Pomp, Ceremony & Ducks- Changing of the Guard

We’ve gone London Loopy!The Tower of London one day and now a trip out to Westminster past Downing Street, through St James’ park to Buckingham Palace to see the daily Changing of the Guard Ceremony!

The sun was out but still chilly being April, but the Queen’s Guard are out every day from now until the end of Summer strutting their stuff, so why not join the masses of tourists to see them – for FREE? The expensive option being a visit to Buckingham palace itself but the rooms aren’t open until July and we’ll be gone by then!

Little man was made up to see horses and ducks in one day. St James’ park is great for feeding the ducks and there is a restaurant and toilets (20p public loos) within the park.  If you’re lucky you might also see a pelican.

Continuing through the park toward the palace you hear the sound of a marching band at around 11am. Crowds walk alongside them down the Mall and there is a little bottle neck as you get to Constitution Hill but nothing too distressing and this was with a stroller.

As we didn’t want to get into the scrum at the palace gates we had plenty of breathing room on the path, but sacrificed our view somewhat. We didn’t hang  around for the whole ceremony which takes about 45 minutes as we heard an old veteran giving some tourists from the States the low-down on what would happen next and it was more of the same, so we headed up to Green Park station (completely STEP-FREE- joy!) past the daffodils, to have lunch at home.

Time for some reflection next…

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Getting High in the City- Sky Garden

So Bank isn’t the most buggy friendly tube station but a kind  helping-hand up the exit flight of stairs and we were on our way up to London’s highest public garden at Sky Garden for the third time in a year.

There are a plethora of places to lunch around the city if you head in early (around midday) you’ll beat the rush and can make more of your trip into town. Nandos were super friendly and accommodating as usual (and had a lift!).

Unfortunately I timed our trip slightly poorly on this occasion so little man ended up falling asleep as we exited the lift on the 35th floor but did get a glimpse of the sights after I’d had a chance to roam the 3 levels of the tropical flower beds and enjoy a surprisingly reasonably priced tea and scone on the higher level terrace.

There were plenty of buggies up there besides us despite the FAQ’s saying you might be asked to leave your buggy at reception at busy times.

The view is epic and even a seasoned Londoner will feel excited and proud at the marvellous landmarks London has to offer. No, you’re not at the top of the Shard, but the Shard is PART of the panorama, which in my view, is even better. The best bit of all is that it’s FREE, just book a ticket online at least a week in advance, and further ahead if you want a weekend ticket.

We popped to St Dunstan in the East ruined-church gardens after as these are known for being a green haven of tranquility in the hustle and bustle of the city, but we weren’t overly impressed- not enough green, but still nice to be able to sit down for a minute before grabbing the bus home.