The Banqueting House

This revolutionary building, the first in England to be designed in a Palladian style by Inigo Jones and completed in 1622, was intended for the splendour and exuberance of court masques.

The Banqueting House is probably most famous for one real life drama: the execution of Charles I which took place here in 1649 to the ‘dismal, universal groan’ of the crowd.  One of Charles’s last sights as he walked through the Banqueting House to his death was the magnificent ceiling, painted by Peter Paul Rubens in 1630-4.

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Tour Highlights

  • Experience royal drama and splendour
  • Walk in the footsteps of the condemned King and stand at the spot where Charles I's execution took place, just outside Banqueting House.
  • Rubens’ ceiling -Marvel at Sir Peter Paul Rubens' masterpiece in its original setting
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Tour Schedule

Banqueting House

This revolutionary building, the first in England to be designed in a Palladian style by Inigo Jones and completed in 1622, was intended for the splendour and exuberance of court masques.

The Banqueting House is the only complete building of the old Whitehall Palace to have survived.  The Banqueting house was built for occasions and has seen many plays, grand balls and masques staged performed within as well as traditional banquets laid out for important guests.

One of the finest venues in London for both royal and high society functions.

Important Information

  • The attraction may be subject to closure at short notice.

Venue Information

The Banqueting House, Whitehall, London SW1A 2ER

Nearest Train Station: Charing Cross
Nearest Underground: Westminster, Embankment or Charing Cross

Bus Routes: 3, 11, 12, 24, 53, 77A, 88 or 159


Monday – Saturday: 10:00am – 17:00pm (last entry is 45 minutes before closing time)

Please note the closing time for the following dates:

12 December – closing at 15.00pm – last ticket at 14.15pm
15 December – closing at 13.00pm – last ticket at 12.15pm
16 December – closing at 15.00pm – last ticket at 14.15pm
17 December – closing at 15.00pm – last ticket at 14.15pm
18 December – closing at 16.00pm – last ticket at 15.15pm
31 December – closing at 15.00pm – last ticket at 14.15pm


Palace closed on Thursdays from September 2017
Palace closed 24, 25, 26 December 2017 and 1 January 2018
Palace closed 22 – 26 February 2018
Palace closed 14 – 18 April 2018


Will the tour pick-up from my hotel?

Not unless you are staying at a hotel that is a designated pick-up (you will see options for these before you pay).  This is because of Government actions to help prevent pollution, no tour operators have been allowed to make individual hotel pick-ups since 1st April 2017.

Are there toilets on the coaches?

Some coaches have toilets, some do not, but on all tours there are regular comfort stops of no longer than 2 hours apart, plus all places visited have toilets on site.

Will we have time for a full lunch stop whilst on tour?

Unless you book a tour that includes a specific lunch stop then no.  Most tours are targeted at seeing as much as possible in one day and do not have time for a full stop.  There are options to buy food and snacks at all sites visited, but these can be expensive and most people prefer to bring food and drink with them.  Supermarkets, e.g. Tesco Express offer excellent and great value, pre-prepared food that is ideal for this.  Here is a store finder link.

Will the tour return to for example London at the time stated or can it be late?

Most tours return at the expected time, but this is always subject to traffic and it is possible there could be a delay and so it is always wise to allow plenty of spare time if you are planning on booking theatre shows, trains or flights etc. after your tour.

What clothes should I wear?

It is always wise to check the weather forecast before setting out.  It is good to plan in case of rain, with perhaps a shower coat and umbrella.  There will likely be quite a bit of walking on tours and comfy shoes are a must and if any of the tour is on grass e.g. Stonehenge Inner Circle tours then waterproof shoes are sensible.  It is often colder out of London than in London particularly if windy and a jumper or fleece in summer are wise and a warm coat in winter.

If visiting London how much time will it take to see all the main sites, will we have time for more than one out of London tour if we only have a week? How long in advance should I book tours?

It is a common mistake that people think it may take six days to see London and only allow a day for out of London tours.  However there is so much to see out of London that four days to go out of London will be an amazing experience to see maybe all these locations, Dover, Canterbury, Leeds Castle, Hampton Court, Windsor, Winchester, Glastonbury, Stonehenge, Avebury, Bath, Stratford, Oxford and Warwick.

There are excellent day tours of London that see all of the main attractions in one day and then perhaps allow a further two days to see the Making of Harry Potter Warner Bros. Tour and other London attractions not included on the main tours and do not forget to book your show/theatre tickets well in advance too.

These are all very popular tours, most sell out well in advance and it is wise to book your tours, theatre and attractions several months in advance and you will find good planning in advance will optimise your holiday.

Is it better value to tour sites of London and out of London sites on our own, perhaps hiring a car?

No, fixed tours of both London and out of London are much better value than visiting sites individually and you will find going individually entrance costs alone will add up to more than the fixed tours, even before you factor in travel costs.

Do tours pick-up from any of the London airports?

Sorry no tours depart or return from any UK airports.  There are however excellent rapid express trains for example the Heathrow Express.

Can you help me find a discounted best value hotel? Plus theatre/shows and other attractions?

Yes we certainly can and here are some useful links.

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