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Timing for Buckingham Palace Tours


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Our international flight arrives at Heathrow at 10, we'll be staying at the Grosvenor Hotel which is close to the Palace. I think I'll book tickets for the 2pm tour (you have to book in 15 minute increments). If we're late, would they still let us  in?

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A couple of people in our group were late this past summer and they did still get in. I think they were like an hour late; they thought the time I’d said I thought we’d meet at the end was the time we were going in!


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I would book for as late as possible. Your flight could easily be delayed by weather. You could have a wait of up to 2 hours on a bad day at immigration. It could take a good hour to get to your hotel. 

 

I think the previous poster’s friends were very lucky to get in. I would expect to be turned away. 

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This is what it says in the Terms and Conditions:

 

2.4    Where a time of visit is stated on the Admission, you will not be admitted if you arrive late unless a later admission time becomes available on that day, and then only at our absolute discretion.  No refund will be made should you arrive late, on the wrong day or after opening hours and not be admitted. If you arrive early, you will not be admitted until the time specified on the Admission unless we agree otherwise.

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On 3/7/2019 at 11:46 PM, oufpat said:

Our international flight arrives at Heathrow at 10, we'll be staying at the Grosvenor Hotel which is close to the Palace. I think I'll book tickets for the 2pm tour ...

 

This seems like pretty optimistic timing. You wouldn't need much to go wrong to miss your slot.

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Having seen the terms, I’m surprised the people I mentioned got in, too! :-)

 

I don’t know the details, I just know what they told me when they finally found us.

 

Anyway, I’d actually probably book the latest possible entry time, not only to allow for delays, but also because it’s a favorite trick of mine for any timed entry exhibit - there is no one coming in after you, so eventually the crowds thin out. This can backfire if you move slowly, but it usually works out.

 

If you’ll be there more than one day, I’d just get the Palace tickets for a different day if possible. I wouldn’t want to risk missing it entirely if there was a long delay somewhere along the line. For both the day we arrived, and the day my sister arrived, we just planned DIY walking tours - we did not want to have to concentrate on anything when we were tired and we didn’t want to be tied to a schedule. But, we were fortunate to be there for 9 days, so we had room to be flexible.

 

Also, if you can do it a different day - the Royal Day Out (with the Mews and the Queen’s Gallery as well as the Palace) is totally worth it! We loved all three stops.

 

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