Buckingham Palace Annual Summer Opening

  • 01 of 08

    Buckingham Palace: History and Introduction

    Buckingham Palace, London
    ••• Buckingham Palace, London. © Laura Porter, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Buckingham Palace is Queen Elizabeth II's official residence, and has been the official London residence of Britain's sovereign since 1837. It was once a townhouse owned by the Dukes of Buckingham back in the eighteenth century. George III bought Buckingham House in 1761 for his wife Queen Charlotte to use as a family home near to St James's Palace, where many court functions were held.

    The State Rooms at Buckingham Palace have been opening to the public for the Annual Summer opening, in August and September, since 1993, after the fire at Windsor Castle in November 1992. Initially the Summer Opening was considered a way to pay for the damage at Windsor Castle, but it became so popular The Queen has continued to allow visitors every summer. The Queen is not at Buckingham Palace when it is open to the public; she goes to one of her country residences.

    The State Rooms are extremely grand, as you would expect. You can see many of the treasures of the Royal Collection: paintings...MORE by Rembrandt, Rubens, and Canaletto; and beautiful examples of English and French furniture.

    1. Buckingham Palace: History and Introduction
    2. Opening Hours
    3. How To Get There
    4. Tickets
    5. Unlimited Admission
    6. Visitor Facilities
    7. The Queen's Gallery
    8. The Royal Mews
    9. Annual Special Exhibition
    Continue to 2 of 8 below.
  • 02 of 08

    Buckingham Palace Opening Hours

    2015 Dates:
    25 July to 27 September 2015: Open daily 09:30-19:30

    Buckingham Palace operates a timed-ticket system, with admission every 15 minutes throughout the day. Tickets are valid only on the date and at the entrance time specified on the ticket. Regrettably, late-comers cannot be admitted.

    A visit lasts between 2 and 2.5 hours.

    1. Buckingham Palace: History and Introduction
    2. Opening Hours
    3. How To Get There
    4. Tickets
    5. Unlimited Admission
    6. Visitor Facilities
    7. The Queen's Gallery
    8. The Royal Mews
    9. Annual Special Exhibition
    Continue to 3 of 8 below.
  • 03 of 08

    How to Get to Buckingham Palace

    Buckingham Palace, London
    ••• Buckingham Palace, London. © Laura Porter, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Address:
    Buckingham Palace
    London
    SW1A 1AA

    Use Citymapper or Journey Planner to plan your route by public transport.

    Nearest Train Station:
    London Victoria
    National Rail Enquiries

    Nearest Tube Stations:

    • Victoria
    • Green Park
    • Hyde Park Corner

    Bus routes:
    Numbers 11, 211, 239, C1, and C10 stop on Buckingham Palace Road.

    1. Buckingham Palace: History and Introduction
    2. Opening Hours
    3. How To Get There
    4. Tickets
    5. Unlimited Admission
    6. Visitor Facilities
    7. The Queen's Gallery
    8. The Royal Mews
    9. Annual Special Exhibition
    Continue to 4 of 8 below.
  • 04 of 08

    Buckingham Palace Tickets

    Buckingham Palace Official Souvenir Guide
    ••• Buckingham Palace Official Souvenir Guide.

    Advance tickets: www.royalcollection.org.uk or 020 7766 7300.
    Also check ticket deals with Viator (Buy Direct).

    You may want to consider a Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle day trip from London (Buy Direct).

    Tickets purchased directly from the Royal Collection entitle you to register for a year's unlimited admission to Buckingham Palace. Find out more about unlimited admission.

    Remember: Buckingham Palace operates a timed-ticket system, with admission every 15 minutes throughout the day.

    Buying Tickets On The Day

    Go to: The Ticket Office at the Visitor Entrance on Buckingham Palace Road.

    Please note that the Ticket Office is located in Buckingham Palace, on Buckingham Palace Road, and is not in Green Park as it was a few years ago.

    A Royal Day Out - Information

    Start at the Royal Mews, one of the finest working stables on the world, then walk over to The Queen's Gallery. It is then suggested you have lunch before visiting The State Rooms at Buckingham Palace.

    You will be pleased to...MORE note that audio tours are included in the admission price.

    Audio Tours and Guidebooks

    Audio tours and guidebooks are available in the following languages:

    • English
    • French
    • German
    • Spanish
    • Italian
    • Japanese
    • Chinese
    • Russian

    A family audio tour and activity trail is also available in English only.

    1. Buckingham Palace: History and Introduction
    2. Opening Hours
    3. How To Get There
    4. Tickets
    5. Unlimited Admission
    6. Visitor Facilities
    7. The Queen's Gallery
    8. The Royal Mews
    9. Annual Special Exhibition
    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Unlimited Admission/One Year Pass at Buckingham Palace

    The Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace
    ••• Portrait of The Queen by Cecil Beaton, wearing a dress designed by Hardy Amies for the State Visit to Germany, 1965. The portraits were taken for The Queen's birthday, 1969. © V&A Images/Victoria and Albert Museum

    If you buy a ticket to The State Rooms at The Buckingham Palace or The Royal Day Out combined ticket, you can register for 12 months of unlimited admission to Buckingham Palace from the date of your first visit.

    The Unlimited Admission scheme is now called a '1-Year Pass'.

    Tickets purchased directly from the Royal Collection can be converted into a 1-Year Pass, giving 12 months' complimentary admission to the site(s) you have visited. This pass is valid for a year from the date of your first visit.

    How do I convert my ticket into a 1-Year Pass?
    Before you leave the site, please sign and print your name in the spaces provided on the reverse of your ticket.
    Hand the ticket to a member of staff, who will stamp and validate it.
    Retain your ticket for future visits.
    Your ticket will only be accepted for re-admission if it has been stamped on the day of your first visit.

