We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“A bit pricey but a fascinating place to visit” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Banqueting House

Banqueting House
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Private Tour: Westminster Abbey and Banqueting House Walking Tour in London
Ranked #199 of 1,568 things to do in London
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: 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.
Abingdon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
225 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 137 helpful votes
“A bit pricey but a fascinating place to visit”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 22, 2014

This isn’t a cheap experience – at £5 (for Seniors) for entry really just to one large Banqueting House. But having said that, we spent a fascinating 45 minutes there first watching the informational video about the Palace’s History and then listening to the free audio-guide which is excellent in its range and depth (and offers you very helpful extra features if you want to know more about many aspects of the Hall’s history) The magnificent Rubens ceiling is described and explained in intelligent detail and, as an appealing extra feature, there are large leather bean-bags to loll on as you listen to the audio description and drink your fill (thought they could do with a few more of these to be enough for all wanting them on a busy August Wednesday morning) There are also huge mirrors on castors which you can position to look up at the ceiling panels in more detail.

I pride myself on knowing London well having lived and worked there for many years, but have never visited the Banqueting House before and was very glad to do so. A little over-priced though, I think.

Visited August 2014
Thank jojoDorset
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

349 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Czech first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Chesterfield, Virginia
Level Contributor
283 reviews
104 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“Educational & relaxing!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 19, 2014

We had spent the morning in a museum and then faced a long walk to the Banqueting House. We actually missed it the first time we passed, distracted by the crowds across the street photographing the mounted guards on duty. Once inside, we watched the introductory video downstairs and learned about the history of the building. We opted out of the audio speakers even though there was no extra cost. We loved the idea of having beanbag chairs strewn about the floor -- a great way to study the ceiling. Even if you are not the type to lay down on the floor or if you have a bad neck, there are some clever magnifying mirrors on wheels which you can maneuver around the room to get a closer look at a particular section of the ceiling. So, yes, it is only one big room but at least you can do more than simply walk in and look up. If you're in the area and getting tired, it is a good place to pop in to for 45 minutes or so -- I swear there were people napping in the beanbag chairs!

Visited July 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Cafe at the Undercroft”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 18, 2014

Just a note to say how lovely the Undercroft Cafe is (open to the public). Made especially nice by the ladies from the White Hat bakery who are running a pop up cafe there - wonderful sourdough.

Visited August 2014
1 Thank NorthLondonStu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
51 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Fabulous place”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 17, 2014

I would never have believed I'd be raving over a one-room attraction but I am! It is quite a room though. The visitor experience is very good. The audio guides are full of interesting information and the ceiling has to be seen to be believed. Just £6 to enter, and we were there a good 1.5 hours. Had a lovely cuppa in the cafe in the vaults, which were full of atmospheric charm. The loos are amazing too!! Wonderful visit.

Visited August 2014
1 Thank weekendfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
382 reviews
118 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
“Interesting place”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 17, 2014

Not much to see but the audio guide was very good and informative. Basically just two rooms. Took 1-2 hours depending on how much of the guide you listen to. A good place to pop into for a short visit.

Visited April 2014
Thank cngj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Banqueting House also viewed


Been to Banqueting House? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing