RIVER TRIPS TOURS & GUIDED WALKS
Daily guided sightseeing tours on the Thames between Westminster, Waterloo, Tower and Greenwich piers. Lunch, tea and dinner cruises are available. Red River Rover offers all-day hop-on, hop-off sightseeing. Thames Circular Cruise is a 45-minute sightseeing trip. London Showboat cabaret cruise offers a four-course meal with music (p. 68). Ticket prices, times and departure points vary. www.citycruises.com. Westminster Pier, SW1A 2JH. T: 020-7740 0400. F8. Station: Westminster.
London Eye River Cruise
Forty-minute sightseeing cruise on the River Thames with live commentary. Daily 10.45am- 6.45pm. Adult £13.25; child £7.25. Discounted joint tickets with the London Eye available. www.londoneye.com. London Eye Pier, South Bank, SE1 7PB. T: 0871 781 3000. E8. Station: Waterloo.
MBNA Thames Clippers
The fastest and most frequent fleet on the river, with departures from major London piers every 20 minutes. Serving 19 piers across London. River Roamer tickets for hop-on, hop-off travel. Adult £17.35; child £8.65. Single and return tickets available; Oyster cards valid. www.thamesclippers. com. T: 0870-781 5049. Daily sightseeing trips aboard a fleet of open-top double-decker buses. Take in London’s sights with multilingual commentary (Blue Tour) or live guide (Red Tour). A hop-on, hop-off ticket for 48 hours includes a river cruise and three guided walking tours. Adult £32; child £13 (night tour adult £39; child £16). www.bigbustours.com. T: 020-7233 9533.
Black Taxi Tours
Get collected from your hotel for a two-hour tour in an iconic black taxi cab around London, stopping at major sights including the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace. Ask about the Harry Potter tours. www.blacktaxitours.co.uk. T: 020-7935 9363.
Doctor Johnson Walks
Departing from Dr Johnson’s House (p. 37), these walks explore the Fleet Valley and St Paul’s Churchyard as the writer knew them. Walks take place first Wed of each month at 3pm. Tickets £5. www.cityoflondonguides.com. 17 Gough Sq, EC4A 3DE. T: 0207-353 3745. D9. Station: Chancery Lane.
More than 100 themed free 45-minute tours around Bloomsbury and Holborn. No booking required. Check website for dates and more info. 10am & 1pm walks start by the orange information kiosk outside Holborn station; walks starting at 11am, 2pm & 5.30pm meet at the GoToMidtown tourist information shop at 56 New Oxford St, WC1B 3ST. www.gotomidtown.co.uk. 229-231 High Holborn, WC1V 7DA. T: 020-7078 7077. D8. Station: Holborn.
Jack the Ripper Tour
Blue Badge guide Richard Jones of London Walking Tours devised these walks, offering a chilling look at Jack the Ripper. Numbers are limited; booking essential. Tours depart daily from outside Exit 4 of Aldgate East station at 7pm. Tickets £10. www.jack-the-ripper-tour.com. Aldgate East Underground station. T: 020- 8530 8443. Off map. Station: Aldgate East.
London Duck Tours
Explore the capital by road and river from a bright yellow amphibious vehicle dating from World War II. See iconic sights as you tour the city’s streets before taking to the River Thames with a thrilling ‘splash-down’. The James Bond Duck Tour is also available. Please check for times. Adult £24; child £16. www.londonducktours.co.uk. Chicheley St, SE1 7PY. T: 020-7928 3132. F8. Station: Waterloo.
London Helicopter Tour, The
Twelve and 20-minute tours depart from Battersea, offering unforgettable bird’s-eye views of the city. Your helicopter climbs to more than 1,000 feet as you follow the River Thames from Putney, east towards Greenwich. From £150 per seat. www.thelondonhelicopter.com. 1 The POD Building, Bridges Court, SW11 3RE. T: 020-7887 2626. Off map. Station: Clapham Junction then 15-min walk.
London’s oldest walking tour company offers more than 300 walks. Favourites include the Jack the Ripper Walk (departing daily at 7.30pm, plus Sat 3pm from Tower Hill), Harry Potter tour and Charles Dickens’ London. Visitors can enjoy spinetinglingly spooky stories on the West End Ghost Walk every night at 7.30pm. Adult £10; child free (if accompanied by an adult). www.walks.com. T: 020-7624 3978.
Original London Sightseeing Tour
With over 60 years’ experience, these live and multilingual open-top guided bus tours take you to the city’s best attractions, allowing you to hop on and off at more than 80 stops, with tickets valid for 24 hours. Tickets include walking tours and a Thames River cruise. Adult £30; child £15. www.the originaltour.com. 17-19 Cockspur St, SW1Y 5BL. T: 020-8877 1722. E7. Station: Charing Cross.
