An England driving tour - England Explorer is a comprehensive tour of this great nation taking you from the heart of England to its far-reaching corners including the beautiful Lake District and the coastlines of Cornwall. You’ll experience classic English countryside including the Cotswolds and Yorkshire Dales and a host of historic cities including York, Chester and Bath not to mention a couple of nights in the vibrant English capital city, London.View this tour
Our guide to visiting Buckingham Palace
Going hand-in-hand with the term ‘Great Britain’, Buckingham Palace is home to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and is undoubtedly one of the world’s most famous buildings.
Located in the very heart of London, despite being built as recently as 1703 (a fairly new structure in the context of this historic city!), Buckingham Palace is one of the English Capital’s most iconic landmarks. It is as grandiose as you would expect a royal palace to be consisting of no fewer than 775 rooms, which includes 52 principal bedrooms and 78 bathrooms! The most decadent are the 19 state rooms which entertain ceremonies, traditions or public visits. The Palace also has its own post office, cinema, swimming pool, doctor’s surgery and jeweller’s workshop!
The cultural importance of Buckingham Palace is unquestionable; the first resident of royalty was Queen Victoria and by tradition, the palace has housed the ruling monarch of Great Britain ever since. Whilst monarchs throughout the ages have appeared before the palace, in recent years the palace took centre stage when the newly married Prince William and Kate Middleton greeted the public from the palace balcony after their wedding in 2011 and the following year when Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her diamond jubilee with a year of festivals and garden parties at the palace.
A highlight of Buckingham Palace is watching the “changing of the guard” a long-standing tradition and display of classic English pomp and pageantry; watch as the Queen’s soldiers, uniformed in the traditional black trousers, red jacket with gold buttons and the famous bearskin hat carry out the ceremony with the marching “old guard” replaced by the new. This ceremony takes place from 10.45 am most days of the week and can and is not to be missed. Get to the palace gates early for a good spot from which to watch the ceremony.
Whilst offering an excellent photo opportunity year-round, perhaps the best time to visit Buckingham Palace is when the state rooms are open to the public during the Summer months of August and September. When visited you can expect to see what lies behind the elegant facade of this grandiose palace; explore the opulent and history-filled state rooms such as the Throne Room which contains the original, intricately designed thrones that Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip had made for their coronation.
Exploring other parts of the palace you’ll discover various public and selected private quarters which play host to a wealth of treasures and invaluable items belonging to the British Monarchy throughout the ages; these include a number of priceless antiques and unique artefacts.
The outside of the building is just as beautiful; surrounding Buckingham Palace are the elegant manicured gardens you’d expect from a royal residence including expansive lawns and carefully selected flowers to provide stunningly colourful gardens. The grounds of the palace are regularly used in the summer months as the venue for charity events and garden parties attended by celebrities and lucky members of the public alike.
If you have even a passing interest in The Royal Family, British Monarchs past or present and the history, culture and heritage of London, England and Britain, then a stroll past Buckingham Palace is an absolute “must” for England vacation or London city break; you can enjoy a stay in London as part of any of our extended tours of Britain.
A Cotswolds Rail Tour – Use England’s rail network to explore the historic towns and quintessential countryside of the heart of England. From the Regency streets of Bath and the medieval colleges of Oxford to the Elizabethan streets of Stratford-upon-Avon, this region is brimming with English history and heritage. You’ll also enjoy day-tours to the rolling hills and chocolate-box cottages of the Cotswolds countryside and over the Wiltshire plains to Stonehenge.View this tour
A Rail Tour of England – Experience the highlights of England on this concise but attraction packed tour as you traverse the comprehensive English rail network. Enjoy overnight stays in some of England’s best-known heritage cities including Bath, Oxford and York to see iconic sites such as ancient Roman Baths, medieval university colleges and towering cathedrals. You’ll also experience England’s quintessential countryside as included small-group tours take you in to the heart of the Cotswolds villages and Lake District National Park.View this tour
A Britain Rail Tour – Experience the cities and landscapes of two great nations on this rail journey of discovery through England and Scotland. Travelling from vibrant London in the South to romantic Edinburgh in the North and back again your itinerary will take you through the historic cities of Oxford, Glasgow and York. Along the way you’ll experience scenic rail-rides through the rolling British countryside and enjoy hand-picked day tours to reach the rural sites and villages of the Cotswolds, the Lake District and Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park.View this tour
A Britain Small Group Tour - Travel from Edinburgh to London through England's enchanting Eastern regions where the Celts, Romans, Angles and Vikings all left their marks. On this Eastern England small group tour we'll discover rich and contrasting history and culture as we explore the cathedral cities of Durham and York, drive through the stunning and remote landscapes of the Yorkshire Moors and the Peak District and wind our way through the colleges and cobbled streets of Cambridge. On route we'll encounter hidden villages, stately homes and Royal Palaces.View this tour
An England Small Group Tour – Explore quintessential England on this six-day journey through the beautiful counties of the South East. Discover a wealth of historic and cultural attractions from Canterbury Cathedral and Dover’s White Cliffs to harbour town Whitstable, the “pearl of Kent”. On route sample award-winning English beers, wander some of England’s finest gardens and explore grandiose medieval castles and Royal Palaces.View this tour
Rail Tour of Britain – Travel by train on this rail adventure through Britain touching the highlights of England, Scotland and Wales. Visit the elegant historic cities of York, Bath and Chester and enjoy scenic rail journeys through the rolling hills of the English Lake District, the Scottish Lowlands and the Welsh border Marches. Your trip is rounded off with stays in no fewer than three capital cities in London, Edinburgh and Cardiff and includes selected day-tours to reach more rural sites such as the Cotswolds and Stonehenge.View this tour
Classic Britain Driving Tour - a snapshot of the countryside and historic cities of England, Scotland and Wales. Enjoy the rolling hills and thatch villages of the Cotswolds to the towering mountains and fortresses of North Wales. Pass through the lakes and dales of the English Lake District and the rolling hills of the Scottish Lowlands and Yorkshire Dales. Historic cities to explore on route include Regency Bath, Medieval York, and the capital cities of Edinburgh and London.View this tour