Royalty & Democracy

Picture: Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace

Britain and London are the home of Royalty.  With iconic buildings such as Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament and the Tower of London you are never short of views of Royal buildings and ceremony's including the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. 

Changing the Guard – Buckingham Palace   

Buckingham Palace, The Mall, SW1

Telephone: 020 7766 7300

Admission: Free                    

Underground: Victoria or Green Park     

Location Map: https://goo.gl/maps/RtnyI

This is a 'Must See' for visitors to London.

Starts 10:45am on scheduled days, not held in very wet weather, and the ceremony lasts for about 45 minutes.

Make sure you check that the ceremony is taking place the day of your visit to London and enjoy this traditional ceremony from the front of the palace. Tip – arrive early to bag a good spot.

*It is especially important you use the link above to check the schedule as there might be changes at short notice due to security*

City Hall     

The Queen’s Walk, More London, SE1 2AA   

Telephone: 020 7983 4000

Admission: Free                    

Underground: London Bridge or Tower Hill     

Location Map: https://goo.gl/maps/x7lpQ

You can visit parts of City Hall on Mondays to Thursdays from 8.30am to 6pm and on Fridays from 8.30am to 5.30pm.  This is the home of the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Climb Big Ben                 

Parliament Square, SW1A

Admission: Free – Booking required 

Underground: Westminster     

Location Map: https://goo.gl/maps/CAVnh

The Elizabeth Tower is the name of the famous tower of Parliament - more popularly known as Big Ben. Although often referred to as Big Ben, this is actually the nickname of the bell housed within the Elizabeth Tower - and Big Ben's official name is the Great Bell.

Elizabeth Tower tours are currently free of charge. UK residents should contact their local MP or a Member of the House of Lords whom they know to arrange a tour.

Horse Guards – Changing the Guard               

Horse Guards, Whitehall, SW1A 2AX

Admission: Free                    

Underground: Charing Cross or Embankment     

Location Map: https://goo.gl/maps/zTd5B

Monday to Saturday 11am and Sunday 10am.  The Dismounting Ceremony takes place at 4pm.  This event takes part every day, whatever the weather.

The chance to see close-up the Queen’s personal mounted bodyguard at the historic entrance to the palaces.  Check on the above web site to ensure the event is taking place on the day of your visit to London.

*Due to security there might be changes made at short notice, please use the link above to confirm the schedule.

Houses of Parliament – Strangers Gallery    

Parliament Square, SW1A

Telephone: 020 7219 4272

Admission: Free                    

Underground: Westminster     

Location Map: https://goo.gl/maps/D0fuH

Whilst Parliament is sitting you can queue and gain entry to watch debates in either the House of Commons or the Lords.  You can also watch most of Parliaments committees in action.

Old Bailey – Central Criminal Court           

Old Bailey, EC4

Admission: Free                    

Underground: St Paul’s     

Location Map: https://goo.gl/maps/cSz0c

Advised for adults only, visit the public galleries and view some major court cases.  Check their web site for cases currently being heard.

Middle & Inner Temple     

Middle Temple Lane, EC4Y 9BT

Admission: Free                    

Underground: Temple     

Location Map: https://goo.gl/maps/q3swg

Stroll around the grounds of the Inner and Middle Temples historic home to the British legal profession.

Speakers’ Corner     

Hyde Park, Marble Arch, W1

Admission: Free                    

Underground: Marble Arch     

Location Map: https://goo.gl/maps/0njTO

Any day of the week, there's free entertainment to be had in the north-east corner of Hyde Park. You can even join in. Speakers' Corner has existed since late Victorian times, and welcomes a motley assembly of orators who tend to cover political or religious subjects.

Anyone can turn up and declaim on any subject, so long as they stay within the laws of free speech.

The Supreme Court              

Parliament Square, SW1P 3BD

Admission: Free                    

Underground: Westminster     

Location Map: https://goo.gl/maps/G01Vz

The final court of appeal in the UK.  Sits Monday to Thursday.  Suitable for adults. 

Ceremony of the Keys - Tower of London      

Tower Hill EC3N 4AB

Admission: Free *Booking Essential* (£1 booking fee)

Underground: Tower Hill Docklands Light Railway: Tower Gateway     

Location Map: https://goo.gl/maps/Zqh5k

For over 700 years the Ceremony of the Keys has taken place every evening.  This is the traditional locking up of the Tower of London and lasts approximately 40 minutes.  Though the Monarch no longer resides at the Tower of London, the Crown Jewels do!

You will need to book online early as places go fast. Entry is free to the Ceremony of the Keys.

State Opening of Parliament Procession    

Parliament Square, SW1A

Telephone: 020 7219 3107

Admission: Free                    

Underground: Westminster     

Location Map: https://goo.gl/maps/G65zH

The State Opening of Parliament marks the formal start of the parliamentary year and the Queen's Speech sets out the government’s agenda for the coming session, outlining proposed policies and legislation. It is the only regular occasion when the three constituent parts of Parliament – the Sovereign, the House of Lords and the House of Commons – meet.

You can watch the procession along its route from Buckingham Palace to the Houses of Parliament.  Check on the web site to see when the next State Opening is taking place.

    Picture: Houses of Parliament

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