Original London Sightseeing Walk
Walks depart daily from the Original London Visitor Centre and include Changing the Guard (departing 10.30am), Rock ‘n’ Roll (1pm) and Jack the Ripper (3.30pm from Tower Hill Station). Walking tours are free with Original London Sightseeing Tour. www.theoriginaltour.com. 17-19 Cockspur St, SW1Y 5BL. T: 020-8877 1722. E7. Station: Charing Cross.
Royal Albert Hall Tours
Take a 90-minute Behind the Scenes Tour of this famous Victorian concert hall, including the Royal Retiring Room and auditorium. Various tours; check for dates and times. Tickets from £12.25, child £5.25. www.royalalberthall.com. Kensington Gore, SW7 2AP. T: 020-7959 0558. F4. Station: South Kensington.
Innovative site aiming to get people out on foot. Enter your starting point and destination (including street, place or postcode), and the site will work out a route map, distance, time, calorie burn and carbon saving. www.walkit.com.
Go behind the scenes at one of the world’s most famous football stadiums and concert venues. The 75-minute tours include a look around the dressing rooms plus a chance to walk down the players’ tunnel. Have your photo taken with a replica of the FA Cup. Daily 10am- 4pm. Adult £19; child £11. www.wembleystadium.com/wembleytours. Wembley Stadium, HA9 0WS. T: 0844-800 2755. Off map Station: Wembley Park.
The birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, this masterpiece of English baroque architecture is set in 2,100 acres of Capability Brown gardens, plus state rooms with three centuries of treasures. Palace, formal and pleasure gardens daily 10am5.30pm; park 9am- 6pm. Adult £22.50 (park & gardens only £12.30); child £13.50 (£6.60). www.blenheimpalace.com. Woodstock, Oxfordshire, OX20 1PP. T: 01993-810 530. Off map. Station: Paddington to Oxford, then bus S3.
Hampton Court Palace
Once home to King Henry VIII, this Tudor palace with maze is set in 60 acres of parkland. Regular events. To 30 Sep: Royal Beds Behind the Scenes. Special tours. Palace, maze and formal gardens daily 10am- 6pm; informal gardens daily 7am-8pm. Palace, maze and gardens admission £17.50, child £8.75; maze only £4, child £2.50; gardens only £5.20, child free. www.hrp.org.uk. Hampton Court Palace, KT8 9AU. T: 0844- 482 7777. Off map. Station: Waterloo to Hampton Court.
Fairytale 900-year-old moated castle, gardens and parkland in a stunning location. Lose yourself in the spiralling yew maze, and see 100 species of birds in the aviary. Daily 10.30- 6pm. Adult £24; child £16. www.leeds-castle.com. Maidstone, Kent, ME17 1PL. T: 01622-765 400. Off map. Station: Victoria to Bearsted.
The world’s most famous stone circle, a World Heritage Site, is more than 5,000 years old, with obscure Neolithic origins. English Heritage members get exclusive early-morning tours. New visitor centre with exhibition, shop and café. Daily 9am-8pm. Adult £14.50; child £8.70. www.englishheritage.org.uk. Nr. Shrewton, Wiltshire, SP3 4DX. T: 0870-333 1181. Off map. Station: Waterloo to Salisbury, then bus or taxi.
The home of the Duke of Northumberland was the last home of Henry VIII’s wife Catherine Howard. House open Wed-Thur, Sun & Bank Holiday Mons 11am-5pm; gardens daily 10.30am-5pm. Adult £12 (gardens only £7); child £5 (£3.50). www.syonpark. co.uk. Syon Park, Brentford, Middlesex, TW8 8JF. T: 020-8560 0881. Off map. Station: Gunnersbury, then bus 237 or 267.
Renaissance-style chateau built in the late 19th century. Magnificent house and wine cellars, plus gardens and aviary. Please check for opening days and times. House and gardens: adult £18; child £9; gardens only: adult £8; child £4. www.waddesdon. org.uk. Nr. Aylesbury, Bucks, HP18 0JH. T: 01296653 226. Off map. Station: Marylebone to Aylesbury.
The Queen’s weekend home and the world’s largest, oldest inhabited castle. Includes State Apartments furnished with artworks by Rembrandt, Rubens and Canaletto. Changing the Guard, MonSat 11am. Daily 9.45am-17.15pm. Adult £19.20; child £11.30. www.royalcollection.org.uk. Windsor Castle, Windsor, SL4 1NJ T: 020-7766 7304. Off map. Station: Waterloo to Windsor & Eton Riverside.