The Changing of the Guard Tour

(12 customer reviews)

Piccadilly Circus Tube, meet by the Eros statue

Guided by Rick Jones or Ronnie Haydon

Walk Times

Day Walk Type Start Time End Time
Monday Weekly 10 am 12 pm Winter Summer Reserve Online

Blue Badge guide and music writer Rick Jones leads a tour to March in time with the military band and account for the long history of the manoeuvre with special emphasis on the 1790s when militarism was in the air and Austrian composer Joseph Haydn was tripping the light fantastic here in London


“I have a Blue Badge on my lapel. I may well wear an 18th-century wig. I have a vuvuzela with the words Property of Joseph Haydn on the side which I blow to announce the start. I have a drum roll for the Drumroll Symphony. Either way, I will draw attention to myself.”


The tour incorporates the Changing of the Guard which Haydn also witnessed and which partly inspired his 100th Symphony The Military.

He blest the City with a dozen symphonic masterpieces, half of which were popular enough to acquire nicknames – The Clock, The Miracle, The Surprise, The Drumroll and the London itself, No104, the last he composed. The tour not only tells the story of these works but also meets the composer’s English girlfriend and the German Musicianer who was here before him….

12 reviews for The Changing of the Guard Tour

  1. Cary

    Rick gave a great tour around the Japanese state visit. Another in the London walks hit parade.

  2. Steven

    Rick had to busk it a bit, as they were rehearsing for the Japanese Emperor’s state visit the day after. He is clearly very knowledgeable and ready for anything; it was excellent – Rick clearly has much ad libbing experience! Looking forward to doing the walk with him again when friends come to visit. Highly recommended.

  3. Tim Quick

    An exceptional guide for an exceptional walk. Richard is knowledgeable, funny and alround great company. He navigates you through time and through London, to land you right on cue for the changing of the guard. If you’re really lucky you might be treated to a small musical interlude en route as well. Highly recommended.

  4. Jean Piazza

    Rick was absolutely entertaining & very knowledgeable on this walk. He stopped and pointed out all the hidden walkways & knew the history inside & out on Haydn & all the British monarchy from the beginning of time. Very fun way to get my week & morning started going on a Changing of the Guard walk. Highly recommend this walk!

  5. Julie

    We thoroughly enjoyed the walking tour with Rick, learning about Haydn and his time in London, walking along with the Changing of the Guard, and visiting several hidden corners along the way including an old shopping arcade and a Christopher Wren church. Rick was a friendly and knowledgable guide.

  6. Christine Russell

    I thoroughly enjoyed this entertaining and informative walking tour with Rick. It was very interesting to learn so much about Haydn’s life and about the history of this part of London . So many fascinating details were pointed out that I had never noticed before!

  7. Abigail Franklin

    Outstanding tour with an exceptionally outstanding guide. Learning about Haydn’s time in London was enjoyable with landmarks along the way that I never could have found on my own. Also, watching the Changing of the Guard was a real highlight, and our wonderful guide knew just where to stand. A wonderful way to start the day!

  8. Brian

    A great walk, loads of interesting facts about Haydn, an excellent friendly guide with the addition of a great singing voice. Highly recommended.

  9. Chris

    This walk was brilliant – Rick undertook it with enthusiasm, even though I was the only person on it. A good pace and full of great information for someone like me who had heard of Haydn but had not realised he had spent time in London. The changing of the guard was an added bonus. I am partially deaf but had little trouble hearing Rick even against London noise. A great walk for my final morning.

  10. Phillip

    Walking with Rick, always a good jaunt with his musical interludes and great knowledge on the subject. Now knowing much more about Joseph Haydn and his time in London. The marching guards to Buckingham Palace from St. James extra special with fewer tourists made this talk a little bit more special today. I even learned about Grinling Gibbons

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