Ideas for visiting Buckingham Palace with children


One in all London’s most iconic sights, there’s solely a 10-week interval every year when you may get a glance contained in the monarch’s official London residence – so I’ve pulled collectively the following pointers for visiting Buckingham Palace with children (or with out) to profit from it.

View across the gardens to the Victoria Memorial and Buckingham Palace - my tips for visiting Buckingham Palace with kids, during the summer opening of the state rooms
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There’s additionally a model new Coronation exhibition for 2023, so if you happen to’re planning to take the tour of the Buckingham Palace state rooms, you’ve bought an added incentive to ebook this yr.

The house of the British royal household since Queen Victoria moved in in 1837, it’s nonetheless a working palace with the ornate rooms used for state occasions and a uncommon probability to glimpse the gilded splendour behind the well-known facade. So if you happen to’re planning to go to Buckingham Palace with children, right here’s all the things it is advisable to know.

Do you have to go to Buckingham Palace with children?

A tour of the State Rooms isn’t the most cost effective factor to do in London with children, so the primary query to reply should be, is Buckingham Palace family-friendly?

And you may completely go to Buckingham Palace with children – with just a few provisos.

Personally I believe that is someplace that’s higher for varsity age children and older. There’s a fantastic free household multimedia tour and household actions within the gardens however in any other case it’s (understandably) not very arms on.

For older children, attending to see inside a palace and its spectacular rooms, imagining kings, queens and mischievous corgis as they go, it’s implausible. However the considered chasing a bored toddler who needs to run off, whereas surrounded by priceless artwork and furnishings makes my blood run chilly.

Having stated that, there’s nothing to cease you bringing youthful children in and I did see one younger toddler throughout my go to, so it’s actually potential – simply be ready to go spherical quicker than you would possibly like.

Do try the interactive map on-line earlier than you go to, to present children a style of what they’re going to see as effectively, and discover the palace nearly. There’s additionally a listing of 10 highlights to identify, which makes a enjoyable treasure hunt.

You’ll be able to’t use your personal buggy/stroller – these should be checked firstly of the tour and picked up on the finish – whereas bathrooms and child altering services are solely obtainable on the finish of the tour.

You’ll be able to’t eat or drink contained in the palace (apart from bottled water), though you may breastfeed anyplace, and there are benches in a few of the rooms.

Rear of Buckingham Palace during a visit as part of the summer opening of the state rooms - if you're visiting Buckingham Palace with kids, my tips on everything you need to know

Do it’s important to prebook tickets?

You don’t should, tickets could also be obtainable on the day, however because the Buckingham Palace state rooms are solely open for a part of the yr, it’s a good suggestion to ebook upfront.

There’s additionally a reduction if you happen to prebook tickets on-line – at the moment from £30 for adults, £16.50 for kids aged 5-17, beneath fives go free.

Get a reduction if you happen to ebook utilizing my hyperlink and the code MUMMYTRAVELS6

You may also convert tickets right into a one yr go, if you happen to assume you would possibly return inside 12 months.

There’s a household low cost which is routinely utilized if you happen to ebook at the least one grownup and two youngsters, as much as two adults and 4 youngsters, saving as much as £24 while you ebook direct.

Tickets have a 15-minute time slot, and also you’re requested to reach on the time proven in your ticket.

Image showing a graphic of the London Eye on the Essential Guide to London with kids ebook cover, and the words 'click to buy my 33-page guide to London. Itineraries, tips and all you need to know before a visit to London with kids' linking to my the London with kids shop page

When are the Buckingham Palace state rooms open?

The primary public opening runs for 10 weeks from mid July to late September. This yr’s opening dates are July 14-September 24, 2023.

The Palace is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, in any other case opening time is 9.30am. Final entry is 17.15 throughout the summer time months (with the palace closing at 19.30), and at 16.15 from September 1-24 (with the palace closing at 18.30)

For those who’re visiting London exterior these dates, scroll down for extra particulars of the guided excursions which occur on chosen dates between November and Could

The place’s the doorway to the Buckingham Palace tour?

You received’t get to undergo the grand gates on the entrance, sadly. As a substitute the doorway for the summer time opening of the Buckingham Palace state rooms is on Buckingham Palace street.

For those who’re standing wanting on the entrance of the palace, merely head spherical to the left, comply with Spur Street to Buckingham Palace Street, and also you received’t be capable to miss the doorway, with workers checking tickets earlier than safety.

