If you’ve been following my blog, you would know that the hop-on hop-off bus is one of my favourite ways to explore a new city, especially when I have limited time there. When I visited the United Kingdom, my family and I chose to explore London with The Original London Sightseeing Tour.
The Original London Sightseeing Tour was the first sightseeing tour of its kind in the world and was formally introduced by London Transport in 1951. Although it has been adapted, updated and emulated many times since then, it remains a pioneer in world tourism.
London is one of the most exciting cities in the world with tons of things to see and do. Because of this I was concerned that I wouldn’t even scratch the surface in such a short time there. There are over 80 bus stops on the Original London Sightseeing Tour served by six bus routes.
The red, yellow, and blue routes are sightseeing tour routes. The green route is the loop line around central London and the black and purple routes operate as a shuttle service, connecting the sightseeing tours to the train stations and popular hotel districts. Therefore it was a good thing that The Original Tour had a special offer of 48 hours for the price of 24, giving one effectively two days to tour with them instead of one. Bearing the multiple routes in mind, we planned our two days carefully.
We picked up our tickets from their colourful visitor centre near Trafalgar Square. I was surprised to see that they sold a lot of other products as well, such as half-price West End theatre tickets, Premiership football tickets and day trips around London. I made a mental note to return when I needed those.
The ticket includes 3 free walking tours, a free Thames River Cruise Pass and unlimited access to all the bus tour routes. The walking tours include the Changing of the Guard Walk, the Jack the Ripper Walk, and the Rock n Roll walk.
We made stops at Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Madame Tussauds, the British Museum and Harrods inter alia. There are some great affordable hotels near the London Eye. If you are staying at any of them, you can hop on to the bus at the London Eye.
When the winter sun set at 4 pm, we continued on the bus into the night, and got to experience London by night too.
There were many advantages to taking the hop-on hop-off bus. Here are some of them:
My initial concerns were misplaced and I got to explore London and see alot more in two days with the Original Sightseeing Tour than I thought I would.
Book tickets for The Original London Sightseeing Tour