Top Royal Tourist Attractions in England

Whether you're a fan of the modern royal family or a history lover who is fascinated by England's traditional royal past, England has a wealth of tourist attractions that are sure to satisfy your royal interests. Royal history exists everywhere in England. There are monuments, castles and crypts in almost every community. Start planning your trip with this list of top royal attractions.

Tower of London

The Tower of London is the most visited tourist attraction in England and it's no wonder. From the sturdy nine hundred year old tower walls to the royal jewels, the visitor is surrounded with the best of British royal history.

Visitors are greeted by fully uniformed beefeaters who entertain the crowds with expert storytelling as they explain the history of the royals who have been imprisoned and executed within the tower walls.

Tudor enthusiasts will especially enjoy the armour that is on display. Visitors can view several complete sets of Henry VIII's armour that were fitted for the king at different ages, revealing the transition from his youthfully tall and god-like proportions to the middle-aged obesity for which he is remembered.

Protected within the tower are the Crown Jewels, a dazzling display of royal wealth. This working collection of treasures includes the coronation crowns and sceptres.

Buckingham Palace

As the official residence of the Queen in London, Buckingham Palace has become England's most famous symbol of the royal family. The palace is located in the heart of London tourism, with the parliament building, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey only a short walk away.

The Changing of the Guard is one of Britain's most iconic royal traditions and takes place in front of the palace at 11:30 each morning from March to October and on alternate days during the remainder of the year. In an elaborate display of pageantry, the guardsman are uniformed in their red tunics and bear fur hats and change shift while marching to an orchestra playing a mixture of traditional and pop music.

The palace itself is built on a colossal scale, with over seven hundred rooms and immense grounds. The state rooms are open to the public during the summer months. Queen Victoria lived at the palace and is commemorated by a large ornate memorial at the palace gates. Queen Elizabeth currently resides at the palace when in London. Royal watchers can observe guests of the Queen as they come and go, often in horse-drawn carriage.

The Royal Mews is also located at Buckingham Palace. The royal stables, carriages and cars are all on display to the public. Visitors can view the special carriages that are used to transport the royal family to weddings and state events.

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle is the Queen's weekend palace and the largest occupied castle in Europe. It was built by William the Conqueror and is also one of the oldest functioning castles in England.

The public are welcome to visit the State Apartments to see how past kings and queens have lived. Queen Elizabeth spent her childhood at the castle and undoubtedly spent time playing with the lavish Queen Mary's Dolls' house. The doll house was originally built and decorated for Queen Mary by masters in architecture and interior design. As the largest doll house in the world, the royal doll house features running water, electricity and working lifts.

The Royal Art Collection is on display at the castle and includes paintings by such masters as Rembrandt and Gainsborough.

Windsor Castle has the oldest continually functioning kitchen and has been operating for seven hundred fifty years. Many of the pans and serving dishes are several hundred years old. Guests are allowed to tour the kitchen where so many state banquets are prepared.

The gothic church St. George's Chapel is within the Castle walls and tourists can visit the tombs of many royals including Henry VIII and Charles I. The chapel is closed to the public on Sundays.

Leeds Castle

Leeds Castle in Kent, England
Leeds Castle in Kent, England

Beautiful, scenic and built on a series of islands, Leeds Castle is known as the most beautiful castle in England. Leeds was built in 1278 and has been home to many medieval and Tudor royals, including Edward I and Catherine of Aragon.

In addition to the many beautiful rooms inside the castle, visitors may also enjoy a garden maze and golf course. The castle also features a rather odd museum of dog collars.

Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court is a must-see for Tudor history buffs. Originally built by Cardinal Wolsey, the palace was given to Henry VIII as Wolsey was falling from the king's favour. All of Henry VIII's six wives eventually came to live at the palace.

The palace now functions as a site of historical recreation for tourists. The staffs are costumed performers who speak to visitors in medieval terms while carrying out the household tasks of their time. Visitors can wander the palace and its grounds, take part in games and events from the time period, and may even get a glimpse of King Henry.

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