The Foodie Travel Guide>Things to do in Edinburgh>Afternoon Tea Royal Yacht Britannia

Take Afternoon Tea on the Deck of The Royal Yacht Britannia in Leith

by | Jan 15, 2019

The Royal Yacht Britannia, Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland

Treat yourself to a royal Afternoon Tea on her majesty’s yacht Britannia, the former royal yacht of Queen Elizabeth II. The ship’s a grand old lady now, having sailed over 1,000,000 miles around the world.

The Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh

Take Afternoon Tea on The Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh

The royal yacht Britannia retired from service in 1997 and came to live in Edinburgh where she has become Scotland’s top tourist attraction.

Go for a tour and a good nosey around the yacht to see how the Royal family lived, slept and ate as they holidayed on the yacht.

After your tour relax in the Royal Deck Tea Room with Afternoon Tea and pretend you’re riding the ocean waves. This is a fun thing to do if you’re visiting Edinburgh and it’s great for families, too.

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The Royal Yacht Britannia Story

There must be many memories and stories held deep within the bows of Britannia. We’ve all seen early colour footage from the sixties of the Queen looking carefree in her sunglasses and waving from the deck. You may remember too, Princess Diana warmly greeting the arrival of her young sons with arms outstretched and a big smile on her face. On the day the yacht was decommissioned in 1997, the Queen wept openly at the ceremony.

“I name this ship BRITANNIA, I wish success to her and to all who sail in her”.

Her Majesty The Queen, 16 April 1953

Step On Board A Floating Palace

The ship was built in Clydebank in 1954 to serve the Royal family when travelling overseas but also with the dual purpose of becoming a hospital ship, if required. She became a floating royal residence for glittering state visits, official receptions, honeymoons and family holidays.

Naafi Sweet Shop Royal Yacht Britannia Edinburgh Scotland

NAAFI sweet shop  Photo: Sarah Parry

Take a Tour of the Royal Yacht

Walking on board the yacht is like stepping back into the 1950s. Follow in the footsteps of world leaders such as Winston Churchill and Nelson Mandela except, instead of being given a glass of Champagne, you’ll be greeted with a complimentary audio handset. The tour covers Britannia’s five main decks so you experience life both above and below deck. Starting at the Bridge, you explore the State Apartments and Crew’s Quarters, finishing at the Engine Room. You can even taste the home made fudge in the NAAFI sweet shop.

Sip Tea in the Royal Deck Tea Room

The Queen would often take her Afternoon Tea on the sun deck. Typically, wafer-thin cucumber and smoked salmon sandwiches, pastries and cakes were served with tea in the finest bone china cups. You can treat yourself to tea here too. Along with the delicious cakes and pastries, you’ll have a wonderful view over the Firth of Forth. There’s organic whisky cake, Victoria sponge cake and both sweet and savoury scones.

Royal Deck Tea Room Royal Yacht Britannia

Royal Deck Tea Room  Photo: Sarah Parry

  • Try Bloodhound Beer, a specially created light blonde ale brewed at the Oban brewery as a tribute to Britannia’s ‘Yotties’ who sailed around the West Coast of Scotland with the Royal Family
  •  Visit in May for Yotties weekend, when former Royal Yachtsman come back for a reunion week. It gives you the chance to hear their stories firsthand
  • If you visit London, try the Victorian Afternoon Tea at the Victoria & Albert Museum. It’s typical of the afternoon tea eaten by Queen Victoria. Another popular choice if you’re interested in royal history is afternoon tea served in The Orangery at Kensington Palace
Dog Policy Mr Hendricks says,“Not one for me (although I’m pretty sure the Queen allowed her corgis on board). They welcome guide dogs, hearing dogs and other recognised assistance dogs.”


How to Find The Royal Yacht Britannia

The Royal Yacht Britannia, Ocean Drive, Edinburgh EH6 6JJ


The Foodie Travel Guide

The Foodie Travel Guide

Sally is the founder and editor of The Foodie Travel Guide. She travels around the UK and beyond in search of the best foodie days out, tasting experiences and delicious places to stay. She loves a glass of English sparkling wine, afternoon tea with friends and escaping London for gastronomic adventures. 

Tour the Royal Yacht Britannia

  • One of the UK’s top tourist attractions
  • Enjoy views of the Firth of Forth
  • Take Afternoon Tea
  • Taste home-made fudge in the NAAFI sweet shop
  • Explore Leith’s bar and restaurants

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