King Charles opens Balmoral Castle to public for first time - but tickets aren't cheap

3 April 2024, 06:30 | Updated: 3 April 2024, 11:23

Visitors will be able to tour parts of Balmoral Castle used by the Royal Family for the first time this summer.

Balmoral Castle, set in the Scottish highlands, is widely believed to have been Queen Elizabeth II's favourite residence and is where she spent most of her summers.

Guided "castle interior tours", which will take visitors to parts of the building used by the Royal Family, will now be available between 1 July and 4 August, with each group restricted to 10 people.

Tickets are priced at £100, or £150 with afternoon tea included, are limited to 40 tickets per day and are already selling fast.

The tours will end before the King and Queen arrive at Balmoral for their summer break in Aberdeenshire.

The Balmoral Castle website says the tours are the first of their kind since the building was completed in 1855.

Previous tours, which will continue, have concentrated on the grounds and gardens with access to the castle limited to the ballroom.

Read more:
Smiling King 'looks well' at Easter service
King delivers personal message following cancer diagnosis

The website said the new tour will "take you on a historical journey through several of the beautiful rooms within Balmoral Castle".

"You will learn about the origins of the castle and how it has been loved by generations of the Royal Family.

"Travel through time from the purchase of the Balmoral by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, through to present day, where you can see how rooms within the castle are used today by their Majesty's The King and Queen and other members of the Royal Family."

The tour also includes access to the ballroom with a collection of the King's watercolour collection depicting scenery at Balmoral, Highgrove and Sandringham as well as a collection of outfits worn by King Charles and Queen Camilla, the late Queen and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.

Queen Elizabeth II spent much of Prince Philip's last years with him at Balmoral and died there herself on 8 September 2022.

The tours of Balmoral Castle come as the East Wing of Buckingham Palace will be open to visitors for the first time this summer, when special guided tours of the principal floor will be available in July and August.

The East Wing includes the front facade of the historic building and features the famous central balcony, where the monarch and members of the Royal Family have gathered for public appearances during special occasions or historic moments since 1851.

The wing is still used by the Royal Family today for official meetings and events.

Small groups of visitors will also be able to visit rooms on the principal floor, including the principal corridor which runs the length of the wing, furnished with highlights from the Royal Collection.