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The Queen’s Gallery is an underrated sight in London. A lot of people don’t know it exists and miss out on visiting this fantastic sight.
This post will help you plan your perfect trip to the Queen’s Gallery and help you decide whether it is a sight you want to see while in London.
What Exactly is The Queen’s Gallery?
The Queen’s Gallery is a public art gallery that hosts up to 450 pieces from the Queen’s private collection. The exhibition is changed three to four times a year, so you have the chance to see a variety of different artwork.
The exhibitions at the Queen’s Gallery are curated and displayed based on a specific theme. All the artwork in that specific exhibition revolves around that theme, so you get an in-depth understanding of it.
A lot of the themes appeal to a wide audience and some are more appealing to a specific niche. The website has a listing of the exhibitions for the year, so you can decide if you’re interested in it or not.
Some of the previous exhibitions included:
- Leonardo Da Vinci (a collection of his drawings)
- Kind Edward VIII (a collection of photographs from his explorations)
- King George IV (a collection of artwork he collected)
- Russia (a collection of royal artwork and photographs from Crimea)
All of the exhibits are nicely curated and span a number of rooms. It can get a bit crowded for popular exhibits like the Leonard Da Vinci one, but it is often pretty quiet. This is especially true if you visit on a weekday.
You can purchase tickets directly from the Royal Trust Collection website or purchase them on-site when you arrive at the Queen’s Gallery.
Ticket prices are as follows:
- Adult: £13.50
- Over 60: £12.20
- Student: £10.80
- Under 17/Living with a Disability: £6.70
- Under 5: Free
- Family (2 adults and 3 under 17): £33.50
There are also discounts for groups of 15 or more. Information for that can be found on the Royal Trust Collection website as well.
You also have the option of purchasing combo tickets. These tickets allow you into additional Buckingham Palace sights at a lower cost than purchasing each ticket separately.
The Queen’s Gallery and Royal Mews
This combo ticket allows you entry to the Queen’s Gallery and the Royal Mews. These two royal sights are open all year around, so you can visit whenever you’re in London.
Ticket prices for The Queen’s Gallery and Royal Mews combo ticket are as follows:
- Adult: £23.00
- Over 60: £21.00
- Student: £19.50
- Under 17/Living with a Disability: £12.00
- Under 5: Free
- Family: £58.00
There are also reduced fares for groups of 15 or more.
The savings don’t come out to more than a few pounds per ticket, but a combo ticket still saves you a little bit of money.
Strangely enough, the price for the combo ticket is different whether you go to the webpage for The Queen’s Gallery or the Royal Mews. The Royal Mews shows the price as being a few pence higher than The Queen’s Gallery webpage.
I’m not sure if the price would get sorted at checkout or if it is a typo on the website. Just to be save, you should purchase your tickets through The Queen’s Gallery website rather than the Royal Mews website.
Royal Day Out
The Royal Day Out gives you access to The Queen’s Gallery, the Royal Mews, and Buckingham Palace.
It is a full-day ticket with entrance times for each sight and is perfect for any royal lover! You start the day off by visiting The Queen’s Gallery, then head to the Royal Mews, and finally end at Buckingham Palace.
Ticket prices for the Royal Day Out are as follows:
- Adult: £49.00
- Over 60: £44.50
- Students: £42.00
- Under 17/Living with a Disability: £26.50
- Under 5: Free
- Family: £142.50
Again, the savings aren’t huge with the Royal Day Out ticket, but it is worth it if you’re interested in all three sights.
What is Included with Your Ticket
Your ticket includes an audio guide that describes the artwork you’re viewing. It includes information on the artist, historical information, and information about the artwork itself.
It is very detailed, and there is the option to click through to a different recording to learn even more about various pieces. The audioguide is put together by the curator of the exhibit and often has experts explaining certain aspects as well.
Your ticket also includes free locker use and coat check if you don’t want to carry your coat or bag around. You may be asked to put your bag in a locker if it is on the bigger side so be prepared for that.
Upgrading Your Ticket to a Year-Long Pass
This is one of the best features of visiting any Royal Trust Collection sight! You’re able to convert your single-day ticket to a year-long pass when you exit.
Simply visit an employee on your way out and ask to convert your ticket. They will stamp the back of your ticket with the date and have you sign it. Once you’ve done that, you’re able to visit The Queen’s Gallery anytime you want for the next year!
It is the perfect way to keep going back and visiting all the different exhibits the gallery hosts throughout the year for one low price.
Technically when you do this, you’re telling the Royal Trust Collection that they can treat the price of your ticket as a donation rather profitable income. It is a win-win for both you and the Royal Trust.
I highly recommend you convert your ticket to a year-long ticket when you leave even if you don’t have another trip to London planned.
You never know when you’ll be back, and you may be thankful you now have free entry into The Queen’s Gallery rather than having to pay all over again.
Getting to The Queen’s Gallery
How you get to The Queen’s Gallery will depend largely on where in London you’re staying. Most people will take the Underground but some neighbourhoods (like Victoria) are close enough for you to walk.
For people taking the Underground, the three closest stations are:
- Victoria (Victoria, Circle, and District lines)
- Green Park (Piccadilly line)
- St. James’ Park (Circle and District lines)
Each of these three stations are within a ten minute walk of The Queen’s Gallery. St. James’ Park is probably the furtherest away and Victoria and Green Park are pretty similar.
Don’t forget to use your Oyster card if you’re using public transportation.
There are a number of bus routes that run right by Buckingham Palace. The bus is probably the best option for people who don’t want to walk very far after they alight public transportation to get to Buckingham Palace.
Be sure to check the bus routes before you leave to see what bus you want to catch and how often it runs. Don’t forget that the Brits drive on the opposite side of the street as North Americans so be sure you’re heading the right direction!
You’re able to use your Oyster card on buses as well. You only need to tap when you get on the bus and don’t need to tap when you get off.
How Long Should You Spend at The Queen’s Gallery?
This is a difficult question to answer and is highly dependant on how interested you are in the artwork being displayed.
The average person can easily spend an hour viewing the artwork and listening to the audioguide.
People who are very interested in the artwork can spend upwards of 90 minutes at The Queen’s Gallery and possibly even two hours.
The Royal Trust Collection website recommends budgeting 75 minutes at The Queen’s Gallery in order to see it all, so that is a pretty good guide to follow.
Purchasing Souvenirs at The Queen’s Gallery
There is a large gift shop in the entryway of The Queen’s Gallery. It has everything from fine china to keychains to guidebooks to jam. Nearly everything you want to purchase as a souvenir can be found at the gift shop.
The gift shop is a bit on the pricey side, but it is all branded to Buckingham Palace and the royal family, so you can find a number of unique items.
Be sure to have a budget for the gift shop and stick to it! It is easy to get carried away and purchase a bunch of stuff that looks cool that you really don’t need.
The Queen’s Gallery is a great addition to any London itinerary. It is central and easy to get to, allows you to see artwork you can’t see anywhere else, and is relatively inexpensive for a royal attraction.
The fact that you can convert your ticket to a year-long pass makes The Queen’s Gallery even more attractive. It is the ticket that keeps on giving throughout the year. The fact that you can go back an unlimited number of times is great for budget travellers.
Whether you end up going back to The Queen’s Gallery or not, it is a sight that shouldn’t be missed. It is truly fun for the whole family!