Palaces of London - Tour
Van Marle Chauffeurs Private Tours. Renowned for the amount of effort and planning we put into every tour we arrange. Regardless of the duration of the tour, whether it be half day, full day or multiple days.
Van Marle Chauffeurs will take into consideration all the criteria and requirements of the group. Whether you're interested in history, architecture, music or photography we can help. We endeavour to ensure every one gets enjoyment from their Tour.
For more information or a bespoke Tour please contact us – [email protected]
TOWER OF LONDON - EC3N 4AB
The Tower of London was built in 1077.
The site of the Tower of London was first built on back in Roman times. When London (then referred to as Londinium), first started to develop. After the Roman’s won the battle in England near the River Thames a large building of stone was built with a city wall.
William the Conqueror built a castle on the site - completed by Henry I and finally by a brother of Richard I
The Tower of London is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which served as a stronghold as well as a royal palace. It has been a prison, place of execution, the royal mint, a treasure vault and private zoo.
The PALACE OF WHITEHALL- (Palace of White Hall) - Whitehall, SW1A 2DD
Situated in the now famous street named Whitehall opposite the gates to Horse Guards Parade. The palace was the main residence of the English Royals from about 1530 until 1698. Most of its structure destroyed in a devastating fire leaving only the section referred to as Banqueting House. Before the fire it was the largest Royal Palace in Europe boasting more than 1500 rooms. Under the Palace are wonderful vaulted cellars named Undercroft, designed as a drinking den for James I.
ST JAMES’S PALACE -
Built by Henry VIII on the site of a former hospital and completed circa 1536. In 1544 the palace was extensively altered and from 1698 became the most senior residence of the Royals. In 1809 fire destroyed part of the palace, including the monarch's private apartments. These apartments were never replaced and this left the Queens Chapel separate from the main building. St James’s Palace is still a working Palace till this day. The palace hosts official receptions for visiting heads of state and forms part of a larger complex including Lancaster House, York House and Clarence House.
BUCKINGHAM PALACE – London,SW1A 1AA.
Built by the Duke of Buckingham in 1703 and bought in 1761 by King George III. It was then known as the Queens House. It was in the 19th century enlarged and became the official home of the British monarch on the elevation of Queen Victoria in 1837. Queen Victoria & Prince Albert found the palace too small and arranged to add the 4th wing and update the interior thus creating 775 rooms. There are 19 State rooms, 52 Royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms.
KENSINGTON PALACE - Kensington Gardens, London W8 4PX
The palace was once a small villa in the village of Kensington known as Nottingham House. New monarchs William III and Mary II chose this modest mansion in 1689 to be their country retreat. Over the years other monarchs transformed the palace into a fashionable home for Britain’s young royal families.
Queen Caroline was responsible for a lot of the internal development of the palace and gardens. Queen Victoria spent her entire childhood in Kensington Palace before leaving to go and live in Buckingham Palace in 1837.
WINDSOR CASTLE - Windsor SL4 1NJ
Currently the largest occupied castle in the world with Royal residents as far back as the 9th century. William the Conqueror developed the site by building a huge mound with a stockade in about 1070.
The mausoleum of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert lies within the park. South of the castle lies the Great Park, with about 1,800 acres. Van Marle Chauffeurs will be sure to show you The Long Walk, a 3-mile avenue leading into the Great Park which was planted by Charles II in 1685. The old elm trees replaced by young trees in about 1945. An artificial lake called Virginia Water lies at the southern boundary.
HAMPTON COURT PALACE - Molesey, East Molesey KT8 9AU.
By the 1530s, Henry VIII had transformed Hampton Court into a palace, a hotel, a theatre and a huge leisure complex.
Your dedicated Van Marle Chauffeur will drive you right into the Palace forecourt and remain at your service.
The King used it to show off his power, with lavish banquets, extravagant court life and an expensive art collection. Apart from Henry VIII’s & the queen’s private apartments, the palace also contained accommodation for courtiers. William III and Mary II took the throne in 1689; they then invited Christopher Wren to design a new baroque palace for them. However Wren developed the amazing Fountain Court and left most of the Tudor palace as it was (and is). Hampton has been one of THE destinations for the whole family ever since Queen Victoria opened the gates to the general public in 1838. The Maze, Herb gardens, Rose Garden and the Magic Garden which opened in 2016. A favourite section of the glorious Tudor buildings are the original Kitchens, used to prepare banquets for 550 guests at a time.
KEW PALACE- Royal Botanic Gardens, Richmond TW9 3AE
Kew Palace is the smallest of all the royal palaces and was originally built in 1631 as a fashionable mansion for a wealthy London silk merchant. George II and Queen Caroline were first attracted to Little Kew. Several generations of Georgian royalty later used Kew and nearby Richmond Lodge as weekend retreats.
Your dedicated Van Marle Chauffeur will take you to Kew Gardens & this ‘tiny’ but lovely Kew Palace – indeed another lovely day out for all the family and a perfect opportunity to get an idea of the personal and domestic lives of 18th Century Royals.
KITCHENS OF KEW PALACE –
A rare survival these kitchens give us all the chance to experience what life was like back in the day. In 1818, the doors of the kitchens were finally locked and the Kitchen left untouched for 200 years. A lot of the original furniture was abandoned and locked in the kitchens including - copper boilers and charcoal fuelled stoves. The huge table in the Kitchen is the original elm table installed when the kitchens were first fitted out in 1737.
Culinary fanatics can ( by reservation only) experience the process of Georgian cookery starting with a tour of the Kitchen Gardens. Next you would make your way through the preparation rooms used for storage and baking and finally have a look through the Royal Kitchens. Historic cooks bring alive the activity and business of the 1789.
ELTHAM PALACE & GARDENS - Court Yard, London SE9 5QE
Van Marle Chauffeurs are keen to help clients discover and enjoy some of the sites often overlooked by others. This English-Heritage site is one such place. The palace a unique blend of medieval and Tudor palaces and eventually a 1930s millionaire’s mansion. It is where Henry VIII grew up and an important Royal Palace during the 14th, 15th and 16th century’s. A destination for Royals wishing to hunt on/in the surrounding parkland.
THE GREAT HALL
It was during the reign of Edward IV’s reign, in the 1470s, that the wonderful great hall was built. One of the most lavish parties ever held in the palace was held for about 2,000 people for the Xmas of 1482. This amazing hall has survived allowing tourists to experience first-hand its grandeur and beauty.
Eltham offers fun for all ages. Facilities include an outdoor play centre, 19 acres of beautiful gardens and rock gardens. You can cross the oldest working bridge in London and much much more. Of course there is also a lovely visitors centre which includes a restaurant/café and shop.
THE PALACE OF WESTMINSTER (The Houses of Parliament).
An iconic building that very few people around the world have NOT heard of. – Home to Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, it gets its name from Westminster Abbey. There has been a building or buildings on this site since the beginning of the 11th Century. The Palace became the monarch’s principal residence in the late medieval period. In 1512 a disastrous (accidental) fire destroyed the Royal quarters of the palace and thereafter it became the home of the government.
Van Mare Chauffeurs will ensure you see all the important sites connected to the Palace of Westminster from all perspectives. Ask your driver to take you to the South side of the river where you will be able to takephotos of the whole of the Palace of Westminster.
We at Van Marle Chauffeurs look forward to being of service.