Sightseeing Tours in London

Top 10 Sightseeing Tours in London

Sightseeing the top landmarks of a city is the most worthwhile aspect of a tour, and sightseeing in London is no exception. The city’s cultural, historical, and modern landmarks offer outstanding sightseeing. The diversity isn’t just limited to the attractions.

You can view each landmark from various perspectives. It could be the comfort of your tour bus or a lavish ride on a cruise on the Thames. What other tour options are there in London? Let’s find out in this article as we explore the top 10 sightseeing tours in London:

1. Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tours
Hop on Hop off Bus Tours

Let’s start with something London is famous for. The Hop-on Hop-off bus tour is your ultimate sightseeing tour option due to its flexibility and convenience. You can sightsee London’s top attractions at your own pace from the comfort of a cosy bus.

You can buy a ticket or a pass based on different timelines. These could be 24, 36, or 48 hours. It implies that with a 24-hour ticket:

  • You can hop on any tour bus from that particular operator
  • Have the panoramic views of the attraction your bus passes by
  • Leave the bus at any stop
  • Get back from the same or the very next stop
  • All this is within 24 hours of the ticket validity

2. Thames River Cruises

Thames River Cruise Tours
Thames River Cruise Tours

It’s good to go sightseeing in London by car. But how about spotting London’s landmark from a cruise as it sails over the Thames? The Thames River Cruises are all about luxury, relaxation, and comfort as you sightsee the capital’s main attractions from your cruise’s deck.

You can combine adventurous sightseeing with classic afternoon tea on your cruise tour. On the Thames Afternoon Tea Cruise Tour, you will be served traditional English tea with delicious snacks like scones, pastries, jams, and finger sandwiches. You can enjoy the refreshing tea with delightful snacks as your boat passes through the glorious landmarks of the capital.

3. Walking Tours of Historic Neighbourhoods

Walking Tours
Walking Tours

London’s history dates back hundreds of years, covering the Roman and Medieval Periods. Most of the landmarks from those times are well-preserved and functional today. Want to listen to the stories behind each landmark?

The guided walking tours of historic neighbourhoods broadly include all the capital’s main attractions. A professional guide for live commentary on every historic landmark will accompany you. These are your different options for walking tours of London:

  • Trafalgar Square to Westminster Circular Tour: The tour itinerary will cover a significant portion of Westminster City, including historic landmarks like the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, White Hall, Buckingham Palace, and Trafalgar Square. With a professional tour guide, know the tales behind each landmark, as thrilling as the Great Fire at Westminster Palace and British victory tales at Trafalgar Square.
  • City of London Walking Tour: Learn the capital’s rich history, from Roman and Medieval London to the Era of Enlightenment. Learn the tales of courage and bravery of ARP Wardens during The Blitz battle of WW2. These walking tours cover historic landmarks like The Tower of London, Tower Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and Leadenhall Market.

4. Harry Potter Studio Tour

Warner Bros. Studio Tour
Warner Bros Studio Tour in London

This exciting tour takes you to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the famous Warner Bros. Studio in Leavesden. Officially called “Warner Bros. Studio Tour London—The Making of Harry Potter,” it brings what we always wanted as kids: visiting Hogwarts and experiencing magic.

The magic is right from the entrance, as you see the famous “cupboard under the stairs” where Harry lived before his admission to Hogwarts. As you move along this exhibition tour, you can visit the locations where the movie’s most notorious and beloved scenes were shot.

Visit the famous Harry Potter locations in the Studio, including Dumbledore’s Office with a realistic sculpture of Albus Dumbledore, the Forbidden Forest, the Great Hall, Aragog’s Lair, and the Hall of Prophecy at the Ministry of Magic.

On your tour, the young can try the Wizard Robes from their favourite Houses. You can also see the hundreds of memory vials, a working model of the Chamber Secrets, and the Golden Snitch used in the movies. At the Studio Shop, buy souvenirs like Harry Potter apparel, wands, broomsticks, and several collectables.

5. Day Trips from London

Day Trips from London
Day Trips from London

The UK is packed with several historical places beyond London, some dating back to prehistoric times. Day Trips from London are a perfect way to discover every historical landmark near the capital. You can find combined day tours, including visiting various destinations like Stonehenge, Bath City, Salisbury, and Windsor.

Places to Visit on Day Trips from London

  • Windsor Castle: Located some 23 miles from Central London, Windsor Castle is the oldest functioning castle in the world and is one of the official residences of the British Royal Family. On a Windsor Castle day tour, you’ll enter the castle and visit the state apartments, royal collection, and more.
  • Stonehenge: One of the oldest monuments in the world, with a history dating back 3000 years, Stonehenge is the UK’s most visited historical site, with an average of 1 million visitors daily. On a day tour, you’ll see the monument, the visitor centre, the neolithic houses, and the Salisbury Cathedral, a few miles from the site.
  • Bath City: Explore the natural spring baths, still functional after thousands of years, and have a guided walking tour of this 18th-century neoclassic city. Generally, the Bath City trip combines the Stonehenge and Windsor Castle trips for a perfectly themed historical day tour from London.

