Walk along this grand road, which stretches from Trafalgar Square to Buckingham Palace and is frequently used for royal processions.
The tree-lined processional Mall is often used by heads of state and other prestigious visitors when visiting the queen at the palace. Stroll down this famous 0.6-mile (1-kilometer) road and note the important historical attractions along the way.
The Mall was originally created by Charles II in 1660 as a pitch for paille-maille, a form of croquet. When Buckingham Palace became Queen Victoria’s official royal residence, the road was repurposed as a ceremonial route. Note that the tarmac is red, evoking a classic red carpet. On state occasions, the queen often rides a golden carriage down this road while making her signature wave to the crowds.
Start in Trafalgar Square at the south end of the Mall, opposite the palace. Built between 1829 and 1841 in honor of Lord Nelson’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar, this historic square is a popular spot for celebrations, parades and demonstrations.
As you walk through the large Admiralty Arch, you’ll see St. James’s Park on your left side. Commissioned by Henry VIII in 1536, the area is known as London’s oldest park. Walk along the bridge to see picturesque views of Buckingham Palace. Don’t miss the daily mid-afternoon feeding of the park’s pelicans.
If you’re lucky, you might see bands and troops making their way along the Mall from St. James's Palace for the Changing the Guard at the palace. The Mall is particularly lively during the annual Trooping the Colour ceremony, a celebration of the queen’s birthday, which takes place in June. Enjoy the elaborate military parade and all the pomp you’d expect from a royal ceremony.
The Mall is often decorated with British flags, as well as those of any heads of state who are present. Visit in April when the Mall serves as the finish line for the London Marathon.
To reach the Mall, take the Tube to Charing Cross Station. The road is open daily for walkers and is closed to traffic on Sundays, public holidays and for ceremonial events.