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Changing of the Guard Small-Group Walking Tour

star-4.5244 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

Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

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 by Viator travelers.  We perform checks on reviews

Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
244 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

We perform checks on reviews

Showing 1-10 of 244 reviews
star-1
Tourists beware!
Emily_J
, Aug 2022
This might be a tourist trap, do the research and take the time to familiarize yourself with the ceremony and area before going! I read the reviews which led me to book, but being ignorant to the festivities myself got me swindled into this tours trap! Despite aspects of the guided tour being informational I was extremely bummed afterwards. We did not visit any of the exclusive sights, we missed various performances by the guards before they marched to Buckingham, walked through a garden that was beautiful but had nothing to do with the ceremony and we were ultimately led to a very poor viewing spot alongside a thousand other tourists that saw the same thing we did but for free. It was not worth the money. Our guide was very sweet, but maybe wasn’t aware what the tour was supposed to include. I recommend researching and visiting the exclusive viewing spots (where you can watch the uniform inspection, band set up and March alongside the guards from the different entry points) on your own without the aid of a tour! Something I regret not doing myself, but was under the impression would be organized for me during the tour!
star-5
Pepe, our tour guide was...
Lesley_G
, Aug 2022
Pepe, our tour guide was fun and engaging including everyone and have us so much interesting information with plenty of details not many people would know. We had an excellent position to see the horses and all enjoyed it!
star-5
Awesome experience
Caroline_V
, Aug 2022
Our tour Guide was fun and helpful. He made sure we had any good view of the guards. Would definitely do it again.
star-5
Changing of the many guards.
Bruce_J
, Jul 2022
Fun, fast paced and delivered all (and more) of the promised itinerary! We’ll worth our time and money!
star-1
You can do the excursion on your own
Marzena_P
, Jul 2022
You Can see more by yourself Not worth any money Just go in front of the pałace in the Morning hours
star-5
Brilliant!
Sarah_L
, Jul 2022
Ian was an amazing tour guide! Full of funny stories and he got us perfectly situated to see the guards returning to their barracks. Five stars for Ian!
star-4
Interesting but not what I expected
Tiffany_P
, Jul 2022
Our guide Robert was very good and knowledgeable. We saw a different experience from what he told us due to the heat. I would have preferred to be across the street, on the side of the Palace though. I thought from the description of the tour we would a priority area of standing..
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Our guide was great and...
MaureenK_W
, Jul 2022
Our guide was great and she shared a lots of history behind the pageantry and got us a great spot to view things
star-5
Glad we had a guide!
Melinda_E
, Jul 2022
Michael was an excellent guide and was happy to answer questions. Without a guide we would not have understood everything we were seeing! The walking portions of this tour do move at a very fast pace to maximize viewing opportunities. Also note, there is no flexibility on the tour start time. The changing of the guard events are on a schedule and do not repeat, so if the guide were to wait for late arrivals, the whole group would miss elements of the tour. Be sure to arrive a little early. There are cafes about 4 blocks behind the meeting point for coffee & pastry. Warning: if your tour is on a race day (ours was the London 10k), some elements of the ceremony do not occur. Our guide noted there are street closures & races in the area about once a month or so…
star-4
Walk fast
Derik_B
, Jul 2022
It was fun! Michael knew exactly where we should be to get the best view. He was funny and knowledgeable
star-4
Great information, hard to hear
Karen_C
, Jul 2022
Lucia was very knowledgeable and the tour was great. My only issue was that we could hardly hear. It would have been much better is the guide used a microphone
star-2
Not really worth it
John_F
, Jul 2022
I’m not sure what this tour gets you that you cannot get for free just by arriving to Buckingham Palace early and standing in the fountain circle, then reading from Wikipedia. The tour guide has a strong Italian accent and with all the ambient noise, she was very hard to understand for this admittedly American. I wanted more facts (who is that guard? How long has this been going on?) rather than commentary about her thoughts about baby Lilibet. I could have passed on this one
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Recommend this tour
Sandra_M
, Jul 2022
Excellent guide! Saw more than I expected! Learned quite a bit about monarch' titles and look forward to sharing with others.
star-4
Nice look see
Dollie_O
, Jul 2022
The band playing and the 💂‍♀️ guards marching A little far away thought we would be closer but nice Need to get the earbuds connected to the guide so you can hear all the information
star-5
Our guide Margaret did a...
John_O
, Jul 2022
Our guide Margaret did a great job! She knew the history extremely well! Any questions that were asked of her she knew the answers. She has a great personality!
star-5
Worthwhile if you want to get the best out of this activity.
brian_b
, Jul 2022
Well conducted, very informative. Very much worthwhile. Guide fully conversant with where to get best views.
star-3
Not worth purchasing the ticket
Nancy_K
, Jul 2022
Good information but no guard change visualized at Buckingham. Watched as the guard left out of their original position only. Disappointed
star-5
Great tour without having...
becsmithpa
, Jul 2022
Great tour without having to worry about where to stand for the best views! Multiple opportunities to see the guard.
star-2
Over Promised
wayne_b
, Jul 2022
Over promised. Under delivered. Company states that they will take you behind the scenes and give a great view of the guard change. Didn’t happen. The excuse was that because the entire ceremony was canceled because of rain (sprinkles). Our guide kept talking but didn’t take us to Buckingham Palace to be in a good position to even see the guards that still marched. We ditched this tour and went on our own. I could have saved the money and did this for free.
star-1
Complete waste of money! Do it on your own!
Luis_G
, Jun 2022
We had a horrible guide who made our tour uninteresting and slow. We recommend you go on your own and research whatever information you feel like learning before. A complete waste of money.
1 traveler found this review helpful

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