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When we visited London for a few days; we planned some free activities (to keep costs down) in between paid days out such as a visit to London Zoo and a trip to the theatre. One of the best things we did on our trip was watching The Changing of the Guard – the kids thought it was brilliant!
What is The Changing of the Guard?
The Changing of the Guard is the ceremony where The King’s Guard hands over responsibility for protecting Buckingham Palace and St. James’s Palace to the New Guard.
As the guards march, they are accompanied by marching bands – creating a fantastic atmosphere whilst keeping everyone entertained. If you’re visiting London, I would definitely recommend a morning watching The Changing of the Guard – Finn and Lola were so fascinated by it all.
How much does it cost?
Watching The Changing of the Guard is completely free! It’s such a unique event, and the grandeur of it all makes it feel very exciting and special. You don’t need to book, nor get a ticket, just turn up and enjoy!
Where should I watch from?
The Changing of the Guard spans across three locations – Buckingham Palace, St James’s Palace and Wellington Barracks so there’s no single place where you can watch it all. We decided to watch from Buckingham Palace, and the kids enjoyed seeing the procession arrive and go into the palace grounds.
When can I see The Changing of the Guard?
If you’re watching from Buckingham Palace, the Changing of the Guard starts at 11am and lasts for around 45 minutes – arrive a little early to make sure that you don’t miss it, as it only happens once each day!
Before visiting check the schedule at the website below, but these are the typical days:
- August – May: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Sundays
- June / July: Daily
What else should I be aware of?
Once the procession is on the move, police will restrict movement to ensure everyone is safe and out of the way. The guards will not stop, so it’s important to watch from a safe distance.
Like many crowded events, it’s also a hotspot for pick-pockets so keep your belongings safe whilst you’re enjoying the procession.