Historic Walks – Westminster: City Of Power


Katy Haswell guides us through this historic “City Of Power” as she makes her way along Whitehall in the west of London. She pauses to discover places saturated with the history which has shaped the sometimes gory past of this fascinating country.

Our walk starts in Trafalgar Square, so named in honour of a famous British naval Victory and home to the famous Nelsons Column.

From here we pass Admiralty Arch which stands at one end of The Mall, at the other end of which is Buckingham Palace, and head south along Whitehall, to Royal Horse Guards. Here Katy watches the Changing of the Guards, which has been carried out at the same time each day for the last one hundred years by the Royal order of Queen Victoria.

Opposite The Royal Horseguards is The Banqueting House, this opulent building was the original Royal residence built by Henry the Eighth and the site of one of the most infamous events is British history, the beheading of King Charles the First by Oliver Cromwell at the end of the English Civil War. We then drop in to Downing Street, the home and workplace of all the British Prime Ministers since 1735.

Next Katy visits the Cabinet War Rooms, this underground complex houses the offices and command centre used by Winston Churchill during the Blitz and bombing of the Second World War.

Back on street level Katy makes her way to the Houses of Parliament where the British Government have sat since the days of Cromwell, before crossing Parliament Square to visit Westminster Abbey. The Abbey has stood for a thousand years and as well as being the burial site for great and good of British society they also put on quite a good Royal wedding.

The last leg of Katy’s walk see’s her riding the London Eye, one of the UK’s most popular tourist attractions, from where she gets a birds eye view of the walk she has just completed.