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Changing of the Guard Small-Group Walking Tour

star-4.5211 Reviews
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Greater London, United Kingdom
Changing of the Guard Small-Group Walking Tour

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon1 hour 30 minutes  (approx.)
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds

Overview

No visit to England would be complete without experiencing quintessential traditions such as the Changing of the Guard. See British culture come to life from select prime vantage points. In a small group limited to 20, observe the Queen’s iconic foot guards, clad in red tunics and bearskin hats, and watch the household cavalry put on an impressive display. Follow history-rich guide commentary with ease using a headset.
  • Watch the royal performance from select vantage points only known to experts
  • Witness the Queen’s iconic foot soldiers clad in red tunics and bearskin hats
  • Admire the precision and gleaming coats of the household cavalry
  • Listen to history-rich commentary with ease using a personal headset
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Expert, English-speaking tour guide
Small groups of 20 people or fewer
Headsets when appropriate
Gratuities
Hotel pick-up/drop-off
Duke of York Monument , St. James's, London SW1Y 5AJ, UK

Meeting Point: By the Duke of York Column, Waterloo Place, 9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AJ. This is the tall column with a statue on top. Arriving by tube: Take the tube to Piccadilly Circus and take exit No. 3 onto Regent Street/St James's. Walk south down Regent Street towards St James's Park (do not walk north towards Oxford Street). Waterloo Place is at the end of Regent Street. You will see the tall column with a statue on top. You can also arrive via Charing Cross Station. Walk down the Mall towards Buckingham Palace, you will see the statue on your right at the top of some steps.

Spur Road , Spur Rd, London SW1A 1AA, UK

Outside Buckingham Palace

Your regal tour begins at a central location, where you greet your guide, don a personal headset, and receive a historical overview of the Changing of the Guard ceremony.

Many tourists make the mistake of viewing the ceremony outside of Buckingham Palace. However, on this tour, handpicked vantage points ensure you get the best views of the royal tradition while listening to commentary that explains each part of the performance.

Marvel at the shimmering coats of the household cavalry as their riders control the horses with expert precision; capture photographs of the iconic red and black attire of the Queen’s foot soldiers; and, move quickly between vantage points in a small group of only 15 people.

Your tour concludes outside of Buckingham Palace.

Please note: The Changing of the Guard ceremony is subject to changes in date, time, and cancellation at the discretion of British authorities. Cancellation due to bad weather is not announced before 11am. Even when canceled, customers still see a ‘wet change’ during which the guards march but without the usual music and parade.
Itinerary
Stop At:  
Changing of the Guard
Your regal tour begins at the Duke of York Column, located in St. James’, where you’ll greet your guide, don a personal headset, and receive a historical overview of the Changing of the Guard ceremony. Many tourists make the mistake of viewing the ceremony outside of Buckingham Palace. However on this tour, handpicked vantage points ensure you get the best views of the royal tradition while listening to commentary that explains each part of the performance. Marvel at the shimmering coats of the household cavalry as their riders control the horses with expert precision; capture photographs of the iconic red and black attire of the Queen’s foot soldiers; and, move quickly between vantage points in a small group of only 15 people. Your tour concludes outside of Buckingham Palace. Please note: The Changing of the Guard ceremony is subject to changes in date, time and cancellation at the discretion of British authorities. Cancellation due to bad weather is not announced before 11am. Even when cancelled, customers will still see a ‘wet change’ during which the guards march but without the usual music and parade.
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Pass By:  
Buckingham Palace
Passing by
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • The Changing of the Guard ceremony is subject to changes in date, time and cancellation at the discretion of British authorities. Cancellation due to bad weather is not announced before 11am. Even when cancelled, customers will still see a ‘wet change’ during which the guards march but without the usual music and parade.
  • Please note weather is very changeable in London, please ensure you have rainproof clothing
  • Please note that the changing of the guard schedule may change and on different dates we will see either footguards or horseguards
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • Please note that if you book your tour on Tuesday and Thursday, you’ll experience the change of the Household Cavalry.
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 20 travelers
  • OPERATED BY City Wonders UK
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Changing of the Guard Small-Group Walking Tour?
A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
See all safety measures taken by Changing of the Guard Small-Group Walking Tour.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during Changing of the Guard Small-Group Walking Tour?
A:The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by Changing of the Guard Small-Group Walking Tour.

