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touring HRM's residence

Hello, I have a question. Every travel book states that one can tour HRM’s residence at Buckingham palace between August to September; the books do not state specifically when. Does anyone know this? I would like to know if one can tour it in the middle of September. Thank you

Posted by
3428 posts

Parts of Buckingham Palace are opened to the public when the Queen and her family go to Balmoral in Scotland for about 6-8 weeks. I believe the exact dates change from year to year. I am certain that you could do a google search and find past dates- and maybe this year's dates. I envy you. We have never been able to go when it was open.

Posted by
3580 posts

WWW.royal.gov.uk will take you to the website for all sorts of official info on the royal family.

I visited Buckingham Palace 29 Sept in 2008. That was the last date the palace was open to the public for that year. You should be ok mid-Sept., but check to be sure. I enjoyed my visit and didn't feel rushed or like a party-crasher. The palaces are all impressive. I prefer Windsor for the entire experience; and Windsor Palace is open to the public most of the year.

Posted by
75 posts

Follow up question: is it worth waiting in September to go to London to tour Buckingham or go in March ’10 and well obviously not tour it. Thanks

Posted by
495 posts

March is the start of spring whereas Sept. is the end of summer/start of autumn so I'd expect nicer weather in September. That being said British weather is unpredictable, in the past I've spent Easter on the beach and frozen in Sept.

If you want to do any "outsidey" or weather dependent activities or go to the countryside then Sept. may be a better bet - no guaranties obviously. If your main destination is London or any other city then the weather is less of an issue and March and Sept. are much of a muchness. If you want to go anywhere that might be popular with kids then schools start back end of August/start of September, schools will have a week (or two) holiday over Easter so they may be off the last week of March.

You might get better flight rates in March as September has become a more popular time to travel.

Posted by
23465 posts

I would say so. We were in London in mid-September for long weekend two years old. As I remember the ticket was good for two days and included the stables and Queen's art collection. It was fascinating to see the inside of a living palace instead of one stage at another time. The was also an exhibit of the Queen's wedding including some wedding gifts, gowns, etc. One gift was 5 lb of coffee. It was a different time and era. That may have been a special exhibit and don't know if it would be there or not. It is more than worth the price of admission.

Posted by
3580 posts

I was told by one of the wardens in the palace that the tour is changed every year. The two tours I took, 8 years apart, were quite different. The more recent one was better. BTW, I arrived about 1 pm that day in 2008 and was able to buy a ticket and walk right in. Earlier in the season it would probably be a good idea to get a reserved time.

Posted by
15675 posts

I went to Buck House the first year is was open to the public. It was very crowded (like the tube at rush hour) and I wasn't that impressed.

Windsor Castle, on the other hand, was an enjoyable afternoon. I saw it not long after the fire. The damage was still evident. Very sad to think how much history was destroyed.

Posted by
18 posts

I think March vs. September weather just depends on the luck of the draw. I have been during both months and actually prefer March at which time you cannot see Buck Palace. The spring flowers more than make up it. It all comes down to personal opinion.

Posted by
417 posts

It really depends on your interest. I visited the Palace in September as well, and was thoroughly impressed. It was not that crowded and was very interesting to me. Check out www.royal.gov.uk for opening times, as was already stated. Pre- buy your tickets if you are concerned about getting entry for a specific time of day.

Posted by
1829 posts

Have a look at this site, it covers all the inhabited royal palaces that you can visit and includes details of special exhibitions, tours etc eg evening tours of Buckingham Palace in Jan and April (look a bit expensive but you do get champagne thrown in!)

http://www.royalcollection.org.uk/default.asp