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Buckingham Palace is an essential attraction to visit. The London home of the monarchy is located in central London just to the south east of Hyde Park and north of Victoria and is bordered by Green Park and St James's Park. The nearest tube stations are Hyde Park Corner at the bottom of Park Lane, Green Park on Piccadilly, Victoria just 300m to the south and St James's 600m to the east. The most scenic approach is from Trafalgar Square walking down the Mall where you will pass through Admiralty Arch and then see St James's Park and Horseguards Parade on your left and Clarence House on your right. The photograph above is taken from Birdcage Walk which if you walk east along will take you to the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Bridge and the London Eye.

Hotels near to Buckingham Palace include the Rubens, this is a traditional British hotel of a 4 star standard and is just opposite the Royal Mews at the rear of Buckingham Palace. For a touch of upmarket luxury check out the Crowne Plaza St James which offers great weekend rates. This lovely hotel is situated just south of Buckingham Palace at Buckingham Gate and is only a 5 minute walk from the Palace.

The official residence of Queen Elizabeth II, Buckingham Palace has been opening its doors to visitors for the last few summers. Originally acquired by King George III for his wife Queen Charlotte, Buckingham House was increasingly known as the 'Queen's House' and 14 of George III's children were born there. On his accession to the throne, George IV decided to convert the house into a palace and employed John Nash to help him. Nash doubled the size of the house with the addition of a new wing in the French Neo-classical style favoured by George IV. Marble Arch was also constructed in celebration of the victories at Trafalgar and Waterloo. However, by 1829, the cost of reconstruction had escalated to nearly half a million pounds and Nash lost his job.

Queen Victoria was the first sovereign to live in Buckingham Palace (from 1837) but found it lacked sufficient bedrooms, so Marble Arch was moved to its current location and a fourth wing was added. The present forecourt (where the changing of the guard takes place) was constructed in 1911 as part of the Victoria Memorial scheme. Work on Buckingham Palace was completed just before the outbreak of World War One.

Visitors are permitted access to the State Rooms which are still used by the Royal family to receive and entertain guests on state and ceremonial occasions. Decorated in lavish fashion, they include paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens and Canaletto, Sévres porcelain and some of the finest English and French furniture in the world.

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The Sanctuary House Hotel, London
Victoria, London
Nearest London Underground: St. James's Park
Location map - go here
Map Grid Reference: C4
The Sanctuary House is a fine, 34 bedroom hotel, immaculately furnished and serviced and offers everything you'd expect. There's plenty to please you, and only one thing to surprise you ­ in a city notorious for the price of it's hotels ­you'll find The Sanctuary House very reasonable indeed.

A warm English Welcome and enjoyable stay is assured to all visitors to the Sanctuary House Hotel, a Fuller's English Inn and Ale and Pie House.

The Green Park Hotel, London
Green Park, London
Nearest London Underground: Green Park
Location map - go here
Map Grid Reference: B3
The Green Park Hotel is sited on Half Moon Street which was laid out circa 1730 and takes its name from a tavern which stood at the corner with Piccadilly. The street has changed little and was full of small apartments occupied by several famous literary figures during the early 1800's. In recent times #27 Half Moon Street has been incorporated into the hotel. In 1849, the address achieved a certain notoriety with Lola Montez, the international adventuress, whose affair with Ludwig I of Bavaria precipitated a revolution. On an August morning, some days after her marriage to a young soldier, she was arrested at #27 on a charge of bigamy!
The Rubens at the Palace Hotel, London Victoria, London
Nearest London Underground: Victoria
Location map - go here
Map Grid Reference: D3
The Rubens at the Palace Hotel provides outstanding personal service comfort. The hotel is distinctive but offers every modern business and leisure convenience in a superb central London setting.

Opposite Buckingham Palace and a short stroll from St. James's Park, the Mall, Green Park, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall, Downing Street, Westminster Cathedral, the Houses of Parliament and the River Thames, The Rubens at the Palace has extensive public areas that have been tastefully restored.

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Nearest London Underground: Victoria, Green Park, St James's, Hyde Park Corner
Location map: C3
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