The Travellers Club Hall

The Club was founded in 1819, 'for gentlemen who had travelled out of the British Isles to a distance of at least five hundred miles from London in a direct line'. Membership was extended to foreign visitors and diplomats posted to London.

The original concept of The Club dates from the return to peace in Europe following the Napoleonic Wars. The founders  envisaged a club where gentlemen who travelled abroad might meet and offer hospitality to distinguished foreign visitors. Arrangements for the establishment of The Club were finalised at a meeting in the spring of 1819, attended by distinguished diplomats, travellers and two future Prime Ministers (the Earl of Aberdeen and Viscount Palmerston).

The head of Ulysses was adopted as the Club symbol.

The Club was first housed at 12 Waterloo Place but soon outgrew the space and so moved to 49 Pall Mall. 

In 1826 money was raised to lease part of the grounds of Carlton House and Sir Charles Barry, who later designed the Houses of Parliament was appointed as architect.


Members have traditionally come from the diplomatic and foreign services, explorers, politics, journalism and the law.

Early membership of the Club was dominated by outstanding representatives of the Home Civil Service and the Diplomatic Service. The Armed Forces and British and Foreign royalty were also well represented, a tradition that still continues. His Majesty The King , The Duke of Edinburgh, The Duke of Kent and Prince Michael of Kent are among the Honorary Members. Founder members of the Club included Viscount Palmerston, Lords Auckland and Beauchamp.

Many leading statesmen have been members of the Club, including Canning, Wellington, Palmerston, Balfour and Baldwin, as well as some of the great names of exploration: Sir Francis Beaufort, Fitzroy of 'The Beagle', Sir Roderick Murchison, Sir William Parry, Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor and Sir Wilfred Thesiger.