May 24, 2018

The Original London Bus Tour – review

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.

The original London tour bus

The original London bus tour leaflets available from staff and the head office

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!

B and W loving sitting on the open top bus

me sitting with the children on the open top bus tour

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!

B and W with their children's packs offered by the original london bus tour

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.

Changing of the guards with the guards on their horses entering Buckingham places available with a free walking tour

Me with all three children outside buckingham palace after finishing with the walking tour provided by the original london bus tour

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.

W looking at an attracting while on the london but tour

At the natural history museum

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.

Crossing the river thames on our bus tour of London

Our verdict

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*



18 comments so far.

18 responses to “The Original London Bus Tour – review”

  1. We did something similar when we visited Bath and my girls loved it. It’s definitely a great way to get around London and you picked a lovely day for it!

  2. We’re thinking of doing this in Barcelona next week. Buses are always fun for kids, especially open top buses where you can nose down on everyone! x

  3. Matt O’Connor says:

    A great way of seeing the sights in the capital!

  4. Jenni says:

    Oh wow this look fab! I will have to remember this for when we next visit London. It’s always nice when the weather behaves too!

  5. What a wonderful tour! It’s so great that they have special packs for children to have fn with whilst on the tour. You are so lucky to have such good weather! I hope to take the kids there during the summer holiday. Thank you so much for this. It is so helpful! x

  6. Abigail Bryony says:

    We did an open top bus ride in Scarborough once and the kids loved it! I’d love to do one in London too x

  7. We are lucky that London is just a quick train ride away. I must admit though I haven’t been on an open topped bus since I was a kid myself. My kids love going on the bus anyway so this would be an absolute novelty. Glad you had fun!

  8. This looks like a great way to not only get around but learn more about London, i’ll definitely consider this for our next trip, as a change to using the underground

  9. I’ve never done a London bus tour, yet always do them in any new city I go to. London is my fave city though (I was born there!) so I really should do one and be a tourist for the day!

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Hi and welcome to The Willow Tree. I’m Michelle, also known as Shel and I am a mama to three beautiful crazy kids – I have two handsome boys and a wild and wonderful girl.

I really wanted a concrete place to share my love for travel, in particular Disney and offer my readers a chance to gain some knowledge around what we love to do as a family of 5.

I share our family adventures which include days out, travel advice and tips, holiday reviews, restaurant visits and of course, our love for Disney, including Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney World.

Life is about creating memories, and here we are sharing them with you




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