Past the Palace

(5 customer reviews)

Embankment underground station, London (Villiers Street exit)

Guided by Claire or Delianne or Karen or Peter G.

Walk Times

Day Walk Type Start Time End Time
Tuesday Weekly 2.30 pm 4.30 pm Winter Summer Reserve Online

Not suitable for under 12’s
Hidden Places & Hidden History This one isn’t on the balcony – it’s through the keyhole. It’s hideaways and nooks and crannies and bolt holes with a difference: they’re royal hideaways, bolt holes, nooks and crannies. It’s where the goings on went down. It’s kings who were queens. It’s 16 coffin bearers, beheaded lovers and a questionable birthright. It’s a square coffin, a fake lesbian wedding and “a bat instead of a woman”. It’s curses and betrayals, heartaches and hearth-aches and unhealthy habits. It’s ugly sisters and poisonous makeup and war and head lice. It’s between the kings’ sheets and a cabinet particulaire and a royal brothel. It’s £40 million of debt, swinging parties, debauchery and treachery. It’s unofficial history, real history. It’s guides with that tiara tingle. Here’s how a walker put it: “This walk had my head spinning. Not just because of the dizzying array of funny and fascinating stories and often hilarious incidents but also because of the star power of the guide herself. What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon in London.” It’s a royally, royally good walk. Guided by Peter, Delianne and Karen, winner of the London Tourist Board’s Guide of the Year Award. (Hard act to follow but Karen did it – did it in spades. The august American travel magazine Travel & Leisure recently crowned her “the world’s greatest tour guide.”) But let’s hear from Karen herself.


Past the Palace goes every* Tuesday at 2.30 pm. The meeting point is just outside the Villiers Street exit of Embankment Tube.  N.B. the Past the Palace walk ends very near Green Park Tube*Except the Tuesdays in  December  and January 


Don’t just take it from us…


“London’s best walking tours”  Travel & Leisure

“The original and best – there are several companies offering walking tours of London but London Walks (London’s oldest) is easily the pick of the bunch”  London, Cadogan Guide


If you can’t make the regularly scheduled, just-turn-up, public Past the Palace walk do think about booking one as a private tour. If you go private you can have Past the Palace – or any other London Walk – on a day and at a time that suits your convenience. We’ll tailor it to your requirements. And – always with private London Walks and tours – we go to great lengths to make sure the guide-walker(s) “fit” is well-nigh perfect. Ring Fiona or Peter or Niamh or Mary on 020 7624 3978 or email us at [email protected] and we’ll set it up and make it happen for you. A private London Walk – they’re good value for an individual or couple and sensational value for a group – makes an ideal group or educational or birthday party or office (team-building) or club outing.


A private London Walk makes a very special, indeed a unique gift – be it a birthday or anniversary or Christmas present or whatever. Merchandise schmerchandise (gift wrapped or not) – but giving someone an experience, now that’s special. Memories make us rich.


It’s not even close


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5 reviews for Past the Palace

  1. Kate Beem

    Every time I find myself in London, I discover another London Walk that is my favorite. This one did not disappoint! What a fabulous walk! As it turned out, I was Claire‘s only guidee today. It was a remarkable experience, and I learned so much about the monarchy that I didn’t know before! What a privilege to have Claire’s undivided attention. Thank you, Claire!

  2. Jasmijn van Leeuwen

    We did this walk with the charming and witty Claire yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it! If you like juicy and somewhat naughty details about English royalty of the past, then this is the walk for you!

  3. Barbara

    We’ve done many London Walks, and this did not disappoint! Claire was our guide, and gave a lively and entertaining presentation of the gossip of the old palaces, sprinkling in all sorts of history along the way. We learned many new things, and we were happy to have chosen this particular walk.

  4. Fred

    I have done many of the amazing London Walks and the Past the Palace was one of my favourites, full of fascinating facts and gossip! Highly recommend it.

  5. Christina Young

    We did the Past the Palace walk with Claire on Tuesday 9th November 2021. Absolutely brilliant. Claire has so much knowledge and the walk was really entertaining and fun as well as really informative. We always find out so much about areas of London on a London Walk and see so many things we’ve never noticed before. Will be back for another walk soon.

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