Little Trekkers Do London: Part Two – Changing the Guard.
I’m not a fan of crowds but I love a bit of pomp and ceremony. Hence, I was delighted to discover a way to catch the Changing of the Guard whilst avoiding the worst of the crowds.
Step 1: Get to Wellington Barracks (Birdcage Walk) for about 10.45am.
Here, the Little Trekkers got ringside seats to watch the Guard form up and be inspected. The band also formed up just on down to the right. It might have been good to have stood there for a closer look at the band, but we could still hear and see them from this spot and Chloe had loads of room to boogie along, while Harry was entertained by much to-ing and fro-ing.
Step 2: After the band and guard march off towards Buckingham Palace, head over to the play-park at the Buckingham Palace end of St James’ Park.
Give the Little Trekkers 10 or 15 minutes to burn off steam while one of the adults grabs coffee from the adjacent kiosk. Then follow the path across the bridge – there might even be time to linger on the bridge to get a shot of the best view in London (according to my cousin anyway, but I think he may be right!)
Aim to arrive on the Mall opposite St James’ Palace for about 11.55.
Step 3. Enjoy more ringside seats for a view of the relief guard marching up the Mall followed byay-park at the Buckingham Palace end of St James’ Park.the St James’s Palace detachment (with band) marching back down the Mall about 12.15. You might like to stand on the other side of the Mall to get an even closer look – hindsight is a wonderful thing!
Step 4: Picnic in St James’s Park amongst the squirrels with green parakeets flying overhead - magic!
Don’t forget to get a family selfie with the Queen on the way.
Step 5: Have a guided walking tour of Central London with my cousin, Richard. (He’s not actually a professional guide, although he could be and he’s been in London long enough that he’s almost local!)
We had a brilliant walk around the sights, the highlight of which was arriving at Big Ben just in time to hear the bells strike 2 o’clock. There was just time for a quick refuel with coffee and cake before we bid our farewells to Richard and braved the crowds in Hamleys. That was a whole other adventure altogether! For more detailed info on viewing the Changing of the Guard with kids, including maps, click here. (http://changing-guard.com/visit-with-children.html)
About the Author
About Me & Mine
Ashley (Dad/ 3rd child/ chief photographer). Me - Kerry (Mum/ the sensible one... sometimes). Harry (8) can't sit still and Chloe (nearly 6, thinks she can do everything Harry can and makes pretty good attempts too). We spend as much time as possible having "adventures" (which consist of anything which takes place outside and is accompanied by official “adventure sweeties”).
Favourite place in the world:
Ashley and me - The Ards Peninsula, Strangford Lough, The Mourne Mountains . Harry – Alan’s farm, anywhere with mud, sand, bugs or tractors or that requires a paddle or harness to get to. Chloe - Anywhere as long as it's outside and preferably with somewhere to toast marshmallows and drink “North Pole” hot chocolate
Favourite things to do outdoors:
Biking, climbing, canoeing, digging holes on the beach, making dens (or anything out of sticks), looking for squirrels, butterflies, crabs and Gruffalos. Chloe loves to collect stones, but we try to discourage that as we invariably end up carrying the most precious ones home. She managed to stash about 20 in her bag on a recent weekend away in Ballycastle and cunningly talked Uncle Pancake into carrying her bag to the car so we wouldn’t find out until it was too late. She currently has a fairly large cairn in her bedroom! Harry has a model dairy farm complete with stone walls built from beach pebbles in his bedroom. Neither has much room left for sleeping.