Ultimate Changing of the Guard Experience with Westminster Dome Climb
Immerse yourself in the pomp and circumstance of Royal London on this special tour that lets you see not one, but two Changing of the Guards with an expert guide. Watching from special vantage points, you’ll see the Changing of the Guard and Horse Guards and learn all about the military traditions that have made them so famous. Then head across St. James’s park to Parliament Square, for an exclusive dome climb that gives you the very best views available of Westminster Abbey and Central London.
There is no better way to see the Changing of the Guard than going with an expert guide who can take you to the best vantage points and explain the significance of everything from the marching style of the guards to the number of buttons on the uniforms.
Your tour starts when you meet your guide and small group of 15 people at the Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace for a brief introduction to the ceremonies you are about to witness. While the front of the Palace is mobbed with spectators, you’ll head over to a series of special vantage points near Wellington Barracks, where most of the protocol that makes up the ceremony happens, including music from the band and highly formal uniform checks. As you watch these traditions play out, your guide will bring you into the highly symbolic world of the British military, where every badge, button, and color is imbued with centuries-old stories and traditions. As the guards process by, you’ll have front row seats to witness this ancient display of military power, then head across the park for a special treat.
The Changing of the Queen’s Life Guard at the Horse Guards Parade features much of the ceremony of the more famous guard change in front of Buckingham Palace but with the added bonus of armored soldiers and highly trained horses. Unlike the guards at Buckingham, you can also stand right next to the horse guards and take pictures with them.
After you’ve witnessed these two jaw-dropping ceremonies, we have one more surprise in store for you. We end our tour atop an exclusive dome in Westminster that has the best views in the city of Westminster Abbey and 360-degree views over the rest of the city. Spared from the Blitz because of its similarities (in the eyes of German bombers) to St. Paul’s Dome, it is one of the hidden gems of the area, and it’s only open to your group!
Note: Children under 16 are not allowed to participate in the Westminster Dome climb.