Timetable

The Lord Mayor's Show is much longer than its route and it moves all the time, so it can be quite hard to answer apparently simple questions like 'where is the Show' and 'what time?' It all depends where you stand.

(For the impatient: be near Bank Station in good time for an 11am start on Saturday 13th November)

The date

This is also a bit of a long story, but this year the Show is on Saturday 13 November.

The Start

The procession sets off from Mansion House at 11am, when the bands of the Coldstream and Grenadier Guards turn the corner from Princes Street to march past the new Lord Mayor on the balcony, the BBC cameras overhead and the very busy crowd all around Bank junction.

It will take the bands 12 minutes to march from there to St Paul's, so if you are in the usual grandstands area then your procession starts at 11:13. After another 15 minutes the bands will reach the Royal Courts of Justice so if you are standing at the Aldwych end, your procession starts at 11:26.

The middle

When the first bands reach the Royal Courts, most of the procession has not yet set off. The route is completely full of the Show's unique mixture of ancient and modern pageantry but the Lord Mayor is still on the balcony at Mansion House with his or her guests. The BBC are interviewing participants at Bank and there are around 80 floats still waiting to enter the route. From here on it doesn't really matter where you stand; there is always something to see.

The State Coach

After nearly an hour, the procession is still passing Mansion House. There are 10-12 serials still to go, including the household cavalry and the pikemen of the HAC. The Lord Mayor descends, passing an honour guard to climb into the State Coach and get ready to join the procession. 

Main image: Pikemen guard the State Coach while the Lord Mayor receives a blessing at St Paul's. Image © Clive Totman for the City of London.

The Coach sets off a minute later and arrives at St Pauls at 12:08. It waits there for a few minutes while the new Lord Mayor receives a blessing, then sets off again to depart from the City at Temple Bar and arrive at the Royal Courts of Justice (in Westminster) at 12:28.

The end

Behind the State Coach there follow a few more serials; several support vehicles and of course the City's redoubtable cleaners, who have a lot to do on Show day. The final ash cart will pass Mansion House at noon and reach the Royal Courts at 12:32, but the Show is not over yet.

The Return

While the new Lord Mayor swears an oath of allegiance to the Queens Bench, the procession reforms itself in the streets of Temple. At 1:10 the leading bands will set off again from Temple Place and march up the Embankment and Victoria Street to lead the Lord Mayor back to Mansion House. If you are standing at the top of Blackfriars Bridge, the procession starts at 1:18pm.

The head of the procession returns to Mansion House at 1:32pm and finally, an hour later, the Lord Mayor will return home to begin his or her year in office.

Summary

Wherever you stand, the procession will take over an hour to march past. You can be anywhere from Bank to Aldwych, along Fleet Street or Victoria Street. If Bank, you want to be there by about 10:30. If Aldwych, about 11:15. For the Embankment or Victoria Street, about 1:15. It all depends how much you want to be in a crowd and how long a day you would like to have. Please see our where to go page for suggestions.