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London Bus Tours -any recommendations or tips?

(12 Posts)
NorbertDentressangle Sat 27-Apr-13 19:57:29

Next month we're going to London for 2 nights with DC aged 8 and 13 who have never been to London before so thought a bus tour would be a good way of cramming in the sights for them.

Any recommendations as a quick Google reveals quite a few companies? Also is a hop on/hop off one better in that you can break it up by stopping off at places or is it best to do it in one go?

I don't envisage paying to go in any of the touristy places like Tower of London, Madam Tussauds etc. as we'd rather do places like the Natural History Museum or just wander round interesting areas like Covent Garden.

NorbertDentressangle Sun 28-Apr-13 11:42:35


CharlotteBronteSaurus Sun 28-Apr-13 11:50:05

personally, i would save my money and use an oyster card on the heritage routemaster routes. the 15 goes past the tower of London and st pauls to trafalgar sq. there's another route for west london but I'm not sure what sights that one takes in.

NorbertDentressangle Sun 28-Apr-13 12:23:29

I did look at Oyster cards but it was so complicated re: buying in advance, children needing photo cards etc that I thought Sod It! It seemed a lot of hassle for 2 nights.

I thought the bus tour would save a bit of time on planning and finding out about bus routes, locations of places etc. so figured it would give us more time to do other things?

CharlotteBronteSaurus Sun 28-Apr-13 12:38:00

oyster is pretty simple though, once you've got your cards, and then you can use tube, train etc. and the old routemasters are lovely

i think i am prejudiced against the tour buses though, as i used to know an incredibly annoying woman who worked as a guide for them. the thought of paying 20 odd quid to listen to her witter on is pretty grim grin

Floralnomad Sun 28-Apr-13 13:02:59

Last time we went up we used The Original Tour company , I think they do 3 different routes and the tickets last 24 hrs . It wasn't cheap ,so maybe worth seeing if you get a discount booking in advance or if there are deals on the net. It was fun though and we will do it again this summer.

Floralnomad Sun 28-Apr-13 13:05:17

Forgot to add ,make sure you take lunch to St James park to see the pelicans ,great fun and free. Also the boat down to the 02 is good and not overly expensive and you can get off at Greenwich which is lovely for a walk about and has the Maritime Museum.

mumblechum1 Sun 28-Apr-13 13:09:37

I took my 2 adult neices and 4 yr old great nephew on the London Duck Tour yesterday afternoon and recommend it. They use amphibious landing craft to take you on a whistle-stop tour of the main central sights (Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Sq, Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey etc) then the fun thing is they then drive you into the Thames for a river tour, then back onto dry land. It takes 1.25 hours, costs about £25 each iirc, and the guides are really good, they told us lots of things we didn't know and were funny and entertaining.

NorbertDentressangle Sun 28-Apr-13 13:31:45

Charlotte - which company was it and I'll avoid them! wink.

I like the look of the Duck Tours! Great fun I would imagine.

snozzlemaid Sun 28-Apr-13 13:32:18

We used the original bus tour last year and used Tesco club card vouchers to pay. We thought they were really good. Different routes available and jump on and off as you like.

NorbertDentressangle Mon 29-Apr-13 20:50:57

Oh great tip about Tesco Clubcard vouchers. I hadn't thought of that!

snozzlemaid Tue 30-Apr-13 10:40:40

I saved up loads for our trip to London last year. We didn't pay a penny for bus tour, tower of London or madame tussaurds. smile

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