A Visit The Royal Mews – Buckingham Palace during COVID19 Restrictions
Last month we visited Windsor Castle, the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world and most famously, the much beloved home of Queen Elizabeth II and some of her family.
The kids have been fascinated by the royal family ever since, so last weekend we headed to The Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace.
The Royal Mews is responsible for all the road travel arrangements for The Queen and members of the Royal Family and during the visit you get to get up close to some of the fantastic coaches and vehicles that you have only ever seen on the TV.
Like Windsor Castle, there are COVID restrictions in place. Pre-booking is essential as they have reduced their entry numbers and there is a one-way route is in place which must be followed.
As you enter the Mews, you get to see some of their residents – the horses. There are 2 types of horses used to pull the carriages at the Mews: Windsor Greys and Cleveland Bays. I highly recommend you get the family multimedia guide, as it gives you lots of family friendly information about the horses, the mews and the carriages, along with some fun challenges to complete.
The carriage tour with the huge gilded Gold Stage Coach and the kids literally stopped in their tracks in awe as it came into view.
The coach is 258 years old and has been used at every coronation since that of George IV in 1821.
It is the only coach displayed with model horses dressed in all their finery. There would actually be 8 horses pulling the carriage as it weighs an eye-watering 4 tonnes.
Some of the more interactive and hands-on family activities are sadly not on at the moment, due to COVID19 restrictions, but they also offer an activity kit for the kids to complete as they explore all the different types of carriages on display.
The State Stables is filled with carriages that would have been used in yesteryear, by the Royal Family including an impressive sleigh which is dressed ready for Christmas festivities.
During your visit you can also see some of the livery worn by The Queen’s coachmen.
The Royal Mews is a fascinating day out and seeing the carriages up close was really interesting. Accompanying each carriage are pictures of it being used during events, as well as a description of what it is made from and decorated with.
The newest coach at the Mews is the Diamond Jubilee State Coach which was first used in 2014.
Unlike Windsor Castle, a visit to the Royal Mews takes no longer than an hour, so it is best tied in with plans to visit another museum or the sights. Bear in mind that most museums require pre-booking in advance, so it is worth planning your time carefully.
The Royal Mews is open from February to November every year and costs £33.50 for a family ticket (2 x adults and up to 3 children).
For those worried about visiting London, we found it eerily quiet, even around popular tourist areas and the tube was almost empty.
We walked from Buckingham Palace to Trafalgar Square and then on to Leicester Square.
All businesses are operating safely and people taking social distancing measures seriously. At no time did we feel uncomfortable – in fact we almost felt like royalty as we were among a handful of people in the LEGO store and the kids had the staff’s undivided attention.
Have you visited London recently?
Disclaimer: We were guests of The Royal Mews for the purpose of a review. All thoughts and opinions are our own