Buckingham Palace

Things to do in

Warmer weather brings beautiful garden arrangements, but also a crowd. Arrive early for the best views


One of the most sought after views in London for any visitor, Buckingham Palace has been in a somewhat constant state of change since before it became the official royal residence in in 1837. Earlier records suggest the site's history stretches back as far as 1624 as a private house. Today, the flag flying over the entry onto Pall Mall can tell you if the Queen is in residence or not, where the Royal Standard indicates her presence.

The Changing of the Guard is a popular attraction at the palace. The ceremony lasts about 45 minutes and often (but not always) features a musical accompaniment of a military band. Typically, the ceremony occurs on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 11:00AM, while the Sunday ceremony takes place at 8:00AM. The presentation itself can sometimes be disrupted not by weather, but by palace events and the occasional security concern. Plan for a crowd.

Getting there

By land

The site can easily be walked from Trafalgar Square or other popular sites around the city, while a private vehicle service may not be able to provide pick up and drop off service directly at the palace for security reasons. The nearest Underground stations include Hyde Park Corner, St James's Park, and, most popular of all, Green Park. The approach from Pall Mall or through St James's Park itself can be very enjoyable, especially during the warmer months of the year.

By sea

From Southampton, rail service into London's city centre can be effective, but a private car and driver may significantly reduce stress in achieving your travel goals for London on a short visit.

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