We were in London at end of Summer and the weather was mostly cloudy and wet. This meant we spent lots of time at home but when we did go out we always made the most of it. As part of our homeschooling program we had learnt about the Royal Family and Buckingham Palace. The kids were dying to go to Buckingham Palace and watch the Changing of the Guards so on one of few fine days we made it happen.
If you are visiting London be sure to check the schedule of days for the Changing of the Guard as in months that are not between April and July it is on alternate days. The event will also be cancelled in the case of inclement weather so do be sure to check the website to avoid disappointment.
Changing of the Guards:
The event takes places at 11:30am so we were sure to get there in enough time to get a good spot so our smaller kids could see the goings on. As to be expected there were hordes of visitors and tourists and crossing the roads a nightmare, however we found a spot and settled down.
While we were waiting for the proceedings to begin Mo our 4 year old decided he needed to go to the toilet. J took him and that was the last we saw of them until the end of the event. Some roads are closed and blocked off and road crossings are patrolled by the police.
The event started promptly at 11:30am with the guards marching from out of Buckingham Palace and marching near the gates. Next the guards that are changing shifts come down the street in a procession, some are atop horses and they are accompanied by a marching band.
Our little guy said his favourite part was seeing the guards tall black hats.
Although we did not catch a glimpse of any of the Royal Family it is an experience that we will not soon forget.
If you are travelling to attend the Changing of the Guards with your children we do suggest bringing along a picnic lunch as there are many parks nearby including St James Park, Green Park and our pick of the bunch Hyde Park.
Hyde Park is a short 15 minutes walk from Buckingham Palace. Hyde Park is one of the largest parks in London and also part of the Royal Parks. If you are in the mood for it the park is home to several sculptures and memorials. Some include the Diana Memorial Fountain, The Boy and The Dolphin and the Pan Statue.
We decided to head to Kensington Gardens where the Diana Memorial Fountain and Playground are located. This is where we had our picnic and let the kids play. The park is gated and the only entrance to the park is guarded by security. They are very strict about not letting adults in unless they have a child with them. This was very comforting for me as sometimes it’s a challenge to keep your eyes on all your children at once.
The park had a big pirate ship and sand as well as several trees to find shade if needed.
We enjoyed Hyde Park and on another day J returned with our two boys and hired a bike to ride around. There are several bike stands around the park and all you need is a credit card to hire one. The cost was very reasonable and included the use for a 24 hour period.