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Royal Academy of Arts

Royal Academy of Arts: Our most recommended tours and activities

London: Best of London Half-Day Tour

1. London: Best of London Half-Day Tour

After meeting your guide at the meeting point early in the morning, you will advance to see the city’s landmarks from the cruise ship. Following this, cross Westminster Bridge to the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey, one of the most historic buildings in London and the setting for royal coronations, weddings, and burials. Afterwards, continue through Parliament Square, before heading down Whitehall towards the Cenotaph War Memorial. Just after that, see one of the most popular tourist spots in London, the mounted soldiers at Horse Guards. Walk through the central arch into the parade grounds at the back, one of the finest sights in London. Continue your tour down Whitehall until you reach Trafalgar Square and Nelson’s Column. When you reach the north side of the square, you will visit the National Gallery, London’s premier art gallery with over 2000 works dating from 1260 onward. Some of the artists on display are Botticelli, Cézanne, Constable, Monet, Rembrandt, Renoir, Titian, Turner, and Van Gogh. Then, head through Admiralty Arch and walk up the mall towards Buckingham Palace. Have the opportunity to take pictures outside and listen to the history of the palace, which has served as the official London residence of the UK’s sovereigns since 1837 and is currently the administrative headquarters of the Queen. Your tour will continue with a walk through Green Park, one of four “royal” parks in central London that is officially owned by the sovereign. Your guide will then take you to London’s biggest shopping streets. Pass the Ritz Hotel and Fortnum and Mason, one of the most famous shops on Piccadilly that was founded in 1707 by William Fortnum and Hugh Mason. Your tour will then conclude at the Royal Academy of Arts.

Ghost Tour of Mayfair

2. Ghost Tour of Mayfair

On this 2 hour ghoulish tour of London's most haunted places you'll visit a park, a forgotten plague pit, the site of a 17th-century duel, the most haunted house in London, and more! Hear chilling tales of the macabre. Descriptions of ghosts vary widely, from invisible presences to translucent or barely visible wispy shapes, to realistic, life-like visions. They are generally considered to be solitary essences that haunt particular locations, objects, or people they were associated with in life, though stories of phantom armies, ghost trains, phantom ships, and even ghost animals have also been recounted. We will start from a seemingly safe and respectful Grosvenor Square and move on to the most haunted house in London. Continue on to the Royal Academy and hear about a modern haunting of screaming nuns slamming doors! At St. James's Palace you’ll hear about a murder most horrid and the murky mystery behind it. Hear about the ghosts lurking in central Green Park and uncover the science behind the mysteries. Thrill at these ghoul and ghost stories and more during this spine-chilling tour!

London: Luxurious Mayfair City Exploration Game

3. London: Luxurious Mayfair City Exploration Game

Experience the perfect mix between a tour and treasure hunt on this 1.5-hour outdoor exploration game. Solve challenges and watch the story unfold as you pass famous monuments and historic streets. Piece together the clues to get directions to the next location on your phone. Start your adventure at the Wellington Arch and hunt for clues. As you play, learn about the history of Mayfair and how this area came to be on top of the Monopoly board. Continue to St George's Church, the Royal Academy of Arts, and see the Australian War Memorial. Explore off-the-beaten-path gems like where the Queen buys her books and discover some of the classiest shopping destinations in London. As you solve puzzles, fall deeper and deeper into the story and your surroundings for an immersive cultural experience. Finish your adventure at the Royal Academy of Arts.

London: Central, Whitehall, and Westminster Walking Tour

4. London: Central, Whitehall, and Westminster Walking Tour

We love central London, especially Westminster and Whitehall with its unique and historic shops, royal palaces, and government buildings. Starting outside the Criterion Theatre, this tour snakes its way through central London, through Westminster and Whitehall, before finishing outside Parliament. Along the way, you will have time to explore London's oldest bookshop, founded in 1797, the Cigar shop where Churchill bought his Cigars and the Wine Merchant which supplies Buckingham Palace with its wine. Each of these places has a unique and colourful history, which your passionate and knowledgeable guide will reveal to you. As part of the tour, we will stop to view The Changing of the Guard ceremony (when available) and see the spectacle of the Queen's Guards marching with their band - a sight not to be missed which even we get excited about! Whilst waiting for the guards to change, your guide will explain the history of the regiments who are taking part in this historic and magnificent ceremony, what is unique about their uniforms, and why the ceremony is as important today as it has ever been. After stopping to see The Changing of the Guard, your guide will take you down the Mall, past monuments to previous Kings and Queens of Great Britain, and explain how some of these figures are much more interesting (and naughty) than they first appear! Finally, your guide will lead you down Whitehall, where the British government is run from and where you never know who you are going to see - as previous tours have stopped to chat with MPs, Lords, and even the odd senior soldier! As you stroll down Whitehall, your guide will point out some of the most historic and important buildings in the area, including Downing Street - home of the Prime Minster and the Chancellor of the Exchequer - and will explain why they are so important to British Democracy. Your tour will end outside of Parliament, where you will hear how this beautiful (and recently restored building) became known as the 'Mother of all Parliaments' and why British democracy is considered one of the most important, and equal, democracies in the world.

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What people are saying about Royal Academy of Arts

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 143 reviews

Although some of the directions weren’t detailed enough and it took us 3 hours rather than 1.5, I would highly recommend this activity. I booked this for myself and my two children (15 and 12) and before they knew it they’d walked more than 3km; they were so caught up in finding the locations and solving the riddles and learning a little history that they didn’t mind the exercise :)

Very good tour. The guide was excellent (Marica Monti), pleasant company and great commentary on the city's history and sites. I highly recommend!

Damiano the guide was great. The tour was interesting, and Damiano has graet knowledge, and great stories. I highly recommend the tour. Eran

London is full of surprises, couldn’t imagine seeing ghosts next to Annabel. Thank you to our tour guide, Ida was great.

It was such a great experience, I really liked it!!!