Tunnel tour

The Royal Pavilion in Brighton opened its renowned tunnel to the public for the first time in 2016, and small group tours are now available.

The Royal Pavilion, also known as the Brighton Pavilion, is a former royal residence that was created by the Prince of Wales (later George IV) between 1815 and 1823.

Guided tours of its underground spaces are now available for small parties, and can be preceded or followed with a walk around the rest of the Pavilion’s rooms including a banqueting hall, the kitchens, bedrooms and music room.  

Head underground

Lasting about 45 minutes, the basement and tunnel tour experience offers what’s described as ‘an unpolished, behind-the-scenes glimpse’ of areas of the building not normally open to the public like the basement and the tunnel.

Visitors will get to discover more about life below stairs for Royal Pavilion servants, from the rat catcher to George IV's principal private secretary.

The tour ends by going into the tunnel, which was built in 1821 so that George IV, who was apparently very overweight, could visit his riding school and stables (now Brighton Dome) in privacy.

The tunnel emerges into what is now Brighton Museum.

The tours are run by visitor services officer Meg Hogg and her colleague Geoff Greenwood as part of Royal Pavilion & Museums’ Workforce Development Scheme.

Group visiting information

Group travel organisers considering booking a basement and tunnel tour should note that the tour is underground, and includes areas which have low ceilings and/or are dimly lit. There are also areas with uneven flooring. 

GTOs can buy tickets by telephoning the events booking line on 03000-290902 or by e-mailing visitor.services@brighton-hove.gov.uk.

For further information brightonmuseums.org.uk.