Whitehall and Horse Guards

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Once the location of Whitehall Palace ago it was destroyed by fire, it is now the main thoroughfare between Parliament Square and Trafalgar Square. It is also home to major government ministries, like the Home Office and the Foreign Office, housed in grand neo-classical buildings.

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Nowadays, Horse Guards, halfway the length of the street on the western side, is the most catchy affinity for visitors. Here you can see army in their dress uniform of red coats and black busbies on guard duty. Try as you might, and people really do try, you will get no reaction, no modify of facial expression, from these sentries. Go the length of at 11am and you will see the ceremony of the Changing of the Guard.

In the centre of Whitehall, towards the Parliament Square end, stands the Cenotaph, the country’s principal commemoration to the dead of the 20th century’s two world wars. There is an official ceremony to honor the dead held every year on Armistice Day, 11th November. It is attended by the Queen, Prime Minister and added members of Government and the Royal Family. There is also a parade of veterans.

Near the Cenotaph, on the western side of Whitehall, you will see a tiny turning; this is Downing Street containing the home and offices of the Prime Minister (10 Downing Street) and, next door, the Chancellor of the Exchequer. At one time the street was open and people could walk past the famed abode but now there are gates, cagey by police.

Address: Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms Clive Steps, King Charles Street London SW1A 2AQ
Open: every day except 24, 25 and 26 December. 9:30am – 6.00pm (last admission 5.00 pm)

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