Pax Lodge is the third world center to be located in London. It is part of the Olave Centre—where the World Bureau (the headquarters for WAGGGS) is located—in northwest London in the area called Hampstead. The first two world centers were Our Ark (1939-1959) near Buckingham Palace and Olave House (1959-1988) in western London. Pax Lodge celebrated its grand opening in 1991.
Although Pax Lodge is in an urban setting with all the excitement of Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, the original Hard Rock Café, and London shows; you are within walking distance of beautiful Hampstead Heath (with Parliament Hill where the kites were flying in Mary Poppins) and Primrose Hill where you are high above central London. Sites like Stonehenge, Bath, and Hampton Court are just a train ride away.
While at Pax Lodge girls and adults can participate in international programs and service projects on Hampstead Heath and nearby Waterhouse Close.
Visiting London and would like to visit Pax Lodge? You can reserve your tour by going to the Pax Lodge website at www.paxlodge.org and find World Centre Tour under Programme to make your reservation. During your tour you will visit the Rose Room—the museum that tells the story of Lord and Lady Baden-Powell, early Guiding and Girl Scouting (Juliette Gordon Low was instrumental in organizing Guides in Great Britain as well as the USA), and of the three London world centers.
One Day Mini Seminars are also now being offered for those who want a WAGGGS experience while staying in London.
- Each year World Thinking Day is celebrated at Pax Lodge with one of its highlights being a ceremony at Westminster Abbey.
- Come during the month of December to see the holiday lights and decorations around London (Pax Lodge is closed to guests over Christmas).
- Join the staff at Pax Lodge for New Year's celebrations.
- Make reservations at least a year ahead—if you are a small group or mother/daughter you might check for last minute cancellations.
- Pack lightly—if you forgot something, there are plenty of stores
- Have a troop or group "uniform"—it makes it easy to spot those in your group when you are in a crowd
- Many places won’t take a credit card that does not have a "chip" in it. USA credit card companies are beginning to make the switch to make their cards more internationally friendly.
- Make reservations for the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace if you want to go inside the parade ground. You cannot take photos if you are inside the fence, however. Get info. from Pax Lodge.
- The Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London is free but you must make reservations ahead of time.
Heathrow to Pax Lodge choices:
- Taxi—most expensive by far
- Paddington Express train to Paddington Station—then taxi to Pax Lodge
- London Underground—from Heathrow to King's Cross; change to Northern Line/Edgeware Branch—if you get off at the Belsize Park station, you will walk uphill to Pax Lodge; if you get off at the Hampstead station you will walk downhill.
Gatwick to Pax Lodge choices:
- Take train to Victoria Station or King's Cross—then take taxi or the Underground
Breakfast is included—having a packed lunch will save time and money (for more sightseeing). You can order packed lunches from Pax Lodge the night before for an additional fee. Keep in mind that most people in the U.K. put butter on their sandwiches instead of mayonnaise.
Turn off your cell phones—texting and internet service will quickly add up (places like McDonald's usually have free internet, just like in the U.S.)