Changing of the Guard Half-Day Private Walking London Tour

Changing of the Guard Half-Day Private Walking London Tour

The Changing of the Guard has been a tradition for hundreds of years whereby the Household Regiment, the Queen’s Guards at Buckingham Palace, change shift in a fascinating show of pomp and circumstance.
This is a walking tour which ensures you to be at the best position available to see this extraordinary Changing the Guard ceremony while avoiding the crowds at the gates of Buckingham Palace. Rather than standing still for hours and hours, you witness various stages of this cultural ceremony, including the inspection, Old Guard, New Guard, Palaces, and even march alongside the Guards and Ceremonial Bands!

If you like a fast-paced tour, with plenty of action, excitement and fun, join this walk. In order to stay ahead of the crowds, we do have to move quickly at times – at one point we will even be marching alongside the band! We will also encounter at least one flight of steps so unfortunately, it is the only one of our tours which is not suitable for people with walking difficulties.
* Duration: 4 hours
* Starts: Greater London, United Kingdom
* Trip Category: Cultural & Theme Tours >> Cultural Tours




The Changing of the Guard has been a tradition for hundreds of years whereby the Household Regiment, the Queen’s Guards at Buckingham Palace, change shift in a fascinating show of pomp and circumstance.
This is a walking tour which ensures you to be at the best position available to see this extraordinary Changing the Guard ceremony while avoiding the crowds at the gates of Buckingham Palace. Rather than standing still for hours and hours, you witness various stages of this cultural ceremony, including the inspection, Old Guard, New Guard, Palaces, and even march alongside the Guards and Ceremonial Bands!

If you like a fast-paced tour, with plenty of action, excitement and fun, join this walk. In order to stay ahead of the crowds, we do have to move quickly at times – at one point we will even be marching alongside the band! We will also encounter at least one flight of steps so unfortunately, it is the only one of our tours which is not suitable for people with walking difficulties.

Itinerary
This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Houses of Parliament, Parliament Square, London SW1A 0AA England

The Houses of Parliament, known also as the Palace of Westminster is where the two Houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom (the House of Lords and the House of Commons) conduct their sittings. They lie on the north bank of the River Thames in the London borough of the City of Westminster, close by other government buildings in Whitehall. The oldest part of the building is still in existence, Westminster Hall, which dates from 1097. The palace originally served as a royal residence, but no monarch has lived in it since the 16th century. Most of the present Houses of Parliament structure dates from the 19th century when the Palace was rebuilt after it was almost entirely destroyed by a fire in 1834. The architects responsible for rebuilding the Palace was Sir Charles Barry and Augustus Welby Pugin, and the building is an example of the Gothic revival.

Duration: 10 minutes

Stop At: Buckingham Palace, Spur Road, London SW1A 1AA England

Buckingham Palace is still the official residence of Britain’s monarchy, as it has been since Queen Victoria’s designation in 1837. Much of Buckingham Palace was constructed as early as 1703 for the Duke of Buckingham. Buckingham House (as it was then known) was purchased in 1762 by George III, who used it as a private residence. Over the following 75 years, the house was expanded to form three wings around a central courtyard. When Queen Victoria discovered Buckingham Palace lacked several ‘necessary’ rooms – such as a formal ballroom, a nursery, visitor’s bedrooms and others – major additions were undertaken, including adding an entire wing to form a quadrangle. The Marble Arch was moved to Hyde Park, where it still resides near Speaker’s Corner. With the re-facing using Portland stone in 1913, the palace received its last major change. Buckingham Palace is still actively used as both residence and offices, over 50,000 guests and invited diplomats to visit per year who interact with over 400 individuals for whom this is ‘the office’. Nevertheless, several parts of Buckingham Palace are open to the public.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Parliament Square, Westminster, London SW1P 3BD England

Located right in the middle of London’s iconic landmarks such as Houses of Parliament, Elizabeth Tower (a.k.a Big Ben), Whitehall, Saint-Margaret’s Church, Westminster Abbey and Westminster Bridge. Parliament Square houses eleven state figures and world leaders, including Sir Winston Churchill, Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. Parliament Square in London is a popular destination among tourists. The atmosphere is magnificent and it’s one of the must-visit locations in the city.

