Buckingham was beautiful, but not as many rooms open as you thought. The promise Diana exhibit very minimal. Walk was very vigorous to tea, and wait staff a bit rude.
So glad we were able to book this tour. Our guide, Amber, led us to where we could watch the horse guards parade nd changing of the guards. She provided informative and helpful commentary that we could hear very well through headsets. The tour of the state rooms at Buckingham Palace was self-guided and audio was provided. The afternoon tea at St. Ermin's was excellent.
Prior to arriving at Buckingham Palace we had a lovely walk in the area and saw some important sites. We also had a guide who directed us to the best views for Changing of the Guard. Seeing the palace was quite special, but I felt I had to hurry to finish in time for high tea. The location of the high tea was quite a ways from the palace so it was a long walk. I expected a great deal of walking on this tour, but the distance to the hotel for tea was a bit excessive. One problem was some information the guide gave us about the line of succession to the throne. I double checked with her to see if I heard her correctly and I did. Afterwards I checked with 2 other guides in London and they disagreed with the guide on this tour and were surprised that a guide for the Buckingham Palace tour would give us this misinformation. I have checked with others since the tour and they were also amazed about her statements.
Everything on my trip to Buckingham Palace, from the directions on where to meet, to the spots we were told to stand to see some of the bigger moments, to the incredible hotel we had tea. My tour guide was Marnie. She was personable, knowledgeable and overall was an incredible tour guide. While we didn't get a choice of tour guides I'm glad I was put in a group with her.
When we got to the area where the guards on horses do their changeover she put us in the perfect position to get great photos of the horses coming by. When we went towards Buckingham Palace to watch the band and the changing of the guard, she put us in the optimal spot to see the band walk by. And when anyone had questions, not only did she have the answers, but she had humor to them as well.
My only piece of advice is if all you care about is Buckingham Palace and you are someone who likes to read every little detail, listen to everything on the audio tour and learn every little nugget you can, then I wouldn't do the afternoon tea. I spent 90 minutes in the Palace and could have spent another hour to hour and a half. I felt rushed towards the end to meet the group for tea. However, if you're someone who wants the full experience, have tea where they provide you with enough food that it could be considered a meal and don't care about every small detail in the Palace then I recommend doing this entire experience.
This was my first tour in a tour group and it was an A experience and an outstanding tour guide in Marnie.
I thoroughly enjoyed Buckingham Palace, and our tour guide was informative, interacted with everyone in the group and offered to help anyone in the tour group who needed directions or recommendations for after the tour. The only thing I would change would be to have afternoon tea within closer proximity to Buckingham Palace. It was hot, it was a fairly long walk and we had a number of older people in the group so the walk took longer than it would have had it only been me and my husband and the younger members of the tour group. A couple of the older members were also grumbling about the walk.
Our guide, Gavin was very informative, polite, curteous and friendly. He was able to tell us all about things of interest around the area and with the right level of humour. The choice of St Ermins for low tea was excellent. Thanks
We went to London at the end of July 2017. The tour was conducted through City Wonders and our tour guide Josh was AMAZING! No one tells you this, but the Changing of the Guard Ceremony can change at the last minute and announcements are not made to let tourists know this information. This happened to us on our tour day because there was a bicycle race going on in London that weekend that closed many roads. Fortunately for us, City Wonders knew this was possible and sent us to the right location for the ceremony When we arrived at Buckingham Palace after the ceremony, there were still tourists waiting for the ceremony to begin... ABSOLUTELY NO ONE TELLS YOU WHEN AND WHERE THE CEREMONY CHANGES! Without our guided tour, I would have been one of these people. To be perfectly honest, the Changing of the Guard was very dull. When it is changed, the only thing that happens is the new guards ride in on horses to switch places with the current guards. Nothing exciting at all.
Next we walked through St. James Park to Buckingham Palace. Gorgeous park and a great walk that allows the guide to give some fun facts, history, and point out interesting details! The Palace did not disappoint on the inside! So beautiful and the guided audio tour is very interesting. I highly recommend traveling to London when the State Rooms are open!
The last part of the tour was afternoon tea. I went with my parents, so my dad was not too excited about eating frilly food and drinking hot tea, BUT he loved the tea he ordered and enjoyed the food! It was very filling and a wonderful experience to say you did while in London. The hotel was beautiful and the staff was very nice. Please know this was a LOT of walking! We walked 7.2 miles according to my phone that day! Probably the most we walked in London!
The tour was a fantastic experience which was helped with a fantastic tour guide.
Marnie Marnas, the tour guide from City Wonders was the best tour guide ever! She really took care of the tour group as a whole, was very knowledgeable about the Palace and the surrounding sites. The time I spent on the tour was well worth it. Thank you Marnie!
This tour was absolutely worth every penny. We were warmly greeted by our tour guide, Josh. He was both informative and humorous. He led us casually through the maze of crowds, effortlessly and knowledgeably, giving us insights, information, and the most incredible positions for seeing EVERYTHING we wanted to see, not to mention fabulous places to take photos, as were in the front! We saw the guards on horseback, the changing of the guard, incredible outside palace views, and we were most privileged to see the interior of the palace, as the queen was on holiday! After this marvelous experience, we walked to St. Ermin's Hotel for a fabulous afternoon tea that was delicious, served in a beautiful fashion, and set in a quintessential old London hotel. This whole experience was the most fantastic element of our London stay! Thank you.