Changing of the Guard

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Changing of the Guard: Our most recommended tours and activities

London: Big Bus Open-Top Hop-on, Hop-off Sightseeing Tour

1. London: Big Bus Open-Top Hop-on, Hop-off Sightseeing Tour

Big Bus Route Highlights: Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the GuardHouses of ParliamentBig BenWestminster Abbey10 Downing StreetWhitehallPiccadilly CircusOxford StreetRegent StreetLondon EyeLondon DungeonSea Life London AquariumMadame TussaudsCovent GardenBank of EnglandMonumentSt Pauls CathedralTower of LondonTower BridgeThe ShardCity HallLambeth PalaceBritish MuseumMarble ArchMayfairGreen ParkHyde Park CornerHarrodsSouth Kensington MuseumsKensington PalaceNotting Hill This Big Bus Tour on open-top, double decker bus gives you unlimited hop-on, hop-off use on all routes for either 24-, 48- or 72- hours, taking you to London’s most impressive sights and key attractions. There are 3 ticket types available: Classic Ticket Hop-on, hop-off for 1 day (24 hours from time of redemption) Single river cruise between Westminster and Tower of London – either direction Premium Ticket Hop-on, hop-off for 2 days (48 hours from time of redemption) Return river cruise between Westminster and Greenwich, via Tower of London Panoramic evening tour Premium Plus Ticket Hop-on, hop-off for 3 days (72 hours from time of redemption) Return river cruise between Westminster and Greenwich, via Tower of London Panoramic evening tour Discover London via two specially-designed routes covering 37 stops: Best of Central London (Red Route) Experience informative and engaging recorded commentary, available in 5 different languages. The Red route takes in the best of historic London including Big Ben, the London Eye and St Paul’s Cathedral. Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes. Frequency: approx. every 20 minutes. Best of the West (Blue Route) The Blue Route offers recorded commentary in 5 different languages - English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. The Blue Route covers all the main historical sights of the West of London including stops at Harrods, London's best museums, Kensington Palace, and Marble Arch. Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes. Frequency: approx. every 30 minutes. River Cruise A Classic ticket includes a single river cruise from Westminster to the Tower of London (in either direction) whilst the Premium and Premium Plus tickets include a return river cruise between Westminster and Greenwich with the option to break the journey at the Tower of London. The river cruise includes live commentary in 8 languages. You'll see top London attractions lining the Thames including Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast, Shakespeare's Globe and the Tate Modern. Departure times for the river cruise are approximately every 45 minutes. Panoramic Evening Tour The panoramic evening tour is included in the Premium & Premium Plus ticket types. Discover the magic of London as the city becomes illuminated in the evening. Hop on for a one-round panoramic tour past London's top landmarks as the sun begins to set. The tour departs daily at 18:00 from bus stop 12 at The London Eye. It lasts for 90 minutes.

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Big London Ticket: London Eye, Big Bus & Thames River Cruise

2. Big London Ticket: London Eye, Big Bus & Thames River Cruise

Discover the best of London with a hop-on, hop-off tour on-board an open-top, double-decker bus and enjoy a trip on the London Eye as part of your ticket. A hop-on, hop-off tour is the ideal way to discover the best sights, landmarks and attractions of London at your own pace. The tour gives you unlimited use, with stops strategically placed at all the places you would like to visit including Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Westminster Abbey, Tower Bridge and St Pauls Cathedral. Hop off the bus at Westminster Bridge to take an unforgettable ride on the London Eye. From the top, you can take in the breathtaking 360-degree panoramic view of the city's impressive skyline. See the city's most famous sights including Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament from an unrivalled bird's eye view. You can start your tour at any of the Big Bus stops. Popular starting points include the London Eye, Marble Arch, Victoria Station and Trafalgar Square. With all ticket types you can enjoy a boat cruise along the River Thames. A Classic ticket includes a single river cruise from Westminster to the Tower of London (in either direction) whilst the Premium and Premium Plus tickets include a return river cruise between Westminster and Greenwich with the option to break the journey at the Tower of London. Departure times vary for the river cruise. You can board the river cruise at Tower Pier (near stop 16), Greenwich Pier, Westminster Pier (near stop 18) and the London Eye Pier (near stop 11). Big Bus route highlights include Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, 10 Downing Street, Whitehall, Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Street, Regent Street, Trafalgar Square, London Eye, London Dungeon, Sea Life London Aquarium, Madame Tussauds, Covent Garden, Bank of England, Monument, St Pauls Cathedral, Tower of London, Tower Bridge, The Shard, City Hall, Lambeth Palace, British Museum, Marble Arch, Mayfair, Green Park, Hyde Park Corner, Harrods, South Kensington Museums, Kensington Palace and Notting Hill.

