WHAT: Tootbus (tootbus.com) the city tour people have just launched a fun new product which sits alongside their popular bus tours. While a bus tour with an informative commentary is great, there are always spots that you fancy exploring a little deeper.
This is where Tootwalk comes in. It’s a standalone app which you download on your phone and activate at the point of disembarking your bus tour, as you begin one of their three themed walks.
EXPERIENCE: In London, I chose the Architecture and Celebration tour which covers just over three miles in about an hour, though you can of course, make it as long as you like.
It began at Jubilee Gardens next to the London Eye on the edge of the Thames.
The app features a map which you follow and, at certain points, a commentary gives you a little bit of history about the relevant building.
We gazed across the river to the French Chateau-styled Royal Horseguards Hotel and learned that it was once home to MI5 and MI6 and features a maze of secret tunnels. On the south side, the modernist Royal Festival Hall, started in 1948, was the first major building constructed in the city after the Second World War.
An outdoor book market still trades under Waterloo Bridge and we learned that the Royal National Theatre has hosted more than 800 plays since opening in 1963 with Hamlet starring Peter O’toole.
Next up was Shakespeare’s Globe which has hosted every one of the Bard’s plays since its reconstruction in 1997. Our final stop was London’s cosmopolitan foodie mecca, Borough Market.
QUIBBLES: As I went on, I felt I wanted to know more and more.
VERDICT: It’s a relaxing way to take in these historic sites at leisure and independently, gleaning nuggets of history at the same time. Other Tootwalks include, Kensington Gardens and the Royal St James area. 8/10