    1. Buckingham Palace: History and Introduction
    2. Opening Hours
    3. How To Get There
    4. Tickets
    5. Unlimited Admission
    6. Visitor Facilities
    7. The...MORE Queen's Gallery
    8. The Royal Mews
    9. Annual Special Exhibition
    Continue to 6 of 8 below.
  • 06 of 08

    Buckingham Palace Visitor Facilities

    The Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace
    ••• Buckingham Palace, garden view showing the lake. © The Royal Collection 2006, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

    Refreshments

    Drinks and ice-cream are available for purchase on the Terrace overlooking the Garden at Buckingham Palace. There is seating area here and more benches along the half mile walkway to the exit.

    Toilets

    Toilets and baby care facilities are located at the end of the visit, in the garden.

    No Buggies

    Young children are welcome at Buckingham Palace, but buggies cannot be used within the building. If you bring a stroller with you, it will need to be checked in at the cloakroom at the start of the visit, and will be returned to you as you exit the State Rooms and go into the garden. Baby carriers are available, free of charge, for use whilst inside the State Rooms. The baby carriers are slings that you wear on your front, and are for children no older than 2 years.

    The Palace Shop

    The shop sells a wide range of merchandise, much of which is designed exclusively for the Royal Collection.

    Photography Rules

    Photography and filming (for private use only) and use of mobile phones are permitted...MORE in the Palace garden only. Mobile phones must be switched off while inside the Palace.

    Disabled Access

    There are many steps within the Palace so you would need to arrange in advance for assistance. Wheelchair-users are asked to book through the Ticket Sales and Information Office by telephoning: 020 7766 7324.

    Family Activities

    There is a special family audio guide available to enjoy while touring the Palace and then there are quizzes to try on the garden activity trail.

    The family activity room, where you can discover more about the palace, is available throughout August on a 'drop in basis'. All activities are designed for children aged 5-11. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Materials are provided free of charge.

    Telephone: 020 7766 7300
    Email: education@royalcollection.org.uk

    1. Buckingham Palace: History and Introduction
    2. Opening Hours
    3. How To Get There
    4. Tickets
    5. Unlimited Admission
    6. Visitor Facilities
    7. The Queen's Gallery
    8. The Royal Mews
    9. Annual Special Exhibition
    Continue to 7 of 8 below.
  • 07 of 08

    The Queen's Gallery - Buckingham Palace

    Queen's Gallery, London
    ••• Queen's Gallery, London. © Laura Porter, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    The Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace is a permanent space dedicated to changing exhibitions of items from the Royal Collection, the wide-ranging collection of art and treasures held in trust by The Queen for the Nation. Constructed forty years ago on the west front of Buckingham Palace out of the bomb-damaged ruins of the former private chapel, the Gallery has been redeveloped and was reopened by The Queen on 21 May 2002 and is now open to the public on a daily basis.

    The expansion of The Queen's Gallery is the most significant addition to Buckingham Palace in 150 years. The £20 million project has been funded entirely by the Royal Collection Trust.

    Highlights

    Expect to see artworks by Caravaggio, Rubens, Gainsborough, Rembrandt, and Canaletto. (The Royal Collection has the largest group of works by Canaletto in the world.)

    Visit Duration: 1 hour minimum.

    Address: Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1A 1AA

    Tel: 020 7766 7301

    Email: bookinginfo@royalcollection.org.uk

    Opening...MORE Hours: Open daily: 10am - 5.30pm (last admission: 4.30pm)

    The Queen's Gallery operates a timed-ticket system, with admission every 15 minutes throughout the day.

    Tickets: Book online or buy tickets on the day. See the official website for latest ticket prices.

    An audio guide is included in the ticket price.

    Look out for the Picture in Focus series and the e-gallery terminals where you can search the Royal Collection.

    1. Buckingham Palace: History and Introduction
    2. Opening Hours
    3. How To Get There
    4. Tickets
    5. Unlimited Admission
    6. Visitor Facilities
    7. The Queen's Gallery
    8. The Royal Mews
    9. Annual Special Exhibition
    Continue to 8 of 8 below.
  • 08 of 08

    The Royal Mews - Buckingham Palace

    Gold State Coach, Royal Mews, London
    ••• Gold State Coach, Royal Mews, London. © Laura Porter, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    The Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace provides a unique opportunity for visitors to see the work of the Royal Household department that provides road transport for The Queen and members of the Royal Family by both horse-drawn carriage and motor car.

    The Royal Mews has a permanent display of State vehicles. These include the magnificent Gold State Coach used for Coronations and those carriages used for Royal and State occasions, State Visits, weddings, and the State Opening of Parliament. A State motor vehicle is also usually on display.

    For most of the year the stables are home to the working horses that play an important role in The Queen's official and ceremonial duties. They are mainly Cleveland Bays, the only British breed of carriage horse, and the Windsor greys, which by tradition always draw the carriage in which The Queen is traveling. As they may be on duty, undergoing training or having a well-deserved rest away from London, the horses are not always on view.

    Visit Duration: 1...MORE hour minimum.

    Top Tip: Photography is allowed!

    Address: Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1A 1AA

    Tel: 020 7766 7302

    Email: bookinginfo@royalcollection.org.uk

    Tickets: Book online or buy tickets on the day. See the official website for latest ticket prices.

    An audio guide is included in the ticket price.

    1. Buckingham Palace: History and Introduction
    2. Opening Hours
    3. How To Get There
    4. Tickets
    5. Unlimited Admission
    6. Visitor Facilities
    7. The Queen's Gallery
    8. The Royal Mews
    9. Annual Special Exhibition