'With London just a couple of hours away, there's really no excuse - You absolutely must visit Buckingham Palace' writes Beth Motherwell ...
If you’re heading down to London there’s one place you must visit, Buckingham Palace, and I don’t just mean standing in front of those famous gates. I'm talking about actually getting inside the palace (don’t worry you won’t need a ladder and a balaclava). For £19 you can step inside the palace that is home to our monarchy.
Sadly we don’t get to peek in the Queen’s wardrobe but we do get to have a look in the amazing State Rooms which are home to some of the most valuable treasures in the country. An audio guide directs you around the house, explaining each room and important furnishings and paintings in detail. The audio tour is introduced by HRH Prince Charles (When else can you listen to Prince Charles in your headphones?)
The grandest of all the State Rooms has to be the White Drawing Room which is used today by the family as a backdrop for some of their many formal photos. Try to spot the secret door located in the room which is used by the Royal Family for a discreet entrance from their private suite!
This year, of course, marks the 60 years since the Queen’s Coronation and to celebrate the palace, a major exhibition is being housed in the palaces ballroom. The centre piece is the dress the Queen wore on that day. A dress any girl would be jealous of, it’s decked in jewels. The needlework alone took 12 embroiders over 3,500 hours to complete! Girls, prepare to be envious as the dress has a tiny waistline that even Hollywood stars would be jealous off.
The exhibition also features private home made videos from the day and finally proof that royal children are just like the rest of us . With Prince Charles and Princess Anne covering their faces with their hands for the official photographs.
If you don’t mind long queues, The Garden Cafe at the end of the tour is definitely worth a visit. Serving a wide range of hot and cold drinks and light snacks and cakes. Tucking into a scone whilst looking at beautiful palace gardens really is something else!
It may be a tad pricey but the products from the garden gift shop are hard to resist. There’s homeware, china, bath products, children’s toys and much more on sale.
Be sure to wear your comfy shoes as the visitors route includes a half-mile walk through the south side of the gardens to the exit. There are plenty of benches along the way and fantastic views of the lakes – you’ll forget you’re in central London.
The only downside, if there is one, is the amount of people you have to share this experience with! It can be a bit of a challenge to get up close to some of the objects on display.
Check out http://www.royalcollection.org.uk/visit/buckinghampalace for some more information.