The British have always been known for their pomp and ceremony, and no trip to the capital city would be complete without seeing the Changing of the Guard.
Very much like the displays seen in the likes of Copenhagen and Prague, the ceremony has become quite famous over the years, with crowds of tourists flocking to Buckingham Palace to catch a glimpse of how it's done. The process itself is simple – a new guard merely exchanges duty with an old one – but it is the elaborate, and quite camp, manner in which it is usually done that tends to excite travellers.
For those who are still unclear on the whole matter, the guard that is responsible for looking after Buckingham Palace is known as The Queen's Guard, and this is divided into two detachments; one for the palace itself and the other to guard St James's Palace. All the guards are dressed in their usual red tunics and bearskin hats, and they must all take part in the ceremony, which is also set to some snazzy music.
The Changing occurs at Buckingham Palace at 11.30am local time, but also note that it also occurs at Horse Guards Arch and at Windsor Castle at 11am (10am on Sundays). For more information on dates, visit the official website. And to top all of that – the event is completely free!
Be sure to combine this with visiting some of the biggest attractions that London has to offer, including the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament, the Tate Modern and Westminster Abbey. If you need a place to stay, consider the Shaftesbury hotels – they are spacious, luxurious and family-friendly.