London Walking Tour with Westminster Abbey and Changing of the Guard

Explore royal history at London's famous church before seeing Buckingham Palace's ceremony

Travel Flexibly 5 / 5 See All 276 Reviews · 3.00h · London, England

Want an in-depth Westminster Abbey tour without waiting in line? Need to know the perfect place to stand for the Changing of the Guards? This London walking tour has got you covered! Along with a small group and your super-knowledgeable guide, you’ll explore Britain’s most famous church: the centuries-old location for royal weddings, funerals, and coronations. Afterwards, you’ll get several chances to watch the iconic Changing of the Guards ceremony (on certain days). A truly royal experience!

  • Guided Westminster Abbey tour
  • Parliament Square
  • Skip the line tickets
  • History of the Abbey
  • Famous tombs and effigies
  • The Quire
  • St. James Park
  • Changing of the Guard
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Downing Street

You’ll meet your super-knowledgeable guide in Parliament Square for the short walk to magnificent Westminster Abbey, where you’ll skip the line and head straight in to explore. Like a walking Westminster encyclopedia, your guide knows everything worth knowing about this 1,000-year-old site. They’ll bring its history to life with engaging stories of the seismic events that happened here.

Leaving the abbey, you’ll stroll through beautiful St. James Park to Buckingham Palace, just in time to find a great spot to watch the famous Changing of the Guards ceremony. You may even have the opportunity to visit nearby Downing Street—the street that plays home to Britain's Prime Minister and other key figures while they're in power. This is dependent on whether events are planned or access is restricted, however.

Westminster Abbey Guided Tour Description

Your 3-hour tour includes: 

  • Skip-the-line walking tour of Westminster Abbey

  • Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace (certain days; weather permitting)

  • Fun, knowledgeable local guide

  • Maximum group size of 15

The Changing of the Guard occurs only on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays for the remainder of the year. If there is heavy rainfall, the Changing of the Guard will not happen.

Westminster Abbey

Built on the site where a fisherman saw a vision of St. Peter in the 10th century, the Abbey has over a thousand years of history as a religious center, although the incredible building you'll see today is only around 750 years old, having been consecrated in 1269. Huge events in British history have played out here, including almost 40 royal coronations and the funeral of Princess Diana—watched by some 2.5 billion people worldwide. Today, it remains in use for royal weddings, and the funerals of the royal family and other notable people from British society.

Your guide is a true expert on the abbey and its history, and you'll hear fascinating stories of its construction and the events that have taken place here. This grandest of churches is the burial place for famous scientists such as Charles Darwin and Sir Isaac Newton, and the Poet's Corner section houses the remains of famous writers like Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling, and Geoffrey Chaucer. You'll explore every beautifully crafted corner of this vast abbey, learning all about its rich history as you go.

Changing of the Guard

A gentle stroll through leafy St. James Park brings you to the Buckingham Palace, just in time for the famous Changing of the Guards ceremony. As one of London's must-see events, crowds can get pretty big and it's not always easy to get a good view. Not to worry though, your guide knows exactly where to go so you can see the ceremony from multiple vantage points.

The King's Guard has been protecting Britain's monarch since 1660, and these elite soldiers from seven regiments are solely responsible for the King's security. This elaborate ceremony serves a practical purpose to change the morning shift (the Old Guard), to the afternoon shift (the New Guard). Though there is much pomp and fanfare, the guards primary focus is the protection of the King.

For this reason, the guards refuse to be distracted by the constant and often humorous attempts to distract them. To see this incredible parade of bands and soldiers in both red and blue outfits, your guide escorts you to more than one viewpoint as the ceremony happens.

What you get with this tour
Skip-the-line walking tour of Westminster Abbey
Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace
Fun, knowledgeable local guide
Maximum group size of 15
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29 February 2024
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25 February 2024
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Frequently Asked Questions

What to bring?

We recommend bringing a bottle of water with you and wearing a pair of comfortable shoes since this is a walking tour.

Can I take pictures in Westminster Abbey?

Yes! You are now allowed to take non-commercial photography inside Westminster Abbey. Videos and flash photography are not allowed, nor is any kind of photography allowed during a service.

Does this tour include pick up from your hotel?

Transport isn't included with this tour, but it's very easy to get here on the tube or by taxi. Your guide will be at the meeting point listed on your confirmation voucher.

Can I bring a backpack?

Small bags and backpacks are allowed, but they will be searched upon entry to Westminster.

What to bring?

We recommend bringing a bottle of water with you and wearing a pair of comfortable shoes since this is a walking tour.

How much walking is involved in this tour?

Although this tour doesn't cover a large distance or any difficult terrain, you will walking or standing for the majority of the 3 hours.

Does this tour guarantee seeing the Changing of the Guard?

No. The Changing of the Guard ceremony happens every day during June/July, but only Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sundays throughout the year. If there is heavy rainfall, the ceremony does not happen. Your guide will watch the time to help you get to the ceremony from Westminster Abbey in time.

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