4 O’Clock Parade, or Dismounting Ceremony

Address:
Horse Guards, Whitehall, Westminster, London 51.504644 -0.128126
Dates & Time:
Every day
4 PM to 4.15 PM
Tickets & Cost:
Free to watch from the Horse Guards courtyard
Parking:
If you’re driving to London here are some car parks near Horse Guards
Minicabs:
Book a minicab near Horse Guards
Buses:
The following bus routes go near Horse Guards: 3, 11, 12, 24, 53, 87, 88, 159
London bus fares 2017
Trains:
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
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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

Their are two different ceremonies at Horse Guards -- both of which are usually forgotten by the tourists. The first one is the Changing the Guard ceremony, which takes place in the morning (10.45 AM Monday to Friday, and 9.45 AM on Sundays), and the second one is their daily inspection at 4 PM.

Known as the 'Dismounting Ceremony', or 'Four O'Clock Parade', this very short ceremony takes place in the courtyard behind the horseboxes (on the Whitehall side). The mounted sentries trot into the courtyard and are joined by a line of Foot Guards from the barracks, who are then inspected by a very vocal officer. He walks around the front and back of them, inspecting their uniforms for dust and the shine of the shoes. Then he does the same thing for the horses, before ordering them into the stables for the night. The whole thing takes no more than fifteen minutes from start to finish.

The horseboxes will then be closed for the night, and the courtyard will then be guarded by a couple of Foot Guards instead. The horses will return the next morning at 10 AM.

This is probably the least visited ceremony in London, because hardly any tourists know about. The guidebooks focus on Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace instead, and never mention this one. And whilst it is true that it is very short, and not a lot happens, Craig still thinks it's worth a visit -- especially if you've got kids. The big problem with Changing the Guard is the size of the crowd, because being wedged inside a mob of a thousand people for an hour with young ones is not much fun. But this is a great way to show your kids some pageantry without having to wait around all day. And it handily takes place at 4 PM too -- so you can squeeze it in between some other attractions and your evening's entertainment.

Read Craig's review of the Dismounting Ceremony before you go, which includes a lot more pictures, because it goes into detail about the best place to stand, and what time to arrive. Feel free to ask Craig a question about the Dismounting Ceremony as well, or write your own review on the forum.

You might like to visit our page about other military parades in London as well.

More events:
Horse Guards events in London

 

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Talk about 4 O’Clock Parade or Dismounting Ceremony

 

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

Changing the Guard at Horse Guards – Every dayChanging the Guard at Horse Guards is similar to the ceremony at Buckingham Palace, but is usually a lot less crowded.

Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace – 2nd January to 30th March 2017 (even dates only in Jan/Mar, odd dates in Feb)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.

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.

Edmund Clark: State Control and the War of Terror – 28th July 2016 to 28th August 2017The Imperial War Museum will be putting on an exhibition by Edmund Clark, exploring State control and the War on Terror.

Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London – Every nightThe Ceremony of the Keys is over 700 years old, and represents the traditional locking up of the Tower of London at night.

Mahwish Chishty: Spy drones and Pakistani folk art – 19th October 2016 to 19th March 2017Mahwish Chishty's exhibition of art at the Imperial War Museum combines Pakistani folk art with unmanned spy drones.

 

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

> The Mall events If you like the Horse Guards then you might like these events at London’s The Mall as well
> Whitehall events If you can’t find any events at the Horse Guards then maybe you can try the Whitehall 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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