Please read carefully the restrictions and information relating to different categories of visitors, access to on-site facilities and events.

Site Visitors

Pensioner Relatives and Friends

With effect from Fri 26 June:
Pensioners can invite friends and family on site as per the arrangements set out below.

These on-site visitor arrangements are in addition to the facility already in place for “over the fence” visits on the South Terrace/South Grounds which will continue until further notice.

There will be 5 x 1 hour slots available every day, 7 days a week, as per below for each of the 4 zones with a limit of 2 visitors per slot/ per zone at any one time. This limit will be kept under review.

  • 0900 – 1000
  • 1100 – 1200
  • 1300 – 1400
  • 1500 – 1600
  • 1700 – 1800

These timings allow for a “buffer” between each hour slot to factor in a degree of flexibility for visitors travelling long distances and who may arrive late / early and to also reduce the amount of visitors’ cross-over.


Main Site

  • Zone 1 - West Wing residents 
    • Visitors hosted in College Court.
    • Refreshments and toilets via the Visitors Centre.
    • 2 x Gazebos will be in place.
    • Visitors should not access the café or other zones.
    • Access to the site via Chelsea Gate and if arriving by car and guests will be directed to park within College Court along the railings.
    • Wet weather: under gazebo or visitor centre
  • Zone 2 - East Wing and 23/24 residents
    • Visitors hosted in Light Horse Court.
    • Pensioners who wish to provide refreshments for their guests can pre-purchase from the café or visitors centre prior to their arrival .
    • Toilets via the MTI passageway.
    • Visitors should not access the café or other zones.
    • 2 x Gazebos will be in place.
    • Access to the site via London Gate and if arriving by car and guests will be directed to park within Light Horse Court along the railings.
    • Wet weather: under gazebo or Wren House.


Unfortunately due to the recent rise in infection levels in the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea the registered wards within the MTI (Paget, Jones and Campbell) are currently closed to external visitors including families and friends. We will be keeping this advice under review and will update the website when this advice changes. Please contact either Phil Shannon: 02078815308 or Elly Bourdillon-Miller: 02078815311 if you need further information. 


Arrival procedures (for the main site only)
On arrival, visitors will go through the usual temperature checks / hand gelling procedures and then issued information highlighted allowed access areas and routes to get there. A reminder will also be given about observing social distancing. All visitors will be required to wear a mask while on site which will be available from the gate. Any masks or gloves used to travel to the Royal Hospital are to be discarded at the entrance gate. Personalised masks are not to be worn on site; a mask will be issued to the visitor by the Security Staff for the duration of their visit. Please be aware that if their temperature is above 37.5 they will not be allowed to access any part of the site.

Booking system
Booking requests are to be submitted from the host Chelsea Pensioner only (not direct from family and / or friends) to their Captain or Chief Clerk with details of the visitor’s name(s) and if they are coming by car, their vehicle registration number. Resident in Jones, Campbell or Paget Wards should make arrangements for visits with the Ward Staff.


Currently a very small number of volunteers are present on the site to assist the Activities team with essential tasks. Many of our other volunteers are helping us from home, for which we are very grateful. If any volunteers have any questions they are asked to call the Activities & Volunteer Manager on 02078815311. We are currently not recruiting any new volunteers, although we thank those interested for thinking of us and hope to hear from you at some point in the future.


We have taken the decision to cancel all tours with immediate effect.

There is currently no specific date as to when we are likely to resume our tours programme. Once we are able to reopen the site to the public, we will offer all cancelled tours priority booking for future dates and will contact you in due course. 

If you have already paid a deposit or the full amount for your tour booking, you will be reimbursed in full.

Please contact 020 7881 5493 for further information.


We have taken the decision to cancel all school bookings with immediate effect

There is currently no specific date as to when we are likely to resume our education programme. Once we are able to re-open the site to the public, we will offer all schools whose visits were cancelled priority booking for future dates and will contact you in due course.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss the implications for your booking further, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via 020 7881 5493. 


Please contact Liam Best on 07976400887 if you have any media enquiries at this time. 

Guest Accomodation Bookings

Due to reducing our public access on site, unfortunately all our guest accommodation bookings will be cancelled until further notice.

Four Day Stay Visits for those considering applying for admission

We are open for applications and would welcome hearing from any individual who meets our application criteria. We are keeping in touch with our current applicants so they are kept up to date with what’s happening at the Royal Hospital. Under controlled conditions, we will be allowing some applicants to visit the Royal Hospital as part of the application process. Please contact the Admissions Team on 0207 881 5204 if you have any specific queries.


Plans are pending for suppliers and contractors who are due to visit the site. If they have not already been in touch, please get in touch with your contact at the Royal Hospital to see how site restrictions may affect you.

