Today was overcast and relatively cool (needed my jacket most of the day).
Slept until 7:00am and late breakfast at 8:00am. I had prebooked a tour of Buckingham Palace state rooms several months ago, and today is the tour day. Left the hotel at 9:00am, and walked down to Buckingham Palace. Crossed Kensington Gardens to Albert Memorial and Albert Hall, before continuing down the edge of the park to head to the palace. Got distracted by seeing some horse guards traing in the park, and eventually panicked, thinking I was running out of time for the 10:45am tour. Got a cab, but turns out I was closer to the palace then I realised, so I was at the palace in plenty of time, and the queu was small. Airport security applies to access the palace.
The tour of the palace was self guided using audio devices, and I spent about 2 hours in the palace itself. Visited the Grand Entrance, Grand Hall, Grand Staircase, Guard Chamber, Throne Room, Picture Gallery, Silk Tapestry Room, East Gallery, Ball Supper Room, Ballroom, State Dining Room, Blue Drawing room, Music Room, White Drawing Room, Ministers Staircase, Marble Hall, Bow Room, and exited into the garden. Over the past few weeks I have visited Schoenbrunn Palace in Vienna, and the Palace of Versailles in Paris, but there is something about Buckingham Palace that makes it more majestic. I can imagine living there. After the tour of the palace, I needed some light lunch, and where better than the Garden Cafe on the back verandah of Buckingham Palace. Capuccino coffee and a strawberry and cream scone.
Exted via the back gate after following a path that led (via a souvenir shop) along the edge of the gardens.
Afterwards, took a few photos at the front of the palace, before doing a tour of the Royal Mews.
Finally left the palace just after 4:00pm and bagan the long walk home via Wellington Arch, Marble Arch, and the Italian Gardens in Kensington Gardens. Squirrels abound in the parks.
Got back to the hotel just before 6:00pm, and downloaded the photos before adjourning to the local pub for Steak & Ale pie and some Fullers London Beer.