Best of Royal London and Windsor Castle: * Visit the Tower of London, former fortress, prison and macabre execution site – as well as one of London’s most iconic landmarks.
* With a tailor-created early-morning visit, you will be among the first to view the crown jewels, avoiding the long lines and crowded-photos that inevitably form later in the day.
*Enjoy a scenic river shuttle up the Thames, enjoying the iconic London scenery along the famed banks.
* Experience a fully-guided walking tour through the Horse Guards to St. James and Buckingham Palace.
* In addition to hearing interesting facts about the ceremony a traveler would otherwise miss, watch the Changing of the Guard as your guide makes sure you are in the right spot at the right time to get the best views and most perfect pictures.
* End your tour at Buckingham Palace and prepare to be wowed by its royal magnificence.
* Enjoy a relaxed and intimate tour with groups of 25 people or fewer.
*Convenient audio headsets are provided so you can always hear your guide on this comprehensive strolling tour.
*Enjoy a guided visit to Windsor and Eton, two charming and typical English towns set on the River Thames
*Visit the magnificent Windsor Castle, home of the Royal family, where you will see the beautifully ornate State Apartments, the chapel and the incredible dolls house of Queen Mary
* Small groups of 15 or fewer allow for an intimate and relaxed visit
*Escorted train travel takes all the hassle out of your journey, and allows you to stay in Windsor for as long as you like
Capital of the United Kingdom, home to the royal family, a cosmopolitan city at the crossroads of history, London has much to offer to both seasoned travelers and first-time visitors. But seeing the best of what this bustling 13-million person metropolis has to offer doesn’t have to usurp your entire vacation. That’s why City Wonders has crafted a quick-yet-comprehensive strolling tour of the township’s top sites, followed by a jaunt to the quaint English countryside to see where the most famous Londoners - the Royal Family - escape to!
See the best that royal London has to offer in a single morning! Begin your day at the famed and somewhat infamous Tower - former prison and execution site of three Queens of England. Our early morning visit means you will be among the first to enter the Jewel House and view the spectacular crown jewels, which have been held here and locked up for safekeeping every night for the last 600 years. These are the official regalia and vestments used by the Sovereign of the United Kingdom during the coronation ceremony and other noble appearances. This priceless collection includes magnificent orbs, swords, rings, and of course, crowns and sceptres. During your visit you will also be able to see the famous white tower, where it is said that the ‘Princes in the Tower’ were held and supposedly murdered by their Uncle Richard III to usurp the throne from their father, King Edward IV.
Then it’s time to step aboard a relaxing river shuttle as the tour heads up the Thames. Enjoy the sights as your guide points out major landmarks as you coast by. Arrive at the embankment and follow your guide on a short stroll to see the changing of the guards. This world-famous ceremony takes place either at Buckingham Palace or at Horse Guards Parade, depending on the day. Your guide will make sure you are in a prime position to enjoy the best views at this crowded event. Your guide will bring this experience to life with colourful commentary, other travellers miss, regarding the history and pageantry behind the ceremony as the Queen’s Foot Guards, with their red tunics and unmistakable bearskin hats, march to Buckingham Palace. (Please note that this experience is subject to weather conditions. )
End your tour at Buckingham Palace, the residence of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, and see the famous balcony where the royal family appears during major events. This tour is the best way to spend a morning in London – learning and laughing along with your local City Wonders guide. At the end of your tour, ask your guide for some lunch recommendations and enjoy some free time to try traditional English fare before continuing your journey in the footsteps of royalty - by visiting Windsor Castle.
Meet your guide at a central London station and with your pre-booked tickets handed to you, you can leisurely board your train to the quaint village of Windsor. Settle comfortably into your seat as the scenic English countryside drifts by, accompanied by your guide’s entertaining introduction to Windsor and its proud royal history. On arrival at Windsor, feeling relaxed and refreshed, you will be eager to explore this authentically English town with your enthusiastic guide. Meander through cobbled lanes bordered by black and white Tudor edifices and peek through traditional blown-glass windows as your guide offers fascinating insight into life alongside the British Royal Family. They are not the only beloved English figures to have an association with this picturesque town, however – Shakespeare walked these very streets and used them as the setting for his play The Merry Wives of Windsor.
More tales of the luminaries of British life await as your guide show you Eton, home of the most famous school in England, Eton College. This charming town was the playground of some of the most recognisable figures in British history as young boarders at Eton – Prime Ministers, writers George Orwell and Ian Fleming, and of course, Princes William and Harry. Your guide will educate you on what life is like for these schoolboys, as well as enlightening you about some of their more eccentric traditions still in use today.
Having seen the town where the young princes lived, it’s now time to visit the home of their grandmother – Windsor Castle. This is the longest occupied palace in Europe, having housed all British monarchs since Henry I, and is favoured by Queen Elizabeth II as her weekend retreat. A treasure trove of royal history, the splendour of this palace will reveal itself to you as you are expertly steered through its rooms by your audio guide. Explore the ornate State Apartments where visiting dignitaries are hosted among artworks by Rembrandt and Rubens. Delight in Queen Mary’s dollhouse, a perfect miniature of an aristocratic home lavishly furnished with the finest of tiny handmade artefacts. Admire the intricate Gothic architecture of St. George’s Chapel, final resting place of monarchs including King Henry VIII. At the turn of every palatial corridor, another royal jewel lays waiting to be unearthed by you.
At the end of your tour you'll be free to revisit places of interest or explore even further, before you return at leisure to London using your flexible train tickets.
Meeting/pick-up point: First part: The ticket office at Tower of London, you guide will be holding a sign with the supplier’s name on it. Second part: Under the clock at Waterloo station.
Duration: 9 hours.
Start/opening time: First part: 8am. Second part: 1:30pm.