Frequently Asked Questions

I will find it hard to find the deposit within 14 days, can you allow me more time to pay

Yes we are happy to consider individual circumstances and can extend the deadline if there is a particular need though normally not past a month.

I would like an endorsement from one of the key specialists participating in the programmes before I pay my deposit

We will be sending you the email address of Tracy Borman, the Chief Curator at the Historic Royal Palaces once you have been offered a place and she is happy to provide that endorsement. 

I want to maximise my chances of being accepted onto an Open Palace Programme, how do I go about that?

If you already meet the basic requirements as described on the Who Can Apply page we would encourage you to make sure you have as much recent and relevant experience in a heritage environment as you can, either in a paid or a voluntary capacity.

Once I have participated in an Open Palace Programme I would like to know how to add it to my résumé, how shall I best describe it?

We suggest you add it to a section on your Professional Experiences and write:

I was chosen as a participant on this unique and prestigious programme in order to work alongside key professionals at 5 of the most significant heritage sites in the UK, identifying and advising practical solutions to crucial issues they are currently tackling. The sites I supported included The Tower of London, Hampton Court, Kensington Palace, Stowe Palace and Number 1 Royal Crescent. The professionals I worked with and helped to advise included Nick Morris, Chief Executive of Stowe Preservation Trust; Deidre Murphy, Senior Curator for Historic Royal Palaces and Amy Frost, sole Curator of Beckford's Tower. I gained invaluable insights into a range of professional disciplines including buildings preservation, collections management, interpretation, heritage learning and visitor behaviour studies.


What kind of practical activities will we do at the historic sites?

There will be a variety of hands-on activities, these activities may include:

  • assessing the condition of an artefact

  • reviewing the success of a family learning tool

  • interpreting a room for a chosen audience

  • cleaning and storing an object

  • identifying the agents of decay at work in a particular setting

  • designing an educational aid

  • Undertaking research to support exhibitions and projects

Can I pick and choose which sessions I go to?

You are required to attend every session and to be punctual so as not to inconvenience your hosts or the rest of your group.

What if I would like to do a placement after the programme ends, can you help me find one?

We can certainly put you in touch with the relevant organisations though we do not directly organise placements for participants

Does the fee include my flights to and from the UK?

No, your fee does not cover your travel to and from the start and end of the programmes.

How luxurious is our accommodation? 

Your accommodation will be clean and serviceable but you should not expect it to be luxurious. You can usually expect to be sharing a room with one or two other people. You can also expect to share bathrooms.

I have special dietary requirements, will you be able to cater for me?

Yes, we will do our best however you may not always have the same range of choices as others.

How much walking is involved at each site?

The is a fair amount of walking around each site and standing to listen to specialist staff on site. There is also also walking to some sites from your accommodation if the distance is traversable within a half hour. If you have profound walking difficulties we would require you to bring a wheelchair and let us know in advance of the programme.

How many coach journeys are there in each programme and how long are they?

There are a number of coach journeys on each programme which vary in length from under one hour to around four hours.

What shall I do if I get travel sick on coaches?

If you suffer from severe coach sickness then this programme is not suitable for you. If you suffer from mild coach sickness you will need to bring travel sickness medication with you as we are not able to provide it for you.

What happens if I get sick during the programme?

We will help you to phone for medical advice or, in extreme circumstances, call for an ambulance to take you to hospital. If you are advised to visit a doctor we will find you transport to the doctors. However we are not able to accompany you to the doctors for prolonged periods of time. If you are likely to remain indisposed for a number of days the Directors of the programme will take a decision about whether you are fit enough to attend the remainder of the programme. This decision will take into account the implications for your own health and that of your fellow participants.

How will we travel around London to the various sites?

We will travel by taxi, public transport, tube or bus.

What will we need to pay for during the programmes?

You will need to pay for all meals except breakfast every day, the welcome supper and a couple of other social events.

All travel, accommodation, entrance fees, specialist input and breakfasts within the programme are covered in your fee.

Will I need to pay for any travel during the programmes?

We will organise transport to all sites on our itinerary outside London.

In London we will travel by taxi to the sites on our itinerary and we will cover all costs.

How long will we spend at each site?

It varies according to the activity for each day. You will not always have time to explore every part of each site because this is a programme focused on particular bespoke prescribed activities. However you will be able to return to these sites in your free time if you so wish, at your own expense.

Will I have to pay entrance fees to visit the palaces and stately homes we visit?

No. Obviously if you decide to visit additional sites on your own in your free time then you will have to pay, but the Open Palace Programme will cover all entrance fees within the programme.

Will there be someone there to meet me when I arrive?

When you arrive on the first afternoon a representative from the Open Palace Programme will meet you either at the accommodation. They will welcome you, answer any queries and give you an information pack.

How much spending money do I need to budget for?

To pay for meals we suggest you need the following

Lunch: £8 approx per day (sandwich and drink)

Supper: £15 approx per day (pasta dish, side salad and drink at local cafe or pub)

For example here is the menu for a cafe in Bath:

and here is one for a hotel restaurant in Buckingham:

The Bath Eating Out Guide is also very helpful:

So is the Time Out guide to eating cheaply and well in London:

The total food budget you will need for the 21 day programme should be £350 very approximately.

It is very difficult for us to estimate what else you will wish to buy but please do budget for an appropriate amount.

Will I get a qualification and a certificate for attending?

You may request an attendance certificate and you can ask your home university if they will give you credits for taking part. We are happy to explain the content to them if required.

How many other people will be on the programme with me?

There will be between 20 and 25 people on the programme altogether. 

Once I am signed up how will you let me know any additional information I need?

We will keep in touch with you by email and via a bespoke Facebook page. Normally we will endeavour to respond to your emails within 24 hours. We will also help you to get in touch with other participants if you would like to.

How will I receive information about the programme during the programme?

We will make a daily post on Facebook you need to join your group in order to receive it.

Will I need to bring sheets or towels with me? 

Sheets are provided throughout.

Towels are provided at some of sites however you will need to bring a towel of your own with you.

What kind of clothing will I need to bring?

The English programme takes place during the English summer so it will normally be warm or hot for most of the time but do bring extra layers for the occasional cold rainy day, waterproof shoes and a waterproof hooded top for walking round country estates and a small umbrella! The Scottish programme takes place during the Scottish Spring so it will normally be very changeable so do bring extra layers for the cold rainy days, waterproof shoes and a waterproof hooded top for walking round country estates and a small umbrella!

How will I wash my clothes during the programme?

There are several laundromats you can visit close to our accommodation and sometimes washing machines in our accommodation.

How much luggage should I bring?

We will be moving around the country using a variety of types of transport so you will be required to limit your luggage to one medium sized case measuring ideally no more than

  • Height: 70cm, Width: 45cm, Depth: 27cm

and one medium sized piece of hand luggage.   On several occasions we stay in historic houses and you will be expected to be able to carry your own suitcase up several flights of stairs on each occasion.

How will I get back to Heathrow at the end of the programme?

The English programme ends in London so you will be able to take a Picadilly Line tube direct to Heathrow. The cost of this journey is not covered in by the Open Palace Programme. The cost of your inward journey to Bath from Heathrow is not covered by the Open Palace Programme either.

The Scottish Programme ends in Glasgow where you can take an internal flight or a train to Heathrow.

The Irish programme ends in Dublin where there are international flights to global destinations.