Buckingham Palace

Trains to Buckingham Palace

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One of London’s most famous landmarks, Buckingham Palace has been the official residence of the British monarchy since 1837. Situated next to St James and Green Park, the Palace has long been the primary location for royal and national celebrations. Every year, many people flock to the Palace’s gates to get a glimpse of this historic building. It has one of the most popular free things to do in London – but did you know you can look inside, too?

Between July and October, visitors can step inside and explore 19 of the Palace’s 775 lavish rooms. Here, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about visiting Buckingham Palace, including how to get there, where to purchase tickets and what’s included during a tour. Whether you want to learn more about the royal family or you’re searching for a fun activity in the capital, a Buckingham Palace tour should be at the top of your list.

Where is Buckingham Palace?

Buckingham Palace is located in the City of Westminster, central London. It’s close to some of the capital’s other top attractions, including Trafalgar Square and Big Ben. The address is: London SW1A 1AA.

Transport links in central London are very efficient, making it easy to reach Buckingham Palace via trains to London.

How do I get to Buckingham Palace?

The three SWR train stations near Buckingham Palace are London Waterloo, Vauxhall and Clapham Junction.

If you’re arriving at London Waterloo, you’ll need to head down to Waterloo’s tube station and catch a westbound Jubilee line service to Green Park. From there, it’s just a 12-minute walk to the Palace. If you’re arriving at Vauxhall, you’ll need to change for northbound Victoria line services to London Victoria, where it’s then just a nine-minute walk to reach your destination.

To reach Buckingham Palace from Clapham Junction, change at the station for trains to London Victoria, and walk nine minutes from there.

Travelling by train

Getting to Buckingham Palace from further afield is easy thanks to South Western Railway. Travel direct to London from a number of locations across the south west, such as Portsmouth, Southampton Central and Bournemouth. We offer a range of ticket types, making it simple to find a fare to suit your requirements.

To make your journey even more straightforward, check whether you’re eligible for a Railcard or discover our range of cheap train tickets. If you’re organising a London sightseeing trip with friends or family, save money by taking the train together with our Group Travel and GroupSave discounts.

Travelling within London

Buckingham Palace is easy to get to from suburban London locations, such as Surbiton, Wimbledon and Richmond. Travelling through the city is even more simple when you use a London Travelcard, Oyster Card or contactless payment card for a more efficient journey.

Things to do at Buckingham Palace

As one of the capital’s most historic sites, there’s plenty to see and do at Buckingham Palace. Every year, the Palace’s State Rooms are opened to the public for a few months, allowing visitors to learn more about the British monarchy and this historic royal residence. Exclusive guided tours are also available during winter and spring.

Buckingham Palace tickets

Buckingham Palace tour tickets can be purchased online from the Royal Collection Trust, and booking in advance is strongly advised. Choose from different ticket options to suit your requirements, including Guided Tours and Family Guided Tours – perfect if you’re visiting with little ones.

Rooms open to the public

Buckingham Palace is home to 19 State Rooms in total, furnished with beautiful decorations from the Royal Collection. These rooms are open for public viewing, where you can admire the regal décor and stunning architecture.

For many visitors, the Grand Staircase will be one of the first sights during a tour of the Palace. Portraits of royal family members line the ornate staircase, which leads guests on the impressive State Rooms. The Ballroom is the largest of the State Rooms, at 120 feet long and 60 feet wide. Construction was completed in 1855, and today it’s used for official functions such as State Banquets.

The Throne Room is another unmissable room. Considered the Palace’s grandest space, it’s used for events such as weddings and citizenship ceremonies. It also played an important part during Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953, when it was used as a place to receive guests at a ball.

Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

The Changing of the Guard ceremony involves the King’s Guard handing over the responsibility of protecting Buckingham Palace to the New Guard. This is an important military tradition that takes place between three locations: Buckingham Palace, St James’s Palace and Wellington Barracks. The ceremony is free to watch, and one of the best places to see it is outside the gates of Buckingham Palace. Find out about ceremony times here.

The Royal Mews

The Royal Mews is a collection of working equestrian stables owned by the royal family. Visiting the Royal Mews is an opportunity to learn about the horses and carriages used during the monarch’s ceremonial duties. Some of the highlights include the Gold State Coach, a spectacular artefact that has been used by the monarchy for over 200 years, and the Diamond Jubilee State Coach, built to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee.

The Queen’s Gallery

The Queen’s Gallery is Buckingham Palace’s main art gallery, displaying incredible works from the Royal Collection. Officially opened in 1962, it features a range of temporary exhibitions, from furniture to jewellery. It’s a must-visit area of the Palace for anyone with an interest in art.

Palace Garden

Buckingham Palace Garden is the largest private garden in London, home to 1,000 trees and 325 wild-plant species. The garden boasts beautiful features such as a lake, wildflower meadow and Rose Garden, adding to the serenity of the landscape. Special tours of the Palace Garden are often available – check the Royal Collection Trust website to find out when the next tour will take place.

Food and drink

Eating and drinking is not permitted in Buckingham Palace’s State Rooms (with the exception of bottled water). If you’re feeling peckish at the end of your tour, head to the Garden Café on the West Terrace where you can enjoy a range of light refreshments.

Alternatively, there are plenty of eateries located close to the Palace. The English Rose is a popular choice, serving a delicious range of sandwiches, pastries and salads. Or head to Smith & Whistle on Sheraton Grand London Park Lane, only an eight-minute walk from Buckingham Palace. Relax in stylish surroundings and choose from a selection of British share plates.

Places to stay near Buckingham Palace

Extend your trip to London with an overnight stay in a nearby hotel. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly hotel, Hub by Premier Inn London Westminster, Limegrove Hotel and Stanley House Hotel are all excellent options.

Looking to treat yourself to luxury relaxation? In that case, book a stay at St James’ Hotel and Club, where you can enjoy afternoon tea and in-room beauty treatment services. Or if you’re visiting London as a family, The Resident Victoria is a great choice, only a five-minute stroll from Buckingham Palace.

Want to explore more royal buildings in London? Discover our Hampton Court Palace guide for inspiration.

Buckingham Palace accessibility

Buckingham Palace is accessible for all. However, please bear in mind that you must pre-book step-free access and access companion tickets. You can do this by contacting the Specialist Sales team on +44 (0)303 123 7324 or by emailing specialistsales@rct.uk.

Those who require step-free access will enter the Palace via a different entrance but will join the main visitor route once inside. Find out more information by visiting Buckingham Palace’s accessibility page.

Buy train tickets to any destination in Britain – no booking fee