Buckingham Palace Road
London SW1A 1AA , England
Buckingham Palace Description
No visit to London is complete without a gander at Buckingham Palace, Her Majesty The Queen's official London residence and office, though you should not expect to get too close to it. An imposing, heavily guarded building with guilded gates, Buckingham Palace has 775 rooms and is one of only working royal palaces left in the world. The 19 State Rooms of the palace are open to tourists from late July to late September, the rest of the year you can only see the palace from the outside. Watch the footguards in full regalia of red tunics and Beefeater hats march to traditional music during the changing of the guard.
Babies: Leave the stroller at the hotel and carry your wee one as, even in inclement weather, there are always large crowds outside the palace.
Toddlers & Pre-K: "When do we get to see the queen?" asked one 4-year-old. Kids this age may be disappointed that they cannot get as close to the Palace as the pussy cat in the nursery rhyme did.
- Take the Tube. Buckingham Palace is close to Victoria Station and Green Park.
- Don't go in the rain. There is no guard changing ceremony if it's pouring.
- Combine with a visit to the park. St James Park, Hyde Park, and Kensington Gardens, all of which are wonderful parks with lovely playgrounds for kids, are within a few minutes' walk of Buckingham Palace.
- Go at 11 a.m. or earlier. The Changing of the Guard takes place at 11:30 a.m. from May to mid July, but crowds start to form as early as an hour in advance.
Just the Facts
Hours: Outside the gates of Buckingham Palace is a public space and you may walk past it at all hours. The Changing of the Guard takes place daily from May to mid July at 11:30 a.m. After mid-July the Changing of the Guard is at 11 a.m. on alternate days only. The State Rooms (for which a charge applies) are open from late July to late September, 9:45 a.m.-6 p.m. Visitors are admitted every 15 minutes throughout the day.
Recommended Time: 1 - 2 hours