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London: Changing of the Guard Walking Tour

3. London: Changing of the Guard Walking Tour

Find the prime vantage points that most people miss and see this time-honored tradition from outside Buckingham Palace. Follow your guide on a dynamic journey that will take you through each stage of the entire Changing of the Guard ceremony from beginning to end. Navigate the crowds easily and quickly. Let your guide take you to the best spots with unobstructed views for taking photos of the palace, gardens, and parade grounds. Marvel at the precision with which the Queen’s Foot Guards march to Buckingham Palace, clad in their iconic red tunics and bearskin hats. Admire the gleaming coats of the Household Cavalry’s horses as they emerge at Horse Guard’s Parade. As you watch, hear about the history of this fascinating ceremony and gain invaluable insight into every detail of this British spectacle.

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London: Westminster Tour, River Cruise, and Tower of London

4. London: Westminster Tour, River Cruise, and Tower of London

From the meeting point, start the 3-hour walking tour by heading through Green Park to Buckingham Palace, admiring the well-manicured trees and flowers along the way. At the palace, watch the world-famous Changing of the Guard Ceremony.   Afterward, see 17 other iconic London sights such as Downing Street, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, the London Eye, Parliament Square, and the Houses of Parliament. After the walking tour, take to the River Thames for a sightseeing cruise where you will get to see many other iconic buildings and sights. Disembark at Tower Pier and head to the Tower of London for the exciting Beefeater tour. Walk around the Tower of London, discovering the history, stories, and ghosts that lie within. Marvel at the Crown Jewels and other fascinating historical artifacts including the suits of armor worn by former kings of England. See the cells where prisoners were once kept and journey back in time for an exciting trip into Britain’s past.

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London: Westminster Tour, Climb The O2 Arena, and Cable Car

5. London: Westminster Tour, Climb The O2 Arena, and Cable Car

From the meeting point, start the 3-hour walking tour by heading through Green Park to Buckingham Palace, admiring the well-manicured trees and flowers along the way. At the palace, watch the world-famous Changing of the Guard Ceremony.   Afterward, see other iconic London sights such as Downing Street, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, the London Eye, Parliament Square, and the Houses of Parliament.   Next, head to the O2 Arena and get ready for a guided climb across the arena roof for scenic views of London's landmarks. Lastly, take the cable car for an easy ride across the River Thames, allowing for further amazing views of the London skyline from up high.

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London: Changing of the Guard & Buckingham Palace Tour

6. London: Changing of the Guard & Buckingham Palace Tour

Take advantage of a rare opportunity to explore the State Rooms of Buckingham Palace, and experience one of the most historic ceremonies of the Royal Family in London. Watch the Changing of the Guards in the company of a local guide, who will explain the history and pageantry behind the ceremony. Gasp at the precision skills of the Queen’s Foot Guards as they march to the sounds of a military band, or see the mounted Household Cavalry - resplendent on horseback - change guards at Horse Guards Parade. If you book your tour on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday, you’ll get to experience the change of the Household Cavalry. Admire the lavish apartments and sparkling chandeliers of Buckingham Palace. See some of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection, including exquisite Sèvres porcelain and some of the finest English and French furniture in the world. An official audio guide will be provided to tell the history of the sumptuous furnishings and ornaments, and to put it all into historical context.

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London: Changing of the Guards & Westminster Walking Tour

7. London: Changing of the Guards & Westminster Walking Tour

Meet your local guide in royal Green Park before heading to a quiet viewing point away from the busy crowds. From here, you will experience one of the most historic ceremonies of British royal pomp & ceremony, the Changing of the Guard. Your expert guide will explain the history and pageantry behind the ceremony while you enjoy up close and personal views of the Queen’s Foot Guards or the mounted horseback Household Cavalry. Experience the ceremony first-hand and learn about the British Royal Family. After enjoying the ceremony, your guide will take you to see some of London’s most popular sights. Including Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Westminster Bridge and Downing Street. Your tour will finish outside the London Eye on the south bank of the River Thames.

