Can anyone tell me about the State Room Tours at Buckingham Palace? There are spring tours available and I’d like to know if anyone had taken either of these. I’ll be in London in April.
I understand only the Queen's (Art) Gallery is open outside of the late summer opening to see the state apts. I guess it depends on how much you like art whether to go or not, but you will not be seeing the Palace, just that gallery. The Royal Mews is just stables and carriages. Again, how much do you like either of those.
I've done the tour several times in the Fall when it's open to the public. I see the spring dates are guided tours + a glass of champagne for 85£? Yikes! It was fun to see with the audio guide but to me it would not be worth seeing it for this price. YMMV.
BTW, I looked at the Royal Day out which is what I've gotten in the past and see it is up to 45£ which is way more than I paid. I think maybe I paid 30£ but it's been a few years.
editing to add: I only get tickets that include the Queens Gallery when there is a particular exhibit I want to see. It's just 12£ on it's own which is quite reasonable to me.
I did the State Room only tour when I was there last Sept and enjoyed it very much--it was audio, not guided by anyone--probably spent an hour inside, then had a light snack before hitting the gift shop--the Andy Warhol Queen Elizabeth tea towels were a huge hit as souvenirs for friends--then walked the garden path on my way out. There are longer tours of other areas but this suited my needs perfectly, about 2 hours total spent there.
Just checked and it is available on one day that we are there over spring break. 340 pounds for our family! Wow. Maybe I go and the hubby and two boys go take a bus ride!
Pam, thanks for the link to the spring dates of the guided tour. Would be very nice, but golly the cost is really extreme.
Must be great Champagne!
The state rooms are amazing but I wouldn't pay that much unless the Queen was serving the drink. The audio tour in August or September is a much better value -- but that isn't much help to you, I'm afraid.
I did this guided tour in January 2018. Yes it’s pricey but it was wonderful! The groups are limited in size to about 25 I think, and you don’t really bump into the group ahead of you or behind you, so it’s as if you have the place to yourselves. I had my ticket stamped for a year’s free entry and when I revisited in September to have tea and cake in the garden cafe (just so I could say I did) I had to make my way through the State Rooms to get there and it was sooo crowded. I was glad I had had the chance in January to see things up close, unjostled, and relatively unhurried on the guided tour. One note about the guided tour, there’s plenty of time in each room but when they move you onto the next room they close the doors behind you—no backtracking or lagging behind.
I loved seeing the Royal Mews - those carriages are amazing! I was there in July and all the horses were at Windsor for the summer, but this was quite a few years ago and things may have changed.