Visiting Buckingham Palace is an integral part of any sightseeing tour of London. While the State Rooms are only open for a few months each year, you can visit the Royal Mews and The Queen’s Gallery all year round.
Changing of the Guard
The music and sheer spectacle of this traditional ceremony is something both kids and adults will love! Dates for the Changing of the Guard vary throughout the year, so check out the Changing of the Guard website for more information. The ceremony generally starts at 11.00am sharp on the days it is held, but the crowds build up very early so plan to arrive well before.
Visiting Buckingham Palace 2019
There is always something new to see when you visit Buckingham Palace. In addition to tours of the breathtaking State Rooms, there is a special exhibition each year. This year, “Queen Victoria’s Palace” traces how the young Queen Victoria transformed Buckingham Palace into a working royal residence after her move from Kensington Palace, previously the centre of court life in London.
The State Rooms at Buckingham Palace are open 20 July until 29 September 2019. Be sure to book in advance so you don’t miss out.
If you are unable to visit during those times, you can visit The Royal Mews from February to November and The Queen’s Gallery during most of the rest of the year.
You can also take part in ‘after hours tours’ of the State Rooms in small groups with a personal guide on select dates throughout the year. I have been on three of these after hours tours and and highly recommend them.
Buckingham Palace Gardens
Buckingham Palace has over 35 acres of gardens, highlights of which can be seen on a tour available as part of a combination ticket with a visit to The State Rooms. Special guided tours of the garden are also available.
The Royal Mews
Step inside the working world of Buckingham Palace with a visit to the Royal Mews. Many of the Palace staff have homes in the Mews; this is also where the horses used in State Ceremonies are stabled. The beautiful state coaches are on display here, and you can also see the historic livery worn by The Queen’s Coachmen. Special events are also held throughout the year. There’s more information and opening times here.
The Queen’s Gallery
The Queen’s Gallery showcases the art and treasures held in trust for the nation by The Queen. Offering changing exhibitions throughout the year, The Queen’s Gallery is kid friendly, with family activity bags and The Millar Learning Room where families can relax and explore exhibitions in more detail. Free audio guides are also available. Again, be sure to check opening times before you travel to visit.
The Queen Victoria Memorial
The impressive monument located in front of Buckingham Palace, The Queen Victoria Memorial includes the Canada Gate (bottom left), the Australia Gate and the South and West Africa Gates as well as the Memorial Gardens and a huge central monument (top right). The central monument includes sculptures of Queen Victoria as well as the virtues attributed to her: constancy, courage, victory, charity, truth and motherhood.
Don’t miss visiting Buckingham Palace on your next visit to London. Tickets for Tours of the State Rooms, The Royal Mews and The Queen’s Gallery are all available from The Royal Collection Trust. Family tickets are available, as are combined tickets for all three locations. Tickets purchased from the Trust can be converted to an annual pass on the day of your visit to give you 12 months complimentary admission to the site(s) you have visited, should you wish to return. (Return visits should be booked in advance.)
Buckingham Palace is located at the top of The Mall on Buckingham Palace Road. The closest underground (London’s subway) station is Green Park on the Victoria Line. Walk out of the station, across Green Park and through the Canada Gates to the Palace. Or take the longer walk up The Mall from Trafalgar Square, through Admiralty Arch and up to Buckingham Palace.
The Royal Mews, The Queen’s Gallery and the entrance to the State Rooms are all located around the corner from Buckingham Palace in Buckingham Palace Road (to the left as you face the Palace).