Household Cavalry Museum

The London Pass Normally £8.00 - Included with London Pass

The Household Cavalry Museum covers the history and present day workings of The Queen’s Mounted Bodyguard, a historic regiment who perform the guard change ceremony at Horse Guards every day. A living museum offering views into the fully-functioning 18th century stables, it is located within Horse Guards in Central London, the headquarters of The Queen’s Household Division.

The Household Cavalry Museum gets you right up close to The Queen’s Mounted Bodyguard. Explore their history and discover more about their present day role. The museum offers views into the working stables operated by the regiment and tells the story of The Household Cavalry through compelling personal testimonies, interactivity and rare artefacts.

Enjoy access to the Household Cavalry Museum with The London Pass

  • Pay nothing at the door—simply show your pass.
  • See troopers performing their daily duties in the stables.
  • Discover a wealth of personal testimony from former and current troopers.
  • Dress up like a cavalryman.
  • See hourly sentry changes, daily morning guard changes and afternoon inspections.


Skip to

- The Household Cavalry Museum history

- The Household Cavalry Museum highlights

- The Household Cavalry Museum facts

- Don’t miss

- Know before you go

- Make the most of your London Pass

- How to get there

 

The Household Cavalry Museum history

The Household Cavalry Museum sits within Horse Guards in Whitehall, Central London, which is one of the city’s most historic buildings. Dating from 1750, it is still the headquarters of the Household Division, in which the Household Cavalry has performed the Queen’s Life Guard in a daily ceremony that has remained broadly unchanged for over 350 years.

By order of King Charles II, The Household Cavalry formed in 1661. The Household Cavalry today is comprised of two of the most senior regiments of the British Army. These are the Life Guards and the Blues & Royals. Together, they perform two important roles. Firstly, as a mounted regiment, they protect Her Majesty The Queen during a number of ceremonial events across London and the UK, playing an important role in the Royal Pageantry that is such a prized aspect of the country and a real draw for visitors and Brits alike. Secondly, the Royal Cavalry serve an operational role around the world, manning a number of different armoured fighting vehicles, running humanitarian operations and taking part in peace keeping missions.

Opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 2007, The Household Cavalry Museum offers a unique behind-the-scenes perspective on these two vital British Army regiments and both the ceremonial and operational duties they perform. It offers a metaphorical and literal window into the prestigious history and everyday workings of the Household Cavalry, with a large glazed partition through which visitors see troopers tending to their horses in the original 18th century stables and a wealth of exhibitions covering the regiments’ history in theatres of conflict and during Royal ceremonial occasions.

This is a living museum, getting you right into the heart of the modern working environment of a place the Household Cavalry has guarded for well over 350 years. The Queen’s Life Guard ceremony is performed here each morning, as is the daily afternoon inspection. The Household Cavalry Museum pairs the everyday activities at Horse Guards with a wealth of interactive exhibits, as well as personal testimonies from troopers regarding their training and responsibilities. There’s even the opportunity to try on the iconic uniform for yourself and dress like a cavalryman.

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The Household Cavalry Museum highlights

  • See hourly sentry changes, the morning Queen’s Life Guard ceremony and afternoon inspection
  • Look through the glass partition into the working 18th century stables
  • Dress up like a cavalryman, donning the iconic tunic, cuirass and helmet
  • See a wealth of interactivity-enhanced exhibitions, with a multimedia guide available in eight different languages

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The Household Cavalry Museum facts

  • The afternoon inspection of guards and horses began in 1894, when Queen Victoria discovered the guards drinking and gambling instead of performing their protective duties. She doled out her punishment: the guards would be inspected at 16.00 daily for the next 100 years. 
  • In 1994, when the royal punishment officially expired, Queen Elizabeth II elected to persist with the daily inspections because by then they were a firmly established tradition.
  • Horse Guards Clock faces out onto Whitehall and Horse Guards Parade. You can’t miss it during your visit to the Household Cavalry Museum. Before Big Ben, it was the primary public clock in the Westminster area. 
  • It is believed that a mark by the II on the clock face notes the time of King Charles’s execution in 1649. He was executed outside Horse Guards. 

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Don’t miss

The Changing of The Queen’s Life Guard

This ceremony takes place every day. Members of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ride down from the Hyde Park Barracks to relieve those on duty and take up guard positions at Horse Guards. Passing through Hyde Park Corner, along Constitution Hill and The Mall, the riders arrive at Horse Guards Parade, right outside the Household Cavalry Museum. It is here that the impressive guard change ceremony takes place.

