Destinations

10 Royal Venues to Visit if You Want to Spot the Royal Family in the U.K.

From the countryside to the capital.
IMAGE SYLVAIN SONNET / GETTY IMAGES
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Whether you’re a royal fan or simply enjoy a cultural excursion, there are many beautiful royal palaces, castles and sites to visit across the U.K. Walk among the beautiful grounds, absorb the centuries of history at Buckingham Palace or see where your favorite royals tied the knot in our guide to the best royal venues to visit.

Buckingham Palace, London


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As the official residence of Her Majesty the Queen, Buckingham Palace is top of many a tourist’s sightseeing schedule. George III originally bought the palace for his wife, Queen Charlotte, in 1761 so it has been central to the royals for a long time. It’s open during the summer months, as well as for limited tours in December, January, and Easter every year.

Westminster, London SW1

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Kensington Palace, London


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Kensington Palace has been home to the royal family since the 17th century, but today, it’s the official residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. It was originally known as Nottingham House and is surrounded by acres of beautiful gardens. The palace is open daily, excluding December 24-26 every year, and often plays host to royal exhibitions.

Kensington Gardens, London W8

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Balmoral Castle, Scotland


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Balmoral Castle was first bought by Prince Albert in 1852 for Queen Victoria and has been the Scottish home of the Royal Family ever since. The castle is open for members of the public from March 30 until July 31, after which the Queen spends the rest of her summer there.

Balmoral Estates, Ballater

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Windsor Castle, Windsor


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Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. It was first founded by William the Conqueror in the 11th Century and has since then been home to 39 monarchs over the years. The Queen spends many private weekends here and, of course, it was also the backdrop to the royal wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and, more recently, that of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank.

Hampton Court Palace, Richmond upon Thames


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Located on the edge of the River Thames in Surrey, Hampton Court Palace was a Tudor palace in the early 16th century and was once home to Henry VIII and his six wives. The palace should be top of your list if you are a fan of English history, picture-perfect gardens, and beautiful architecture. It’s open all year round, except December 24 to 26. 

Molesey, East Molesey

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Westminster Abbey, Westminster


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Be sure to pay a visit to Westminster Abbey, the location of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding in 2011, as well as the Queen and Prince Philip’s in 1947. It boasts some of the most incredible architecture to see in the country's capital. 

20 Dean’s Yard, Westminster, London SW1

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Tower of London


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Built in the 1070s by William the Conqueror, the Tower of London is rich in history and culture. From the Crown Jewels to the notorious Tower Ravens, there is plenty to see and discover.

The Tower of London, London EC3

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Highgrove House, Gloucestershire


Highgrove House in Gloucestershire is the official family residence of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. The gardens are open for the public to visit and enjoy between April and October every year. Guests can stroll through the rich greenery, smell the beautiful flowers and pay a visit to the on-site shop.

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Highgrove House, Doughton, Tetbury

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St Paul’s Cathedral, London


Princess Diana and Prince Charles chose St Paul’s Cathedral as the location for their royal wedding back in 1981. Explore the beautiful interiors of one of the most iconic buildings in London, climb the heights of the Golden Gallery, explore the lower Cathedral and visit the Whispering Gallery.

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St. Paul's Churchyard, London EC4

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Sandringham House, Norfolk


This private estate and much-loved country residence is owned by the Queen and is situated in Norfolk. Its land is rented out to tenant farmers and an increasing number of crops are grown there organically, as the site consists of farmland, woods, and orchards. Sandringham House was first opened to the public in 1977 in the Queen’s Silver Jubilee year and has been a popular visitor spot ever since. It’s closed during the winter months (the Royal Family spend Christmas here), but the house, museum, and gardens re-opened to visitors on April 1, 2019.

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Sandringham

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From: Harper's BAZAAR UK

*This article originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.co.uk

*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors

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