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Banqueting House

#304 of 1,255 things to do in London
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Address: Whitehall Palace | Horse Guards Avenue, London SW1A 2ER , England
Phone Number: +44 (0)844 482 7777
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Mon - Sat 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

This revolutionary building, the first in England to be designed in a...

This revolutionary building, the first in England to be designed in a Palladian style by Inigo Jones, was finished in 1622 for James I. 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’ last sights, as he walked through the Banqueting House to his death, was the magnificent ceiling, painted by Peter Paul Rubens in 1630-4. Banqueting House is the last and only surviving part of Whitehall Palace, once the largest palace in Europe, destroyed by fire in 1698.

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Banqueting House Entrance Ticket in London
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Best Private Tour: Westminster Abbey and Banqueting House Walking Tour in London
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London Pass Including Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

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  • 4
Birthday treat for my brother

My mum, my brother and I all went here as we have been wanting to visit here for ages. My brother and I done the 2 for 1 off the trains to get in as my mum paid less due to be... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed October 1, 2015
Michelle D
Havant, United Kingdom

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222 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
Havant, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
49 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2015 NEW

My mum, my brother and I all went here as we have been wanting to visit here for ages. My brother and I done the 2 for 1 off the trains to get in as my mum paid less due to be senior. I thought the bean bags on the floor was a good idea so you look at the... More 

Milford Haven, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2015 NEW

I've wanted to visit Banqueting House for a while and have never got around to it. I did manage to finally get there earlier this month and visit is as part of the Open House weekend in London , although it's one of the more reasonably priced attractions if you do pay for entry. The ceiling was so impressive and... More 

Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2015

The history of the building is more fascinating than the actual place itself. I only went because it was available on our London Pass.

Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2015

We only came across The Banqueting House by chance and are so glad we did. Rich in history and ambience it really is stunning. The ceiling by Rubens has such detail and can be viewed either by laying on a bean bag or looking through strategically placed mirrors. The commentary (by hand held device) also sets the scene. I would... More 

Helpful? 1
Westlake Village, California
Level Contributor
49 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2015

After many trips to London, I finally made the time to see this gem! Great stop for history buffs and art lovers alike. Once a part of a much larger building, this is all that remains of Whitehall Palace. Designed by Inigo Jones, it was a hub of entertainment and hosted the execution of Charles I. The exterior is currently... More 

Helpful? 1
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2015

The Banqueting House in Whitehall is a lovely early-modern building famous for its ceiling by Rubens. The ceiling alone is worth the price of admission, and a very good audio tour helps. The staff have also thoughtfully provided mirrors and beanbags so one doesn't strain the neck looking up. A must see when one is down in Whitehall/Westminster.

Helpful? 1
Level Contributor
44 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2015

This place is the only remaining building left from the fire which destroyed the palace of Whitehall. Originally built by Inigo Jones, the ceiling was painted by Peter Paul Rubens. Sit for a while and just admire the paintings and reflect on the many historical events which have taken place in this hall, including the execution of Charles 1 who... More 

Helpful? 1
Level Contributor
62 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2015

If you enjoy British History and architecture you will enjoy seeing this beautiful site. It is a small attraction, but significant. Designed by Inigo Jones and with incredible ceiling canvases painted by Peter Paul Rubens, the Banqueting House features a beautiful hall that was used for court masques (theatre) and receptions. It is the sole remaining part of what once... More 

Helpful? 1
Level Contributor
262 reviews
162 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 188 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2015

As we had a Historic Royal Palace's Membership we thought we'd have a look in here and I'm so glad we did. I didn't realise how much history is here. The short video at the start is interesting. Be aware though you are only seeing one hall - which is beautifully painted. The beanbags supplied were a very clever idea... More 

Helpful? 3
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2015

This is worthy a vist , see short video prior to visting the Hall,only one room,but beauful,so much history to this room....but think about the large beanbags they supply scattered all across the floor,good idea,the idea being lie back to see the ceiling while listening to tape throught earphones.......How many people have lain in that position before you .???????? Just... More 

Helpful? 1

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Staying in Westminster

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If you only had an afternoon to experience London on a grand scale, Westminster would be a wise place to start. The ornate Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey sit adjacent at a corner of Parliament Square, and a short stroll along The Mall leads to Buckingham Palace. Trafalgar Square and Nelson's Column are just up the road as well. As captivating as the architecture is, the wonders of Mother Nature are highlights of the area too. St James's Park (arguably London's loveliest), the expansive Green Park, and pedestrian friendly tree lined paths along the river showcase the exquisite manicure provided by English gardeners. Just beyond the landmarks and the gorgeous outdoor spaces, quiet residential squares and age old local pubs offer a more subdued take on this global seat of power in the heart of London.
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