Westminster is at the centre of the ceremonial, political, administrative and Royal London, and the City of Westminster is also the centre of culture and entertainment. Join me on a walk full of history and stories about the players in all these worlds. We will begin at Westminster Abbey, the home of Coronations and burials of English Kings and Queens. I’ll describe the history of the Abbey from its foundation by King Edward the Confessor to the recent Royal wedding and some of its famous stories including the well-known legend of sapphire which today is mounted in the middle of the Maltese cross surmounting the Imperial State Crown and is the oldest gem in the Crown Jewels.
We will move further to see St Margaret’s Church, with its amazing stained-glass windows by Flemish masters depicting famous people and events.
From there, it’s a short walk to the Houses of Parliament, still officially known as the Palace of Westminster, where Edward the Confessor lived during the construction of Abbey. I’ll introduce the building’s history and architecture and explain why England is called “the Mother of all Parliaments” and describe what Parliament’s work today consists of.
Outside Parliament lies Parliament Square where we will view the statues of famous statesmen, including American presidents, English Prime Ministers and many others that stand in this special space. We’ll then walk up Whitehall – the centre of British Government – to see Downing Street, where the Prime Minister famously has his official residence. You learn how the post of Prime Minister emerged and has evolved and about some of its more famous holders through history.
Lastly, we’ll proceed down the State ceremonial route, past Horse Guards, via Trafalgar Square, through Admiralty Arch and along the Mall adjoining St. James’s Park to arrive Buckingham Palace, the official residence of Queen Elizabeth II. Here we will see the Changing of the Guard, a unique spectacle of royal pomp and ceremony. You will end the tour having immersed yourself in the heart of what it means to be British!
This morning walk starts at Westminster Abbey: you can choose to be picked-up at your hotel or make your own way there. It lasts approximately three hours, which can include a comfort & refreshment break at your preference. The walk concludes with the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace and can be readily combined with a further, afternoon tour of a nearby major attraction – perhaps Buckingham Palace itself (in season) or Westminster Abbey. Other options include Churchill’s Cabinet War Rooms, the National Gallery or the National Portrait Gallery. Please browse the options available.
To book this tour, please get in touch via the ‘Contact Me’ page.