St James' Private Walking Tour
An outdoor tour which follows in the footsteps of the Royals!
St James', otherwise known as 'London’s Royal Village', has entertained both Royalty and the gentry for hundreds of years and exploring this historic neighbourhood is a delight. From Henry VIII, the most notorious of the Tudor monarchs, to the Blitz, London's history is evident wherever you look on this tour.
The Changing of the Guard ceremony is Royal pageantry at its very best and we watch this extraordinary event from an angle the crowds rarely discover. It is magical to watch the soldiers marching, often accompanied by their band, in a ceremony that is over 350 years old! But how can you tell one regiment from another? Join me on a Hobnob tour to find out. The Changing of the Guard ceremony is not on every day - it is always a morning event so let me check the schedule before we finalise a date for your tour and fingers crossed it goes ahead - it can get cancelled at the last moment but that is unusual.
St James' is home to some of the most exclusive shops in town and the much coveted Royal Warrants, granted by the most senior members of the Royal Family, are proudly on display outside many of them. We will walk past where the Queen buys her hats and Prince Charles his shoes; we'll saunter by St James’ Palace, the splendid setting for some of the most important events in Royal history and we'll walk through St James' park, arguably the most beautiful of the eight Royal parks in and around the capital. Our tour then takes in the historic gentlemen's clubs, some of which still do not admit women as members, before arriving at St James' Square, the centrepiece of Henry Jermyn's housing estate for the aristocracy which became one of the most fashionable residential addresses for over a century.
As we wander along Jermyn Street (yes, it was named after Henry!), we'll wander past shops set up to provide the gentlemen with everything they could possibly want. Some of them began life as market stalls over 300 years ago but how they have changed since then! The wonderful Paxton & Whitfield is a good example; a cheese emporium like no other - with 150 artisan cheeses on display, it is a shop not to be missed. And then there's Floris, originally set up as a barbers shop but now selling the most exquisite perfumes including James Bond's favourite fragrance!
But this is not all! During our tour we will be able to see Clarence House, home to Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, Buckingham Palace including the world famous balcony, Horse Guards Parade and the smallest square in London where the last duel was said to have been fought in the city. As we follow in the footsteps of the royals, you will hear some fun facts about them from across the centuries.
The meeting place for St James' private walking tours is under the Colonnade of the Ritz Hotel, Piccadilly next to Green Park underground station.
St James' Palace and park
Great Tours for children to see Changing of the Guard
This two and a half to three hour tour costs £120.
I am currently only taking bookings for up to 5 people meaning that the maximum group size is 6 - so, 5 guests plus me.
If you would like to book a tour, please click the button below.