Traveler Photos

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Traveler Tips


  • "Some running and rushing was required but it was definitely worth it." See review
  • "We would highly recommend attending on Sundays since you can see both the horse guards changing, as well as, the foot soldiers." See review
  • "One note, if you have a small child or one who doesn't like adult-sized earbuds, bring a pair of kid headphones; regular headphones will connect to the guide's microphone system." See review

Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
211 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 211 reviews
star-5
Southsidesue
SUSAN_S
, May 2022
Watching the guards on horseback changing their duties. Our guide, Georgie was absolutely great. Very informative on English history.
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-3
NOT "THE" Changing of the Guard
Mel_W
, May 2022
Did a great job showing us some of the changing of the guards, BUT it was not the changing of the guard that is pictured in your promotion materials. Very misleading. More like a 'bait and switch' sale.
star-5
Great tour
John_G
, May 2022
Michael was knowledgable,, friendly and quite humorous. It kept the tour light and enjoyable. Let us know what to expect every step of the way
star-5
Excellent Guide, very knowledgeable!
Anonymous
, May 2022
I thought changing of the guard was just at Buckingham Palace. Boy was I wrong. With our expert guide Michael we saw a total of 5 changing ceremonies. Don’t miss out, go with a local who knows where to position yourself, you will not regret it!
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-3
Could have been better
Caryn_P
, Apr 2022
The day we went, it turned out that there was no changing of the guard, only changing of the horses. Whilst it was nice to see the ceremony involved, the guide didn't exactly get us to the best viewing spot (which it what we thought he would do). Our view is that he wasted so much time speaking about the Duke of York and subsequent historical figures, that by the time we arrived at the grounds, all 'front line' and good photo opportunity spots, were gone. We ended up finding our own spot.
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Great - worth it!
Anonymous
, Apr 2022
Great way to see Changing of the Guards! Natalie was kind, informative, and made sure we were well positioned for the events.
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Best tour in London!!
fiona_d
, Apr 2022
Michael was awesome - couldn’t have gotten us any closer. And not just one sighting of guards…multiple - book this tour, you won’t regret it!!
star-5
Up close with the guards!
Jacqueline_L
, Apr 2022
Michael who was our guide ensured that we were up close to the guards. We managed to see 3 different stages of the changing guards 👍🏻
star-2
Disappointing
sherri_m
, Apr 2022
Sadly we signed up for a changing of the foot guard but found out when we arrived they don’t do the change on Thursdays. The guide was wonderful and knowledgeable and this was not her fault. Your company should have not allowed booking for this day.
star-3
Changing of the Guard
William_W
, Apr 2022
We were taken to several locations within the vicinity of Buckingham Palace and background information was shared; however, once it was evident that the changing of The Guard was not happening due to rain, the host appeared to not know how to conduct the rest of the tour. I expected greater command of knowledge and a back-up plan should rain prevent the ceremonial part of the activity.
star-5
Excellent experience
Sharon_F
, Mar 2022
Our tour guide Michael was excellent. Full of interesting stories and information and very friendly and helpful. We got to see the guards changing at 3 different locations all with excellent views and really close up so great for photos and videos. We went to horse guards parade, through St. James Park, down the Mall and the ended at Buckingham Palace. Highly recommend
star-5
Great guide, great tour!
Jan_S
, Mar 2022
Danny, of City Wonders, knowledge of royal history and his engaging storytelling made for a truly enjoyable tour. His tenure as a guide was beneficial as he knew the best places to stand for the three phases of the changing of the guard. We concluded our time with Danny by receiving great suggestions for other places to visit and restaurants to try.
star-5
Fantastic!
Jessica_L
, Mar 2022
Richard was a phenomenal tour guide, knowledgeable, friendly and hilarious. We were brought to spots with a front row view of all of the activities with great photo and video opportunities! I am so happy that I booked this and recommend it to anyone.
star-5
Richard was great.
Lisa_P
, Mar 2022
Richard was a great guide. He gave us so much information and kept the tour on track. We saw the guards from less than a foot away. It was so exciting. If not for the tour we would have missed out on so many details. When it was over he walked with us to a great pup to show us where it was. Best tour of trip
star-5
Wonderful Tour Guide
Kiona_B
, Mar 2022
My tour guide Michael was amazing. He was very knowledgeable, caring, and funny. I highly recommend taking this tour and recommending Michael if possible. Thank you so much!
star-5
Our guide was amazing....
Riddi_K
, Mar 2022
Our guide was amazing. Entertained children and adults! She knew exactly where to go for all the best views and photos.
star-5
Our tour guide was...
Laura_H
, Mar 2022
Our tour guide was amazing! Such a cool experience. She made sure that we got all the best views and taught us about so much history!
star-5
Fun
Vickey_S
, Mar 2022
Amber is the best tour guide!! She’s very knowledgeable and funny and full of great ideas. This is well worth the money we got such good places to see the changing of the guard
star-5
Excellent entertaining and informative guide , Michael.
Neill_M
, Mar 2022
Watching the various changing of the guards and hearing the history related to the guards and their duties!
star-4
Cool tour but not "in the gates"
Megan_P
, Mar 2022
Make sure you plan ahead and know where to meet up with the tour. The meeting spot is very far down the mall - far from the palace. I assumed the statue was near the gates. Also know that you will not be near the palace for any of the tour. Guide should have made that more clear. You get to see lots and learn lots but we walked to the palace after the tour to get a photo op and see all up close.

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