I think the best way to get around our capital is to take a hop on hop off London bus tour. This way, you get to discover London comfortably, safety, see the sights and learn some history about this amazing city!
What is Original London Bus Tour
The Original London bus tour ticks all the boxes. Firstly, you can choose from a 24 hour, 48 hour or 72 hour hop on hop off ticket. This gives you the great option to have the freedom to use this tour across several days or if your only visiting for a short time, you can access the city sampler ticket.
You can hop on and off at over 60 bus stops in central London, access free wi-fi on board and either have a live guide present on the bus or you are provided with headphones with a pre-recorded guide that covers up to 11 languages. The is 5 bus routes, all covering certain areas of the city. AND, also included is free walking tours as well as a river cruise tour! I was impressed!
You can even prebook on-line. This way, you can get planning early and decide what routes cover what areas and what sights you’d like to see.
Our experience of a London Bus Tour
We visited London for three days across the May bank holiday and after a busy day at Shrek’s Adventure on the Saturday, we used our Sunday to get around and see some sights using The Original London bus tour. As we were staying near London Tower Bridge, we used this stop to access our tour. The bus was empty as we were up and ready to go for 9am. Perfect! The sun was shining and both B and W were super excited to go on a bus – even more so an open top bus! We were lucky in that our first stretch of the tour was accompanied by a tour guide. He sat with us upstairs and talked to us about all the sights, historic buildings and statues we passed. Do you know that allegedly, all the theatres in London are haunted?! Spooky!
Our first stop was Buckingham Palace and the live guide informed us that at 10am there would be a walking tour where you can see the changing of the guards. We left the bus at Trafalgar square and met with the tour guide at the Head office. Here, the children were given children’s packs – what a lovely touch!
We also picked up a few more leaflets and joined a large group of people to access the tour. I was worried as to how the tour guide was going to manage to speak to such a large group of people, but actually it worked. He obviously does this all the time, and he managed to be heard by all of us! The walking tour was really informative and he talked about the history of the buildings around Buckingham palace, the park and the process of the changing of the guards. The kids loved the horses! As we had a buggy, we held back a bit as it got rather crowded the nearer we got to Buckingham Place.
B wanted to go to the Natural History museum so we were advised by the tour guide to access the blue route. It was a short walk from Buckingham palace and only a short wait for a bus. What I found really helpful was that there was a member of the Original tour bus staff at most of the bus stops. It was so useful! They could tell us how long the wait was and advise us of when and where to get off.
From here, we went past Hyde park and off to the museum. It was getting warm, so after stopping for some ice-cream, we took shelter from the sun for a few hours. And then followed with a trip to Hyde park for a play on the play area. Finally, we finished with hopping back on the bus to tour around Oxford street and the history of Mayfair. We also went past Big Ben, Houses of Parliament and The London Eye before hopping off.
Honestly, I cannot fault our experience. I was a bit dubious as to whether the children would enjoy it. But they loved it! B and W were obsessed with the headphones and collected a pair each time we boarded The Original London bus tour. They were excited to sit on the open top bus. It really allows you to get up close and personal with some of the sights! The staff were incredibly helpful and polite and I loved the touch of the children receiving information packs. It made the whole experience feel family friendly. One thing we did not have time for was the river cruise but there is always next time!
Have you been on a London but tour before?
Want to see more? Check out Zena’s Suitcase for her review on Visiting the Tower of London!
*This is a collaborate post and I was gifted a family 24 hour ticket in exchange for this review. All words and opinions are my own*