Monday - Saturday: 11.00, Sunday: 10.00

There are also hourly sentry changes, when the two guards protecting the Horse Guards entrance are replaced. In addition, there’s a formal inspection on the Front Yard of Horse Guards at 16.00 daily.

For more upcoming events, consult the Household Cavalry Museum website here or contact the Museum on 020 7930 3070 for current information.

From mid-May to mid-June, the museum is closed some weekday mornings, the two preceding Saturday mornings, and occasionally at very short notice at other times for security and operational reasons. This is due to the use of Horse Guards Parade for ceremonial rehearsals in the lead up to the Queen’s Birthday Parade (2nd Saturday in June). 

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Know before you go

From mid-May to mid-June, the museum is closed some weekday mornings, the two preceding Saturday mornings, and occasionally at very short notice at other times for security and operational reasons. This is due to the use of Horse Guards Parade for ceremonial rehearsals in the lead up to the Queen’s Birthday Parade (2nd Saturday in June).

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Getting in 

Show your London Pass at the door for entry.

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Make the most of your London Pass

Save on the admission price to this fantastic living museum with your London Pass. Also, remember to pick up your free accompanying multimedia guide upon entry. It’s available in eight languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese and Mandarin. 

Banqueting House — the last surviving complete building of Whitehall Palace — sits directly opposite Horse Guards and the Household Cavalry Museum. Entry to Banqueting House is free with your London Pass. The Churchill War Rooms — the underground WWII operational headquarters, now a leading museum dedicated to the Second World War and Winston Churchill — is also very close by. Entry to the Churchill War Rooms is also free with your London Pass.

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How to get there

Underground

Charing Cross - Bakerloo and Northern lines (6 minute walk from attraction)

Westminster - Jubilee, District and Circle Lines (6 minute walk)

Embankment -  Bakerloo, Northern, District and Circle lines (10 minute walk)

St James Park -  District and Circle lines (10 minute walk)

Train

Charing Cross - 6 minute walk from attraction

Bus

Numbers 11, 12, 159, 24, 3, 453, 53, 87 and 88 all stop close to the attraction throughout the day. 

For more things to do in London, check out The London Pass® blog.

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"One Card that'll take you everywhere!I found the London pass extremely useful. It takes you everywhere, and with the tube-pass as well, that's all you need in London. No searching in you pocket for cash, just flash the card and you're in. I will get one for my next visit surely!"
Per from Norway

Excellent Couldn't have been better. It made for a most enjoyable visit . I would recommend it to anyone, especially first-time visitors.
Kjersti Board from United States

 

Learn more

Getting to Household Cavalry Museum

Getting to Household Cavalry Museum

  • Household Cavalry Museum Horse Guards Whitehall London SW1A 2AX

Opening Times

April - September
Monday 10.00 - 18.00 (Guard change 11.00; Daily inspection 16.00)
Tuesday 10.00 - 18.00 (Guard change 11.00; Daily inspection 16.00)
Wednesday 10.00 - 18.00 (Guard change 11.00; Daily inspection 16.00)
Thursday 10.00 - 18.00 (Guard change 11.00; Daily inspection 16.00)
Friday 10.00 - 18.00 (Guard change 11.00; Daily inspection 16.00)
Saturday 10.00 - 18.00 (Guard change 11.00; Daily inspection 16.00)
Sunday 10.00 - 18.00 (Guard change 10.00; Daily inspection 16.00)
Last Admission: 17.15
October - March
Monday 10.00 - 17.00 (Guard chane 11.00; Daily inspection 16.00)
Tuesday 10.00 - 17.00 (Guard chane 11.00; Daily inspection 16.00)
Wednesday 10.00 - 17.00 (Guard chane 11.00; Daily inspection 16.00)
Thursday 10.00 - 17.00 (Guard chane 11.00; Daily inspection 16.00)
Friday 10.00 - 17.00 (Guard chane 11.00; Daily inspection 16.00)
Saturday 10.00 - 17.00 (Guard chane 11.00; Daily inspection 16.00)
Sunday 10.00 - 17.00 (Guard chane 10.00; Daily inspection 16.00)
Last Admission: 16.15

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