Updated: Jun 10
Horse Guards Parade is one of those ‘must visit’ places in central London as it is right on the doorsteps of London’s classic sites such as Trafalgar Square and Westminster.
As it is a big open space, then any time of day is good, although I prefer the morning as you will get the sun on both the Whitehall and Horse Guards road entrance. The Changing of the (Horse) Guards take place each day at 11:00 (Monday to Saturday) and 10:00 Sundays. There is also another change at 16:00 daily – so plenty of chances to capture some icon shots of London.
Here is some information on the sites in this area.
Horse Guards Parade
The area has been used for a variety of reviews, parades and other ceremonies since the 17th century. It is the site of the changing of the Horse Guards daily, and the annual ceremonies of Trooping the Colour, which commemorates the monarch’s official birthday, and Beating Retreat. It was formerly the site of the Palace of Whitehall’s tiltyard, where tournaments were held in the time of Henry VIII.
National Police memorial
The National Police Memorial includes a book containing the inscribed Roll of Honour of names of police officers killed in their hazardous duty. This book, which is behind the glass panel in the memorial, is the product of 25 years research, starts with an unknown constable killed in 1680. The glass pillar, is lit with a delicate, barely perceptible, blue illumination, recognising the blue light of the lamp that used to be outside all police stations telling the public the police were always ready to serve
The Guards Memorial, designed by the sculptor Gilbert Ledward in 1926 and erected to commemorate the First Battle of Ypres and other battles of World War I. To the Glory of God. And in the memory of the Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and Guardsmen of His Majesty’s Regiments of Foot Guards who gave their lives for their King and Country during the Great War 1914-1918 and of the Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers , Men of the Household Cavalry, Royal Regiment of Artillery Corps, Royal Army Medical Corps and other Units while serving the Guard’s Division in France and Belgium 1915-1918, fell with them in the fight for the World’s Freedom.This Memorial also Commemorates All Those Members of the Household Division who died in the Second World War and in the Service of their Country since 1918
The Cádiz Memorial, a French mortar mounted on a cast-iron Chinese dragon which commemorates the lifting of the siege of Cádiz in Spain in 1812
Horse Guards – Whitehall entrance
The Household Cavalry guard this entrance. It was once the Headquarters of the British Army. The Duke of Wellington was based in Horse Guards. The current General Officer Commanding London District still occupies the same office and uses the same desk. An oddity is the black background to the number 2 of the double sided clock which overlooks the Parade Ground and the front entrance, it is popularly thought to commemorate the time the last absolute monarch of England, Charles I, was beheaded at the Banqueting House opposite
Map Horse Guards Parade