Gilded gates and front view of Buckingham Palace - my tips on visiting Buckingham Palace with kids for the summer opening of the state rooms

The closest underground stations are Victoria, Inexperienced Park and St James’s Park. For those who’re strolling from Victoria station, simply comply with Buckingham Palace Street from the station previous the doorway for the Royal Mews and the Queen’s Gallery and also you’ll see it on the left.

Be ready for safety

You’ll must go by airport model safety with bag searches and X-ray, though this was very fast and environment friendly.

For those who’re visiting with Buckingham Palace with children, you may’t deliver a buggy/stroller into the state rooms, so might want to depart that firstly of the tour and acquire it on the finish within the gardens.

You’ll be able to’t deliver massive luggage (or numerous different objects together with bikes, folding bikes and rollerskates) in in any respect, whereas another objects must be left and picked up after the tour, comparable to massive umbrellas (smaller fold-up ones that go in your bag are advantageous).

Examine the full listing of safety restrictions right here – but it surely’s principally widespread sense.

Do get the audio information

The audioguide is included in your ticket, in 9 languages, plus British Signal Language (in addition to a descriptive tour for the blind and visually impaired). There’s little or no info within the rooms in any other case, so with out the information, you’ll miss a lot of the element.

You’ll be able to select the grownup model or the household multimedia tour (and it’s straightforward to flick between the 2 if you happen to do wish to hear bits of each).

I began off alternating between the totally different choices, however switched to the household audio just a few rooms in, because it did a fantastic job of bringing the state rooms to life, choosing out quirky particulars and including some enjoyable parts.

A view of the White Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace, with its ornate chandeliers, gilded ceiling and secret door - my tips for visiting Buckingham Palace with kids
Courtesy Royal Assortment Belief/© His Majesty King Charles III 2023

Photograph: Derry Moore

The tour is narrated by footman Alice, together with Rex the corgi, and is geared toward children beneath 12. Having stated that, it nonetheless packs in related quantities of data to the grownup tour, simply in a extra simply digestible vogue.

There are additionally some enjoyable video games for teenagers to play – I’m ashamed to say it took me three makes an attempt to accurately set a desk – in addition to particulars to identify within the rooms, challenges and different interactive enjoyable.

One spotlight was being requested to identify the key door within the White Drawing Room: closed throughout our go to (it’s usually ajar), it actually wasn’t straightforward to identify however led to a fantastic dialog with the member of workers within the room – and likewise the invention that one different set of extra apparent doorways are fakes, designed to steadiness the room, with nothing however wall behind them.

You received’t be capable to take images inside

For as soon as, you may put telephones and cameras away, as images aren’t permitted contained in the state rooms – solely within the gardens on the finish of the tour.

View of the Diamond State Coach on display as part of the Coronation exhibition at Buckingham Palace, at the start of the tour of the state rooms - my tips for visiting Buckingham Palace with kids

We had been additionally given permission to {photograph} the Coronation Exhibition and Diamond Jubilee coach within the courtyard however ordinarily that isn’t allowed.

Don’t be tempted to sneak just a few snaps – workers had been maintaining a detailed eye on all guests and reminding them if that they had telephones out, so if you happen to’re caught, you could be escorted out.

Permit loads of time

There are 14 rooms with multimedia information commentary throughout the tour of the state rooms at Buckingham Palace, fairly other than the possibility to discover a few of the gardens.

Permit at the least two hours to your go to, extra if you wish to benefit from the actions within the household pavilion on the finish, or go to the cafe.

You’ll be able to go at your personal tempo although, so if you happen to really feel inclined to linger – or in case your children are going to get bored after round an hour – you may velocity up and decelerate as you need.

What are you able to see within the state rooms at Buckingham Palace?

The tour of the Buckingham Palace state rooms takes you thru 14 separate rooms with audioguide commentary.

Beginning within the Grand Corridor and climbing the Grand Staircase, you’ll go to the Inexperienced Drawing Room, the Throne Room, the Image Gallery, the East Gallery, the Ballroom, the State Eating Room, the Blue Drawing Room, the Music Room, the White Drawing Room, the Marble Corridor and the Bow Room.

