The City of Westminster feels entirely different to the City of London as it should, being that they are entirely different cities.  Both predating the Norman conquest in the 11th-Century, the City of Westminster appealed to the powerful and wealthy in its early stages. Today, two areas may be considered to be its crown jewels- St. James’s and Piccadilly. People flock to numerous areas of greater London for various reasons such as the East End due to its hip-scene and artisan connections but it was Piccadilly that attracted the hip Londoners of the swinging’ 60’s and has remained home to shopkeepers and craftsmen whom serve the average commoner to the monarchy, personally.  Many visit the grand estates of Hampton Court Palace and Kensington Palace which are undoubtedly grand, historical treasures but it is in St. James’s where you will find the official residences of the sovereign and Buckingham Palace just behind the most beautiful royal park, St. James’s Park; not to mention several other palaces and stately homes within a short walking distance.  Many people venture to Southwark, enticed by the seedier history of the old city, however Piccadilly boasts its own amusing tales with the secret lives of those living above the beautiful shops in the Arcades and what went on behind the closed doors of the clubs and assembly rooms.

The City of Westminster is a city in which you will feel like royalty yourself, boasting some of the most beautiful walks, grounds, and architecture London has to offer.  Insider London’s Royal Living and Royal Shopping walking tour will travel through the centuries and the monarchs who reigned from the palaces within.  The stroll then ventures into the area which saw the earliest form of ‘window-shopping’ with the likes of Berry Bros. & Rudd and Lock & Co. Ltd, both of which eventually earned royal warrants after setting their shops up just outside the royal palace and have remained there since the 17th-Century.  With the tour appropriately finishing at The Ritz Hotel, the first hotel to receive a royal warrant and famously a film-site favourite, the Royal Living and Royal Shopping walking tour will have you feeling all the more English for visiting.

Sites to be seen include:

  • Palace of Westminster/House of Parliament
  • Banqueting House
  • Buckingham Palace
  • St. James’s Palace
  • St. James’s Park
  • Green Park
  • The gentlemen’s clubs of St. James’s Street
  • Lancaster House
  • Queen’s Walk
  • Fortnum & Mason
  • Burlington Arcade
  • Royal Arcade
  • Old Bond Street
  • Christie’s