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Banqueting House, London

4.1
The last thing that King Charles I of England saw before his execution, Banqueting House holds an important place in the English architectural genre of banqueting houses. Finished in 1622, this particular banqueting house was the first completed of its kind in a neoclassical style, which served as a turning point in English architecture. Learn more of the building's history in a brief film shown before you enter the main room. Follow an audio guide as you move through the sizeable room. Panels painted by Peter Paul Rubens in 1635 cover the 16.7 m (55 ft) ceiling. Grab a bean bag chair to relax and absorb the exquisite detailing in the artwork as the audio guide provides background information. See Banqueting House and all London has to offer by arranging your trip with our London sightseeing app .
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Banqueting House Reviews
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415 reviews
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4.4
TripAdvisor
  • I have been meaning to visit the Banqueting House in Whitehall for many years. It is certainly not an "all day" attraction but a real corker! There is an excellent introductory film in the undercroft ...  more »
  • I bought tickets online for a specific date for £4.50. When I arrived, the house was closed and the staff at the door simply told me to get in touch online. Visitor Services told me they'd be glad to ...  more »
  • White Hall isn't a must for those with little time but a worthwhile visit (about an hour). Quiet place (Westminster tube station) and with a low cost (£ 6.50 5.50/audioguide included) allows you to immerse yourself in London of King Charles 1° and splendour of those times. Rubens and his paintings do the rest. It may seem bare, when compared to other Royal residences, but as soon as you look up at the ceiling we remain amazed!! And even more listening to the information from the audio-guide. I mean ... even for the visitor hit and run that don't want to spend a fortune to see Hampton Court or Windsor or the Queen's Galleries can be a surprising surprise ' in Central London.
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  • 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.
  • 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...
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