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London In a Day: Tower of London, Westminster Abbey & Changing of the Guard

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    Stop At: Tower of London, Tower Hill, London EC3N 4AB England

    Your last stop, the Tower of London, is also the most impressive. With pre-reserved tickets at the quietest time of day, you won’t have to battle crowds to enjoy nearly 1,000 years of bloody royal feuds, improbable jailbreaks, jewel heists, menacing ravens, and even a ghost or two. Your guide, who has an expert grasp of British history, will regale you with the often hair-raising stories of this royal stronghold, jail, zoo, and sometimes execution block, including the mystery of two lost royal boys that still raises the hairs of everyone who hears it.

    Duration: 1 hour

    Pass By: Buckingham Palace, Spur Road, London SW1A 1AA England

    Leaving the spiritual heart of England, you’ll avoid the large crowds gathered in front of Buckingham Palace to watch the Changing of the Guard and head to Wellington Barracks instead. This is where most of the ceremony actually takes place, including the band’s performance and the highly-formal uniform checks. It’s even more surprising then that so few visitors come here to watch the Changing of the Guard, meaning you can get right within arm’s reach of the guards as they pass.


    Stop At: Tower Bridge Road, London SE1 2UP England

    After a break for lunch (your guide will recommend a range of great places to eat) you’ll reconvene for a short walk down to the Thames for a scenic river cruise that will take you past a number of London landmarks like the Shard, the Gherkin, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye and more. Disembark at the foot of Tower Bridge and cross the iconic attraction as you learn its unexpected history.

    Duration: 20 minutes

    Pass By: Tate Modern, 53 Bankside, London SE1 9TG England

    Tate Modern

    Pass By: Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, 21 New Globe Walk, London SE1 9DT England

    Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

    Pass By: St. James's Park, Horse Guards Road The Storeyard, London SW1A 2BJ England

    Now it’s time for little surprise. On the other side of the St. James’s Park you’ll step into the Horse Guards Parade to witness a much less famous, but perhaps even more impressive ceremony: The changing of of the Queen’s Life Guard, an elite cavalry regiment, mounted on exquisitely-bred, and specially-trained horses. As you watch the guards go through the ceremony, your guide will explain the significance of everything from the armor they wear to the colors on their uniforms.

    Pass By: St. James's Palace, London England

    St. Jame's Palace

    Pass By: St. Paul's Cathedral, St Paul's Churchyard, London EC4M 8AD England

    After a break for lunch (your guide will recommend a range of great places to eat) you’ll reconvene for a short walk down to the Thames for a scenic river cruise that will take you past a number of London landmarks like the Shard, the Gherkin, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye and more. Disembark at the foot of Tower Bridge and cross the iconic attraction as you learn its unexpected history.


    Pass By: Trafalgar Square, Centre of the City, London SW1A England

    Your next stop is Trafalgar Square, the geographic center of London and one of the city’s most iconic public spaces. While you marvel at the size of the bronze lions and enormous triumphal column, your guide will tell you about the naval history that gives the square its name as well as the dashing Admiral Nelson whose fame during his short life makes modern celebrities seem like total amateurs. You’ll also come across some unexpected curios, like the smallest police box in the world and a statue of George Washington that sits on a micro-plot of American soil.


    Stop At: Westminster Abbey, 20 Dean's Yard Broad Sanctuary, London SW1P 3PA England

    Your day begins in Westminster Abbey, where you’ll take advantage of pre-reserved tickets to visit England’s most hallowed church, before most of the crowds arrive. As you stroll across the beautiful Cosmati pavements and peer up into the elaborate vaulted ceiling, your guide will introduce you to the church’s tumultuous history, which mirrors that of England.

    Duration: 1 hour

    Stop At: Horse Guards Parade at Whitehall, Horse Guards Whitehall, London SW1A 2AX England

    On the other side of the St. James’s Park you’ll step into the Horse Guards Parade to witness a much less famous, but perhaps even more impressive ceremony: The changing of of the Queen’s Life Guard, an elite cavalry regiment, mounted on exquisitely-bred, and specially-trained horses.

    Duration: 15 minutes

    Pass By: Houses of Parliament, Parliament Square, London SW1A 0AA England

    House of Parliament

    Stop At: Changing of the Guard, Buckingham Palace, London SW1A 1AA England

    Leaving the spiritual heart of England, you’ll avoid the large crowds gathered in front of Buckingham Palace to watch the Changing of the Guard and head to Wellington Barracks instead. This is where most of the ceremony actually takes place, including the band’s performance and the highly-formal uniform checks. It’s even more surprising then that so few visitors come here to watch the Changing of the Guard, meaning you can get right within arm’s reach of the guards as they pass.


    Duration: 20 minutes

    Pass By: Parliament Square, London England

    Parliament Square

    Pass By: Coca-Cola London Eye, Westminster Bridge Road Riverside Building, County Hall, London SE1 7PB England

    After a break for lunch (your guide will recommend a range of great places to eat) you’ll reconvene for a short walk down to the Thames for a scenic river cruise that will take you past a number of London landmarks like the Shard, the Gherkin, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye and more. Disembark at the foot of Tower Bridge and cross the iconic attraction as you learn its unexpected history.

    Stop At: Thames Cruises, Lambeth Palace Rd Lambeth Pier, Albert Embankment, London SE1 7SG England

    After a break for lunch (your guide will recommend a range of great places to eat) you’ll reconvene for a short walk down to the Thames for a scenic river cruise that will take you past a number of London landmarks like the Shard, the Gherkin, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye and more. Disembark at the foot of Tower Bridge and cross the iconic attraction as you learn its unexpected history.

    Duration: 15 minutes

    Pass By: Take Walks, London England

    Take Walks
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    1 - 5 of 21 reviews
    Reviewed 2 days ago

    Exceeded expectations. Alex is very knowledgeable and extremely passionate. He made the whole experience fantastic and is an asset to the organisation.

    Date of experience: August 2019
    Thank mariannemaluta
    Reviewed 5 days ago

    This tour was one of the most memorable tours we did whilst holidaying in the UK. Our guide Alice, was so informative on the history of all our locations, filling us with so many fascinating insight into the histories gone by. No question went unanswered....More

    Date of experience: August 2019
    Thank Cazzahad
    Reviewed 5 days ago

    This tour really packed in a lot of London's highlights into 1 day. Easily clocked up about 14,000 steps so it's not for the lighthearted but we loved every minute. Our guide, Gina, was super knowledgeable - didn't miss a beat. We discovered lots of...More

    Date of experience: August 2019
    4  Thank TravelWithBender
    Reviewed 6 days ago

    This was my first time visiting London from the US. I was unsure which tour company to use and chose Take Walks after reading reviews. Best decision I could have made! Geoff was an incredible source of knowledge and information. Request to be in his...More

    Date of experience: August 2019
    Thank Patrick D
    Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

    This was one of the best tours we took and would highly recommend to anyone who wants to see the “highlight” landmarks in London. Salvador, our guide, was amazing! He was entertaining, knowledgeable and was able to customize the tour to the needs of the...More

    Date of experience: July 2019
    Thank John H
    TakeWalks, Public Relations Manager at Take Walks, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

    Dear John H, Thank you for writing a review! We are so glad that you had such a wonderful time with Salvador! London is a large city with many stories to tell and sometimes it's hard to fit all the "highlights" into one day but...More

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