The Top Sightseeing Spots in London
TOURS & GUIDED WALKS
BIG BUS TOURS
Daily sightseeing trips aboard a ﬂeet of open-top double-decker buses. Tickets are valid for 24 hours. A one-day orientation tour includes three walking tours. Adult £30; child £12.50. Various departure points. T: 020-7808 6753. www.bigbustours.com. Station: Victoria.
BIG BUS WALKING TOURS
Choose from three guided tours: Royal London at 10am; Harry Potter at 1.30pm; and Haunting Mysteries at 4.30pm. All take 90 minutes to two hours. £5, or free with a Big Bus Tour. Daily. Depart from Big Bus stop 10, Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN. T: 020-7808 6753. www.bigbustours.com. Station: Charing Cross.
BILLINGSGATE ROMAN HOUSE & BATHS
Beneath the curious cobbled pathways of the Square Mile lies a rich Roman history that’s survived 2,000 years of building, ﬁres and bombings. Lower Thames Street is home to one of Roman London’s most fascinating remains.
The Billingsgate Roman Bathhouse was discovered in 1848, and is now open to the public. Explore this fascinating insight into ancient life in the City on a 45-minute guided tour and discover the remains of the Roman Bathhouse which lie hidden beneath offices. £8 adult; £6 child. Check for times. 101 Lower Thames St, EC3R 6DL. www.museum oﬂondon.org.uk. Station: Tower Hill. E11.
CAPITAL TAXI TOURS
A Blue Badge or City of London qualiﬁed guide drives you around in a taxi for up to ﬁve people. Choose from London tours by day or night, trips outside the city and themed tours including a Doctor Who tour – on which you’ll see a tardis, locations from the ﬁlms and TV series – and one for Downton Abbey fans. Prices vary and are per taxi. Various departure points. T: 020-8590 3621. www.capitaltaxitours.co.uk.
CITY OF LONDON GUIDES WALKS
A variety of themed walks not offered by other companies, focusing on everything from Fleet Street – the home of journalism – to Smithﬁeld Market and City gardens. Adult free-£12.50; child £4-£8. Various departure points. www.cityoﬂondonguides.com.
The oldest and largest sightseeing company in London has been accompanying visitors on city tours and out-of-town excursions since 1930. Visit everywhere from Warwick Castle and Stratford-upon-Avon to Stonehenge and Bath, as well as all the iconic London sights. Please check for times and prices. Various departure points. T: 020-7950 1777. www.evanevanstours.com.
From day excursions to overnight city breaks, the London experts offer quality tour experiences from London to popular locations such as Bath, Stonehenge, Windsor Castle and Leeds Castle. The company offers an unrivalled range of tours and services. Please check for times and prices. Various departure points. T: 020-7630 2039. www.goldentours.com. Station: Victoria.
GOLDEN TOURS OPEN TOP BUS TOURS
Enjoy the London sights from this open-top bus. Live guided (Essential Tour) or multilingual audio commentary (all routes) tours let you hop-on and hop-off . One-day, 24-hour and 48-hour tickets. Check for prices. Various departure points. T: 020-7630 2039. www.golden tours.com.
More than 100 themed free tours in Bloomsbury and Holborn. 10am & 1pm walks start at the orange kiosk outside Holborn Tube station. 88-94 Kingsway, WC2B 6AA. T: 020-7078 7077. www.bee-mid town.org. Station: Holborn. D7/8.
JACK THE RIPPER TOURS
Blue Badge Guide Richard Jones of London Walking Tours devised these popular two-hour walks looking at the infamous serial killer. Numbers are limited. Booking essential. Daily 7pm from outside Exit 4 of Aldgate East. £10. T: 020-8530 8443. www.jack-the-rippertour.com. Station: Aldgate East. Off map.
THE LONDON HELICOPTER TOUR
Discover the capital from the unique perspective of a helicopter, with its uninterrupted views. Departing from London’s only heliport, glide above the Thames, taking in iconic landmarks. Choose from the 12-minute Buzz, 18-minute Sights or 30-minute Max tour – or spook yourself with an 18-minute ‘open door’ ride (£300 per person). Prices start from £150 per seat for a shared tour. The POD Building, Bridges Court, SW11 2RE. T: 020-7887 2626. www.thelondonhelicopter.com. Station: Clapham Junction. Off map.
