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Banqueting House

#227 of 1,431 things to do in London
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Address: Whitehall Palace Whitehall | Horse Guards Avenue, London SW1A 2ER, England
Phone Number: 448444827777
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 293 reviews
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    Very good
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Lost Palace interactive tour

Visited with our two 9 year olds who, after a late night, weren't looking forward to it ( they normally love history); they said they changed their mind within a minute!We have... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed 3 days ago
Stockton-on-Tees, United Kingdom
via mobile
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293 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 239: English reviews
Stockton-on-Tees, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
310 reviews
121 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 155 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

Visited with our two 9 year olds who, after a late night, weren't looking forward to it ( they normally love history); they said they changed their mind within a minute!We have used audio tours before but this one, where you hold a block of wood to various blacked wood objects around the perimeter of the banqueting hall, the MoD,... More 

Thank EmmieLouH
Middx London
Level Contributor
202 reviews
80 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

Had booked this tour through our membership with Historic Royal Palaces so as to visit the Banqueting House. It is an interesting concept to walk round the perimeter of what was the Palace of Whitehall with a digital audio guide! Using a special wooden and metal gadget we could then access various points on the walk and learn all about... More 

1 Thank Rosemary64
Great Neck, New York
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

This was a great surprise. I dragged my family along as I wanted to see wher Charles I was executed. Turns out he was executed outside the Banqueting Hall. But it was inside this building that was a surprise. You walk into the great hall and see people laying on bean bag chairs looking up at the ceiling at magnificient... More 

1 Thank peterU6451YB
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

If you like Rubens, ok but only this upper paint. Of course very beatifull but only one area . I dont know, my opinion, if you have limited time and limited many, not necessary.

Thank Birgül Y
Lawrence, Kansas
Level Contributor
734 reviews
468 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Take the time to tour the Banqueting House which was designed by Indigo Jones for King James I. There are interesting rooms and works of art including some by Rubens.

Thank buffalojim67
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This was a little hidden gem and a nice surprise. After visting Westminster Abbey, and walking by 10 Downing Street, we ducked into the Banqueting House and relaxed on the bean bag chairs for about 30 minutes while learning about the painted ceilings and history of this site. Enjoy!

1 Thank dickeyjordan
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Unsure as to what to expect I was very impressed. The entry fee is low and an audio tour is provided as part of the fee. The building is incredibly beautiful and a very calming space. It was a lovely pit stop for my partner and I on our busy day, with seating in the hall and about 45 minutes... More 

1 Thank Allen T
Cottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
44 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We visited this venue late on in the day, and did not give ourselfs time to look compleatly around before it was closing, what a great place, we should be all proud of our heritage and our history looking at the home of some of our monarchs. Not an interesting place for small children, but teenagers doing english history would... More 

Thank Keith G
Level Contributor
26 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Booked online in advance, and a couple of days later was emailed about a new event there called "The Lost Palace". We tried to book onto this but could not, and checked again and again but still couldn't. Upon arrival (at lunchtime) we were asked if we wanted to partake in this new tour. We were starving and therefore were... More 

1 Thank LeeLee94
Chester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 weeks ago

A hot day in London but walking down Whitehall saw the sign for the Banqueting House. Inside a warm welcome from the young staff and a very good audio guide that described the stunning ceiling. Lots of cooling fans thankfully so the room was comfortable and although I am too old to lay on a beanbag I sat out along... More 

Thank redsquirrel2014

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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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