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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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4.3
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  • A great place to visit, steeped in history and replete with priceless art. As noted, the audio guide is superb(and included in entrance price), so make sure you get one, then park yourself on the floo...  more »
  • Visited Banqueting House last month and it is a beautiful building with the most stunning paintings on the ceilings. The audio tour is highly recommended and helpful in understanding its true importan...  more »
  • A large reception room, last remnant of the Palace of Whitehall. The interest of the place lies in the ceiling painted by Rubens. An audio guide available at the entrance gives you details on the place; What makes the visit particularly original is the presence of large cushions spread across the room, lying on the ground, to see the ceiling without wringing out while listening to the comments. A true moment of relaxation after a walk in the city.
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  • Another little jewel near Buckingham Palace. I highly recommend the interesting and informative Audio Guide, which takes about 1 hour, as it tells you about each painting as well as the history of the Banqueting House. Also, take advantage of the bean bags to look at the Rubens ceiling.
  • Prepare for an interesting 10 minutes documentary followed by 40+ minutes of elaborate audio guide on some 30+ points. The ceiling paintings by Rubens are the pinnacle of the tour. The sitting inside is very comfortable. You can rest on many cushions and just watch the interior and listen to stories. Also do chat to the members of staff. They are very knowledgeable and chatty. Renting of the place is very affordable so one can have wedding dinner for his children etcetera.
  • Easily missed for more important sites. We loved laying around on the convenient bean bag chairs on the floor, gazing 55 ft up at the amazing Rubins painted ceiling 400 years old.
  • There are not many places that encourage you to lie on the floor on a bean bag and take in the ceiling. That's what makes this place exceptional. Could do with some more kids bits and events suited to entertain all but an hour well spent!
  • Popular historic building for holding functions. Rubens paintings on the main dining hall celeing. Charles I walked onto the scaffold to be executed outside of here.

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Many of London's main attractions are spread out, so nearby public transportation is key. There is no downtown area as such in London, and some of the least expensive hotels have more convenient access to tourist sites than the costlier ones. For a quintessential London experience, consider staying in the West End. This part of town offers excellent theaters, historical sites, and eating and shopping options for every taste. Lodging won’t be cheap, but you’ll have the colorful variety of London life right at your doorstep. Look at Notting Hill or Chelsea for charming and less expensive boutique hotels and B&Bs.
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