Explore the different side of London
Guest Post by Mike James from Into The Blue
If you’re planning a visit to London, you might be interested in taking a classic open-top bus tour as an introduction to the many famous landmarks across the city. Of course there’s nothing wrong with doing that, but if you’re interested in seeing a different side of London there are plenty of less conventional options that could be an amazing experience for you. Here are eight incredible alternative tours of London.
#1 | Sherlock Holmes Tour | £12
Sherlock Holmes is probably London’s most famous detective. The resident crime solver of 221b Baker Street has been an immensely popular character since he first appeared in print in 1887. Now you can visit iconic Holmes locations from the books, films and TV shows as a part of an exceptional two hour tour. Assisted by an expert in everything Homes, you’ll learn much about the ‘consulting detective’ as you begin in The Criterion restaurant in Piccadilly Circus and finish at Somerset House on The Strand.
Starting Point: Savini at Criterion at Piccadilly Circus
#2 | London Street Art Cycling Tour | £22
One fantastic way to experience London is through a tour taking in the city’s superb street art. There are biking tours that take you off the beaten tourist path to sell little known artistic wonders tucked away in East London. Travelling on cycle paths and quiet roads, the tour takes a few hours and introduces you the cultural diversity of London through the prism of its street art. Forget the Tate Modern – this is a chance to see the artistic side of London you won’t find in guidebooks.
Starting Point: Hoxton
#3 | Chislehurst Caves Tour | £6
Many people from London, even those who have lived there all their lives, have no idea about the Chislehurst Caves. It’s believed that these man-made caves were created by the Romans and Saxons, although no-one is entirely sure. During World War II they were used as an air raid shelter, and having a tour of them can introduce you to the fascinating history of the place. You won’t see any amazing landmarks, but you will get the chance to see something that most visitors don’t ever experience.
Starting Point: Chislehurst Caves
#4 | London Chocolate Tour | £40
You might not realise, but London is home to some exceptional chocolatiers. A chocolate tour will take you to see some of them, sampling their delicious offerings along the way. This is a must for any chocoholics visiting London.
Starting Point: Mayfair
#5 | Harry Potter London Bus Tour | £27
This amazing tour of London’s streets is a brilliant way to combine the magical world of Harry Potter with a traditional guided bus tour. With commentary for an expert on the books and films, you’ll see all the amazing sites from the series, including the iconic Platform Nine and Three Quarters, 12 Grimmauld Place, the Leaky Cauldron and many more. This is an unforgettable three hour tour that any Harry Potter fan will love.
Starting Point: Temple tube station
#6 | Pedibus | £23
Want a truly unique way to travel round London? Try the Pedibus. Around the size of a mini-bus, this open air transportation is entirely pedal powered – by you! Up to 12 people can sit around the table peddling with a navigator at the front driving. You’ll explore the streets of London, taking in some of the most famous attractions. It’s truly great fun and completely different as a way to get around the capital city.
Starting Point: various
#7 | Jack the Ripper Tour | £12
The gripping story of Jack the Ripper has fascinated the world for more than a century. This legendary murderer was never caught by police at the time – now you’ll follow in the footsteps of the detectives on his trail. Could you be the one to analyse the clues and discover the true identity of Jack? This tour takes you to the sites of his murders where you’ll learn the gruesome details of the crimes and hear some of the theories about who Jack may have really been.
Starting Point: close to Aldgate East tube station
#8 | James Bond Tour | £27
Are you a fan of 007 or visiting London with someone who is? This James Bond tour is a brilliant introduction for fans of the iconic spy. You’ll see famous locations from the films including the classics as well as the modern blockbusters like Skyfall and SPECTRE.
Starting Point: Temple tube station
The above suggestions are provided by Mike James working with UK experience day provider Into the Blue.