My walking tour of the Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey areas of London

London, England - Beautiful metal gates surrounding the Buckingham Palace

London’s Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace areas are among the most iconic tourist areas of this great city. These are large areas packed with tourist attractions and museums.

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What to expect on a walking tour of the Buckingham Palace area of London ?

When doing a walking tour of the Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey areas of London, expect to walk a lot! Even though these are large areas you can save a lot of time and frustration by walking instead of taking the tube. This particular walking route is one of my favorite walking tours of London.

London, England – walking tour map of the Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey areas
London, England - The London Eye seen from across the river Thames.
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Start at the London Eye

Buy a ticket and go inside and enjoy the views from on top. Take a few more minutes afterwards to stroll through the small Jubilee Gardens and walk along the river bank towards London Bridge. Allow at least one hour for The Eye of London.

London, England – The London Eye seen from across the river Thames.
London, England - The London Eye seen from across the river Thames.
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Big Ben and the Parliament

Cross the London Bridge and enjoy the iconic view a Big Ben and the Parliament. This is the view you see on many London postcards. If you have scheduled a visit to the Parliament then you need to coordinate your start time for now order to make your tour.

London, England – Big Ben and the Parliament Building.
London, England - Big Ben and the Parliament Building.
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Westminster Abbey

Then walk over to the famous Westminster Abbey and visit inside. Make sure you check the Westminster Abbey website prior to visiting because their visiting times vary wildly depending on what events they are hosting inside. On three different Saturdays, during different times I found the Abbey close to visitors, so check online first. You should allocate at least one hour and a half for visiting Westminster Abbey.

London, England – Side entrance to the Westminster Abbey church.
London, England - Side entrance to the Westminster Abbey church.
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Downing Street and the Horse Guard Parade

Then cross the street to St. James Park. Before walking inside the park you may want to visit Churchill War Rooms Museum which are very close to Downing St. #10 which is the residence of the British Prime Minister. Just a bit further up the street you will find the staging ground for the famous changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.

Stroll through St. James Park

Walk straight south through St. James Park through the meadows and the pathways around the lake slowly making your way down towards Buckingham Palace.

St. James Park, London – St. James Park pond in the winter

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In the summertime make sure not to miss the beautiful flower arrangements along the small lake.

Buckingham Palace and Victoria Memorial

Take in the view of the large Buckingham palace from the large Victoria Memorial statue in front of the palace. This place is filled with tourists, so take your time and take in the grandeur of this place.

London, England – The Buckingham Palace.
London, England - The Buckingham Palace.
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The Mall and Trafalgar Square

Then start walking up on The Mall right past the smaller but still functioning St. James Palace which you can walk right up to and admire it. Keep going up the mall all the way to Trafalgar Square.

Take in the views and the crowds and Trafalgar Square and make sure you take enough time to visit the amazing National Gallery.

Piccadilly

Walk over to Piccadilly Circus and take some time to watch the crowds in this very busy and famous square. When you have had enough shopping, noise and people you can start heading down Piccadilly towards Hyde Park Corner.

When you approach Green Park don’t miss the very first Hard Rock Cafe restaurant right here on Piccadilly across the street from Green Park. Established on June 14, 1971 Hard Rock Cafe has become one of the icons of London. If you want to eat there make sure you make reservations or come around 2:30pm so the crowds thin out. This place is always very busy and even if you don’t get to eat there make sure to at least peek inside and visit their gift shop next door. Lots of Hard Rock memorabilia on display.

London, England – One of the guitars used by Keith Richards from The Rolling Stones on display at the Hard Rock Cafe on Piccadily
London, England - One of the guitars used by Keith Richards from The Rolling Stones on display at the Hard Rock Cafe on Piccadily
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Wellington Arch and Hyde Park

You can now cross Piccadilly and you should see Wellington Arch. Finished around 1830, Wellington Arch is a little known gem when visiting London. Every tourist walks to Buckingham Palace but does not walk another 5 minutes to the Wellington Arch. Very few people know that you can climb to the top of Wellington Arch and get a great view of London. Also known as Constitution Arch or the Green Park Arch, Wellington Arch is a triumphal arch located to the south of Hyde Park in central London and at the western corner of Green Park.

London, England – Wellington Arch is a triumphal gate on the corner of Hyde Park and Green Park
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This is a great place to start exploring the Royal Parks of London since you are right where Hyde Park starts. Wandering through London’s parks is an adventure in itself which will not fit in this article.

London, England – interactive map of my favorite walking tour of the Buckingham Palace and Westminister Abbey areas of London

Can you see everything around the Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey areas in one day, on foot?

Well, it all depends on you. If you start earlier and have your research done and you have a good pair of walking shoes, then yes, you can. If however you have a few more days in London, then I would recommend taking two days to visit all the museums and attractions on this beautiful walk. My wife and I love this walk as it exposes the traveler to many of the iconic tourist destinations in London.

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