Is Royal Day Out, the special exhibit by the Royal Collection Trust where you tour of Buckingham Palace, the Royal mews, and the Queen’s Gallery, worth it? My hun and I took a trip to London and paid for Royal Day out tickets, so I’m here to give you a few key pieces of info. In this blog you’ll discover what Royal Day Out is, what goes on, and if it’s worth the cost for your next trip to London.
What is Royal Day Out?
Royal Day Out is hosted by the Queen of England’s private charity, the Royal Collection Trust. It is a special visit that combines admission to the Queen’s Art Gallery, which hosts special exhibits like Prince Albert’s trip to India or Leonardo DaVinci’s drawings, combined with admission to the Royal mews and Buckingham Palace. It is a three-in-one self-guided tour with an optional, yet free, audio tour of each of the three facilities in London.
If you think this is a year-long activity, think again. The special Royal Day Out visit is ONLY open for 10 weeks during the summer from late July – late September. I was grateful that my birthday just fell within the time limit and I was able to snag tickets!
How Much Does Royal Day Out Cost?
Prices vary each year, but at the time of this blog here are the current prices:
- Adult = £45.00
- Over 60/ Student = £40.00
- Under 17/ Disabled = £24.50
- Under 5 = Free!
- Family = £114.50 (2 adults and 3 under 17s)
How Does it Work? How do you Buy Tickets to Royal Day out?
Royal Day Out operates on a timed-entry ticket basis where you pick the date and time of your visit. I purchased my tickets online in advance because they sell out quickly and far in advance. Furthermore, I opted to have our tickets shipped internationally from the UK to the US for just £1.20. Super cheap! If you don’t want your tickets shipped, no problem. There’s free pickup at the ticket counters at the Queen’s Gallery. In your welcome packet you’ll receive two tickets: one for the Queen’s Gallery and Royal Mews, and another for Buckingham palace. Each ticket is a timed-entry pass.
On the day-of your visit, you’ll embark on a self-guided tour w/ optional audio guides (free of charge) to enhance the experience. Security is tight and you’ll have to go through multiple checks, so be prepared to que in a line for some time. The overall experience is quite orderly. Everyone goes through security (multiple times) starting with the Queen’s Gallery, followed by the Royal Mews, and ends with a timed ticket to Buckingham Palace. All-in-all, the visit lasts around 4.5hrs. There is no filming or photography in Buckingham Palace as you can imagine, but it’s nice to put the camera down for a second to truly soak up your surroundings. Don’t believe me? I vlogged about my Royal Day out experience on my birthday visit!
Is Royal Day Out worth it?
Let’s look at it from a financial perspective first. If you chose to visit each area separately (yes, this is a possibility), individual Adult tickets to Buckingham Palace = £25.00 + Mews £12.00 + Queen’s Gallery = £13.50 for a total of £50.50. This would save about £5.50 so yes, Royal Day Out is the cheaper option financially if you want to see all three. Also, you could also opt for a private tour for £85 and save even more so financially Royal Day Out is worth is.
The experience is open for a limited amount of time and the art, combined with viewing the place where hundreds of years of history resides was worth it to me. In addition, I believe Royal Day Out is worth the cost of admission for another reason: If you decide to donate your admission fee to the Royal Collection Trust you can turn your ticket into a free “1-yr pass” from the date stamped to return at no extra charge. Essentially, I see it as a “buy one visit, get another free” situation and that is totally worth it to me!
Are you thinking about purchasing Royal Day Out tickets? Have you been already?
Drop a comment below!
Antoinette | Frolic & Courage
Is it possible to spend less time in the gallery and then continue on with the next part of the tour when it’s time? Where would we be able to go if we didn’t want to stay for the full time? We like the tour in general but are not that interested in the Japanese gallery tour.
Hi Shelley! You can spend as much (or as little) time as you’d like in the galley then continue to the next parts of the experience. The Gallery is self-led, so the choice is yours! I happen to love art and design so I could’ve spent an entire afternoon there, but the Palace itself and the gardens are absolutely beautiful, too.