Business Meetings

In order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, it is important that the terms below are followed for the admission of any business visitors to the site:

  1. The default position should be that meetings should be arranged remotely, via conference calls or using video telephone conference applications.
  2. It is accepted that some meetings need to be conducted face to face because they involve physical inspections on site or require discussion of large quantities of drawings or unwieldy documents.
  3. All external visitors will be temperature checked at the gate and will be refused entry if they either refuse or evidence a high temperature.
  4. All visitors must use hand sanitiser, and if possible, wash hands for 20 seconds when they get to the location of their visit before sitting down.
  5. All visitors will be held at the security gate, and then met and escorted to the venue for their visit by a Royal Hospital host.
  6. Visitors who must cross Pensioner occupied areas to access the venue for their visit will be provided with a face mask and must avoid touching surfaces.
  7. Meetings will be held in a socially distanced manner - 2 metres between participants and wearing face masks to reduce the risk of cross infection between outside visitors and our staff.


Founder's Day

The Governor of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, General Sir Adrian Bradshaw KCB OBE DL, announced on 30th March 2020 that the annual Founder's Day celebrations would be cancelled. Read his full statement.

Private Event Bookings

In line with our Force Majeure Event clause in the venue hire contract, the Coronavirus has now constituted a severe enough reason for us to close the site for external events, ensuring we protect Pensioners, staff and residents.

Events are now cancelled for March, April and May. If you have made a booking with us, please contact the events team on 02078815350 if you require any information.

Friends' and Governor's Circle Events

Our Spring/Summer Friends’ events programme has unfortunately now been cancelled. We hope to reschedule these events in the future. Please contact the Friends Membership Officer for more information:

Site Facilities

Post Office & Gift Shop

Please note that the Post Office and Shop will be closed to the public from Thursday 19th March, until further notice.

Online Shop

We are pleased to note we are now accepting orders again via our Online Shop. Please note due to increased demand and less staff able to fulfill orders, there may be some delays in receiving online orders.


The Chapel is now closed to the public until further notice. This now includes Sunday services.

Coffee Shop

The Coffee Shop is now closed to the public until further notice.


The museum is now closed to the public until further notice.

South Grounds

The South Grounds at the Royal Hospital Chelsea are still open to the public for exercise purposes and can be accessed by the Bull Ring Gate (from the Embankment),  in accordance with the latest Government regulations (enforceable by law). There will be no access through this route to the Hospital or Ranelagh Gardens, which will remain closed to the general public.

Central Health Physio

From Friday 20th March, Central Health Physio services will close until further notice..

Tennis Lessons

Tennis lessons at the Royal Hospital have now closed with immediate effect. Please contact Albert for more information on either or 07944 186 743.

Burton Court

As of 14th May, following the recently released Government guidelines, we have made some important changes to the way in which Burton Court is to be used:

  • The tennis courts will reopen for:
    • Singles matches – Players may be from the same or different households.
    • Doubles matches – Players must be from the same household.
  • The guidelines on tennis coaching remain sufficiently vague that tennis coaching on Burton Court remains suspended until further notice.
  • The football pitch will be reopened to members for walking exercise and team sports within the same household at the following times:
    If it becomes clear that more than one household is exercising, or playing a team sport together, and not maintaining the correct social distancing, the football pitch will be closed to members.
    • Weekdays – 1730hrs – 2030hrs.
    • Weekends – 0830hrs – 2030hrs.
  • The cricket nets are open to members for practice, with two people from one household allowed in the cricket net area at any one time.
  • The outdoor gym area remains closed.
  • All benches will be placed back outside of the football pitch for members to sit on and enjoy the sunshine.

Although some of the lockdown rules have been relaxed, it is vital that all members who are not from the same household continue to maintain social distancing when in Burton Court.

Alcohol gel has also been provided for members to use on entering and exiting Burton Court – please use it.

Finally, please be reminded that the following Burton Court Rules remain in place:

  • Picnics are not permitted in Burton Court.
  • Family ball games are not permitted in Burton Court, except on the football pitch at the allotted times.
  • Dog walkers are expected to be scrupulous about picking up their dog’s excrement and placing it into the bins provided.

If you have any questions please contact the Burton Court Manager

Please note: The Chelsea Pensioners do not currently have access to Burton Court, as they are now staying within the confines of the main Hospital site during this time.

Royal Hospital Chelsea Newsletter

Stay up to date with what's going on at The Royal Hospital by signing up for our e‑newsletter.


View the archive

Goodbye to Matron Susan Williams
Goodbye to our much-loved Matron, Susan Williams

The Royal Hospital’s Matron and Registered Manager, Susan Williams, has been a key part of our community for 10 years, so both Pensioners and staff are very sad to say goodbye to her.

Pensioner Charmaine Coleman skydiving tandem in Scarlets
This International Day of Charity we’re celebrating fundraisers

To mark the International Day of Charity on 5 September we would like to highlight just how important and valued fundraisers are to the Royal Hospital. We are so grateful to all the kind people who have devoted their time, effort and talent to help us.


Follow @RHChelsea