6. Food and Culinary Tours

Food and Culinary Tours
Food and Culinary Tours

London’s food is the diffusion of delicious flavours and cuisines from around the globe. A food and culinary tour is necessary if you like the sizzle of perfectly cooked steak. London’s food, in itself, is flavourful. But when combined with global food flavours, like Continental, North Asian, African, and Indian cuisines, the options become endless for you.

London’s culinary tours explore famous food markets like Brough Market and Leadenhall Market. They also stop at popular restaurants and old pubs, allowing you to taste modern London food and historic British cuisine.

Some speciality tours even have cooking classes taught by local chefs. You get hands-on practice making British recipes. On such tours, you can share the delightful taste of London food with your friends and family.

Pro Tip: While we talk about the culinary tours, don’t forget to add the afternoon tea experience to your list, either as a standalone food tour or combined with other trips like Royal London Tours, Walking Tours, or the Thames Cruise Tours.

7. Royal London Tours

Royal London Tours
Royal London Tours

People who love royalty and British history must take a Royal London tour. A generic Royal London Tour itinerary covers the city’s most significant royal landmarks.

  • The main highlight of a Royal London Tour is the Buckingham Palace, currently occupied by King Charles III. You can watch the famous Changing of the Guard ceremony, which begins at 11 AM (every day during summer and alternate days for the rest of the year).
  • Other tour destinations include the Tower of London, the main attraction of which is the Jewel House, which displays the precious Crown Jewels of England.
  • You’ll also see Westminster Abbey, next to the Houses of Parliament. The Abbey has been the site of many royal weddings and coronations.
  • You can also plan a day tour of Windsor Castle from London. This historic castle is one of the official residences of the British Royal Family and was one of the places late Elizabeth II resided during her last few months.

8.  Museum and Gallery Tours

Best Museums in London for Kids
Best Museums in London for Kids

While travelling to the city of London, one of the activities that pique your interest is visiting the Museums and Galleries. London has some of the world’s most prestigious museums and art galleries. 

A big highlight of the tour is the famous “The British Museum”. It has thousands of years-old artefacts worldwide, including hundreds of real mummies of Egyptian Pharaohs. The National Gallery is also a trendy destination. Located near Trafalgar Square in the City of London, the gallery displays masterpieces by famous artists like Van Gogh and Turner.

Likewise, the Museum Neighbourhood in South Kensington hosts the popular Victoria and Albert Museum. This iconic museum is known for its innovative decor and designs and offers free entry for families. 

Pro Tip: Guided London museum tours for kids provide more information about the exhibits. Professional guides for the exclusive and temporary exhibits will make the overall experience memorable.

9. Bike Tour of Royal Parks

Bike Tour of Royal Parks
Bike Tour of Royal Parks

A fun, active way to explore London is a bike tour of the city’s beautiful royal parks. These tours let you see London’s green spaces refreshingly and learn about the parks’ history and importance. Take your energetic teens on these bike tours for a cheerful and proactive day out in London.

Hyde Park is a perfect place to start your tour, as it is among the city’s biggest and most renowned parks. Progress through Kensington Gardens, Green Park, and St. James’s Park, taking in the park’s scenic views, exotic flowers, and some local wildlife.

Guided Bike Tours lead you to different destinations and provide interesting facts and tales from the parks along the way. Overall, they’re a proactive way to enjoy the outdoors and see a different side of London.

10. Ghost Tour of London’s Haunted Sites

Haunted London Tours
Haunted London Tours

Are you a fan of horror stories that creep inside your mind in any dark situation? If you’re interested in the unnatural and spooky side of the capital, London is best explored by night on a ghost tour bus. Visit haunted locations like the dreary houses, dismal alleys, and thrilling murder sites like “Jack the Ripper,” which tell the other side of this city’s history. 

Key destinations often include the Tower of London to give these haunted tours a realistic touch. Although the castle’s thrilling history is authentic, it is largely (and supposedly) said to be the most haunted place in the city.

With a variety of professional guides dressed in scary costumes, listen to the bone-chilling stories in a scary yet fun way. For energetic teens, these tours are a unique way to enjoy a good scare through original haunted stories of the city with a slight touch of fantasy.

FAQs

What types of sightseeing tours are available in London?

London offers a dynamic sightseeing experience, allowing you to explore the capital from various perspectives.

  • Go on the Thames Cruise Tour from Greenwich to Westminster
  • Plan a Windsor, Bath, and Stonehenge Day Tour from London
  • Use a hop-on, hop-off bus tour to explore the city at your pace
  • Plan a weekend around touring the museums of London, including The National Gallery, The British Museum, and the Museum Neighbourhood in the Kensington District.

How long do sightseeing tours typically last?

The tour duration largely depends on the destination you want to visit. But it’s good to allocate at least half of your day to a particular attraction or activity to get the most out of it.

Are sightseeing tours suitable for children and families?

Most sightseeing tours in London are suitable for children and families. You can also go for specialized family tours like a tour of the Museum Neighbourhood in South Kensington. Likewise, you can discover family-friendly activities at different parks around the city, the highlight of which is Hyde Park.

Are sightseeing tours wheelchair accessible?

All sightseeing tours in London are wheelchair-accessible and are friendly for differently abled individuals and senior citizens.

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