Tour 9 St James’s Palace

This ninth tour of free London sights from Victoria station starts from Hyde Park Corner accessed by bus or on foot up Buckingham Palace Road, Grosvenor Gardens and Grosvenor Place skirting the Palace walls on your right.  We start near the horseback statue of  the Duke of Wellington (1769-1852) whose defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 makes him one Britain's greatest military heroes. The tour continues through Wellington Arch to the Bomber Command Memorial. From there we cross Green Park to St James’s Palace returning across the Park via the Canada memorial and Commonwealth memorial gates to Hyde Park Corner and Victoria. 

Wellington Arch

Wellington Arch on the traffic island lies opposite the Duke of Wellington’s former abode at Apsley House known as No 1 London because the Arch and a previous turnpike gate were seen as the entrance to central London from the west.  Both Wellington and Marble Arch were planned in 1825 by King George IV to commemorate Britain'…

Tour 8 Horse Guards

Take an 11 or 24 bus from Victoria station to Trafalgar Square to start our eighth tour at the Canadian High Commission, the large building with distinctive red and white flags opposite the Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery. There’s generally a free exhibition at the High Commission accessible after a body and luggage scan. This circular tour crosses from the Commission past the historic Admiralty Pub onto the Mall turning right to view the free Mall galleries and Queen Mother memorial further down. We turn back along the Mall to Horse Guards via the Police memorial then pass through to Whitehall and visit Downing Street, the Cenotaph and the Banqueting House heading back to Trafalgar Square for a bus to Victoria.

Mall galleries

From the Canadian High Commission cross into Spring Gardens passing the HMS Victory-themed Admiralty pub into the Mall. Admiralty Arch on your left is King Edward VII’s memorial to his mother Queen Victoria and its central arch is reserved for Royal process…

Tour 7 Piccadilly Circus

Our seventh walk captures London’s glitz, the flashing lights of Piccadilly and sparkling jewels of Mayfair, starting at the Ritz Hotel next to Green Park underground. From Victoria take a 38 bus or tube or walk up Buckingham Palace Road, cross the Mall with the Palace behind you and walk up Green Park on the path to the right by the fence. We cross Piccadilly from the Ritz walking up Berkeley Street to the heart of Mayfair. The tour takes in Faraday’s Museum at the Royal Institution, Burlington Arcade and the Royal Academy on the way to Piccadilly Circus, the World Time Today Clock and St James’ Church returning along Piccadilly to Green Park and Victoria Station.


From the Ritz Hotel cross Piccadilly and walk up the right hand pavement at Berkeley Street to the extraordinary Turtle fountain at Park Chinois and take the next left down Lansdowne Row to Curzon Street. Proceed to Shepherd Market where the original ‘May Fair’ was held which retains a village like atmosphere in the m…

Tour 6 Trafalgar Square

From Victoria station take an 11 or 24 bus to Trafalgar Square and walk a short distance to the centre of London where our sixth tour begins. Road distances to London are measured from a plaque on the ground by the statue of King Charles I at the junction of the Strand, Whitehall and Cockspur Street, under the shadow of Nelson’s column. On that spot stood the original Eleanor’s Cross which starts this tour. We proceed from there via St Martin-in-the-fields to the statue of Edith Cavell, the National Portrait Gallery and, round the corner, the National Gallery. Descending from there onto Trafalgar Square we view the imperial measures. The tour ends at London’s ‘greatest sight’ in many reckonings, Nelson’s column.

Eleanor Cross

Charing Cross might derive from the French ‘chère reine’,‘dear Queen’ Eleanor’s memorial, the most southerly of 12 erected by her loving husband King Edward I to mark the nightly resting places of her body as it returned from Lincoln where she died in 1290 to her i…

Tour 5 London Eye

Victoria station is major portal to the sights of London so many of which are free, at least to look at, like London Eye. Our fourth tour takes us to Portcullis House, opposite Big Ben, accessed by walking or taking a bus down Victoria Street to Westminster underground station beneath it. Accommodating MPs this building is named after the chained portcullis on Parliament letterheads. It’s prominent chimneys draw air through the building by natural convection. You can visit Portcullis House to attend public committees after a security check. The walk views Big Ben and the statue of Boadicea crossing Westminster Bridge to London Eye returning across a Golden Jubilee Bridge to view Joseph Bazalgette’s memorial, one of the famous Lion’s heads, William Tyndale’s statue and the RAF memorial returning from there to Victoria station.

Big Ben

From Westminster underground station under Portcullis House you can’t miss the UK’s most popular sight, Pugin’s 315 foot clock tower completed 1859 and ren…

Tour 4 Parliament Square

Our fourth tour is of a favourite venue for tourists and demonstrators. Parliament Square adjoins the main seat of government, the Royal Palace of Westminster with its Houses of Lords and Commons opposite Westminster Abbey where monarchs are crowned. Take a 15 min walk from Victoria Station, or take a bus, along Victoria Street to the Abbey forecourt just off the Square. From Westminster Abbey we cross to the green to inspect the statues of Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi and, behind them, the Supreme Court. Proceeding past the statue of Winston Churchill across to Parliament we return to the Abbey via St Margaret’s Church.   

Westminster Abbey

With both spiritual and cultural significance the Abbey has the tomb of Saint Edward besides 3,300 ‘lesser’ mortals and is a place of national pilgrimage. Site of the anointing and crowning of British monarchs and of many state occasions Westminster Abbey traces back to Edward its saintly founder who began its building in 1044. The saint’s shri…

Tour 3 Lambeth Palace

Our third tour starts with a 15 min walk from Victoria Station, or by bus, along Victoria Street to the forecourt of Westminster Abbey. From there we head for the Thames via Dean’s Yard with its Abbey association passing Westminster School and Church House to exit the passage left onto Great College Street. Crossing Millbank by Parliament into Victoria Tower Gardens we view Rodin’s Burghers of Calais and proceed along the Thames to the other side of Lambeth Bridge descending the stairs as appropriate to the foreshore. The walk continue across the bridge to Lambeth Palace, Archbishop’s Park and the historic St Thomas’s Hospital crossing Westminster Bridge to return to the Abbey and back to Victoria.

Dean’s Yard

By courtesy of the Dean of Westminster members of the public are allowed access to the gated quadrangle of Dean’s Yard during daylight hours. Pass through the archway from the Abbey forecourt (Great Sanctuary) into the Yard, precincts of the former monastery. It is now occupied by…