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“Another underrated and tranquil oasis in busy Kensington”

Royal Hospital Chelsea
Ranked #262 of 1,633 things to do in London
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Royal Hospital Chelsea was founded in 1682 by King Charles II as the home of the Chelsea Pensioners. As well as being a wonderful home for retired service personnel, it is also one of London's best kept secrets! For the best overview of the history of the Hospital, plus fascinating insights into life as a Chelsea Pensioner today, why not book one of the daily walking tours? These last around ninety minutes and are always led by one of the Chelsea Pensioners, who will take great pride in showing you around their fascinating home. Tours include the Royal Hospital's Great Hall, Wren Chapel, Figure Court, Ranelagh Gardens (subject to the time of year) museum and gift shop. Tours begin at 10:00am and 1.30pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays). Please note that this tour covers internal and external spaces, and will include stairs.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Another underrated and tranquil oasis in busy Kensington”
Reviewed March 15, 2013

if you have spent time in Peter Jones and along the King's Road, pop into the Royal Hospital grounds for a peaceful hour or so, to relieve the shopping-induced stress.

I live in the borough and my regular walks often take me to this area just south of Sloane Square.

The grounds are peaceful and devoid of joggers, cyclists and other urban nuisances (unlike nearby Hyde Park) and there are plenty of things to look at, including a resident population of parakeets and a monument erected in 1853 to some of the East India Company's dead from the Battle of Chillianwala, in the Punjab, in 1849.

I never visit the buildings but they are all in wonderful condition and are architectural gems - the best part of the Hospital is the panorama across the lawns, down to the Thames - it is wonderful to have such an enormous open space, right in the heart of London.

Oh and for walkers there are free toilets just by the northern entrance - so useful in London, these days,

Visited March 2013
1 Thank peterhume
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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168 reviews from our community

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English first
Level Contributor
79 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“Very interesting and amusing guided tour by a chelsea pensioner”
Reviewed December 19, 2012

We visited this with a organised coach trip and enjoyed the experience fo a 2 hour guided tour
by a chelsea pensioner who was both knowledgable and very amusing.

We saw the chapel and the refectory and museum as well as the national army museum which is next door .

Recommend the visit but try to arrange beforehand for a guide as there is much to be learnt about the life of the pensioners.

Visited December 2012
2 Thank wallflower890
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
1,094 reviews
782 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 603 helpful votes
“Distinguished Buildings With Small Interesting Museum”
Reviewed November 8, 2012

This is a masterful piece of architecture.It is very imposing.There is a cloistered area in the centre where you can see memorials to past govenors of the hospital.I recogniosed the name of Sir percy hobart.He was responible for "Nobarts Funnies" on D Day.these were tanks with unusual functions,such as track laying and mine detonating.After wanderin around i visited ths small but interesting museum by the gift shop.there is a recreation of a pensioners living quarters.They are very small and modernisation work is going on to improve this.It is well worth an hour of your time.

Visited November 2012
Thank wingate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
69 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed October 26, 2012

great grounds for playing friendly pensioners filled with history from the past located near chelsea bridge and the kings road

Visited October 2012
Thank Daniel L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
47 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“lovely visit”
Reviewed September 25, 2012

I have just returned from a bus trip to visit the Royal Hospital from Wisbech and I had to write to say what a wonderful place to visit ,, we had a bit of lunch first in the nice cafe and then we had a guided tour from aPensioner called Paddy Fox,, an old irish guy who had lived there 11 years ,he had so much to tell us about the place ,, I was a pleasure to listen to him , We visited the chapel built by christopher wren and the great hall and the museum ,We had a great day out

Visited September 2012
Thank eliza2355
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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