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Magic of London Tour with Afternoon Tea at Harrods

8. Magic of London Tour with Afternoon Tea at Harrods

Take a full-day tour of London’s most iconic sights on this 9-hour panoramic guided tour. You will soon be on your way, enjoying the city in all its glory as you drive past some of London's most famous landmarks. Visit St Paul’s Cathedral exploring the masterpiece designed by Sir Christopher Wren in 1673, taking time to listen to the 1695 organ that Mendelssohn once played and visit the tombs of Nelson and Wellington.  Continue to The Mall to watch the Changing of the Guards, as one of the Queen's Foot Guard Household Regiment march from St. James Palace to Buckingham Palace to military music, dressed in their famous tunics and busbies. If the Changing of the Guard is not taking place, you will still stop at Buckingham Palace for photos. Next you will visit the historic Tower of London where you'll gain fascinating insights into the history of this Royal Palace and fortress. Ample time will be given to view the Crown Jewels and the White Tower and to wander around this imposing fortress. Then enjoy a private River Thames cruise and see top attractions such as Houses of Parliament, London Eye, Shakespeare’s Globe, St. Paul's Cathedral and the Tower of London. To round off the day, enjoy a delicious cream tea at The Georgian Restaurant at Harrods. Your cream tea includes home-baked English scones served with clotted cream and preserves, choice of tea from Harrods own tea gardens plus a glass of sparkling wine. The tour ends here leaving you the rest of the afternoon to explore the world’s most famous department store.

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London: Private Royal Tour with Changing of the Guard

9. London: Private Royal Tour with Changing of the Guard

Your experience begins with a panoramic tour. Relax and enjoy the drive through London with an expert tour guide to discover the city's most iconic sights. See the magnificent Westminster Abbey, Parliament Square, the iconic Big Ben, historical Trafalgar Square, and much more. Afterwards, witness the Changing of the Guard Ceremony, an essential experience for visitors to London. See the immaculately dressed guards, accompanied by marching bands playing rousing military music. The 7 regiments that guard the monarch, known as the Household Division, are so devoted to their duty that they will famously not acknowledge or allow themselves to be distracted by the public.

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London: Changing of the Guard & Westminster Walking Tour

10. London: Changing of the Guard & Westminster Walking Tour

Start your 2.5-hour private or small-group walking tour (depending on the option selected) with the Changing of the Guard. Then, continue your tour towards Buckingham Palace, the residence of Queen Elizabeth II. Follow your guide on a crash course in British royal and democratic history by visiting the most important part of London, Westminster City. You’ll take in classic London sites such as 10 Downing Street, Whitehall, the Houses of Parliament, and Big Ben and hear about its construction and how the modern work will safeguard the 167-year-old tower. Greeting you in Parliament Square is Winston Churchill, and you’ll stroll around to meet other famous members of parliament and lawmakers. Hear their stories and learn why they have been honored with a statue in this prominent place. Finish your tour outside the iconic Westminster Abbey where royal weddings and coronations have taken place since 960AD. You’ll see the Jewel Tower and hear about the old Palace of Westminster, where Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators tried to blow up Parliament and how he saw his end in Old Palace Yard. See the statue of Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst and hear how one determined woman spent the night in order to be counted as living in the building. See the famous balcony where the royal family appears during major events, and hear stories of intruders and princes scaling the walls both to get inside and out!

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Other Sightseeing Options in Changing of the Guard

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What people are saying about Changing of the Guard

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 2,861 reviews

We had a fantastic morning with Michael - fun and informative and we made it to three different guard change viewing points! Michael threw in lots of history as we went, and managed to tailor the info to different age ranges in our group. We had a great experience and would highly recommend. I booked as didn’t want the hassle of having to figure out where to go to see the change points and it was well worth that and so much more. Great photo spots and lots of fun!

It was a wonderful experience joining the tour. The guide explained the historical significance with a witty sense of humor. It made the 3-hour walking tour not only informative but also entertaining!

Very knowledgeable guide. Showed us a lot of buildings associated with the royal family. Was able to answer all questions. Guided us to be able to see all part of the ceremony.

Fantastic tour by Michael who was very knowledgeable and made the tour very interesting.

Very good and informative. Saw many different views and tourist sites not seen before.