Historic Royal Palaces visitor FAQs

Frequently asked questions

Historic Royal Palaces is closely following the latest government advice and guidance in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. The safety of our staff and visitors is our highest priority.

We are doing everything we can to respond to your enquiries as quickly as possible and thank you for your patience.

Find answers to common questions about booking online, visiting and how to make the most of your visit. 

  • Which of your sites are open?

    Updated 29 November 2021

    Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, Kensington Palace are all open on various days and times. Please check the palace you wish to visit for opening times. Banqueting House remains closed. Kew Palace is closed for the winter.

    Opening times vary across palaces. Please see links below for opening times.

    Tower of London

    Hampton Court Palace 

    Kensington Palace 

    Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

    Kew Palace

  • When can I book tickets for?

    Tower of London:

    Tickets for dates until the end of December are available.

    Hampton Court Palace:

    Tickets for dates until the end of December are available.

    Banqueting House:

    Banqueting House will remain closed until further notice. We apologise for any disappointment this may cause.

    Kensington Palace:

    Tickets for dates until the end of December are available.

    Kew Palace:

    Kew Palace is closed for the winter.

    Hillsborough Castle:

    The castle is now closed for the winter. Tickets for gardens only are available up to 2 January 2022.

  • Do I need to wear a face covering?

    In line with government guidelines, you must wear a face covering in our indoor spaces and shops (except cafes) unless exempt.

    We ask that visitors continue to maintain a respectful distance from staff and other visitors not in their group. Please continue to show courtesy and consideration for other people visiting the Palaces.

  • I can't download my e-tickets/My e-tickets are missing/I don't have a booking confirmation email

    My e-tickets are missing

    We recommend searching your email inbox for hrp.org.uk. If you can't find your e-tickets, you can show your confirmation email/booking reference at the Ticket Office.

    I can't download my e-tickets

    If you can't download your e-tickets, you can show your confirmation email/booking reference at the Ticket Office.

    I don't have a booking confirmation email

    You can search your email for hrp.org.uk or you can quote your booking number or email address at the Ticket Office. 

  • I can’t visit anymore - can I get a refund?

    We operate a strict no refunds policy, however, we can amend your booking subject to availability. Please see below how we can do that. We will make an exception if the palace is closed unexpectedly.

  • Can I change the date or time of my booking?

    We can amend unused admission tickets bought directly with us (exc. events such as the Ceremony of the Keys) for a booking amendment fee. You can visit between now and any other date we’re open until 28th February 2022 (subject to availability).

    When you have chosen your new date and are ready to amend your booking and pay the amendment fee, please call 0333 320 6000 and select 9 on your key pad to speak to a member of the team.

    Our phone lines are open Tuesday – Friday, 09:00-14:00.

    Please have your original booking reference number (beginning with 421) available so that we can locate your booking on our system. Payment will be required no later than 3 working days before your new visit date.

    If you don’t make the change before your original visit date, please don’t worry as we will be able to see your tickets have not been used.

  • When will more tickets be available for future dates?

    We will be releasing tickets for future dates periodically and you can keep up to date by signing up to our mailing list. Sign up here

  • I need a carer ticket. Where to I go if I have accessibility related questions?

    For questions related to carer tickets or accessibility, please click here for Hampton Court Palace, here for Hillsborough Castle & Gardens, here for Kensington Palace, or here for the Tower of London

  • I have a question about my tickets for Christmas at Hillsborough Castle & Gardens

    This event is being run in partnership with Sony Music. You can find more information here and any questions about your tickets will need to be sent here.

  • Hampton Court Palace tickets show 6am as the entry time - is that right?

    From mid-September, we have removed timeslots and you can arrive any time within our opening hours. Due to a minor error on our system, these dates show with an entry time of 6am. Our IT team are aware and are working to fix the problem.

  • I have just purchased a new membership, and don’t yet have my membership number, how do I book my ticket?

    You will need your membership number to book tickets, so if you're waiting for your new membership card to arrive and want to visit straightaway, please email [email protected] and we'll sort it out for you. 

  • How do I book a member timeslot/ticket?

    As a member, you need to pre-book a timeslot for your visit using the Member portal. This is to ensure the safety of both visitors and staff. 