For sure, it’s unimaginable to seize each element in a weblog publish, particularly one centered on ideas for visiting Buckingham Palace; it is advisable to go on the tour to actually recognize it. However anticipate enormous rooms, priceless artwork, a lot of gold and ornamentation, and spectacular decor as you go!

View of the Throne Room in Buckingham Palace as part of a visit to the state rooms, with red walls and carpet, and two throne chairs with royal cyphers under a canopy of state - my tips for visiting Buckingham Palace with kids
Courtesey Royal Assortment Belief/© His Majesty King Charles III 2023

To pick just a few highlights, you may spot all the things from a fragile pot pourri holder within the form of a ship, one among solely 12 ever made by Sevres (and one among solely 10 nonetheless in existence) proper as much as the thrones embroidered with the King and Queen’s cyphers and a few pretend marble columns.

The artwork within the image gallery is only a small fraction of the million works within the royal assortment – which additionally contains sculpture, furnishings and different artworks – together with all the things from Rubens, Rembrandt and Vermeer to Canaletto and Van Dyck.

There are additionally some insights into royal household life as you stroll by the lengthy East Gallery, whose fastidiously positioned mirrors make it appear to stretch on eternally.

Constructed for Queen Victoria, together with the ballroom, to permit her to host balls for as much as two thousand visitors, the partitions are coated with portraits of the Queen and her household – with a reminder within the household audio information that Victoria was solely 19 when she was topped, a yr after she inherited the throne.

Or the jaw-dropping info that the desk within the state eating room will be prolonged so it’s so long as a cricket pitch – and the spare leaves are saved in one of many many secret rooms and cabinets within the palace, tucked away behind mirrored doorways.

There’s modern-day trivia too – seeing the room the place the present Prince of Wales was baptised, or studying the best way to clear a chandelier – in addition to details about the palace itself, from the variety of workers (round 800) to the variety of lightbulbs (round 40,000).

My favorite was maybe the White Drawing Room (truly much more gold and yellow), which has pretend doorways, actual doorways and a secret door to seek out…

What’s the Coronation exhibition at Buckingham Palace?

The brand new Coronation exhibition contains the outfits worn by King Charles III and Queen Camilla on the coronation in Could, on show for the primary time.

Staged within the ballroom – which was used for Coronation rehearsals, the grand robes with their embroidered trains are joined by different objects of regalia, in addition to the Throne Chairs and the Anointing Display used throughout the ceremony.

There’s additionally the possibility to see sketches for the invites, alongside one of many completed creations, plus different symbolic objects together with the Coronation glove and girdle, to not point out the diamond necklace worn by the Queen Consort.

It’s fascinating to get probability to see a few of the gold embroidery up shut, hand embroidered by the Royal College of Needlework at Hampton Courtroom Palace, with private touches in addition to extra symbolic emblems – one thing even one of the best TV protection of the day couldn’t present.

The exhibition will run till September 24, when the State Rooms near the general public as soon as extra. The Diamond Jubilee State Coach may even be on show as you enter the courtyard earlier than heading contained in the state rooms themselves.

For those who purchase a Royal Day Out ticket, additionally together with entry to the Royal Mews, you may see the historic Gold State Coach – amongst different royal coaches and carriages – which carried the King again to Buckingham Palace from Westminster Abbey

Will you see the royal household?

Sadly not – or not until you’re very fortunate. Historically, the royal household heads to their Scottish dwelling of Balmoral for the summer time, so that they’re away from London whereas the state rooms are open – and King Charles has confirmed he’ll be persevering with the custom, as Queen Elizabeth did.

In any case, the tour takes you although the general public state rooms moderately than the personal rooms, so even when members of the royal household are in residence, they’ll be elsewhere within the enormous palace.

You’ll be able to examine earlier than you go in: if the monarch is in residence, the royal normal shall be flying, in any other case you’ll see the union flag above the palace, if the royal household is at one other residence comparable to Windsor Citadel or Sandringham.

Don’t miss the household pavilion

For those who’re visiting Buckingham Palace with children, do save time to take a look at the household pavilion within the gardens.

Family Pavilion in the gardens of Buckingham Palace, one of the great things to do at Buckingham Palace with kids after a tour of the state rooms

You’ll discover it simply after the purpose the place you come the multimedia guides and there are some nice actions for teenagers.

There’s a small gentle play space for the youngest guests, in addition to tables with crafts and actions. You’ll additionally discover a dressing up field, a lot of possibilities to pose for images, and different video games and quizzes to check children on their royal information.

