Pomp, ceremony, marching – this is the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace and it’s a real spectacle to watch! Best of all it happens regularly (every day in June and July) and in full view of tourists! It doesn’t happen behind closed doors – we can see it all – and it’s glorious!
I was just a small girl the first time I saw the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace and I remember how fantastic it was! I’ve always been put off by the crowds as an adult, but taking a tour really helps with that as they bring you to the best spots to see which often don’t have the crowds.
Read on to discover some Changing of the Guard Tours that you can take that will help to make your experience of the guard change at Buckingham Palace in London the best it can be! It’s definitely a bucket list Royal thing to do in London!
Do you need to do a tour to see the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace?
No, it’s absolutely not necessary – they changing of the guard is free for everyone to watch. BUT, knowing where to stand for the best views and getting loads of information, history and knowledge imparted on you is priceless and this is where a tour comes in.
If you do it by yourself there’s a risk you could get stuck not seeing very much due to crowds – if you only have one chance to see it on your vacation it’s definitely a good idea to grab a tour. Some are very inexpensive and don’t take up much of your day!
Note – the Changing of the Guard doesn’t happen every day, even though these tours will run every day. Check what you see if you book on a day it’s not happening – sometimes you’ll watch the changing of the Horse Guards instead.
Which is the best Changing of the Guard tour in London?
Let’s take a look at 5 very different tours. Some include other sights around London, which is a good use of your time and some are simply just getting you the best out of the Changing of the Guard show!
Rated 4.5 out 5.0 – run by City Wonders UK
This tour is my top pick because it also includes another really amazing Royal London site – the Tower of London. And you get to visit super early before the crowds. Considering what’s included it’s a really good value tour.
You start at the Tower, learning about the crown jewels and ravens, before heading on the Thames on a river cruise.
You’ll see some of the major sights at Westminster before heading to Buckingham Palace for the changing of the guard (or Horse Guards) where your guide will help you get the best spots to view it.
💂♀️ 4 hours tour
💂♀️ VIP early access to the Tower of London
💂♀️ River Thames Boat Trip
💂♀️ Changing of the Guard Ceremony
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ The Yeoman Warders always come through.
As always the Yeoman Warder was funny, engaging and knowledgable at the Tower. The tour (and Nathan) had it all perfectly timed to see the best parts of the Changing of the Guard. I wish we had had a little more time at Tower of London but I fully understand how the timing had to go.Kristina_H – see more reviews here
Rated 4.3 out 5.0 – Run by City Wonders Ltd Uk
This tour is your typical short walking tour that takes in just the Changing of the Guard – it’s perfect if you don’t want to be constrained in your day and you have other plans for the rest of it!
Your guide will show you the best spots to watch the tour – not just standing in one place but taking you to different spots.
If the Changing of the Guards outside Buckingham Palace isn’t on you’ll watch the changing of the Household Cavalry at Horse Guards.
💂♀️ 1.5 hours tour
💂♀️ Learn history of the ceremony
💂♀️ Find the best spots to watch
💂♀️ An inexpensive walking tour
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Louise was delightful! My friend thought it silly to have a guide to watch the guard march past, BUT she told us history and stories, knew the best spots, and we even waved to the King as he passed just a few feet in front of us! (my friend will never doubt me again!)Kelly – see more reviews here
Rated 4.7 out of 5.0 – Run by Secret Chambers Tours Ltd
This is another example of a short tour that concentrates on the Changing of the Guard but also takes in a little bit more than the one previous – you’ll walk around more of Westminster too.
Again, you’re not going to just show up and hope to see something amazing, your guide will show you the best spots to catch all the details of the changing of the guard.
💂♀️ 2 hours tour
💂♀️ Watch the Changing of the Guard
💂♀️ Explore Westminster including Parliament Square, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey
💂♀️ Get expert historic and political commentary through the tour
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 – Run by Premium Tours
If you’re looking to explore more of London with your day and make the most of having a guide then this Best of London tour has quite a lot of different experiences that you can explore.
You start your day at St Paul’s Cathedral and then head to Westminster to see the Abbey and then on up tp the palace to the Changing of the Guard ceremony. After that it’s the Tower of London and then and Thames cruise. You can also upgrade your day to either have cream tea at Harrods or do the London Eye trip.
This is good if you’re wanting to pack a lot into your day in London while also having the knowledge of your guides to help you enjoy all there is to see at the changing of the guard ceremony.
💂♀️ Tour of St Paul’s Cathedral and Tower of London
💂♀️ Bus transportation
💂♀️ River cruise
💂♀️ Optional upgrade of Harrods cream tea or the London Eye
Rated 4.7 out of 5.0 – Run by London Top Sights Tours
This is a nice, middle of the road, tour that doesn’t take up all day but allows you to do the Changing of the Guard walking tour and adds in a few more must see London Landmarks too. It lasts around 3 hours.
You start your day at Green Park where you’ll then walk to the Palace to see the Changing of the Guards ceremony. After this you’ll spend some time on a walking tour of some of the best sights to see in Westminster as well as learning about the history of the area.
The River cruise on the Thames will then take you to the Tower of London where you’ll be guided round by the legendary Beefeaters and see the Crown Jewels!
💂♀️ Start your day by watching the Changing of the Guard
💂♀️ Walking Tour of Westminster
💂♀️ River cruise & Tower of London
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