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Changing Of The Guard At Buckingham Palace

Author: Bob Handford

Original London Tour Walk – Changing Of The Guard

Changing of the Guard is one of the most popular tourist attractions measured by the number of visitors attending. For many its a disappointing experience largely as a side effect of the crowds attending. To get a decent view of Changing of the Guard you have to get to Buckingham Palace at least 45 minutes before the 11 a.m. start.
Changing of the Guards itself is just as its name implies, one guard at Buckingham Palace being relieved of his shift by another. Soldiers in dress uniform, mounted guards and military bands playing add to the spectacle.
What few visitors realise is that Guards need to be changed at many places, many of them within a few hundred yards of Buckingham Palace. The guards also do not just appear out of thin air, they march (or ride) from their barracks, a sight in itself. If you know where to go, you can turn up just a few minutes before and get a close up view of the proceedings.

To illustrate this, the video below follows a Buckingham Palace Changing of the Guard walking tour put on by the Original London tour daily, one of London’s hop-on, hop off sightseeing buses. When you buy a ticket there are several “free” walking tours like this you can take advantage off with a ticket.
So for a good experience the tour doesn’t do what most tourists do turning up at Buckingham Palace at 10 a.m. to get a good viewing spot in front of Buckingham Palace.
At 10:30 a.m the tour leaves Trafalgar Square, takes in a few sights through St James Park and The Mall, (the road up to Buckingham Palace) before arriving at St James Palace about 400 yards from Buckingham Palace. The reason for this is that at St Jame’s Palace the guards and a miltary band assemble and are inspected, play a few tunes and prepare for the march to Buckingham Palace.
The tour joins the marching band and guards around the corner to Buckingham Palace,  takes in Buckingham Palace itself and positions itself stratgeically to view  other marching guards arriving fror the ceromony close up. Rather than hang around at Buckingham palace with a restricted view its then across the road to Clarence House where you can watch changing of the guard at close quarters with just a handful of other people around you.
Follow the whole thing on the video clip below:

Original London Tour Walk – Rock n Roll Tour

This walking tour leaves daily at 1 p.m. each day starting at the Original London Tour building by Trafalgar Square and winds its ways around Soho and the West End finishing at Denmark Street, spiritual home of popular misic in London. Much of the things seen are related to the Baetles and rolling Stones era with Elton John, David Bowie and such like also featuring. You’ll see the Beatles building where they played their last gig on the roof, nightclubs where they hung out, recording studios, even Paul McCartney’s current base. If you’re into popular music of the 60’s and 70’s its well worth taking.

Jack The Ripper Tour Walk – Rock n Roll Tour

This walking tour leaves from outside the Tower Of London at 3:30 p.m. and winds its way around Whitechapel for 90 minutes finishing at Aldgate. The story of Jack The Ripper unfolds and you visit the scene of all the murders and get good insights what it was like to be a resident in this part of London all those years ago.

Ask Bob About The Tours!

If you are tempted to take one of these tours, please feel free to ask Bob specifics on the discussion board below.

Original London Tour Video – What To Expect On The Yellow Route Bus
Buckingham Palace – A visitors briefing
Original London Tour Hop On Hop Off Bus – Includes a walking tour covering Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

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  • Bev

    I plan to use the 2 for 1 tickets on the 3 July for Madame Tussaud. Do you have any suggestions on what time would be best to get there

    • Bob

      As early as possible

  • Jenny

    Does the changing of the guard happen everyday all year round?

    • Bob

      The Guard Changing Ceremony takes place each day at 11:00am and at 10:00am on Sundays at Horse Guards.

      • Capecodbeachfront

        Does the Changing of the Guard still happen daily in September? I thought I read ceremony was only on ODD numbered days in September? thanks

        • Bob

          There are many Changing of the Guards in London.
          Presuming you are talking about the one at Buckingham Palace there is a changing of the guard there every day in September except Sep 14th and the one on Sep 15th has no music or cereomony.

          I think the one where you read operating alternating days is at Windsor Castle in some months.

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