When taking a trip to the wonderful city of London, it’s a good idea to factor in some time to visit a museum. This will allow you and your party to learn more about the area’s history, but also be entertained by watching it come to life.
However, there are so many great establishments in London that choosing which one to visit in a limited amount of time can be tricky. There are obviously all the big names like the Natural History Museum, but the city has lots of smaller museums vying for your attention too and they’re often just as good as their much bigger counterparts.
If you’re spoilt for choice, why not take our advice and check out the Guards Museum?
What is the Guards Museum about?
Having opened its doors in 1988, the museum is dedicated to the British Army’s five regiments of Foot Guards: the Grenadiers, Coldstream, Scots, Irish and Welsh.
Alongside the two regiments of Household Cavalry, they have fought in almost every one of the British Army’s campaigns over the centuries, right up to the most recent operations in Afghanistan.
They make up Her Majesty’s Household Division and have both a ceremonial and combat role, including guarding The Sovereign and the Royal Palaces.
Within the museum’s walls, you will be able to find a wealth of information and artefacts detailing the soldiers’ routines, their changing uniforms over the years, their roles in combat and much more, making this the ideal attraction for history enthusiasts and army buffs alike.
The Guards Museum is open seven days a week, from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., with last admission half an hour prior to closing.
Adult entry fees are £6, while senior citizens, students and ex-military personnel will be charged just £3. Serving military personnel can get in for £2 and under-16s enjoy free admission.
Alternatively, you can book in advance and take in a guided walking tour of the museum between Monday and Friday. Groups of ten to 30 are catered for and the price is £8 per head, or an extra £2.50 if you would like refreshments included.
Tours last one-and-a-half hours and will cover the history of the Guards from the English Civil War to the present day, so are well worth taking for the wealth of information you’ll come back with.
Don’t forget to stop off at the Guards Toy Soldier Centre retail outlet for souvenirs before you head back to your hotel, as you can pick up everything from decorative thimbles and mugs to history DVDs that can be enjoyed again and again.
Getting to the museum
It’s easy to reach the museum, with the easiest option being the London Underground. The nearest stations are St James’s Park, Green Park, Waterloo, Charing Cross and Victoria.
Once you emerge, just head down Birdcage Walk and the museum is around 500 metres from Buckingham Palace near The Guards Chapel.
Unfortunately, no direct bus routes stop outside the museum and there is no parking on Birdcage Walk, but you should be able to get a taxi from the nearest stop or your parking space if these are your preferred modes of transport.
We’re sure you’ll find the Guards Museum to be interesting, informative and entertaining, meaning it will be a worthy entry on your London itinerary.