Guided Tours

If we have less than 10 or more than 30 can we still book a tour?
We are unable to book in tours for groups bigger than 30, however we are currently trialling guided tours for individuals and smaller groups of under 10 - please see our guided individual tours page. If there is only a small group of you, you would be very welcome to visit us independently of a tour, please see the public tours page and the relevant FAQs below. For individuals or small groups who wish to book a guided tour by a Chelsea Pensioner, tours on Thursday at 14:00 are reserved for individuals and/or smaller groups. Advanced booking is still required, please contact us directly to discuss at or by telephone on 020 7881 5237.

Can we join onto an existing tour?
We are not able to add on independent visitors to already established tour groups. We are only able to take bookings for private groups of between 10 and 30 people. However we offer Guided Individual Tours each week on a Thursday at 14:00. Please book in advance by calling 020 7881 5237 or by emailing

What happens if I need to cancel my tour?
Please refer to the cancellation terms in the terms and conditions sent to you upon booking. We are unable to give refunds, but in the case of extenuating circumstances, it may be appropriate for us to rebook the tour for a later date.

Can the tour still go ahead if we’re late?
Tours operate around the schedule of the Royal Hospital Chelsea. If you are going to be late for your tour, please make us aware as soon as you can by calling 020 7881 5237. Depending on how late you are running, the tour my need to be cancelled.

Where should we go if we arrive early?
Tours operate around the daily schedule of the Royal Hospital, which is why they run at set times. If you arrive early for your tour, we have a Visitor Centre on site (located by the Chelsea Gate) where you can wait for your alloted tour start time. The Visitor Centre has toilets, a video room – playing an introductory video about the Royal Hospital’s history. There is also a gathering room with tables and chairs, and vending machines for snacks and hot drinks. Alternatively, the National Army Museum is next door to the Royal Hospital and the famous Kings Road is within a 5-minute walk.

Which Gate should we go to when we arrive?
All Coaches and Minibuses should arrive to the Chelsea Gate. If you are arriving by public transport, the tour meeting point is also the Chelsea Gate.

Please note that the tour covers internal and external spaces and includes 10 steps to both the Great Hall and Chapel. There are benches located throughout the site should you require to sit down.

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Brompton Cemetery Seed Sowing
Sowing wildflowers in memory of past Chelsea Pensioners

On 6 May, Chelsea Pensioners and members of the Royal Hospital’s grounds team joined representatives from the Royal Parks, the Royal Parks Guild and the Friends of Brompton Cemetery to sow a patch of wildflower seeds in Brompton Cemetery as part of the Battlefields and Butterflies initiative.

Chelsea Pensioner Centenarians
100 years old and still going strong

Recent research backs up the anecdote that Chelsea Pensioners not only live considerably longer than their peers outside (by over five years, on average), but that their lifetimes once they come to the Royal Hospital are extending, year on year. This strongly suggests that the care and community here contribute to greater longevity – as well as improving quality of life. 


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