WELCOME       WALKS       TRIVIA       THEMES       ARCHITECTURE       STATUES       GOING OUT
SHOPPING       TAKE A BREAK      PEOPLE      CALENDAR       LINKS       BLOG      CONTACT

 

Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace, locking up the Tower of London or the rituals of London’s law courts are all part of the fabric of London tradition. Some can seem slightly silly but they are an essential part of the British way of life.

Any comments - or a suggestion for a London secret? Please e-mail me.

Tradition

Changing The Guard

From May to August, the mounted Queen's Life Guard changes at Horse Guards Parade at 11am daily (10am on Sundays), while The Queen's Guard changes at Buckingham Palace at 11.30 am.

Buckingham Palace SW1
Tube: Green Park

Horse Guards Parade SW1
Tube: Trafalgar Square
www.army.mod.uk

Trooping The Colour

The actual ceremony on the Queen’s Official Birthday in June is preceded by rehearsals on the two Saturdays before. They are a chance to see all the spectacle, with fewer people blocking your view of the British Army in all its finery.

The Mall
Tube: Charing Cross/Hyde Park
Corner/Green Park
www.royal.gov.uk

The Key Ceremony

This 700-year-old ceremony takes place every night at the Tower of London. It is very atmospheric, ending with the playing of a bugle at 10pm from the battlements. Entry is free but you need to apply in writing for a ticket to the address below six weeks in advance.

Ceremony of the Keys Office
HM Tower of London
London EC3N 4AB

Household Cavalry

The Household Cavalry is made up of the oldest regiments in the British Army, dating back to 1660. The Mounted Regiment perform ceremonial duties, and can be seen exercising their horses in Hyde Park very early every morning.

Hyde Park Barracks SW7
Tube: Knightsbridge
www.householdcavalry.co.uk

Lifting Tower Bridge

The historic Tower Bridge is still raised about 20 times a week to allow tall ships, cruise ships and other large boats to pass underneath. You can trust to luck, or check the website below, which lists the upcoming lifting schedule.

Tower Bridge EC1
Tel: +44 (0)20 7940 3984
Tube: Tower Hill
www.towerbridge.org.uk

Chelsea Flower Show

This world-famous flower show is held for five days during May. Garden designers compete for coveted prizes and keen amateurs come along to pick up ideas and bargains from shops selling plants and garden gadgets.

Royal Hospital, Chelsea SW3
Tel: +44 (0)870 906 3781
Tube: Sloane Square
www.rhs.org.uk/chelsea

Eton College

Eton College was founded in 1440 and about 1,305 boys from the ages of 13 to 18 now attend. Regular tours let you see the halls frequented by past pupils such as 19 former British Prime Ministers and Princes William and Harry of Wales.

Windsor SL4
Tel: +44 (0)1753 671177
Rail: Windsor and Eton
www.etoncollege.com

Harrow School

Famed as the school of  Winston Churchill, and for its pupils’ straw hats, Harrow was founded in 1572. The school has produced 19 winners of the Victoria Cross, the British Army’s highest award for bravery.

Harrow on the Hill HA1
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8872 8043
Rail: Harrow-on-the Hill
tours@harrowschool.org.uk
www.harrowschool.org.uk

^PEOPLE.html