Visitors to the elaborate Eltham Palace and Gardens can admire the Great Hall’s 15th-century ceiling, explore Prince Henry’s childhood gardens, or unwind in the on-site café and outdoor playground. Some of the palace’s more interesting features were added in the 1930s by the Courtaulds, the wealthy industrialist family who bought and restored the mansion, which had fallen into disrepair. Palace visitors can view the heated bedroom of the Courtaulds’ pet lemur and enjoy interactive exhibits about the family’s luxurious lifestyle.
Audio-visual guides are provided on entry, though private tours offer a more personalized experience. Inclusive deals such as the London Pass allow you to tick off the rural getaway along with other top London attractions.
Things to Know Before You Go
Eltham Palace is a must-do for history buffs, interior design fans, and garden lovers.
Remember a coat or umbrella for outdoor exploration, especially in the rainy months.
The palace is mostly wheelchair-friendly, with an accessible restroom, ramps, and a lift.
How to Get There
Eltham Palace is a 15-minute walk from Mottingham Station, which is served directly by trains from London Bridge. Bus numbers 124, 126, 160, and 161 also stop nearby. Follow the signs on Court Road for access to the site’s large parking area.
When to Get There
Eltham Palace is open throughout the year, though seasonal opening times apply. While the seasonal blooms of spring and summer are particularly impressive, the curated gardens provide atmospheric surroundings throughout autumn and winter too.
Art Deco and World Wars
The Courtaulds’ quirky yet classy refurbishments are now considered some of the finest surviving examples of art deco in the UK. The movement originated in France before World War I, influenced by cubism, international styles, and art nouveau. Associated with decadence, the style fell out of favor during World War II. Though the damage Eltham Palace sustained during the war has now been restored, its bomb shelter can still be visited today.
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