Buckingham Palace is the London residence of the Royal Family.
Be prepared for a walk to get there, and a walk to get somewhere else afterwards.
The official website is here.
The front of the palace is the only interesting place to be. If you fancy a walk around the palace, you will find that the Palace Gardens (they are all behind the Palace) are large (so it's a very long walk). There's a huge brick wall surrounding the gardens, with no way to see in, and not much else to see on the roads either.
|Some Notes !|
There are no facilities nearby - no toilets; no
food stalls; no benches. The Mayor of London should
address this !
The closest tube is Green Park (about 10 minutes quick walk or 15 mins stroll).
If you come from St James Park (tube) you will need a good map to find your way through the maze of roads, and again it's 15 mins stroll.
If you come from Victoria train station and tube, buses _do_ come from Victoria towards Buck.Pal., but they don't stop outside Buck.Pal. Again it's a (shorter) walk.
We think the nicest way to get to Buck.Pal. is from Trafalgar Square. (Use Charing Cross tube). It's a walk, but at least it's straight (down The Mall), you can see Buck.Pal. in the distance, and it's a nice walk.
Surrounding Buckingham Palace is either Green Park, or St James Park, or expensive and dull residential. Both parks are lovely parks to walk and relax in, but there are few or no facilities.
If you need a bathroom, walk towards Victoria to find a pub. (Directions: Facing Buck.Pal., head towards the left and follow the street signs along the side of the Palace Gardens.)
If you want a snack, again walk towards Victoria to find a newsagent, or use Victoria train station. If you want a decent meal, find public transport and go somewhere else.
|Changing The Guard At Buckingham Palace|
Changing the Guard takes place at 11:30 daily from
May until the end of July and on alternate days for
the rest of the year, weather permitting.
The schedule is set by the British Army.
The official website is here.
There is no admission fee, because there is no private admission. You, and everyone else, crowds against the outside bars, poking your camera through to watch. And it normally gets crowded, so to get a place at the front (so you can poke your camera through) arrive around 10:45am, and stay in your place.
Where you stand can be important, as can your camera !
This is a 30-second video; the whole ceremony takes
several minutes. The area they march in is large, so
without a zoom, figures appear small in the result.
In winter, the sun is still low in the sky at 11:30 am,
and facing into your eyes.
For much of the time, The Guards either stand still or march up and down. Their role is largely ceremonial or last-resort, nowadays. There are plenty of people with machine guns before you even reach these guys.
|If you are lucky, there will be some small ceremony that you can watch.|
|The Victoria Memorial is at the front; it's also good place to watch from.|
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