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Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

No visit to see Buckingham Palace would be complete without witnessing the Changing of the Guard ceremony.

The Foot Guards are the ceremonial protectors of the Queen and are easily recognisable by their bright scarlet jackets and high bearskin hats. This is a perfect photo opportunity to capture that special memory your trip to London.

The Foot Guards commence the line up in the forecourt of Wellington Barracks which is just south of the St James's Park on Birdcage Walk. They proceed to march to the Palace accompanied by the regimental band.

On arrival at the forecourt of the palace, the hand over ceremony gets underway and lasts around 10 minutes. A true Brit pomp and ceremony experience.

The Royal Foot Guards band at the palace
During the summer months (April until August), the ceremony occurs every day and during winter it's alternate days (weather depending). The line up at Wellington Barracks starts at 10.45 am and arrives at the palace at 11.30.

Whilst at the palace, you can visit the Queens Gallery which showcases art from the royal collection.  It's open daily from 10am until 5.30 and admission is chargeable.

During August and September you can also visit the State Apartments.  You will not see the Queen as she will be on holiday.

The Royal Mews is open to the public from April until October. Here you can see the famous Cleveland Bay and Windsor Grey horses which pull the royal carriage on state occasions.

Foot Guard at Buckingham Palace

The closest tube access to Buckingham Palace is via Hyde Park Corner, Victoria or Green Park stations. If you want to see the line up at Wellington Barracks then use the St James's Park station and follow the procession to Buckingham Palace.

For close up photo opportunities start at the barracks and follow the guard to the palace.  Once they arrive in the palace forecourt you may need a zoom lens as they are around 40 metres inside the fencing and there will be crowds occupying every available position.

Other attractions within walking distance
Wellington Arch
St James's Palace
The Mall
Queen Victoria Monument
The Guards Museum
Cabinet War Rooms
Westminster Abbey
Houses of Parliament
Trafalgar Square
Downing Street
Trafalgar Square
Royal Academy of Arts
Fortnum and Mason
Jermyn Street
National Gallery
National Portrait Gallery

State Coach entering the Royal Mews

The State Coach entering the Royal Mews with the Rubens Hotel in the background

Staying near to Buckingham Palace

One of the nearest hotels to Buckingham Palace is the Rubens at the Palace. This luxury hotel is right opposite the Royal Mews.

For cheaper accommodation have a look around Victoria which is within easy walking distance.

Useful links

See the Guards at Wellington Barracks
All Hotels near to Buckingham Palace
Hotels in Victoria