The Royal Hospital Chelsea is open to visitors on a daily basis and every year we have the pleasure of opening our doors to thousands of people interested in learning about the history of the site. You too can discover the history behind this unique national institution by booking a guided walking tour of the Royal Hospital led by a resident Chelsea Pensioner. You will marvel at Sir Christopher Wren’s stunning buildings, hear the captivating stories of our inhabitants - both past and present – and learn about what life is like for today’s veterans at the Royal Hospital.
As we are first and foremost a residence, we operate slightly differently to other Heritage sites. Tours run to work with the schedule of the Royal Hospital and its 300 residents.
Tours are 90 minutes, followed by 30 minutes for the Museum and Gift Shop. The tour route takes groups across the length of the site to visit its main attractions including The Great Hall, Chapel and Figure Court. A site map can be viewed by clicking here.
Tours can be booked up to 3 months in advance, and are allotted on a first come first served basis.
Subject to availability the times and days that tours run are as follows:
Starting at 10:00 – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday
Starting at 13:30 – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
Please be aware that we are unable to run tours for the last 2 weeks of May, the first 3 weeks of June and for all of December.
April bookings are now open
|10 to 15 people||16 to 30 people||31 to 50 people|
A deposit of £50 is required to secure your chosen tour date. Deposits are non-refundable.
Military groups please get in touch directly.
How to book
Tours are booked through our Tours Manager either by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 0207 881 5493.
Bookings can be made 3 months in advance. Bookings open on the first weekday of every month. Eg. April bookings will open on 2nd January.
Tours must be booked a minimum of 1 month in advance.
A minimum of 10 people is required to book a Scarlet Tour. If your group consists of less than 10 people you can visit us independently – details of how to do this can be found in our Independent Visitors section on on our FAQ page.
The site of the Royal Hospital Chelsea is 66 acers and although the tours do not cover all of this the tour does involve a large amount of walking. There are 10 steps up to both the Chapel and Great Hall, both of which are fitted with wheelchair lifts. Please make us aware of any access needs your group members have so we can help to facilitate the tour.
For more information about Scarlet Tours, and how to visit the Royal Hospital independently, please see our FAQ page.