Classic touristy fun! My recent visit was a quick stop with my mother (who was in town for a bit) and we just got the usual photos of the guards. I've never checked out the museum, but have heard good things.
Horses! Guards! Big point headgear! Wins all around.
What an amazing venue. It's hard to beat a beach volleyball sand pit in the middle of the historic Horse Guards parade. Yes, the same venue where the Queen celebrates her birthday is now the Olympic venue for beach volleyball, bikinis and all.
For those not distracted by the parade of dancing cheerleaders (Yes, this is the one Olympic event that has many scantily clad dancers in various forms of "beach wear" to entertain the crowd), the venue itself is beyond stunning. You have a great view of the historic Admiralty and even a decent view of the London Eye ferris wheel.
Only in a city like London, could you stage beach volleyball in such a venue. It's so worth getting tickets...besides beach volleyball is a lot of fun too, and the crowd definitely gets into the game.
The only down-side to the very centrally located venue (and sadly most of the other 2012 venues is a lack of sufficient food and beverage stands. Expect to queue and queue and queue to get a refreshing beverage or a a meal), on a positive the airport-like security to enter the venue was comparably a breeze.
Beach Volleyball! We applied for these tickets (and luckily got them) during the first round of the Olympics tickets fiasco. I'm not the biggest sports fan, but it's the Olympics, and how many times would I get to go?
The area is nice. It seemed well organized to get into. The queue for the security was pretty quick. The holding area was alright, the food options seemed a bit lackluster, and we were on the hunt for the champagne and seafood place (which it turns out was near the area). There were people doing sand-sculptures, and we watched one guy doing the horse guards parade area out of sand!
The area near the arena was better! There were tons of toilets (although most were women's), and we finally found the champagne and seafood! After the champagne, oysters, and shrimp, we decided to get some beverages to take into the area, so we bought some London 2012 white wine. (Which turned out much better than anticipated.) There were also the same food stalls as in the holding area, and a few more which looked good: rotisserie chicken and barbeque (which smelled amazing).
The arena itself is quite cool. Good spacing for the seats (we were lucky and had front row behind one of the teams and next to Olympic coaches/family members). The DJ kept things interesting between the points and there were scantily clad dancers (male and female!) to entertain during the short breaks. I even got to witness a beach volleyball proposal between games.
Unfortunately, you are shuffled quite quickly out of the area after the game, as they need to get it read for the next group coming in, so you have to make any purchases before the end of the second game. The men's toilets were also designed a bit strangely, as two of the hand dryers were in the corners right next to the urinal trough, so basically no one could use it without snuggling up next to someone peeing (which I'm pretty sure some people might freak out about).
All in all though, a good time was had by us, more than expected. I wish we could have stayed longer for another two games!
Every day at 11.0am (& 11.30 at Buckingham Palace)
people come to see the Queen's Guard change.
In full dress uniform it is an amazing sight : but come early
it is very popular
We went to The Changing of the Guard as part of a sightseeing tour of London, so we were guided to a corner near the corner where we could get a good view without too much crowding.
It is amazing and humbling to see such tradition in real life, and to be part of the atmosphere. The colour, richness and dignity of the parade is moving. While we were there, our guide pointed out a couple of gentlemen who were standing quietly watching. These gentlemen are veterans who were at Suez in 1956, and who make a point, virtually every day, to have a respectful moment of watching the parade in hnour of their comrades.
We went to the changing of the horse guards as our 6yr old daughter loves horses and it was a great experience for her: get close to the horses, take a picture nxt to the guards.
definitely worthwhile to do if you have time. Lovely walk from Embankment tube station on a sunny day!
It seems small because it is so nicely laid out, the atmosphere was great with the DJ playing tunes keeping the crowd involved even if the teams were from any of the fans. Night matches can get pretty chilly or wet.
I love it. There is a parade on the weekends which attracts tourists from all over the world - the changing of the guard. The grandeur and professionalism is spectacular!
If you find the Royal Guard exchange is too crowded in Buckingham Palace and you are not insist to watch it at there, you can choose the Horse Guard exchange here.
Personally speaking, I think this one is better as you can see the guard on the horse which you rarely see at other parts of the world. And you can take the photo which them closely. And you can even try to feed the horse with mint candy. Of course, you need to be fast and careful!! ^_^
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