Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle to Reopen to Visitors This Summer

Buckingham Palace is about to be back in business.

The Royal Collection Trust announced its plans to reopen Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, and the Palace of Holyroodhouse to the public this summer. Even better, visitors to Buckingham Palace will get a special perk: the chance to wander its gorgeous garden on their own for the very first time.

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Some portions of the garden will remain off-limits outside of guided tours. Still, independent guests will be welcome to unpack a blanket and enjoy a palace picnic on the lush green lawns — an experience the Trust describes as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

The 39-acre garden dates back to the 1820s and is home to more than 1,000 trees and 320 different wildflowers and grasses. The Guardian describes it as a “wildlife-rich oasis in the heart of the capital.” The garden is also home to several species rarely found in London.

And if binge-watching The Crown has you dreaming of seeing Buckingham Palace up close, you’ll be happy to hear that guided palace tours are also about to restart. The tours, which will include visits to the palace’s State Rooms, are scheduled to begin in May and run through September. Guided Buckingham Palace garden tours are set to restart on April 17.

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The Royal Collection Trust also plans to reopen the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh on April 26, with a new exhibition featuring watercolor paintings of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

Meanwhile, Windsor Castle, where Queen Elizabeth has spent much of the pandemic, is set to reopen on May 17. Timed entry tickets are available online.

Meena Thiruvengadam is a Travel + Leisure contributor who has visited 50 countries on six continents and 47 U.S. states. She loves historic plaques, wandering new streets and walking on beaches. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.

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