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Change of the Guards at Buckingham Palace

Hi all, pls advise,
Is it better to join a walking tour to watch Change of the Guards at Buckingham? As the guides will know where there will be a better view?
I checked there is one tour specifically designed for this purpose. And there are a few other tours take this as part of "Westminster Tour" or "Royal Tour".
Or just stand along the Mall or near to the Palace entrance?

Posted by
337 posts

Just get there about 1 hr before, you will need to decide if you want look at the actual changing of the guard in front of the palace or watch the band and guards entering and exiting.
If you want the later, then there are crowd control fencing infront of Victoria Memorial, so get to the front. Facing the palace, one squad will enter the palace via the left gate, one the right gate with departure from the centre gate. just off the front gate seemed to work. You can also stand on the elevated Memorial steps but the crowds are general heavy. Don't sit or climb on the memorial or the police will quickly direct you off.
At the palace fence, you will also need to be early and get and stay at the fence, once again expect large crowds and police directing crowd control.

Posted by
17 posts

Tks for the reply, Gerard.

By the way, any idea about how far does it take to walk to nearby fast food / restaurant? I saw some saying 3 minutes walk from BP, but it seems far away on map.
(Plan to book a time slot to visit the State Rooms, not sure if we can make the 1:30pm one)


Posted by
660 posts

I would just turn up and stand wherever other people are, it's quite a large area. If you get there early (1-2hrs before) you might get a spot where you can see through the security fence, into the palace forecourt where most of it happens, but you will still see/hear stuff more or less wherever you are. It does get super busy though.

"Or just stand along the Mall or near to the Palace entrance?"... yes basically, but only the area of The Mall immediately around the Victoria Memorial.

You COULD get something to eat within 3 mins walk, however, I'd personally walk for 5 mins, towards Green Park tube, and look for somewhere to eat on Piccadilly, lots there. Pret-a-Manger is always reliable and not too expensive, there are a couple on Piccadilly.

Or you could have 'Afternoon Tea' at The Park Lane Hotel, which is on Piccadilly. Best to pre-book.

Posted by
17 posts

Tks Mike.
Tks for recommending Pret-a-Manger, at least i know what to expect and how long the lunch may take. :-)

Posted by
216 posts

I'd go to the left. Last time (March 2013) we were on the right and there were no guards marching on our side. I put it down to the British road rules and the weather (coldest March in 100 years).