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Banqueting House

#206 of 1,298 things to do in London
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Address: Whitehall Palace | Horse Guards Avenue, London SW1A 2ER , England
Phone Number: 448444827777
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10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed now
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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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 252 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 97
  • 100
    Very good
  • 39
  • 12
  • 4

Amazing maintainance of a historic building. The painted ceiling as well as the presentation on the building's history were very good.

4 of 5 starsReviewed 2 weeks ago
Payal G
via mobile

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252 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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  • More
Level Contributor
140 reviews
79 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Amazing maintainance of a historic building. The painted ceiling as well as the presentation on the building's history were very good.

Thank Payal G
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We arrived at Westminster Underground and turned right. Keep going until a 100 yards on you come to Parliament Street, which leads down to Whitehall. There you can see, again on your right, the Cenotaph which we all see in November on Remembrance day. On your right there is a House of Parliament shop. Keeping to the right you are... More 

Seneca, South Carolina
Level Contributor
185 reviews
80 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2015

I was a bit disappointed that we didn't have time to tour the entire house, but it was worth climbing the stairs to view the room that is so famous for its ceiling.

Thank Sharon C
St Peter Port, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
79 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2015

Three times I have arrived expecting to visit the Banqueting Hall, and each time it has been closed for a private function or renovation. September 2015, I finally made it. Inquire on the internet first. If opened: opening times are from 1000 to 1700 hrs. Phone + 44 844 482 7777 Ticket price last September £6.50 The Banqueting Hall is... More 

Thank peter m
Morecambe, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2015

Very informative audio if not repetitive of the video at beginning of tour. Amazing ceiling by Rubens. Fantastic history of this old building. Good value for money

Thank CactusJohnboy
Centreville, Virginia
Level Contributor
709 reviews
522 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 633 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2015

Designed in the classical Palladian style by Indigo Jones, this architecturally important building was completed in 1622. It is the only surviving part of the old Whitehall Palace that was destroyed in a great fire in 1698. Located at the corner of Horse Guards Avenue and Whitehall, the Banqueting House tour begins with a film reviewing the history of the... More 

1 Thank KLE2013
Montgomery, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2015 via mobile

Very informative audio guide and video at the start, was nice for a change to be able to sit down in their very comfy bean bags and stare up at the ceiling rather than walking around getting cold.

Thank RainbowDash750
Level Contributor
119 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2015

I'm a Londoner but this was the first time I'd been inside. The £6 entrance is great value - well they did pay Mr Rubens £3000 to do the place up. Quiet and beautiful. Charming staff too. We popped across the road for the 11.00 changing of the horse guards too. It's in the 2 for 1.

Thank davidblades
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
202 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2015

This attraction was included with our "Royal Pass", which consisted of the Tower of London, Kensington Palace, and Hampton Court. First of all, it is not the easiest site to find. Then once you get in and listen to the audio tour, you find out that this is all that is left of Whitehall Palace. Basically you watch a video... More 

Thank wearymom3
Level Contributor
139 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2015

Really interesting - excellent audio tour and also 20 minute talk on the paintings by very enthusiastic and engaging man (sorry - cant remember his name) - would definitely recommend. Make sure you make use of the bean bags to relax and look up at the paintings.

Thank F B

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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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