To get to Eltham Palace, it’s about a 15-minute walk through leafy suburbia from Mottingham railway station, which is served by London Charing Cross and Cannon Street stations. From Mottingham station (stop MN), the 161 bus takes you to Eltham Church Court Yard (stop J), from where it is a short walk to the palace, or you could call a cab for a three-minute drive. For the more energetic, Eltham Palace is on the National Cycle Network.
|Weekdays||06:10 - 19:30|
|Saturday||06:40 - 20:00|
|Sunday||08:10 - 15:40|
|Staffing level||Part time|
|Travel card zone||Zone 4|
|Telephone types||Coins and cards|
|Station Buffet notes|
Cold drinks vending machine
|Bureau de Change||Unavailable|
|Tourist Information Office||Unavailable|
|Customer help points||Available|
|Weekdays||Open 24 hours|
|Saturday||Open 24 hours|
|Sunday||Open 24 hours|
|Carpark name||Station Car Park|
|Carpark operator||Meteor Parking Ltd|
|Car parking spaces||171|
|Cycle storage spaces||30|
|Sheltered cycle storage||Available|
|Cycle storage CCTV||Available|
|Cycle storage notes|
outside station, Platform 1
|Cycle storage notes||Kept locked with combination padlock. Users know the code.|
|Step-free access||Whole station|
|Step-free access notes|
Step free access to all platforms. Ticket Office and Car Park are step free.
|Ramps for train access||Available|
|Accessible ticket machines||Available|
|Accessible Booking Office counter||Unavailable|
|Accessible taxis notes|
Accessible taxis are not available
First recorded in the Domesday Book, the Eltham estate was presented to King Edward II in 1305 and became a favourite royal residence, with Henry VIII spending much of his childhood here. Some of the medieval palace still survives, including the great hall, with its magnificent wooden hammer-beamed roof.
But what makes Eltham Palace unique is the glamour built into the house by the Courtauld family in the booming 1930s. Working with the Swedish designer Rolf Engströmer, they incorporated the medieval elements into an ultra-modern home, which now stands as one of the finest Art Deco dwellings to be seen anywhere. The entrance hall, with light cascading in through its glazed dome and illuminating its sleek modernist furniture and fittings, shares memories of opulent parties and a swinging social scene. The Courtaulds embraced the technologies of the new century, incorporating electric fires, a loudspeaker system, a private internal telephone exchange – and even a centrally heated room for their pet lemur, Mah-jongg.
The gardens are also a fantastic blend of medieval and modern, with London’s oldest working bridge reaching across to the ornamental gardens, shrubberies and water features created by the Courtaulds tucked around the remains of the medieval fortifications.