London Trafalgar SquareI hope you brought your comfortable shoes to visit the Queen. We are off on a walk to take in the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. Put on your elbow pads because every other tourist in London is coming with us.

Our starting point is Trafalgar Square, considered the heart of London and home of Mr Hahn Cock, the stunning blue 800kg rooster sculpture hanging out next to Canada House.

london walking map

Towering triumphantly above the poultry is Lord Nelson fresh off his defeat of the French and Spanish in this same square in 1805.

London Trafalgar Square

If we are going to get a good vantage point for the daily guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace, it is best to be in the area by 10:30am. So follow the masses or head south west along St James Park walking along the roadway known as ‘The Mall’.

St James Park LondonUpon arriving at Buckingham Palace gaze at the people already four to six deep jostling along the fence for a spot to view the ceremony.

Buckingham Palace Looking more like a super-sized rugby match you may choose to wander about and see if you can get arrested by jumping over gates.

LondonCheck out the photo below and see if you recognize anyone. Really….like traveling with an eight year old.

Changing of the GuardIf you are fortunate, between gate climbing you will glimpse the Horse Guard parade.

Horse Guards Buckingham PalaceAt 11:45am the event everyone has come for begins. The rugby spectators wrestle for a the best vantage point with now what is surely a tourist throng matching the population of London itself. My buddy, Mr. Gate Climber, was able to get a shot of the amazing action.

Changing of the guardThere you have it folks. A bit of an underwhelming experience in our opinion but definitely a historic tradition witnessed. With a shrug of our shoulders we were off on the opposite side of St. James Park heading east toward Westminster Abbey and Big Ben.

Big BenAt 315 feet high, the clock tower sits at the north end of Westminster Abbey. Ben refers to the 13 ton bell that chimes on the hour. Can you just hear me saying ” No you can not climb it!”

Head across the Thames River via Westminster Bridge to see the 40 story high ferris wheel the London Eye.

IMG_4322Walk past the crowds formerly at the Buckingham rugby match, I mean at the Changing of the Guard, and proceed north up river to the pedestrian bridge. Returning to Trafalgar Square head to the church opposite Canada House on the square, St Martin-in-the-Fields.

St Martin in the FieldsThe interesting name of the Church comes from it’s location In the fields on this spot where the original church stood in the 1300s.If you are lucky you will hear a rehearsal for an evening concert.

Now you must be starving. Head downstairs to the crypt for a snack and refreshment.

St martin in the fieldsYes that’s right we are going to hang out with some very quiet folks who have been here a very long time.

St Martin in the FieldFinish your day by finding a spot to sit in the square and take in some interesting people watching.

Trafalgar SquareThis walk was inspired by my blogging friend Jo who lives in the UK. Every week she takes her readers on a walk near her home, in Portugal or Poland. She is great fun and anyone that convince me to eat Haggis must be inspirational. Click here to see where Restless Jo is headed today.

Did you enjoy walking in London? Can you suggest a walk that you have done that others would enjoy? For the bonus points in what other photo can you see a glimpse of the London Eye?

Map courtesy of quickmap.com