Kidadl.com is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read our Terms & Conditions for further information.
Please be aware of government guidelines before setting off.Government Guidelines
Banqueting House, London, is a wonderful historic site, one of the five Royal Palaces in London, along with Buckingham Palace, Hampton Court, Kew Palace, the Tower of London and Kensington Palace. It was the first Palladian style building in England to be designed, created by Inigo Jones and finished in 1622 for James I. Most famously, it’s known for the execution of Charles I, which happened in 1649. The Banqueting House has been frequented for parliamentary receptions, ennoblements, and investitures throughout history, all taking place beneath the stunning, eye-catching canvases of Peter Paul Rubens.
At Banqueting House, which was a part of the palace of Whitehall, King James I would frequently host visitors, often inviting people into the ‘Undercroft’, which was his secret drinking den. What else do you think you could discover here? After King James, and following years of civil war, there are the stories of Charles I, who was sentenced to death in the very halls that you will stand in. Rumour has it, on one account, in order to not appear as a coward, Charles I wore two shirts that morning so that he wouldn’t shake and shiver as he approached the scaffold.
At all the Royal Palaces, families can find engaging, interactive displays that immerse the little ones into the history of the site, and often programmes like Horrible Histories are screened to inform and entertain the whole family. You’ll soak up centuries of gory, important and interesting history whilst having fun. There is a variety of interesting images of James I and Charles I that are among the important collection of art and sculpture that the Banqueting House is home too; see which you can spot.
Don’t miss out on the audio guided tours that the Banqueting House offers. This can be great fun for the whole family, especially if you give the kids little tasks and challenge while on the tour. You could give them drawing tasks, an eye-spy task and so much more, this way they can remember all the information they learn while they are having fun.
Be sure to check out the fantastic learning resources that Banqueting Hall provides for any budding historian. They offer tours and trips for schools too, so you know they are great at teaching kids and ensuring they have fun.
Please follow the latest government guidelines if travelling by public transport.Government Guidelines
Historic Royal PalacesShow more
Historic Royal Palaces is the independent charity that looks after some of the most extraordinary buildings and palaces, including the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace, the Banqueting House in Whitehall and Hillsborough Castle and Gardens in Northern Ireland. Delve into the deep history of all the palaces and discover the stories of how monarchs and others have shaped society in some of the greatest palaces ever built.
Kids and adults alike can experience history where it happened at these six palaces, which have seen over 1,000 years of history. Whether you are visiting in person or virtually, there is so much to see and do. Discover a series of events for families, including garden trails, family trails, Yeoman Warder tours and spectacular exhibitions. A trip to one of these palaces will leave everyone impressed!
Historic Royal Palaces is self-funded and depend on the support of their visitors, members, donors, sponsors and volunteers. They exist to ensure the future of the palaces and their aim is not only to protect both the palaces and the life in them but also to help visitors experience the history firsthand.