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The Palace of Whitehall (or Palace of White Hall) at Westminster, Middlesex, was the main residence of the English monarchs from 1530 until 1698, when most of its structures, except for Inigo Jones's Banqueting House of 1622, were destroyed by fire. It had at one time been the largest palace in Europe, with more than 1,500 rooms, overtaking the Vatican, before itself being overtaken by the expanding Palace of Versailles, which was to reach 2,400 rooms. The palace gives its name, Whitehall, to the street on which many of the current administrative buildings of the present-day British government are situated, and hence metonymically to the central government itself. At its most expansive, the palace extended over much of the area bordered by Northumberland Avenue in the north; to Downing Street and nearly to Derby Gate in the south; and from roughly the elevations of the current buildings facing Horse Guards Road in the west, to the then banks of the River Thames in the east (the construction of Victoria Embankment has since reclaimed more land from the Thames)—a total of about 23 acres (93,000 m2). It was about 710 yards (650 m) from Westminster Abbey.
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|Tuesday||10:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Wednesday||10:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Thursday||10:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Friday||10:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Saturday||10:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Sunday||10:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
It didn't seem to me an interesting place to pay for it. I just went because I had bought the London Pass and I can enter into without paying more. It looked rather bold and poor as I could only watch a video telling the history of what it was and what happened with it, nothing that you can't read out there...
One place not to miss. Visit the video to learn the history of the Banqueting House first and then amend the staircase. Enter the hall and you will find paintings by Rubens adorning the ceiling. Make sure you do the audio tour as it gives you so much information to hand. Thoughtfully they have supplied 8 beanbags to sit on as well as the benches along the sides of the hall. So comfy to settle down on and gaze at the ceiling for the 45 minute audio tour. They are popular but after a relatively short wait my husband and I both secured a beanbag to settle on to. Oh, and to finish you must dress up in the costumes on the rail. Go and stand in front of the throne and pretend you are the King and Queen of England. Great fun!
Visited on a Sunday. Lots of good activities for children, and in fact they would have stayed longer. Helpful introductory video. As much as possible has been done to help you see and interpret the ceiling paintings. However, unless you are a significant art appreciator, there is a limit to the amount of time you can stare at a single set of paintings for. Do go; don't expect to spend the day there.
I had this on my bucket list due to studying medieval history up to the English Civil War /Restoration and I wanted to share it with my son, who is studying Art with Photography. Unfortunately, we were on a flying visit because of timed tickets at the Royal Academy to see King Charles I's collection of paintings. I would have appreciated more time but, due to being there earlier on a week day, we were able to take in the short film and I recommend the audio guides. Very atmospheric to imagine King Charles I climbing out of the window to his execution. Staff were all pleasant and friendly but would have appreciated a cloakroom.
The painted ceilings are gorgeous, as is pretty much everything about the building. It's also well worth the entrance fee just to lay down on the beanbag chairs which are provided so you don't strain your neck looking at the ceiling. Large mirrors on tables with caster wheels are provided for the same purpose.
Fantastic. Beautiful baroque ceiling precisely described in an audio guide. Optional bean bags to lie on whilst viewing the ceiling. Chilling story of Charles I and his downfall. Friendly staff. Clean washrooms with great soap and towels!
Well preserved, well maintained place which has some amazing artwork adorning the ceiling which apparently was brought all the way from Belgium. One typically would spend about an hour here. There is a documentary to view first, enlightening people of the history behind this place along with an audio guide which is provided free of charge with the ticket. Entry fee applicable. Credit cards accepted but not Amex.
Audioguide in ticket included. Relaxing and comfortable visit. The wonderful paintings at the ceiling don't cause a stiff neck because you literally can lay there on sacks and listen to the guide while watching Rubens' paintings.
A lovely venue, we went for the quiz night which was fantastic - for that it would have been five stars. But as this is primarily a tourist attraction, I'm rating it on both its events and normal touristy appeal. Events are great fun and not overly priced considering the venue, but there isn't a huge amount to see/do as a tourist, nice to stop and see but you wouldn't spend long here.
Was looking forward to having something delicious to eat here. Contrary to the advertising, they offer no banquets at all! I had to satisfy myself with the (admittedly rather good) Rubens and the best set of windows in England. I left starving, though did better than Charles I. Sigh.
One large hall only, but a wealth of history and information in the audioguide. Lovely and cool in the summer heat. Fabulous toilets! Short film downstairs. Check opening times as still used for banqueting.
Beautiful architecture and canvas paintings. Love the fact they have magnifine mirrors so you can see the paintings on the ceiling clearer. Love the fact you can sit on puffy cushions to listen to all the information on the info phone. Ecspected a little more but if you have an hour or so it's worth it.