee they used).
|Chocolate Biscuite Cake|
|This cost around £13 altogether - expensive!|
Well we couldn't take pictures of the inside but we could from the outside... The Royal Family's garden is massive, and I'm sure they enjoy long walks around the gardens. ^^
|At the back of Buckingham Palace|
|The Royal Garden - basically the backyard (a massive one!)|
|There is a shop, but everything is expensive!|
|Very pretty cups, but too expensive!! People like me have to be economical...|
|Under the tree view|
|An American Coot - very strange to see in the garde|
At the end, you will end up in Grosvenor Place... so make sure you know how to get home or back into Central London!
I enjoyed the tour but I think it's a tour mainly for the tourists. I think most Londoners would not enjoy this tour unless they are super fans of the Royal Family, like art galleries or simply want to visit a palace. Simply put it this way - I would rather go to the National Gallery or the British Museum for free. ¬,¬"" But your ticket can be converted to a year's pass, but my ticket couldn't as I didn't buy it directly from the Palace.
p.s. Staff are everywhere, so don't even attempt to take your cameras or phones out!