TOURS & GUIDED WALKS
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 £35; child £16.20. www.bigbus tours.com. Departure points vary. T: 020-7808 6753. 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. www.bigbustours.com. Depart from Big Bus stop 10, Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN. T: 0207808 6753. 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 insight into ancient life in the City on a 45-minute guided tour. £8 adult; £6 child. Please check for times. www.museumoflondon.org.uk. 101 Lower Thames St, EC3R 6DL. E11. Station: Tower Hill.
Capital Taxi Tours
A knowledgeable 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 Doctor Who – on which you’ll see a Tardis, locations from the films and television series – and one for TV Downton Abbey fans. Prices vary and are per taxi; check for more details. www.capitaltaxitours.co.uk. Departure points vary. T: 020- 8590 3621.
City of London Guides Walks
A variety of original themed walks, focusing on everything from Fleet Street – the home of journalism – to Smithfield Market and City gardens. Free-£12. www.cityoflondonguides.com. Departure points vary.
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 Stratfordupon-Avon to Stonehenge and Bath, as well as all the London sights. Please check for times and prices. www.evanevanstours.com. Departure points vary. T: 020-7950 1777.
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. www.goldentours.com. Departure points vary. T: 020-7630 2039. Station: Victoria.
Golden Tours Open-Top Bus Tours
See the sights aboard an 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. Please check for prices. www.goldentours.com. Departure points vary. T: 020-7630 2039.
More than 100 themed 45-minute free tours around Bloomsbury and Holborn. Most walks do not require pre-booking. 10am & 1pm walks start at the orange information kiosk outside Holborn Tube station. www.bee-midtown.org. 88-94 Kingsway, WC2B 6AA. T: 020-7078 7077. D7/8. Station: Holborn.
Jack the Ripper Tours
Blue Badge Guide Richard Jones of London Walking Tours devised these popular two-hour walks, offering an intriguing look at the infamous serial killer Jack the Ripper, who terrorised the East End in the late 1800s. Numbers are limited in order to give participants a better experience. Booking essential. Daily 7pm from outside Exit 4 of Aldgate East. £10. www.jack-the-ripper-tour.com. Aldgate East Underground station. T: 020- 8530 8443. Off map. Station: Aldgate East.
London Chocolate Tours
Sample truffles and ganaches in Mayfair’s finest chocolatiers on this two-hour tour by a former cocoa trader. Along the way you’ll learn how chocolate is made. Booking essential. Sun 12.30pm. £15 for Where London readers (usually £39). Departs from The Ritz London by Green Park. www.tourguides.org.uk. T: 020- 8526 7755. E6. Station: Green Park.
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 River Thames, taking in iconic landmarks including Tower of London, St Paul’s and The Shard. You can choose from the 12-minute Buzz, 18-minute Sights or 30-minute Max tour – or spook yourself with an 18-minute ‘open door’ ride (£375 per person). Prices start from £150 per seat for a shared tour; check for details. www.thelondonhelicopter.com. The POD Building, Bridges Court, SW11 2RE. T: 020-7887 2626. Off map. Station: Clapham Junction.
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. Please visit its Facebook page for more information, and call for times and prices. Departure points vary. T: 07722-247660.
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 Maverick Theatre Company. Starting in Fitzrovia and ending in Soho, it includes pubs and bars associated with the British Film industry and historic and contemporary writers. Please check for dates. Tickets £24. www.londonliterarypubcrawl.com. 12 Fouberts Place, Carnaby St, W1F 7PA. T: 020- 8090 5082. D7. Station: Oxford Circus.
London’s oldest walking tour company offers more than 300 walks. Favourites include the Jack the Ripper Walk (daily 7.30pm & Sat 3pm from Tower Hill), a Harry Potter tour (selected Wed & every Sat-Sun 2pm; departure points vary) and a spooky Ghost Walk (daily 7.30pm, departure points vary). Walks take two hours and there’s no need to book. Adult £10; child free when accompanied by an adult. www.walks.com. Departure points vary. T: 020-7624 3978.
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). Walking tours are free with an Original London Sightseeing Tour, or £9.50 per walk. An Explore Walks Pass, which grants access to all three walks over a 48-hour period, costs £19. www.theoriginal tour.com. 17-19 Cockspur St, SW1Y 5BL. T: 020- 8877 1722. E7. Station: Charing Cross.
The Original Tour
With more than 65 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. 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. www.theoriginaltour.com. 17-19 Cockspur St, Trafalgar Square, SW1Y 5BL. T: 020- 8877 1722. E7. Station: Charing Cross.
PlanetPass is an app that allows you to book a private guided tour for up to six people at any time or day. Choose from street art, Jack the Ripper, a Borough Market one for foodies and more. From £9 per person. www.planetpass.com. Various meeting points. T: 01865-922380. Station: Various.
Royal Albert Hall Tours
Take a one-hour Grand Tour of this Victorian concert hall (p. 17). Most days throughout the year; call for times. Adult £13; child £6. www.royalalberthall.com. Kensington Gore, SW7 2AP. T: 020-7959 0558. F4. Station: South Kensington.
Royal Opera House
One of the world’s leading opera venues, also home to the Royal Ballet company (p. 17). Backstage Tour. Tour behind the scenes for an insight into the venue’s history, where you may also see a production in rehearsal. Most days 10.30am, 12.30pm & 2.30pm, but please check. Adult £12; child £8.50. www.royaloperahouse.org. Bow St, WC2E 9DD. T: 020-7304 4000. D8. Station: Covent Garden.
See London by Night Tour
Ride around the West End and City in the evening for a different view of the capital. Regular departures from outside The Ritz. Tours last 90 minutes. Daily 7.30pm, 8pm, 8.30pm, 9.15pm, 9.45pm & 10.15pm. Adult £18; child £10. www.seelondonbynight.com. 150 Piccadilly, W1J 9BR. T: 020-7183 4744. E6. Station: Green Park.
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 candlelit performance space. Tours Mon-Sun 9am-5pm. Exhibition Mon-Sun 9am-5pm. Exhibition and Globe theatre tour adult £16; child £9. www.shakespearesglobe.com. 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, SE1 9DT. T: 0207902 1400. E10. Station: Blackfriars.
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 this famous football stadium and concert venue. The 75-minute tour takes you inside the dressing rooms and through the players’ tunnel. Have your photo taken with a replica of the FA Cup. From 10am; please check for dates. Adult £20; child £12. www.wembleystadium.com/ wembley-tours. Wembley Stadium, HA9 0WS. T: 0800-169 9933. Off map. Station: Wembley Park.
Westways Carriage Horses
Get collected from your hotel and experience the sights from the comfort of a horse-drawn carriage. Tours last 2½ hours in either a four or six-seater carriage with an adjustable hood depending on the weather. £475 per carriage. www.westwayscarriagehorses.co.uk. T: 020- 8572 3155.