Wheelchair Accessible Buckingham Palace London

Accessibility :

Public Access (Only Part of Summer),
Step-Free Access via a separate Entrance,
Manual Wheelchairs & Rollators Available,
Wheelchair Accessible Toilets,
No Changing Places Toilet

More....

For details of other wheelchair accessible hotels, wheelchair-friendly eating and drinking options and wheelchair accessible attractions in central London, see the Wheelchair Accessible London Guide

Buckingham Palace in London is only open to the public for 10 weeks during the Summer, when the Royal Family are not in residence.

And in 2022, Buckingham palace will be open to visitors for the 10 weeks between 22 July and 2 October 2022 (and also on selected dates during Winter and Spring too).

Tickets sell fast though, so I would advise booking as soon as possible.

A discounted rate is available for wheelchair users (and one accompanying companion will be admitted free of charge too). But you must book these special tickets directly with the Specialist Sales team at Buckingham Palace (phone: +44 (0)303 123 7324 7324 or email specialistsales@rct.uk).

A motorised buggy & trailer carries wheelchairs (and the wheelchair users too of course) across the gravel to the start of the Access Route Tour of Buckingham Palace, and again at the end of the tour (if needed) to take wheelchair users to the foot of the steps leading into the Buckingham Palace garden.

And although the interior of Buckingham Palace is 100% accessible, some of the carpets within the Palace are quite deep.

Allow 2-3 hours for a tour of Buckingham Palace. Plus an additional 30 mins to get there, if you are arriving by tube at Green Park station.

 

Arrival By Car

Parking is available to Blue Badge holders who require step-free access, but this must be pre-booked by contacting the Specialist Sales team +44 (0)303 123 7324 or specialistsales@rct.uk.

The nearest public parking spaces are on Palace Street.

The nearest public car park which has accessible parking bays (6) is at: Q-Park Victoria, SW1P 2TX (accessible parking is charged at the standard rate here though).

 

Arrival By Public Transport

Tube (Underground):

Buckingham Palace is located very close to Victoria tube station (Victoria Line/District Line & Circle Line), St.James’s Park tube station (District Line & Circle Line) and, slightly further away, Green Park tube station (Piccadilly Line, Victoria Line & Jubilee Line).

Of the three, and although slightly further away, I would definitely recommend you use Green Park tube station – as step-free access is available regardless of which tube line you arrive on. And it’s a very pleasant, and slightly downhill, roll through Green Park itself, to the entrance to Buckingham Palace.

Of the other two tube stations nearby, you can immediately discount St.James’s Park tube station – as it has no step-free access at all. And Victoria tube station only has step-free access if arriving there on the Victoria Line (arriving on the District Line or the Circle Line requires the use of a ramp – which you will need to arrange with the station staff at your DEPARTURE station before boarding the train – as they will need to ring ahead and arrange for the ramp/assistance to be waiting for you).

Bus:

A number of different buses run near Buckingham Palace. And all buses in central London are wheelchair accessible – and are equipped with a retractable ramp (automatically controlled by the bus driver). Bus travel is also free for wheelchair users (your companion has to pay the correct fare though). I recommend that you use the official TfL Journey Planner to find the best route for yourself.

Taxi:

By far the easiest way to arrive at Buckingham Palace in a wheelchair though, and using public transport, is in one of London’s famous black cabs (taxis). It’s also the most expensive way to reach Buckingham Palace (but is so worth it in my opinion). All London taxis are equipped with a retractable ramp.

My recommendation though:

On foot/by wheelchair!

Buckingham Palace is just one of the stops on the circular London West End DIY Walking Tour (it runs in a circuit between Buckingham Palace > Green Park > Piccadilly Circus > Leicester Square > Trafalgar Square (and the National Gallery) > Whitehall > Downing Street > Houses of Parliament (and Big Ben) > Westminster Abbey > St.James’s Park, and finally returning to Buckingham Palace.

Because it’s a circular route, you can start/finish at any point along the route – and still see everything.

You could dash around the whole circuit in under 2 hours, but I’d leave a whole day to cover this DIY walking route – as there are just so many places to visit/stop and look at.

And if you follow the route in a clockwise direction, you will see Buckingham Palace appear ahead of you as you wander through St.James’s Park.

 

Entrance – Access

The entrance courtyard is, rather famously, covered in gravel. Which would make Buckingham Palace completely inaccessible to wheelchair users.

But worry not!

A special buggy (and trailer) carries wheelchair users across these stones to a separate accessible entrance. However, once inside Buckingham Palace, you join up with the regular tour again.

And, at the end of the tour, the buggy/trailer will return you to where you started – but, if you’d rather take the additional Garden Tour (and exit via the garden at Buckingham Palace), the buggy will take you to there too (negating the need to use the steps on the West Terrace). The path through the garden is a hard gravel path that is completely accessible to wheelchair users (but it’s a distance of half a mile – so advise your companion to wear very comfortable shoes).

 

Building Accessibility

There are two lifts in Buckingham Palace, and you’ll use both of them.

Standard manual wheelchairs should easily fit (with your companion), but users of larger powerchairs/scooters should check the dimensions on the Official Buckingham Palace Access Guide.

Manual wheelchairs, rollators and folding stools are available to borrow (free of charge), but subject to availability. However, they must be pre-booked by contacting the Specialist Sales team +44 (0)303 123 7324 or specialistsales@rct.uk in advance of your visit.

There is a limit of 10 wheelchairs allowed in the State Rooms at any one time, so you may have to wait for a moment or two before you can enter.

There is even a separate and step-free gift shop for wheelchair users which is less crowded than the main gift shop.

Whenever you need assistance, just speak to a very helpful Buckingham Palace guide. I cannot stress enough how helpful the guides are. Nothing is too much trouble for them.

 

Wheelchair Accessible Toilets

Wheelchair accessible toilets are located at the start of the Access Route inside Buckingham Palace. Plus, an accessible toilet is also available at the end of the visit, in the Buckingham Palace garden (if you intend to visit the garden for the additional Garden Tour, and leave Buckingham Palace via the garden).

But the tour inside last 2.5 hours, and there’s NO toilet facilities between the start and the end of the tour.

 

Wheelchair Accessible Cafe/Restaurant

The tearooms are situated at the end of the “normal” tour of Buckingham Palace, overlooking the lawn of the exquisite Buckingham Palace gardens. So you will only be able to visit them if you have taken the buggy to the gardens at the end of the accessible tour, for the Garden Tour, instead of just taking the buggy back to the main entrance.

 

Photo: Military Band outside Buckingham Palace, London, by Roberto Bellasio from Pixabay.

 

See the Wheelchair Accessible London Guide for details of other wheelchair accessible attractions, restaurants and hotels in central London.

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