Spending a Regal Weekend in London

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by Hertz - 05 April 2022

Celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee this year, with a visit to some of London’s top royal attractions. With special exhibitions and activities taking place throughout the year to mark Her Majesty’s 70 years on the throne, it’s the perfect time to explore London’s royal residences, galleries and gardens.

Don’t forget to make the most of the four-day bank holiday weekend from the 2nd to 5th June, to catch some of the exciting events in the city. Not sure where to start? We’ve picked our top eight spots for your regal weekend out.

Book car hire in London with Hertz today and start planning your royal tour of the British capital with our itinerary.

Tower of London’s Crown Jewels

Tower of London, London, EC3N 4AB

The Tower of London has held various roles within its almost 1,000-year history, including a secure fortress, royal palace and infamous prison. Today, it’s home to the Crown Jewels, a collection of more than 23,500 gemstones that adorn crowns, robes, sceptres and swords – all used by English royalty throughout history.

Discover coronation regalia worn by Elizabeth II in June 1953, alongside the Imperial State Crown and Sovereign’s Sceptre – topped with the largest white diamond in the world. Some items are still worn by the Queen for key events, so look out for any “In Use”.

The Tower of London is open daily, with admission times varying throughout the year. From 1 June to 18 September, the Tower’s moat will also come to life, as it’s flooded with a breathtaking flower display to honour The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

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buckingham palace

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Gate, London, SW1A 1AA

You can’t plan a royal tour of London without stopping by the one of London’s biggest attractions. Visitors from around the world make the pleasant walk through St. James’s Park and along The Mall to see the Her Majesty’s beautiful royal residence in London.

Surrounded by its famous wrought iron gates, the palace is one of the capital’s most iconic sights. With the throng of tourists, the Victoria Memorial fountain standing at the front and Changing of the Guard, the area outside is a hive of activity each day.

Over the Jubilee weekend, the Queen’s Birthday Parade will begin at the palace on Thursday 2nd June – with the Royal Family witnessing an RAF fly-past from the palace balcony. If you’re visiting over the summer and in early autumn, tours are available from 22nd July to 2nd October, where you can explore the palace’s remarkable State Rooms.

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The Queen’s Gallery

Buckingham Palace, London, SW1 1AA

From Buckingham Palace, it’s just a five-minute walk to The Queen’s Gallery on the southwest corner of the Palace. The building was originally designed as an Ionic temple-inspired conservatory, then repurposed as a private chapel for Queen Victoria.

Following an air raid in 1940, it was finally repurposed as an art gallery for the Royal Collection in 1962. Works from this vast body of fine and decorative arts can be viewed in the galleries, which can be found within the Palace grounds.

The latest exhibition, opening on 8th April, showcases the Collection’s exquisite examples of Japanese art and design. Admire decorative arts and furnishings, from folding screens to mounted vases, as well as traditional samurai armour dating back to the early 1500s.

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Royal Mews’ Golden Coaches

Buckingham Palace, London, SW1 1AA

Our final stop in the Buckingham Palace grounds is the Royal Mews, built in 1825 as the main stables, riding school and coach house for the Royal family. The they’re open from 19th May to 2nd October 2022, with guided tours available.

Venture inside to see the carriages and cars used by The Queen for special State events and ceremonies, including the Gold State Coach used for coronations. You’ll also find the Diamond Jubilee State Coach, which was built for Her Majesty’s 80th birthday and first used in 2014.

Dress up as a footman in tailored livery or live like a royal in a replica Semi-State Landau. There’s a chance to learn about the two types of horses that pull the royal carriages too – Windsor Greys and Cleveland Bays – and if you’re lucky, you may even meet a couple during your visit.

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westminster abbey

Westminster Abbey

20 Deans Yard, London, SW1P 3PA

Follow in the footsteps of royalty as you wander the halls of Westminster Abbey. This Gothic church has hosted every coronation since 1066, held more than 16 royal weddings and has 30 kings and queens buried within its grounds.

See the spectacular shrine to King Edward the Confessor behind the High Altar, before visiting the Lady Chapel. This is where you’ll find the tombs of Elizabeth I, Mary I and Henry VII – be sure to look up and admire the medieval architecture and intricate fan vaulted ceiling.

The Abbey also has its fair share of stained-glass windows, spanning the 18th century to modern day, including the Queen Elizabeth II window designed by David Hockney to celebrate Her Majesty’s reign. The abbey is open to visitors from Monday to Saturday, while services are held daily, free of charge, including on Sundays.

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Household Cavalry Museum

Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall, London, SW1A 2AX

Go behind-the-scenes of the Household Cavalry, who guard Her Majesty at ceremonies and special events in London and across the UK. It’s located in Horse Guards, close to St James’ Park and a short walk from Downing Street – with the London Eye sitting the backdrop.

The Household Cavalry Museum lets kids and adults alike see inside the famous stables. Visitors can try on Cavalryman uniform and learn the inner workings of the mounted regiment, while there’s also a museum and guided tours of the grounds available.

Time your visit right and you may even get to see the guards in action. There are hourly sentry changes, daily morning guard changes and daily afternoon Garrison inspections.

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hampton court

Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Way, Molesey, East Molesey, KT8 9AU

Brush up on your royal history with a trip to Hampton Court Palace – home of Henry VIII. Learn about the lives of Henry and his wives and explore significant moments that occurred within these Tudor walls, from the Chapel Royal to William III’s state apartments.

Don’t forget to take a tour of the Great Hall, where King Henry VIII would entertain and impress his court with banquets, balls and performances. Fancy some fresh air? Your admission also includes access to Hampton Court’s pristine formal gardens, including the exclusive Platinum Jubilee flower display from June to September.

Enjoy a stroll through the sunken gardens, then challenge friends and family to navigate the world’s oldest puzzle maze. The Chapel Royal is only open Wednesday to Saturday, however the Palace is open daily with occasional closures on 19th April, 3rd May, 6th and 7th June. 

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Kensington Palace

Kensington Gardens, London, W8 4PX

Welcome to Kensington Palace, the home of King William and Queen Mary, birthplace of Queen Victoria and the official London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Explore the perfectly preserved State Apartments, complete with silk hangings, carved fireplaces and opulent carpets. In the Jewel Room, discover spectacular gems commissioned for Queen Victoria by Prince Albert, including a dazzling diamond and emerald tiara, with matching necklace, earrings and brooch.

From March until October 2022, the Palace is also hosting an exclusive exhibition on Life Through a Royal Lens. This fascinating collection captures some of the most iconic photographs of the Royal Family, from Cecil Beaton, Annie Leibowitz, David Bailey and more.

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Ready to live like royalty on your next visit to the capital? Book Hertz car hire in London to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year.