Okay, we admit, it's not the greatest view in London... but where else can you legally peer into the gardens at Buckingham Palace? Depending on how leafy the garden's trees are, you can pick out about fifty feet of gravel path. Maybe you'll get lucky and see the Queen strolling past (or more likely, one of her corgis).
The arch actually has two balconies. The first one is pointing down Constitution Hill and has a fantastic view of the traffic. The buses and lorries roar round Hyde Park Corner and head off towards Victoria. The second one looks out over Hyde Park Corner and gives you a good look at the Duke of Wellington's home at Apsley House. That's pretty much all that you can see.
There are a couple of rooms inside Wellington Arch which usually house an exhibition about how the arch was built. They sometimes replace this with a temporary exhibition on a different subject -- in recent years they've covered everything from the Battle of Waterloo to a collection of seaside posters.
Craig has been to Wellington Arch a few times and always enjoyed it. He likes it because a) it's cheap, and b) it's something simple you can use to fill up a quick half-hour. The exhibition inside is quite interesting because it includes a load of old black-and-white photos of the arch in its original position -- it used to face Apsley House until they built the road, and then they stripped the gigantic statue off the top and turned it round 45 degrees.
Craig's written a big review of Wellington Arch on his blog, which includes some more photos of the view. Feel free to ask him some questions before you go. You can also post a question on the forum.
P.S.: We should probably mention that the chance of actually seeing the Queen walking around the gravel path is zero, because there's no way that she'd risk walking in plain view of the public.
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Craig’s review – “I'm guessing that most people come to Wellington Arch for just one reason: to have a sneaky peek over the wall into Buckingham Palace. They're hoping to see the Queen sunbathing on her manicured lawn, or Prince Philip testing out his shotgun on the sparrows. Alas, the view into the gardens is quite disappointing... but more on that later.This place is like a Tardis… continued”
Read Craig’s review of this event
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