It's difficult to imagine what it would be like to attend one of the state, ceremonial or official occasions for which the rooms that visitors have access to are used, protected as they are by Perspex and seasonal staff – but it's fascinating to see them, all the same. The Grand Hall resembles an upmarket hotel foyer and the thrones are surprisingly modest but the Music Room, setting for many royal christenings, is charming, there are some glorious Nash ceilings and among the paintings in the Picture Gallery are Rembrandts, Rubens and Vermeers. The visitor route includes a 450-metre walk along the west side of the palace garden, which offers views of the garden, palace and nineteenth-century lake.
As the home of the Queen, the palace is usually closed to visitors, but you may view the interior for a brief period each summer while the Windsors are away on their holidays. You'll be able to see the State Rooms, still used to entertain dignitaries and guests of state, and part of the gardens. There is also a café.
At any time of year, you can visit The Queen's Gallery to see her personal collection of treasures, including paintings by Rubens and Rembrandt.
See our guide to Buckingham Palace