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A private walking tour which meanders through the prestigious areas of Whitehall and Westminster.
A fascinating tour of parts of iconic London!

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Although this tour explores the neighbouring areas of Whitehall and Westminster, it starts on the south bank of the River Thames and crosses the river using Hungerford Bridge.  As well as providing us with magnificent views of London's skyline, this starting point allows us to indulge in a little reminiscing about how London is really a tale of two cities rather than just one!  All will be revealed! 

On reaching the north bank, we head to Victoria Embankment Gardens where 150 years ago we would have been standing in the river!  Now that's an interesting discussion!  We walk up Villiers Street to see the Eleanor Cross, a reminder of the great love between Edward I and his wife Eleanor of Castile, 730 years ago.  

We arrive at Trafalgar Square to enjoy the view of Nelson at the top of his very tall column and hear the legend of when the lions at his feet will spring to life!  Nowadays, it's impossible to imagine that this was once a Royal Mews, moved by George IV in the 1800s.  

As we join Whitehall, we pass by a number of British Government offices, all very grand looking buildings, but there is a lot more to Whitehall than those!  We pass the Horse Guards building still known as the official entrance to both St James' and Buckingham palaces, symbolic only today; opposite is Banqueting House where one of England's king's was executed.    Moving a little further along Whitehall, we see Downing Street, home to Britain's Prime Minister.

Leaving Whitehall behind, we turn our attention to Westminster.  Arriving in Parliament Square, we are surrounded by three iconic buildings which if all the originals were standing today, each would be at least 920 years old!  But, of course, all are not originals!

The Houses of Parliament date back to 1834 when the original Palace of Westminster burnt to the ground.  One of its most famous features is the Elizabeth Tower which houses Big Ben, the bell that chimes for New Year. 

 

Finished by William Rufus in 1097, Westminster Hall has had many uses over the centuries including a court to try those accused of treasonous offences.  

Westminster Abbey, the oldest of the three buildings, was finished in 1245 but still contains parts of the original building built by Edward the Confessor in the 1050s.   

Our tour continues across College Green, where there is a media frenzy prior to any big event in the political calendar, en route to Deans Yard, one of the most central but quietest squares in London.  It's now time for our second glimpse of Westminster Abbey standing beside the West Door, the entrance you would use to enter for evensong.

 

Skirting around the edge of St James' Park, we come to Horse Guards parade where two ancient ceremonies continue today.  The parade ground has a fascinating history with many Royal memories to recall.   As we walk through St James' Park which is one of the most beautiful of the eight royal parks in and around London, if we're lucky, we might see one of the six pelicans who live on the ornamental lake.

The palaces are a highlight of this tour and we pass both Buckingham and St James', both of which have royal sagas to be revealed.  When in 1698 St James' became the official residence of the monarch when in London, it was a catalyst for the building of grand mansions and exclusive shops some of which still flourish today.  We wander past some of those which still provide the royals with shoes, hats and wines!

The meeting place for the Whitehall and Westminster walking tour is in front of the Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank of the River Thames.   It ends in St James' Street, a stone's throw from Piccadilly close to Green Park station. 

London as a tale of two cities!

Trafalgar Square + lions!

Horse Guards

Banqueting House

Downing Street

 

London's St James' and   Buckingham Palaces from the outside

A tour not to be missed!

Three of the most iconic buildings in the world:

 

Houses of Parliament

Westminster Hall

 

Westminster Abbey

This is a 3 hour tour. 

 

I guide small groups of up to 5 family or friends meaning that the maximum group size is 6 - 5 guests plus me. 

If you would like to book a tour, please click the button below.

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