Duration: 10 minutes

Stop At: Westminster Abbey, 20 Dean’s Yard Broad Sanctuary, London SW1P 3PA England

Westminster Abbey is a Church, burial ground, coronation site and much more and continues to attract visitors over 900 years after its founding. In many respects the architecture is common. There’s the traditional cross-shaped floor plan with a nave, north and south transepts and several round side areas but both its execution and use raise The Collegiate Church of St Peter, Westminster (the official name) to among the highest examples of church construction. Here at Westminster Abbey lie buried kings and poets, scientists and philosophers who have themselves raised humankind to the highest levels. Isaac Newton and James Clerk Maxwell (discoverer of electromagnetic theory, which later leads to radio and TV), Chaucer and Kipling, Dr. Samuel Johnson (creator of the first English dictionary) and many other justly famous names are interred here.

Duration: 10 minutes

Stop At: Changing of the Guard, Constitution Hill Buckingham Palace, London SW1A 1AA England

The Queen’s Guard and Queen’s Life Guard (called King’s Guard and King’s Life Guard when the reigning monarch is male) are the names given to contingents of infantry and cavalry soldiers charged with guarding the official royal residences in the United Kingdom. The British Army has regiments of both Horse Guards and Foot Guards predating the English Restoration (1660), and since the reign of King Charles II these regiments have been responsible for guarding the Sovereign’s palaces. Despite tourist perceptions, the Guards are not purely ceremonial and are fully operational soldiers.

Important Notice: The Changing of the Guard may be cancelled up until the last minute, especially in wet weather. In heavy rain the ceremony will not take place. Please check the schedule with us first, before you purchase this tour.

Duration: 45 minutes

Stop At: St. James’s Park, Horse Guards Road The Storeyard, London SW1A 2BJ England

St. James’s Park is one of the Royal Parks of London in the City of Westminster just east of Buckingham Palace and west of Downing Street. For more than four hundred years, St James ‘ Park has been the centre of the royal and ceremonial life of the country. Many features of the park have been shaped by Royal ambitions and national events. We will show hidden gems and the best spots for your best photo shots in the park.

Duration: 25 minutes

Stop At: Downing Street, London SW1A 2AL England

Being one of the most important political buildings in the world, the United Kingdom’s “White House”, Number 10 continuously hosts the British prime ministers since 1735. The main decisions affecting Britain’s destiny in the last 275 years have seriously been taken behind its iconic black door. Today it’s not possible to enter the street as a tourist but knowing the idea that an actual prime minister lives and works in the street is exhilarating.

Duration: 5 minutes

Stop At: Westminster Bridge, London England

Westminster Bridge is not an ordinary bridge to span the river Thames. It has a very tumultuous history in London. The bridge’s colour is green and the story of the bridge is colourful. We will tell you about the history of the bridge after Lady Boudicca’s role in London’s 2000-year-old history. Oh before we leave we will walk along the bridge and take pictures of London Eye, Royal Festival Hall and the River Thames.

Duration: 10 minutes

Stop At: Tower Bridge Road, London SE1 2UP England

Tower Bridge is probably the city’s most distinctive symbol of today. The Bridge shows a lot to its medieval predecessor London Bridge with its starlings and elaborate twin towers that give the bridge its name but it’s not just a homage to the past, hidden inside that medieval-looking exterior there’s a rather wonderful piece of Victorian engineering and in its day it was the biggest and most sophisticated lifting bridge in the world. Unlike London Bridge, the genius of the design is that the bridge can act as a gateway swinging open to allow tall ships to pass through. We will tell you plenty of things about this masterpiece in London, just follow us!

Duration: 10 minutes

Stop At: Tower of London, St Katharine’s & Wapping, London EC3N 4AB England

Few prisons can claim to be as popular as the Tower of London, an attraction – unpleasant for some – for over 900 years. Its twenty towers are filled with an ancient tradition of royal blood, armor and jewels and the history to match.
The Tower of London central structure began as a fort – used by the original builder William the Conqueror who completed the first tower around 1100 AD. At its completion it was the tallest building in London. Henry III had it whitewashed in the 13th century and the name, White Tower, has stuck.
Later it evolved into a prison, used by Henry VII (and many others). Still later – and continuing to this day – it has acted as a repository for the extensive collection of crown jewels. Henry VII, nearly always short of money, had few jewels to store.
But the stone complex, near the Tower Bridge alongside the River Thames, has also been used at various times to house the Royal Mint, the Public Records, the Royal Menagerie (later to form the starting point of the London Zoo) and an observatory (built in 1675). Listen to the rest of the story of the Tower of London from us today.

Duration: 30 minutes