London: 2009 Buckingham Palace Openings

Apr 13th, 2009, 09:19 AM
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London: 2009 Buckingham Palace Openings

Buckingham Palace, one of QE2s many palatial homes, is only open to the public during August and September, when HRH is up in Scotland cavorting with deer and wild animals on horseback.

This year's dates are from August 1 thru Sep 27 - when you can traipse thru 19 lavishlt decorated and furnished State Rooms that also showcase some of the finest treasures from the Royal Collection (in the words of the Palace's press office)

Info: ph (020) 766.7300
e-mail: [email protected] (for tour operators) for all details

The palace was never open to the public until the disastrous fire at Hampton Court Palace (and or Windsor? not sure) when to pay for repairs the Royals opened the palace as a one-off thing - but it was so popular that they then have done it annually since during these two months - plus it gets money for the palace's upkeep i guess.

At first long lines were endemic but now it seems you can just show up and book a slot and perhaps get in in a few hours (plenty other things to see and do in the area while waiting) or you can book ahead and be sure of day and time.

And the Royal Mews is opne year-round i think and if you like horses, royal carriages, etc. you can tour, for about 5 pounds (few years ago) the Queen's working stables - horse droppings smells and all. so if waiting for the palace itself hop over to the stables.

And i went thru the palace a few years ago and it is WELL worth the effort - Buckingham P IMO don't do much for me from the outside - one of the least majestic royal palaces in Europe IMO but the inside will DAZZLE you.

Anyone had experience with lines and time of waits and impressions of the visit please pipe up!

There is intense security at the entrance - palace officials say they especially confiscate American's cans of mace or pepper spray as they are illegal in Britain (at least Mace is) so leave that in your hotel, along with you gun.
Palenque is offline  
Apr 13th, 2009, 10:03 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 22,687
Thanks for the info and the review of your tour. I've always wanted to see BP but I don't think I'll be getting to London this year.

BTW the fire was at Windsor.

On my first trip to the UK I learned the hard way about mace. They caught me at the airport as I was leaving the UK and they called the police. That was a scary thing for a teen girl but all they did was confiscate it. Thank God they didn't find my gun.
P_M is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 04:18 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
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We did the tour some years ago, enjoyed it so much we might go back again. We stopped at the tour office one day and booked for the next. The lines were a little like waiting for a ride on London Eye -- they looked long but they moved quickly.
VirginiaC is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 04:49 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 303
We also did the tour some years ago, having bought the tickets in advance online. Agree with Virginia C - the line moved quickly.

We also enjoyed touring Parliament during the summer opening -

This year, the summer opening will run from 3 Aug - 3 Oct. The Pariliament tour is described here:
luv2cthings is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 12:03 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 113
I went into Buckingham in August 2007. It was beautiful! The best sight in London, which is a city that I didn't really appreciate, but that's a whole different story. Anyway, I would go back to London in a heartbeat, just to see that Palace again.
nd5524 is offline  
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