Castles in London
The Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace is a permanent space dedicated to changing exhibitions of items from the Royal Collection, the wide-ranging collection of art and treasures held in trust by The Queen for the Nation. The Queen's Gallery is open to the public throughout the year.
The Royal Mews is the mews (or stables) of the British Royal Family, located in the grounds of Buckingham Palace. These also are open to the public throughout the year.
Tower of London
The Tower of London sits by the River Thames adjacent to Tower Bridge. Its probably one of the few times most visitors will be inside the original city walls of London, now the city's financial district.
At the seaward end of the city walls, the Tower guarded London from invaders coming along the river. Its one of the best preserved and historical castles in England. For the Norman's who brought Castles to England after they conquered England in 1066, this was 'base 1' castle in string of castles spread throughout England.
Being one of the safest places in London it has acted as jail, refuse and fortress. With England's colourful and sometimes gruesome history a lot of history is associated with the Tower.
Today its one of the most popular attractions in London for people of all ages and for many first time visitors comes under the “must see” category.
Just a mile from Buckingham Palace and also in a Royal Park (Kensington Gardens) is Kensington Palace. Kensington Palace was the favourite residence of successive sovereigns until 1760 when Buckingham Palace found favour.
Its popularity has greatly increased in recent years because of Princess Diana who lived here.
Following a major renovation project, the palace now unveils many secret stories of past royal figures, painting Kensington Palace as the setting for many noteworthy events and dramas in royal history. Make your way through the spectacular King’s and Queen’s State Apartments, adorned with paintings from the Royal Collection, and stroll through the Kensington Palace Gardens at your leisure.
West of London, very close to London's main airport, Heathrow, is Windsor Castle. Its the first Norman Castle down the River Thames from the Tower of London.
Despite its Castle like features its very much evolved into a palace inside. Its where the Queen would call home. Its very easy to get to from Central London with a choice of rail and bus links.
You can easily take up a day in Windsor, some people take more, there is so much to see and do. Windsor Great Park, a remnant of the old royal hunting grounds stretches for miles in front of the Castle.
You can visit Windsor Castle daily, most people taking a couple of hours to view the castle.
Hampton Court Palace
Like Windsor Castle, Hampton Court sits besides the River Thames west of the capital.
Famous for its connections with Henry VIII, Hampton Court is a true palace built to impress with extensive grounds.
Again, there is much to see and do at Hampton Court and you could easily spend a day here.
There are direct frequent trains from Central London or you can even go by boat from Westminster, (though the trip takes several hours)