Just behind Buckingham Palace through a little doorway you might not even know exists, are The Royal Mews.
The Royal Mews are where the Queen’s horses, carriages and official cars are kept. They are open for visitors and it is just perfect for young fans of horses and royalty alike.
The Royal Mews aren’t that big – you can get round it in an hour – so it’s perfect for fulfilling the children’s desire to “visit the Queen” when you don’t fancy doing the full stateroom experience. It’s also terrifically good value – a family of 5 costs £22.75.
First of all, you go through the security check (oodles of fun in itself), and collect your audio tour.
There is a choice of tours – one for families, and a more grown-up one. They are easy to control once you get used to them, and there are boards dotted around showing you which number you should be listening to.
We met a couple of horses……
……..and then moved on to the carriages. There were many carriages on display including the Australian State Coach, and the one in which Lady Di was taken to St Paul’s Cathedral to marry Prince Charles. They are behind a barrier so you don’t need to worry about little hands doing any damage.
|Lady Di’s The Glass Coach
|The Australian State Coach
Then we took a peek at the Queen’s Roller, which was wonderfully shiny.
Through the rather glamorous stables…..
…..and then on to the Gold Coach. This is the one which is used for coronations. You have to guess how they get it out of the room to use it, considering the doors are much too small to accommodate it.
The Royal Mews is a working facility and there was movement while we were there……
Inside The Royal Mews is the horse school, where the horses have to go to learn how to be royal horses before they are let loose with the carriages. There were some doing a lesson while we were there and we got to watch.
The Royal Mews is a mix of outdoor and indoor. There are toilets and baby changing facilities available. The whole attraction is on one level though there is the odd narrow doorway to navigate, with alternative routes available where required. There is an education room which you can use (if it’s open) for a sit down and maybe some colouring-in.
If you buy your ticket direct from The Royal Mews (i.e. not through an agent) then you can upgrade your ticket to an annual pass at the exit. Just ask one of the many, friendly staff for help.
Exit through the very nice little gift shop (naturally).
The Royal Mews is suitable for children from about five years old and upwards. My eight-year old enjoyed it very much, and she was able to do her own audio tour, which she found a lot of fun. There isn’t much for toddlers to do, though there are facilities for baby care. Under 5s are free.
They are open from February through to November, from 10am to 4/5pm, with some closures for official events. Please check the website for more details.
Disclosure – for the purposes of this review we were given free admission. All opinion is our own.