Horse Guards Parade Updated: 1 month ago

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Horse Guards Parade is an iconic parade ground in Whitehall, near St. James's Park, Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street. It is the place where the King’s guards change takes place daily.

History

Horse Guards Parade is a historic site in the heart of London. This large parade ground near Whitehall is best known for changing the horse guards — a time-honoured tradition that provides a glimpse into the grandeur of British royal pageantry. The parade ground is named after the Horse Guards building, the official entrance to St James’s and Buckingham Palace since the restoration of King Charles II in 1660.

Ceremonies

On the Whitehall side of the building, there’s a passageway guarded by two horse guards. The guards and their horses always attract a lot of people taking pictures. The horses are docile, but you should remember to keep your distance when doing the same. The changing of the guards is done using the same passageway from the parade grounds to the barracks.

The changing of the King’s Life Guard occurs daily at 11 am, and 10 am on Sundays. During the ceremony, two groups of guards arrive at the courtyard, where one starts their guard duty, and the other will return to the barracks. The guards have formal wear, one group in red and the other in blue tunics. It’s a great opportunity to take some pictures. There’s also a great view from the grounds towards the Horse Guards buildings with London Eye visible in the background.

In addition to the daily ceremonies, the parade grounds also host bigger events, such as Trooping the Colour on three days in June, where the King reviews the troops.

Location

The area surrounding the Horse Guards Parade is some of the most prestigious in London. Next to the parade grounds is St. James’s Park, perhaps the most beautiful park in London, and on the other side of the park is Buckingham Palace.

Getting there

The nearest station is Charing Cross, roughly 5 minutes (Bakerloo, Northern) and Embankment (Bakerloo, Northern, District, Circle) roughly 10 minutes away. Travelling by train to Charing Cross is also the same distance away.

Nearby

Horse Guards Parade is near Buckingham Palace , St James's Park and Trafalgar Square , all within 5 minutes walking distance away.

Nearest Stations

Charing Cross - 4 min

Bakerloo Northern London Underground Zone: 1

Westminster - 8 min

District Circle Jubilee London Underground Zone: 1

Embankment - 8 min

District Bakerloo Northern Circle London Underground Zone: 1

Activities from Get Your Guide