city-walks London

Changing of the Guard in London

For Buckingham Palace underground station Green Park, Piccadilly, Jubilee & Victoria Line, Zone 1
For Horse Guards Parade underground station Westminster, Circle & District Line, Zone 1

Start Times:
In front of Buckingham Palace normally at least every 2nd day mornings at 11:00 o'clock. At Horse Guards Parade square Monday till Saturday at 11:00 and Sundays at 10:00 o'clock morning. (Link with dates & details further below)

My Tip:
If you want to have a reasonably good view of the Changing of the Guard in front of the Buckingham Palace, then you should be there around 1 hour in advance. At the Horse Guards Parade it is usually enough to be there 15 minutes before they start.

Visitor Info:

Under normal circumstances, the Changing of the Guard in front of Buckingham Palace takes place on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. During certain seasonal times it can take place every day. Sometimes it can happen that the ceremony is cancelled at short notice because of bad weather conditions or some special events.

At what time should I arrive?

The actual Changing of the Guard takes place at 11:00 o'clock in front of Buckingham Palace. At approx. 10:45 o'clock the present guard march across The Mall avenue towards the palace, the new guard comes along the Spur Road at around 11:00 o'clock. Due to the large crowds, I recommend to be there at least 1 hour in advance in order to get a place with a good view. Often, the access to the area in front of the palace is blocked by the police already 30 minutes before the start due to overcrowding. At the end of the ceremony, at approx. 11:45 o'clock, a part of the guard march away along the Spur Road and The Mall.

Where do I have the best view?

In my opinion, you have a good view of the marching guard and band at the Victoria Monument in front of the Buckingham Palace. The steps there offer a good possibility to observe and take a photo of the arriving and the leaving guard. The view is of course the best, if you catch a place in the first row directly at the railings in the area around the palace. But nearly all the time you will have there a unpleasant dense crowd.

My tip for those who come too late!

If you do not have the possibility to get in front of the Buckingham Palace look for a place at the avenue The Mall or the Spur Road close to the palace. There you have at least the chance to see the arriving and leaving guard.

Horse Guards Parade:

The Changing of the Guard at the Horse Guards Parade square takes place daily, Monday to Saturday at 11:00 and on Sundays at 10:00 o'clock morning. Normally this parade is not so crowded and therefore it should be fine if you arrive approx. 15 minutes before it starts.

This parade is not so extensive and pompous as the one in front of the Buckingham Palace. For those who do not want to waste too much time by watching the Changing of the Guard and for those who simply are horse lovers, this variant is preferable

If that is already too much time consuming for you and if you only want to have a photo with a horse guard, then you are also at the right place there. From 10:00 to 16:00 o'clock two horse guards are standing in front of the gate to Whitehall street. Perfect for a photo or a selfie.

Links with further details:
Changing of the Guards Schedule
Details Horse Guards Parade