On day two of our 5-month Europe Adventure we took the Original Bus Tour and one of their walks. It was a great day out, even though it was a cold winter’s day. Summer is peak tourist season in London, but winter is also a great time to visit. All attractions are less crowded and hotels are a little cheaper. Check the end of this post for details of booking your ticket, including a special 20% discount for our followers.
The Original Bus Tour isn’t just about buses. The ticket includes three walking tours and a river cruise, in addition to the three bus tours. In winter you also get two days for the price of one. If you book before 28 February 2015 using the discount code at the end of this post you’ll get an additional 20% discount.
The Walking Tours
We started our day with the Changing the Guard walking tour. This is a 90-minute tour that starts at 10:30 daily, except in winter when it’s every two days.
During the walk the excellent tour guide chatted about the history of the area and seemed very knowledgeable. First she took us to see the guards at St James’s Palace.
We then headed down to Wellington Barracks and watched the guards march to Buckingham Palace. Most of the large crowds stayed in place outside Buckingham Palace, but our guide knew all the best places that were less crowded.
We then walked to Clarence House, which is the home of Prince Charles and Camilla. We got a close-up of the guards here because we were the only people there. I suppose it helped that we had a tour guide that knew where to go for the best views.
We also managed to film some video of the guards. Here are the guards just after they have left Clarence House.
There are two other walking tours that we didn’t go on – Rock ‘n’ Roll and Jack the Ripper. These looked interesting but we just didn’t have enough time.
The Original Bus Tour
There are three bus routes and you’re free to use all of them. The yellow route is the Original Tour, the red route is the City Sightseeing Tour, and the blue route is the Museum Tour.
We chose the City Sightseeing Tour, which takes you around most of London’s main tourist attractions. This is a hop-on and hop-off service, so you can get on or off the bus anywhere along the route.
When you get on the bus the first time you’ll be given headphones that you plug in to the back of the seat in front of you. The commentary is in English and a choice of eight other languages. The red and blue route buses also have a “Kids Club” commentary and free London activity pack.
On the bus tour you’ll get to see all the sights that matter. These include Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, The London Eye, The Shard, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Tower Bridge, The Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral and many more.
I lived in London for 20 years so have seen most of these places already, but it was amazing for Miu to see so many of them in one day.
If you’re coming to London I’d highly recommend you do this bus tour. It’s a great introduction to London.
And to finish off, here’s a video of Trafalgar Square taken from the upper deck of the bus.
River Thames Cruise
As if the above wasn’t enough, the ticket also includes a River Thames cruise between Westminster and Tower Bridge. I’d suggest an early start so that you can fit everything into your day.
Where To Buy Tickets
You can buy your tickets online at The Original Tour. Our followers can get a 20% discount if they book before the end of February 2015. Just enter “renegade” in the promotional code box. You can also order over the phone by calling +44-208-8877-2120 and quote the code “renegade”. The tickets are valid for 6 months from date of purchase, so you can get the discount now even if you’re not planning to come to London until the summer. You can also buy tickets at the visitor center near Trafalgar Square. The address is 17-19 Cockspur Street. The tickets are valid for 24 hours, so you can use from 13:00 one day to 13:00 the next day, for example.
Hotels In London
London is one of the world’s greatest cities and has some amazing hotels. We usually book our hotels with Agoda, as they have a fantastic selection and also a price match guarantee. Check out Agoda London to see what’s on offer.