Changing the Guard

The West End

The full-on pageantry of soldiers in bright-red uniforms and bearskin hats parading down the Mall and into Buckingham Palace is madly popular with tourists. The event lasts about 45 minutes and ends with a full military band playing music from traditional marches, musicals and pop songs. The pomp and circumstance can feel far away indeed when you're in a row 15, trying to watch the ceremony through a forest of selfie sticks. Get here at least 45 minutes before the main event.

Check the calendar online ( before you set off, as the ceremony is sometimes cancelled because of bad weather or road closures. Suitcases with wheels are not allowed near Buckingham Palace's gates, so you'll be moved along by police if you have your luggage in tow.