    1. Log in to the Member portal

    2. Choose the palace you'd like to book your tickets for and follow the ticket purchase process, selecting your free member tickets from the list of ticket types. If pre-booking tickets for members only, you will skip the payment process.

    We inform our members and customers about new ticket releases by email. If you aren’t receiving notifications and would like to, simply sign up for our e-newsletters on the website, or if you're a member it maybe we need to update your email address or contact preferences. You can drop us a line on [email protected] and we'll arrange this for you.

  • I’m unable to login with my membership number and surname, how do I book?

    If you are unable to login with your membership number and surname, try a space after your surname. It is not case-specific.

    If you have recently purchased a membership and cannot login, your membership might not have been processed yet. Please email our team at [email protected] and we'll try to help.


  • I’d like to cancel or change my free member tickets

    Thank you for letting us know. You can’t amend a booking, so just book new tickets for when you would like to visit and we will delete this booking.

  • How do I use my Blue Peter badge?

    To use your Blue Peter badge, please bring the badge, card and proof of age to show our Admissions team on arrival. As children are only able to use a Blue Peter badge when accompanied by an adult, please book the paid tickets you require in advance, selecting the palace you’d like to visit and clicking the ‘Buy tickets’ option in the top right corner.

    Whilst we cannot pre-book these free spaces, we will admit Blue Peter badge holders on the same timeslot as your pre-booked ticket(s) and will not ask your party to split up.

  • Can I get discounted entry as member of the military?

    We offer a 30% discount to holders of a valid MOD90 card, the Defence Discount card, or the MOD Certificate of Eligibility at our London palaces. 

    How much are tickets?  

    • Tower of London - MOD Adult: £21.00 / MOD Child: £10.50 / MOD Family: £57.50 / MOD Family 1: £36.60 
    • Kensington Palace – MOD Adult: £16.10 / MOD Child: £8.10 / MOD Family: £42.90 / MOD Family 1: £30.15 
    • Hampton Court Palace - MOD Adult: £17.80 / MOD Child: £8.90 / MOD Family: £48.60 / MOD Family 1: £33.20 

    A MOD family ticket will allow entrance for 1 military personnel, 1 additional adult and up to 3 children. A MOD family 1 ticket with allow entrance for 1 military personnel and up to 3 children without the additional adult.  

    Unless otherwise stated, these prices are valid from 1st March 2021 until 28th February 2022 and subject to our Terms & Conditions  

    What do I need to do next?   

    Discounted tickets can only be bought at the palace on the day of your visit. Simply show your proof of eligibility at the ticket office and we will be happy to offer the reduced rate.  

  • Do you offer an NHS / Blue Light Card holder discount?

    No, we are an independent charity who rely on income from visitors to preserve the palaces in our care. Following the pandemic we are facing a £100 million shortfall in our finances. We are limited to what discounts we can offer and are not offering any reduced rate tickets for NHS staff / Blue Light Card holders.

  • How do I visit with a National Art Fund Pass (Kensington Palace only)/Museums Association Membership/Tower Hamlets offer?

    How do I visit with a National Art Fund Pass (Kensington Palace only), Museums Association Membership, Tower Hamlets offer. You can’t pre-book but can use this by bringing your card / pass with you to the Ticket Desk.

  • I work for a company that has a corporate membership, how can I visit for free?

    You will have been issued with a special voucher from your employer that allows you to visit during opening hours without pre-booking. If you would like to visit with more guests than your voucher allows, you will need to book extra tickets on hrp.org.uk. We will endeavour to admit you on the next available time slot but as we are operating with a limited capacity please note that you might have to queue. We appreciate your patience if this should happen. If this doesn’t answer your question, please contact [email protected].

  • Will the car parks at Hampton Court Palace and Hillsborough Castle be open?

    Yes, the car parks are open but cannot be pre-booked. 

    Hampton Court Palace
    Limited parking is available on-site. £1.60 per hour. Pay for your parking by card or by using the Glide app.
    9 disabled bays are available, free for blue badge holders.

    Hillsborough Castle and Gardens
    Free car parking is available with 27 disabled parking bays, free for blue badge holders.

  • Does my Kensington Palace ticket include the Royal Style in the Making Exhibition?

