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
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
What sort of age and level of fitness do I need to be to participate?
We welcome applications from people between the ages of 18 and 50 who meet the applicant descriptors. All applicants are expected to satisfy themselves before booking that they are fit and able to complete the itinerary as described in the Open Palace Programme website. The Open Palace Programme involves walking to some sites and walking around estates. The Open Palace Programme is not suitable for those over the age of 50 years. No minors (i.e. those under 18 years of age) can be accepted on the Open Palace Programme.
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 for the majority of the time.
How will we travel around Bath to the various historic sites?
Most of the places we visit in Bath can be reached by foot but if we need to go further we will transport you by train, bus or standard coach. The transport will be safe but not luxurious.
How will we travel around London to the various sites?
We will travel by 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, one shared tea and one formal dinner.
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 give you a travel card to allow you to travel on the tube and bus to the sites on our itinerary.
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: £5 approx per day (sandwich and drink)
Supper: £10 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.
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 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!
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 and one medium sized piece of hand luggage.
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.