Horse Guards Parade

A trip to London isn't complete without seeing the Horse Guards Parade

East facade of Horse Guards Building and Parade
East facade of Horse Guards Building and Parade

The Horse Guards Building is a large Palladian style building located on Whitehall Street at the east edge of Saint James's Park. It was completed in 1753, replacing the Guard House of the Whitehall Palace after its destruction by a fire in 1698. The building is currently headquarters to London District and Household Cavalry Army commands.

In addition to the interesting architecture, you will enjoy viewing and photographing the guards. The Horse Guards is guarded by both mounted and foot troopers from the Household Cavalry. There are 2 mounted troopers on post daily between 10am and 4pm. These troopers are relieved every hour. In addition two unmounted troopers posted from 10 am until 8 pm get relieved every 2 hours.

If you arrive just before 11am (10am on Sundays) you can view the popular changing of the guard. There is also an inspection of the the guard everyday at 4pm. This was started over 130 years ago when Queen Victoria came through the gate and found no guards. Upon investigating, she discovered they where intoxicated with ale. She then ordered that the Household Cavalry must parade every day at 4 pm for 100 years, to ensure it would not happen again. While the 100 years has long passed the tradition continues.

Kids and adults will all enjoy watching the guards. It is amazing to watch how still they stand at their posts, seemingly oblivious to everyone around them. This is one of the many things you can do in London for free - great when travelling on a budget.

There are many other attractions within easy walking distance of the Horse Guards Parade. Some of these include Saint James's Park, Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral and the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. These attractions can be nicely combined into a memorable one or two day walking tour.

Facts For Your Visit

Fee: No

Closed Now

Regular Hours:

  • Monday: 11:00 am - 11:30 am
  • Tuesday: 11:00 am - 11:30 am
  • Wednesday: 11:00 am - 11:30 am
  • Thursday: 11:00 am - 11:30 am
  • Friday: 11:00 am - 11:30 am
  • Saturday: 11:00 am - 11:30 am
  • Sunday: 10:00 am - 10:30 am

Category: Police Departments

Address: Horse Guards Road
St James's Park
London SW1A 2BJ
United Kingdom

Reviews

Yelp Rating:
4.5 out of 5 4.5 Star Rating
Based on 25 Reviews.

See all reviews on Yelp

4 Star Rating One of the nicer changing of the guards location in London. The crowds are reasonable although be prepared for a lot of "downtime" when nothing happens. Read More

Ness S. Dec-26-2017

4 Star Rating You're reading this, so you're most likely a tourist. So is this something that you must see? Well it's a part of the London culture. So if you're into... Read More

Barbara W. Dec-02-2016

5 Star Rating This was my 4th time to London. I usually find myself missing the entire Changing of the Guard process or running after the Guards for a photo. I decided to... Read More

Pam D. Oct-17-2017

Accommodations near Horse Guards Parade:

Directions

Tube Line Nearest Station Walking Time
Circle, District and Jubilee LineWestminster7 Minutes
Northern and Bakerloo LineCharing Cross7 MInutes

How to get to Horse Guards Parade by Tube

From Charing Cross Station exit to Trafalger Square and exit the roundabout onto The Mall and then go south (left) on Horse Guards Road.

From Westminster Station take Exit 6 and go left out of the underpass, then go right on Great George Street and right onto Horse Guards Road.

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Changing of the Horse Guards at Horse Guards Parade

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