    Yes, Royal Style in the Making exhibition is included.

  • Where can I purchase tickets for the Ceremony of the Keys?

    As it is a popular and unique event, tickets tend to sell out in advance. Tickets for future dates will then be released periodically on our website 2-4 weeks before the date of the Ceremony. You will be able to book by clicking here.

  • How do I book a carer with my Ceremony of the Keys booking?

    Once you have booked your tickets (for everyone in your party except the carer), reply to your booking confirmation email and to let us know that you require a carer ticket.

  • Can I cancel or change the date of my Ceremony of the Keys tickets?

    Unfortunately, we cannot amend or cancel any tickets for this event and all bookings are non-exchangeable and non-refundable in line with our Terms & Conditions.

  • How will you be managing payments?

    For the protection of our staff and visitors, we will only be accepting payment by card/contactless.  

  • Will I be able to purchase anything in your shop?

    Our retail shops are open. You can continue to make purchases from our online shop too.

  • What extra safety measures will be taken at your sites to ensure visitors and staff are protected?

    We will continue to ensure that the safety of our visitors and staff is our priority.  We have implemented a comprehensive plan to help our visitors and staff feel safe at the palaces. We will:

    • Provide clear signage to recommend social distancing for staff and visitors.
    • In some cases, we will use screens to protect visitors and staff. Where appropriate, our staff will also be provided with PPE.
    • Provide hand sanitiser dispensers for visitors across our sites as well as hand washing facilities.
    • Implement an enhanced cleaning regime.
  • Will your staff be wearing PPE?

    Where appropriate – particularly where closer contact with members of the public is required – our staff will be issued with PPE, or may be working behind screens, for their protection and to protect our visitors. 

  • How will you be managing the toilets?

    Toilets will be frequently cleaned and monitored by staff.  We will display a sign in sheet in each toilet, so visitors can be clear on how we are maintaining high standards of hygiene.

  • I have a corporate partner voucher, how do I pre-book tickets?

    There is no pre-booking for corporate partners - partners should just present themselves, with their voucher and proof of ID as per the terms and conditions of the voucher, on the day they'd like to visit where they will be admitted at the next available time slot on the day (every half hour).

  • Will I be able to get refreshments on site?

    Refreshments are available from the cafes and kiosks located at our sites. Not all food outlets may be open, and we will be operating a reduced menu.

    Please check out the visit / eating pages for the palace you wish to visit for further details.

  • I have a school visit booked, will this be cancelled?

    For more information on our schools programme or to make a booking please visit Schools | Historic Royal Palaces (hrp.org.uk)

    Should you have a query about the schools programme please email [email protected].

  • I’ve ordered something from your online shop, are there any delays to deliveries?

    Staff safety remains our primary concern and we have implemented safety measures in our retail warehouse. This means our online orders may take slightly longer than usual to be processed. 

    Please read our delivery information for further assistance.

    Please email us at [email protected] if you have any questions and we will aim to respond as soon as possible.

Historic Royal Palaces is an independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and Hillsborough Castle.

Find out more about visiting our six palaces and our various attractions in the links below.

The White Tower, looking north-west towards the Wardrobe Tower. Showing two young women visitors in the foreground, happily using digital video guide tour devices.

Tower of London FAQs

Discover London's castle – a secure fortress, royal palace and infamous prison.

A wide view of the main visitor entrance (West Gate) of Hampton Court Palace.

Hampton Court Palace FAQs

Wander the corridors of royal power and pleasure at the former home of Henry VIII.

Exterior view of Banqueting House below a blue sky

Banqueting House FAQs

Experience the drama and splendour of the Rubens Ceiling at the Banqueting House in Whitehall.

The east front of Kensington Palace and gardens with the statue of Queen Victoria in the foreground, under a blue sky.

Kensington Palace FAQs

Be charmed by a stylish royal residence — once the home of Queen Victoria.

View of Kew Palace from the garden

Kew Palace FAQs

Glimpse inside an intimate royal family retreat, hidden in the grounds of Kew Gardens.

An exterior photo of the South facade of Hillsborough Castle on a sunny September day. Framed by greenery.

Hillsborough Castle FAQs

Explore the gardens and discover a castle at Northern Ireland's royal residence.