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Banqueting House

#296 of 2,347 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
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Open now
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Mon - Sat 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Description: 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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    Very good
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Interesting visit

Liked the fact that you could lie back in beanbags and listen to the commentary at your own pace. Ceiling fascinating. A must for anyone who watched Wolf Hall.

4 of 5 starsReviewed May 20, 2015
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190 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2015 NEW

Liked the fact that you could lie back in beanbags and listen to the commentary at your own pace. Ceiling fascinating. A must for anyone who watched Wolf Hall.

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Gatwick, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2015 NEW

A fascinating building with some historic events. Listen to the audio tour whilst looking at the ceiling paintings.

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Perth, Australia
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
44 attraction reviews
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2015 NEW via mobile

This is our second visit to London and The Banqueting House never stood out as a must see or as one of the iconic things to see in London. Curiosity got the better of us and as we were around the area, we popped in, using our London Pass. The introductory video was very informative and assisted in providing the... More 

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Colchester, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
45 attraction reviews
141 helpful votes 141 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2015

Having joined historical royal palaces, we made this our first visit using the pass. What a ceiling, to think it was painted by Reuben's and transported to England. A part of London we had not discovered before, the hall is breathtaking, and the history is fantastic. The place where Charles 1st was executed!

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London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
34 attraction reviews
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2015

I've just visited Banqueting House for a truly amazing evening. This building on Whitehall designed by Inigo Jones has a Rubens ceiling which is simply stunning. For me, seeing any museum at night adds to its magnificence and with the exceptional lighting in the Hall making it very atmospheric, it was even more striking. As with all Historical Royal Palaces... More 

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Woking, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
134 reviews 134 reviews
27 attraction reviews
245 helpful votes 245 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2015

Following lunch at The Savoy Grill we decided to walk down to the Baqueting House in Whitehall and look at this former Royal establishment, we did believe there would be more to see here but we were not disappointed with what we were able to see. The building dates back to the 1600's and is integral to the history of... More 

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Dartford, United Kingdom
19 reviews 19 reviews
4 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2015

Allow about 40 mins- 1hour max for this visit. The exterior is undergoing restoration right now, and really the visit is basically looking at the artwork on the ceiling. There is a short talk at 11.30 am and I'd suggest that, if possible, you should attend it as it makes the visit more enjoyable.

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Portland, Oregon
Top Contributor
123 reviews 123 reviews
55 attraction reviews
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2015

Before visiting London, I joined Historic Royal Palaces and The Banqueting House is included in the membership. I recommend joining because members don't need to wait in the ticket line and they get a discount on purchases. Since my last visit to London, it seems there has been a push to make the historic properties more appealing and accessible to... More 

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Top Contributor
128 reviews 128 reviews
42 attraction reviews
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2015

A visit here brings life to one's history lessons of years ago, The Reubens ceiling is magnificent. Easy to find on Whitehall.

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Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
4 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2015

I feel like a fool that I have lived in London for so long and have never thought to come here, it's amazing and now I have visited regard it as a must see gem of London. There are many reasons I like this attraction and will explain why. First the guard recommends you watch a brief film in the... More 

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Staying in Westminster

Neighborhood Profile
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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