A visitor’s guide to the Household Cavalry Museum

Cavalry Museum

The Household Cavalry Museum is, as the name suggests, the official museum of the Household Cavalry, one of the most important and historically-significant regiments of the whole of the British Army.

The museum is located in the Horse Guards building, situated on Whitehall and one of the most famous sites in the whole of London. Inside the museum itself, visitors can learn all about not just the fascinating history of the Household Cavalry through a combination of old uniforms, regalia, royal standards and awards, but also about their present-day role, which includes both operations around the world and guarding duties closer to home. Additionally, outside of the museum, history fans can see soldiers of the Household Cavalry in action, most notably mounted on horses guarding both the Whitehall and the St James’ Palace entrances to the majestic building.

Officially, the address of The Household Cavalry Museum is: The Household Division, Horse Guards, Whitehall, London, SW1A 2AX.

The Household Cavalry Museum Opening Hours

As you might expect of one of London’s top tourist attractions, The Household Cavalry Museum is open throughout the year.

During the busy summer tourism season, from the start of April to the end of October, the museum is open daily, from 10am to 6pm. Between November and Match, meanwhile, the museum closes at 5pm daily. Note that last admission is 45 minutes before the museum closes.

The museum is open right throughout the year, including on Sundays. It is, however, closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, plus on July 20th, when the regiment is busy with its royal duties.

Tube stations nearby and how to reach The Household Cavalry Museum

Located in the very heart of London, The Household Cavalry Museum is very easy to reach by public transport, with quick and easy connections to almost every part of the capital and to most of the other main tourist sites. The nearest Tube stations to the museum are:

Charing Cross: Served by Bakerloo and Northern Line services, Charing Cross Underground Station is just an easy ten-minute walk from the museum. Simply exit the station onto Trafalgar Square then, with Nelson’s Column behind you, walk down Whitehall. The Horse Guards building is on the right after just a few minutes.

Westminster: Just to the south of the museum, at the other end of Whitehall to Charing Cross, Westminster Tube Station is served by Circle, District and Jubilee Line trains. To get to the museum, exit onto Whitehall and walk up the famous thoroughfare for a few minutes. The Horse Guards building will be on the left of the road and pretty much unmissable.

Things to see and do near The Household Cavalry Museum London

Trafalgar Square: At the northern end of Whitehall, just a short walk from the museum, lies Trafalgar Square, the beating heart of London. Here, tourists can enjoy some of the world’s finest art at the National Gallery, learn more about Britain’s military history by spotting Nelson’s Column and the square’s famous Lions, or enjoy some contemporary art by stopping underneath the ‘Fourth Plinth’, home to temporary works. Trafalgar Square is also well-placed for walking into Covent Garden and the bustling West End.

Westminster Abbey: A short stroll down Whitehall leads you to Westminster, the location of the world-famous Westminster Abbey. Arguably Britain’s most important church, it has hosted countless royal weddings and funerals over the years, plus inside it’s also the resting place of many famous Britons, including writers, artists and politicians. This Gothic masterpiece dates back to 1517 and regular guided tours are held to show tourists all of its wonders.

The Palace of Westminster: Next door to the Abbey lies the Palace of Westminster, home to both of the seats of parliament of the United Kingdom. Visitors can book themselves onto tours that take them behind-the-scenes of the seat of power, though most simply prefer to enjoy the view from the outside, with a picture in front of the iconic ‘Big Ben’ long a staple of the London tourism bucket list. In front of the Palace of Westminster, Westminster Square is also home to statues celebrating some of the most famous political figures of recent history, including Nelson Mandela and, of course, Winston Churchill.

The Banqueting House: Situated almost directly opposite The Household Cavalry Museum, the Banqueting House is one of the most famous (or infamous) locations in English history. It was outside here that King Charles I was executed at the end of the English Civil War, with the site attracting large numbers of tourists each year. Aside from this gruesome historical episode, the Banqueting House is also famed for its architecture and for being the only remaining part of the old Palace of Whitehall, which was destroyed by a fire in 1622.

St James’s Park: Walking right through the Horse Guards building from the Whitehall entrance brings you through to St James’s Parks, one of the most charming green spaces in the whole of Central London. Despite being so central, the park is a quiet oasis, with a small lake, landscaped gardens and famous views to nearby Buckingham Palace. Famously, only the reigning monarch is allowed to drive from the park into the Horse Guards building, though tourists are free to walk between the two.

Parking nearby The Household Cavalry Museum

As might be expected of Central London, parking can be quite difficult, not least for Whitehall, where security concerns mean tourists and other members of the public are unable to park right outside of the main sites.

That said, there are some parking places within easy walking distance of The Household Cavalry Museum. Hourly or daily fees are charged and it’s almost always cheaper to park outside of Central London and then take the Tube into Whitehall.

The nearest big car parks close to the museum are as follows:

  • Q Park Trafalgar Square: Just off Trafalgar Square, this car park is around 400m from the museum
  • Master Car Park, Trafalgar Square: Also in Trafalgar Square and also a quick and easy 400m walk from the museum
  • Tolpuddle Street Car Park: Located close to the Embankment Tube Station, this is only around 500m from the museum