History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
The museum was originally begun as an education tool for new Guardsmen, a way to help the new recruits understand the rich heritage of the regiment. That purpose explains why the museum is located at Wellington Barracks on Birdcage Walk, which is still used by the military. It was only later that the exhibits were opened to the general public.
The setting lies directly opposite St James Park, a short walk from Buckingham Palace and Westminster.
The 5 regiments of Foot Guards combine with the Household Cavalry to guard the royal palaces and the monarch. That sounds like a purely ceremonial role, but in practice the regiments serve in combat situations around the world, including recent conflict zones like Afghanistan.
What to See
Museum exhibits cover the long history of the 5 regiments that make up the Foot Guards, from the Civil War to the present day. Visitors can see a large number of uniforms representing different time periods, along with a huge array of medals, sculptures, weapons, models, and paintings tracing the regiment's history and places around the globe where they saw service. Among the more unusual items is a a display of Mess Silver.
Collection highlights include items belonging to the Duke of Wellington, Field Marshal Alexander, and 'The Grand Old Duke of York'. Learn about the regiment's public duties in guarding the reigning monarch ad the royal palaces, as well as the life of an ordinary soldier both at home and in service overseas. Trace the history of the regiment through some of its major campaigns over the past several centuries, including the American Revolution, Peninsular War, the Battle of Waterloo, the Crimean War, and both World Wars.
Though you can tour the museum at your own pace, you can also opt for a guided tour and talk for groups, which lasts about 90 minutes.
About Guards Museum
Address: Wellington Barracks, Birdcage Walk, London, Greater London, England, SW1E 6HQ
Attraction Type: Museum
Location: Directly opposite St James Park on Birdcage Walk. Easy access from St James tube station
Website: Guards Museum
Phone: 020 7414 3428
OS: TQ294 796
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Nearest station: St. James's Park - 0.2 miles (straight line) - Zone: 1
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Blewcoat School - 0.1 miles (Historic Building)
Clarence House - 0.3 miles (Historic Building)
Buckingham Palace and the Queens Gallery - 0.3 miles (Historic House)
St James Palace - 0.3 miles (Historic Building)
Westminster Cathedral - 0.4 miles (Cathedral)
Churchill War Rooms - 0.4 miles (Museum)
Westminster Abbey - 0.4 miles (Cathedral)
Westminster Abbey Chapter House and Pyx Chamber - 0.4 miles (Historic Building)
Nearest Accommodation to Guards Museum:
Nearest Self Catering Cottages
Nearest Bed and Breakfasts
Nearest Tourist Information Centre ('as the crow flies')