You may also obtain a backyard path, colouring and drawing actions from the Royal Assortment Belief web site, plus there are typically extra occasions for households.

Save time to benefit from the gardens

The trail from the palace to the exit on Grosvenor Palace leads by the gardens, with a view again to Buckingham Palace over the lake.

You might be restricted to the place you may discover within the gardens nonetheless – the lawns are roped off, for instance – so you may’t spend lengthy wandering and also you do must hold to the paths.

View of the rear of Buckingham Palace as seen from the gardens during the summer opening of the state rooms - my tips for visiting Buckingham Palace with kids

What services are there at Buckingham Palace?

A lot of the services for guests are in the direction of the top of the tour, together with bathrooms and child altering within the gardens.

In case you are visiting Buckingham Palace with children, it’s price discovering bathrooms earlier than you head inside – there are public bathrooms at Victoria station – because it’s more likely to be over an hour earlier than you attain the gardens (and you’ll’t depart and retrace your steps). And no, you may’t use the king’s rest room on the way in which!

In the primary block within the gardens, there are household bathrooms and really good handwash although. Preparations will be made for guests with disabilities, however you’re requested to contact the specialist gross sales staff upfront.

There’s additionally a restaurant within the gardens, in addition to stands serving ice cream and drinks – sadly the coronation ice cream (which is crimson, white and blue) wasn’t on sale throughout our go to.

There’s no consuming and consuming contained in the palace (other than bottled water).

You’ll additionally discover the store alongside the trail by the gardens in your manner out.

Are you able to go to the state rooms at Buckingham Palace at another time?

Sure, there are restricted possibilities to discover the Buckingham Palace state rooms exterior the primary summer time opening, with guided excursions operating on chosen dates from November to Could.

These price £90 per particular person, or there are additionally Household Guided Excursions obtainable the place tickets for kids aged 5-17 price £49.50, and beneath 5s are free.

Courtyard inside Buckingham Palace at the start of the tour of the state rooms - my tips for visiting Buckingham Palace with kids

In case you are becoming a member of a guided tour, you’ll enter by the Royal Mews and there are bathroom services obtainable firstly in addition to the top of the tour. You’re additionally requested to reach half-hour earlier than the entry time in your ticket, and must undergo an analogous safety course of because the self-guided tour.

Excursions normally take round 90 minutes to 2 hours, and the opposite restrictions (comparable to no images inside) stay the identical.

Other than that, you’d want a private invitation from a member of the royal household or be invited to an official occasion to get in!

What else is there to do close to Buckingham Palace with children?

You’re in straightforward strolling distance of each St James’s Park, with its pelicans (and a beautiful view of the palace from the Blue Bridge) and of Inexperienced Park in case your children must run off some power.

You could possibly additionally mix a go to with the Altering of the Guard ceremony, or an opportunity to see the guards at Horseguards Parade.

There are additionally two different Royal Assortment Belief sights on the Palace – the Royal Mews, which homes the Gold State coach, amongst different historic carriages, and the Queen’s Gallery. There’s a reduction if you happen to ebook utilizing my hyperlink and the code MUMMYTRAVELS6.

For extra royal locations in London with children, try my choose of one of the best for households who love historical past (or mini monarchists)

Westminster Abbey and the Homes of Parliament are round a 15-minute stroll from the doorway to the State Rooms, and the household sights on the South Financial institution are solely a brief stroll additional on.

Or obtain this Royal London Strolling tour, designed to take round 50 minutes, introducing you to a few of the historical past round Buckingham Palace and Westminster.

Image showing a graphic of the London Eye on the Essential Guide to London with kids ebook cover, and the words 'click to buy my 33-page guide to London. Itineraries, tips and all you need to know before a visit to London with kids' linking to my the London with kids shop page

Disclosure: My entry to Buckingham Palace was free for the needs of overview – all opinions and ideas for visiting Buckingham Palace are my very own. This publish comprises affiliate hyperlinks – any purchases you make are unaffected however I’ll obtain a small fee

Most important picture/Buckingham Palace gates courtesy of Depositphotos; Throne Room courtesy Royal Assortment Belief/© His Majesty King Charles III 2023; White Drawing Room courtesy Royal Assortment Belief/© His Majesty King Charles III 2023/Derry Moore; all different pictures copyright MummyTravels

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