Schools FAQs

Frequently asked questions about school visits to our palaces

Frequently asked questions about school visits to our palaces

  • When are Historic Royal Palaces sites open for school visits?

    Hillsborough Castle and Gardens: Tuesday – Thursday during term time.

    Kensington Palace, Hampton Court Palace: Wednesday – Friday during term time.

    Tower of London: Tuesday - Friday during term time.

    Pre-booking is essential for all school or home educator visits. For full planning and booking information including full term dates and booking forms, follow the links below:

    Tower of London

    Hampton Court Palace 

    Kensington Palace  

    Hillsborough Castle and Gardens  

  • I can’t find the school session I booked in a previous year, why not?

    Due to the devastating impact of the Coronavirus on our charity we have focused on our most popular sessions this year. We have also taken the opportunity to rename some sessions to better reflect their content.  

    If you are not sure which session to choose for your particular key stage, class or group please feel free to get in touch with the team who will be happy to advise. Please email [email protected]  

  • Why can’t I book a visit for a Monday or Tuesday at Hampton Court Palace or Kensington Palace?

    As a result of the pandemic, we are offering school visits on fewer days of the week this academic year, this is because we cannot guarantee that all sites will be open 7 days a week. We apologise for any inconvenience this might cause.

  • I haven’t been given the entry time I wanted. Can I bring my group early anyway?

    You may not be admitted until your booked entry time. We cannot provide indoor waiting space for your group prior to your entry time, so please ensure your group dress for the weather and be advised that you may need to wait if you arrive very early.   

  • Will there be somewhere to eat our lunch?

    We do have school lunchrooms at our sites and will aim to allocate as many schools as we can a lunchroom. Lunchrooms will be allocated by prioritising the youngest groups first and we will send confirmation of your lunchroom booking two weeks prior to your visit. Groups are always welcome to picnic on site in our designated outdoor areas.   

  • The day/session I’d like to book is sold out. How is this possible?

    We have adjusted our opening hours and will only be welcoming school groups Wednesday – Friday to our London sites, and Tuesday – Thursday at Hillsborough Castle. We have reduced the number of sessions we are offering and limited the number that can be booked each day. We hope this is a temporary change and apologise for any inconvenience caused. Please book early to avoid disappointment.

  • Your phone lines are closed, is this a permanent change?

    Due to reduced staffing levels, we may not always be available to answer your telephone call. Rest assured that we are aiming to open our phone lines Wednesday to Friday 09:00-17:00 during UK term time when we are expecting school visits onsite. If you need a swift response, we always recommend email and if you would like to speak to a member of the team you can request a call back.  

    School visits phone number: 020 3166 6646  

    Email addresses by site: 

    Hillsborough Castle and Gardens [email protected]  

    Tower of London [email protected]  

    Hampton Court Palace [email protected]  

    Kensington Palace [email protected]  

  • Why haven’t I had a response to my email?

    Due to reduced staffing levels in the team it may take us longer to reply to emails than normal. It is our aim to reply to every email within 7 working days. This may take longer at busy times of year, such as summer term. If you have not had a response within this timeframe, please do get in touch via telephone: 020 3166 6646. We are aiming to open our phone lines Wednesday to Friday 09:00-17:00 during UK term time.

  • Will everything be open when I visit?

    Parts of the visitor route may close at short notice due to staffing shortages as a result of the pandemic. We will always try our best to notify you in advance of any long term planned closures for maintenance or conservation works, but recommend checking the closure and notices pages of our website before your visit 

  • Is it possible to apply for the Access Fund for schools?

    The Access Fund will return for 2022-23. Please see our main school web pages for details.

  • Can I come on a pre-visit, to plan our day and do a risk assessment?

    In your booking confirmation you will receive a teacher planning pass for two teachers to come onsite and plan your school visit. You do not need to pre-book this, but we recommend checking our opening times before travelling as the sites may be closed on certain days of the week. We are unable to provide teacher planning passes in advance of a visit being booked with us.