LONDON HORROR TOURS
Be spooked by ghost stories and tales of Jack the Ripper, Sweeney Todd and the Krays on tours run by Dr Jack, an actor, entertainer and former guide. Visit its Facebook page for more information, and call for times and prices. T: 0772-224 7660. Various departure points.
LONDON LITERARY PUB CRAWL
See where the giants of the London literary world ate, drank and worked. This unique tour is artist-led and arranged by the not-for-proﬁt charity The Maverick Theatre Company. Starting in Fitzrovia and ending in Soho, it includes pubs and bars associated with the British ﬁlm industry and contemporary writers. Sat 5pm (not 13 May); or book a walk. Tickets £24. 12 Fouberts Place, off Carnaby St, W1F 7PA. T: 020-8090 5082. www.londonliterarypub crawl.com. Station: Oxford Circus. D7.
London’s oldest walking tour company offers more than 300 fascinating walks. Favourites include the Jack the Ripper Walk (daily 7.30pm & Sat 3pm from Tower Hill), a Harry Potter tour exploring various ﬁlm locations in the city (selected Wed & every Sat-Sun 2pm, departure points vary) and a spooky Ghost Walk (daily 7.30pm, departure points vary) in either the West End or old parts of the City. Walks take two hours and there’s no need to book. Adult £10; child free when accompanied by an adult. Departure points vary. T: 020-7624 3978. www.walks.com.
ORIGINAL LONDON SIGHTSEEING WALK
Walks depart daily from the Original London Visitor Centre and include Changing the Guard (departing 10am), Rock ‘n’ Roll (1pm) and Jack the Ripper (3.30pm from Tower Hill Station), which takes a look at the notorious serial killer. The walking tours are free with Original London Sightseeing Tour. Check for prices. 17-19 Cockspur St, SW1Y 5BL. T: 0208877 1722. www.theoriginaltour.com. Station: Charing Cross. E7.
THE ORIGINAL TOUR
With more than 65 years’ experience, these live and multilingual open-top guided bus tours take you to the city’s top attractions, allowing you to hop-on, hop-off at over 80 bus stops. Its original 24-hour tour includes three free walking tours and a Thames River cruise pass. The extended 48-hour tour includes double the time to explore London as well as an extended River Cruise Pass with access to historic Greenwich. Adult £32; child £15. 17-19 Cockspur St, Trafalgar Square, SW1Y 5BL. T: 020-8877 1722. www.theoriginal tour.com. Station: Charing Cross. E7.
PlanetPass is an app that allows you to book a private guided tour for up to six people at any time. Choose from street art, Jack the Ripper, Borough Market and more. From £9 per person. Various meeting points. www.planetpass.com.
ROYAL ALBERT HALL TOURS
Take a one-hour Grand Tour of this Victorian concert hall. Most days throughout the year; call for times. Adult £13; child £6. Kensington Gore, SW7 2AP. T: 020-7959 0558. www.royalalbert hall.com. Station: South Kensington. F4.
ROYAL OPERA HOUSE
One of the world’s leading opera venues and also home to the Royal Ballet company. Backstage Tour. Tour behind the scenes for an insight into the venue’s history, where you may see a production in rehearsal. Most days 10.30am; 12.30pm & 2.30pm but please check. Adult £12; child £8.50. Bow St, WC2E 9DD. T: 020-7304 4000. www.royal operahouse.org. Station: Covent Garden. D8.
SEE LONDON BY NIGHT TOUR
Ride around the West End and City in the evening for a different view of the capital. Departures from outside The Ritz hotel. Tours last 90 minutes. Daily 7.30pm; 8pm; 8.30pm; 9.15pm; 9.45pm & 10.15pm. Adult £18; child £10. 150 Piccadilly, W1J 9BR. T: 020-7183 4744. www.seelondonby night.com. Station: Green Park. E6.
SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE (TOURS)
This reconstruction of Shakespeare’s original Elizabethan Globe Theatre has one of the city’s only thatched roofs, while the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse is a candle-lit theatre. Check for times. Exhibition and Globe theatre tour adult £16; child £9. 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, SE1 9DT. T: 020-7902 1400. www.shakespearesglobe.com. Station: Blackfriars. E10.
Go behind the scenes of the UK’s largest sports and music venue. Have your photo taken with a replica of the FA Cup and see inside the dressing rooms. Check website for availability. Pre-booked adult £18; child £11. Wembley Stadium, HA9 0WS. T: 0800-169 9933. www.wembleystadium.com/tours. Station: Wembley Park. Off map.