Frequently Asked Questions

Ask us anything on twitter @lordmayors_show or by email to We will post the best, funniest and most commonly asked questions here. The best question we are asked on Show day wins a prize.

Where should I go?

If you want a lively time with a big crowd and lots of ceremony, go to Bank. For a family day out with lots going on and a bit less crush, we suggest St Paul's and the Paternoster Square show zone. To see the procession in a more spacious and peaceful way, watch the return leg go up Victoria Embankment. For more of this kind of thing, please see our 2019 how to do the Show page.

What time?

The procession sets off at 11am and finally gets back at about 2.30. Wherever you stand, it will take an hour and a quarter to pass. Afterwards there are performances, events, workshops, games and fairground rides in the Show Zones until 5pm.

The route gets very busy so you would need to get to Bank for 10-10.30am, St Paul's by 10:45, Fleet Street by 11:00. Coming back, we suggest you head for Blackfriars by 1pm or Bloomberg by 1.20.

How do I get there?

We have a page about transport to the Show. Short version: take the tube to any nearby station and walk in to the route. River buses are also good, road buses not good, cars banned, bicycles ideal.

Why is it on this particular day?

Well, it used to be on the Feast of St Simon and St Jude but then they skipped half of September in 1751 and the whole thing slipped back by a few days.

Why does the procession go back a different way?

It's very difficult to turn round! There is a pause at the Royal Courts while the new Lord Mayor swears the oath of allegiance and during that time we dish out lunch to 6000 humans and 200 horses. The procession doesn't exactly squash into a side street but it's still much easier to continue forwards than it would be to turn round.

Is it ever cancelled?

No! Hardly ever. The last time the Show didn't happen was in 1852, when a million people lined the streets of London to see the Duke of Wellington's funeral cortege. Even the wars didn't stop the Show.

How can we take part?

Participation in the Show is strictly by invitation only, and usually based on the interests and affiliations of the person who is expected to be the next Lord Mayor. Expressions of interest are always welcome.

Why does the Lord Mayor go to Court?

The Royal Courts are in Westminster, just. The Lord Mayor leaves the City by the old Temple Bar gate, which was on Fleet Street, and pledges loyalty to Crown at the Queens Bench.

Was Dick Whittington real?

Yes he was; a rich merchant of relatively humble origins who became Lord Mayor of London three times around 1400 or so. He left a lot of money to good causes including drinking water in the City, which might partly explain his later pantomime fame.

Will it rain?

It might rain.