Things to see and do

Vibrant orange ballerina tulips at Eltham Palace.

Tulip Festival

Join us this Spring for our tulip festival when 40,000 tulips will be on display at Eltham Palace, all planted by garden staff and volunteers.

Learn about the Courtauld's love of tulips on a daily garden tour of the grounds at 11.30, or learn some skills to take home in our planting pot display demonstration at 14.30 each day where our experts will advise on colour coordinating bulbs for a stunning display.

The Tulip Festival will take place from 16 April - 11 May 2018, entry is included in a valid admissions ticket.

Visitors trying on 1930s clothes at Eltham Palace

Discover New Rooms

Discover new rooms at Eltham Palace now open to the public for the very first time. Explore the map room where the globetrotting Stephen and Virginia planned their exotic world travels. Step into a reconstruction of Virginia's walk-in wardrobe to see beautiful period dresses, hats and accessories, and try on some vintage-inspired replicas yourself. Find out more about the Map Room project.

Go down to the basement with its billiard room and original mural, photographic darkroom and wartime basement bunker. This provided a level of comfort during the Blitz that few ordinary citizens, taking refuge in tube stations or Anderson shelters, could have imagined.

Visitors in the doorway of the entrance hall at Eltham Palace

You Are Invited...

Pick up your invitation to be a guest of the glamorous Courtaulds. As part of the new Eltham Palace experience, you will be given an invitation to join the 1930s world of your host and hostess.

Your invitation will be in the name of a real guest who once enjoyed the Courtaulds' hospitality at Eltham Palace. Their lively social circle included explorers, film directors and politicians.

Take a personal journey through the eyes of your adopted guest, and find out more about them as you explore the rooms of the house.

The entrance hall at Eltham Palace

Art Deco House

Admire the stunning domed entrance hall at Eltham Palace, where prestigious guests gathered for glamorous cocktail parties. Socialites and politicians, royals and artists all enjoyed hospitality here. This eye-catching room is a mix of Art Deco and cutting-edge Swedish design.

Saved from decline by the Courtaulds', their lavish home is one of the finest examples of Art Deco architecture and design surviving in Britain today. Explore some of the collection highlights that you can see at Eltham Palace.

The marvellous panelled dining room and luxurious golden bathroom are just two of the other highlights you can enjoy.

A visitor in the Great Hall at Eltham Palace

Medieval Palace

Take just a few steps and travel back in time from Art Deco modernity to a medieval masterpiece.

Gaze out from the minstrels' gallery across the magnificent great hall, and admire the glorious hammer-beam roof built for Edward IV five hundred years ago.

First recorded in the Domesday book, Eltham estate was presented to King Edward II in 1305. It developed into one of the most favoured royal palace with 1,000 acres of deer park on its doorstep.

Henry VIII spent many childhood years here, but his daughter Elizabeth I preferred the location at Greenwich, and Eltham Palace slowly fell into decline.

Plants in the garden at Eltham Palace

Glorious Gardens

Explore 19 acres of beautiful gardens with new interpretation throughout. Admire the herbaceous border designed by award-winning garden designer Isabelle Van Groeningen. Take time to wander around the Rock Garden with its series of pools and cascades running down to the moat.

Cross the moat on London's oldest working bridge, and smell the roses in the sunken rose garden. Virginia had a passion for roses, and even had a red rose named after her.

Stephen was also a keen gardener and won several Royal Horticultural prizes for the orchids he grew in the glasshouses at Eltham.

Find out what you can enjoy in the garden whichever season you visit.

Children using the interactive guide at Eltham Palace

Interactive Guide

Take an interactive tour of Eltham Palace and Gardens with our fun new multimedia guides, serving up a veritable feast of information, and helping you find your way around. You can choose from an adult tour, family tour, and BSL and audio-described versions.

Fancy playing a touch-screen game? Or listening to an in-depth interview with our experts about 1930s technology, or the medieval feasts which took place here? There's something for everyone in these free handy guides.

Children playing on a slide in the playground at Eltham Palace

Outdoor Play Area

Head over to the wooden outdoor play area to let your children burn off some energy.  Inspired by Stephen and Virginia Courtaulds' exotic world travels in the 1930s, it has an 'around the world' theme.

With a plane to fly, mountains to climb and world maps to explore your little ones will discover a whole new world of excitement.

The café at Eltham Palace

Café, Shop and Visitor Centre

Enjoy a tasty lunch or quick afternoon treat in our brand new café located in the new visitor centre at Eltham Palace.

Browse a range of fabulous Art Deco inspired gifts in our shop, and take home a souvenir of your visit. You can also shop online before or after your visit.

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