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London's royal history with Professor Suzannah Lipscomb
The royal palaces that spread out from the centre of London along the Thames have been witness to some of the most dramatic events in British history - events that have dictated the nation's fate and shaped who we are. They have hosted the births, deaths, marriages and coronations of kings and queens, and hidden scandal, intrigue, romance and betrayal behind their high walls.
They are also home to magnificent collections of art, and contain some of the finest examples of historical architecture and interior design in the country. On this exciting three-day tour, you'll experience all of this as you visit the State Apartments at Windsor Castle for a private behind-the-ropes tour, enjoying a glass of champagne afterwards.
You'll also take a private tour of Hampton Court Palace, the great Tudor residence, alongside historian Suzannah Lipscomb, an expert in the era, and she will share her insights during an exclusive talk and Q&A session. Plus, you'll visit The State Rooms of Buckingham Palace; the Tower of London; Banqueting Hall and Westminster Abbey.
Meet Suzannah Lipscomb
Professor Suzannah Lipscomb is a historian, academic and television presenter. She says:
"I am a great believer in telling historical tales where they happened. The veil between the past and the present feels very thin when you are following in the footsteps of Henry VIII, or standing in the spot where Anne Boleyn met her end."
Private tour of Windsor Castle
Another highlight will be Windsor Castle, a Royal stronghold since just after the Norman Conquest, where you will journey through 1,000 years of royal history on a private tour of the State Apartments at a time when the castle is otherwise closed to the public. You will also enjoy a glass of champagne at the tour's close.
Discover Hampton Court Palace
Suzannah will accompany you on a visit to Hampton Court Palace, with its famous maze and lavish rooms, perhaps best known for Henry VIII's gruesome love affairs. It dates back to 1515 and was commissioned by Cardinal Wolsey, who later gifted it to the king. An expert on Tudor history, Suzannah will reveal some of the stories and secrets behind this fascinating palace.
Reasons to book
Meet Suzannah Lipscomb
Private Windsor Castle tour
Discover Hampton Court Palace
- Two nights' bed and breakfast at the four-star Talbot Ripley hotel
- Talk and Hampton Court Palace tour with Prof Suzannah Lipscomb
- First and second night dinner at the hotel restaurant
- All tours and admission
- All coach transfers
- Tour manager throughout
Day1Tour the State ApartmentsRipley, United Kingdom
Arrive independently at the Talbot Hotel Ripley, where at 14.30, an afternoon tea will await you. In the late afternoon we will depart for Windsor where we will enjoy a private tour of the breath-taking State Apartments. Built by William the Conqueror, originally as a motte and bailey castle, Windsor is the longest-occupied palace in Europe, having been used by successive monarchs since Henry I. Our tour will include the unrivalled state apartments, the Royal Collection and a glass of champagne. This evening there will be a late dinner in the hotel restaurant.
Day2Westminster Abbey, Banqueting House and Buckingham PalaceBuckingham Palace, United Kingdom
This morning we will visit Westminster Abbey for a guided tour. The traditional place of coronation and burial site for English, then British, monarchs, the present Gothic church was begun in 1245 on the orders of Henry III. Every English/British monarch since King Harold and William the Conqueror in 1066 has been crowned here, and 16 royal weddings have been held here. After lunch (not included) we visit the Banqueting House, Whitehall - the only remaining component of the Palace of Whitehall. Our final visit of the day is to the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace which has been an official London residence of the British monarch since the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837. Our tour includes an audio guide which will lead us throughout the State Rooms which are used both privately by the Queen and for official banquets and engagements. This evening, you will enjoy a private and talk from Suzannah with a Q&A session.
Day3Tower of London and Hampton Court PalaceHampton Court Palace, United Kingdom
This morning, we will visit the Tower of London, established by William Conqueror in 1066 to keep hostile Londoners at bay. One of the UK's most iconic buildings, the mighty Tower of London has been the scene of some of Britain's most dramatic, fascinating and surprising history and houses the world-renowned Crown Jewels.
After lunch (not included) we will be joined by Suzannah Lipscombe as we visit Hampton Court Palace, dating back to 1515 when it was commissioned by Cardinal Wolsey, who later gifted it to Henry VIII. It is one of only two of Henry VIII's palaces still in existence. Return to the hotel for approximately 17.30.
The Talbot Inn
Historic pub, hotel and restaurant on the high street in Ripley
It is said that this 500-year-old coaching inn on Ripley's historic high street is where Lord Nelson's relationship with Lady Hamilton "blossomed". Rooms are spread across four buildings, some overlooking the old coach courtyard. Originally a stop-off point between London and Portsmouth, this puropse remains today, although many punters drop by for the history lesson, ordering a pint and some 'Nelson's nuts'.