Visiting London: Horse Guards Parade

Horse Guards Parade is the largest single open space in London and is the location of the annual “Trooping of the Colour” ceremony each June, to celebrate the Queen’s official birthday.

Horse Guards Parade was built in 1745 to house the old palace guard. Today, the visitor can enjoy watching the mounted sentries change guard each hour, from 10 am to 4 pm, at the entrance to Horse Guards. Outside these hours, unmounted sentries stand guard.

Horse Guards Parade gets its name from the Queen’s Life Guard, provided by officers of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, belonging to The Life Guards and the Blues and Royals.

You can tell the difference between these squadrons by their uniforms. The Life Guards where red tunics and white plumed helmets, the Blues and Royals (Royal Horseguards and 1st Dragoons) wear blue tunics and ted plumed helmets.

Me doing the “tourist thing” at Horse Guards, with a member of the Blues and Royals.

How to get there:

Horse Guards is located in Whitehall, London SW1. The closest London Underground station is Charing Cross. You can also get there from Buckingham Palace, by taking a pleasant walk through St. James’ Park and coming in through Horse Guards Parade itself.

Opens: Daily from 10 am to 4 pm

Cost: FREE

The mounted guard is changed on the hour every hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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