Changing the Guard at Horse Guards

Horse Guards, Whitehall, Westminster, London 51.504644 -0.128126
Dates & Time:
Every day
10.45 AM to 11.30 AM (Mon-Sat); 9.45 AM to 10.30 AM (Sun)
Tickets & Cost:
Free to watch from Horse Guards courtyard (Whitehall side), or Horse Guards parade ground (St. James's Park side)
If you’re driving to London here are some car parks near Horse Guards
Book a minicab near Horse Guards
The following bus routes go near Horse Guards: 3, 11, 12, 24, 53, 87, 88, 159
London bus fares 2016
The best London underground train stations to visit Horse Guards are Charing Cross Embankment Westminster
Note: The actual closest train station to Horse Guards is Westminster
London train fares 2016
Disclaimer: London Drum has no association with Horse Guards. Whilst we make every effort to ensure the event information is accurate, events in London are sometimes cancelled or amended without us being notified. You should always reconfirm the event with Horse Guards before making plans

Videos give an impression of the event only

Read The London Craig blog> Read Craig’s review  I’ve seen this ceremony myself. Check out my London blog for a full review, with photos and a video.  Feel free to ask me a question about this event

The 'Changing the Guard' ceremony at Horse Guards is quite similar to the one that takes place at Buckingham Palace, but it doesn't have any marching bands or music (unless you include one guy blasting out a few notes on his bugle). But it is also a lot-less crowded, and unlike the ceremony at Buckingham Palace this one takes place every day of the year -- and in all weathers. So you might want to check the schedule for Buckingham Palace first -- if that one isn't running on the day you're going, then this one makes a decent alternative.

The event starts at 10.28 AM, when the replacement guards start riding towards Horse Guards from Hyde Park Barracks. If you've got plenty of energy (and you will need a lot to keep up with the horses!) then you can watch them pass under Wellington Arch and ride all the way down Constitution Hill, passing the palace at around 10:45 AM. They will then assemble on the parade ground with the horses from the Old Guard.

A series of changeovers will then take place on the parade ground, and also in the courtyard, with horses riding to and from the barracks in the courtyard. They will also change the horses that are standing in the boxes on Whitehall. It is impossible to see both locations at once, so what you have to do is pick a spot beforehand and accept that you will miss half of the display. Luckily Craig has been twice, and seen the whole thing from both locations, so reading his review beforehand might help you decide where to stand.

Once all of the ceremonial changeovers have taken place, the Old Guard will ride back to their barracks in Hyde Park -- passing the palace at around 11.37 AM.

Even if you miss this ceremony, it is still definitely worth visiting Horse Guards just to see the two mounted sentries standing in the horse boxes on Whitehall (between 10 AM and 4 PM). This is one of the most popular photo spots for tourists. The guards are not allowed to smile or interact with the crowd, so you will frequently see some people trying to make them laugh (it won't work!). Craig has written about this as well.

After 4 PM they are replaced by dismounted sentries in the 'Dismounting Ceremony' (also known as the 4 O'Clock Parade).

More events:
Horse Guards events in London


Have you got a review?  Or a question about this event?

tiffany007 – “Hello!How would I get here from the Hounslow Central station from underground tube?”

Admin – “here you go — ... ardsparadeit's a 5 min walk from Westminster stationor you could just get the Piccadilly line all the way to Leicester square and walk from there, past Trafalgar Square and down Whitehall. it's a nice walk and it's not too far, maybe 15 mins, and you can see nelsons column along the way”

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Talk about Changing the Guard at Horse Guards


If you enjoy Changing the Guard ceremonies then you might like these other London events…

4 O’Clock Parade, or Dismounting Ceremony – Every dayThe Dismounting Ceremony (or 4 O'Clock Parade) is a short ceremony that takes place every day at the Horse Guards.

Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace – 1st December 2016 to 27th February 2017 (odd dates only in Dec and Feb, even in Jan)The 'Changing the Guard' ceremony at Buckingham Palace is one of the must-see events for every tourist's itinerary.

The Major’s Review, at Horse Guards – 3rd June 2017Two weeks before 'Trooping the Colour', to celebrate the Queen's birthday, they hold a rehearsal called "The Major's Review".

The Colonel’s Review, at Horse Guards – 10th June 2017One week before the actual 'Trooping the Colour' parade, they hold a second rehearsal called "The Colonel's Review".

Beating Retreat, on Horse Guards Parade – 14th to 15th June 2017Beating Retreat is a floodlit pageant of military music and drill on Horse Guards Parade, ending with a salute to the Queen.

Yeoman Warder tour, at the Tower of London – Every dayOne of the best ways of seeing the Tower of London is alongside a Yeoman Warder (better known as the "Beefeaters").

Private tour of the Churchill War Rooms – Every dayEnjoy a private tour of the Churchill War Rooms, and experience Winston Churchill's wartime bunker from behind the glass.

Wounded: Conflict, Casualties and Care – 29th June 2016 to 15th January 2018The Science Museum's 'Wounded: Conflict, Casualties and Care' exhibition will look at medicine during the Battle of the Somme.

Real to Reel: A Century of War Movies – 1st July 2016 to 8th January 2017"Real to Reel: A Century of War Movies" will show how real events inspired film-makers to make some classic war movies.

If you like Horse Guards, then you might also like…

> Parliament Square events If you like the Horse Guards then you might like these events at London’s Parliament Square as well
> Downing Street events If you can’t find any events at the Horse Guards then maybe you can try the Downing Street in London
> Trafalgar Square events If you like this event at the Horse Guards then try our guide to events at the Trafalgar Square in London

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