London is a fantastic, diverse and multi cultural city with so much to see and do for locals and tourists alike. No matter how many times I visit, I come away having learned or discovered something new. For the first timer to London, a guided tour is a great way to get your bearings and become acquainted with the city, learning some interesting facts about its history along the way. These are 3 of my top guided tours in London which I have enjoyed solo….
1. Hop on hop off bus
The hop on hop off bus tours are an excellent way to explore the city. The open top double decker buses have several routes to choose from, each with multiple stops. Choose your route depending on your personal interests, with either audio commentary or a live tour guide on board.
Tickets can be purchased which are valid for 24, 48 or 72 hours via The Original Tour’s website. They last for 6 months from the day of purchase.
The yellow route I chose was a round trip of 2-2 and a half hours and points of interest included main tourist attractions such as St Bride’s Church, the spire of which inspired the tiered wedding cake, Tower Bridge, Big Ben, The Shard and Buckingham Palace. The Blue Route however, focusses on architecture around the Kensington/Chelsea areas of London as well as museums and landmarks. Remember to add time for any stops and attractions you may wish to visit along the way.
The hop on hop off tour is a cost effective, interesting and fun way to explore the City of London. Click on my Hop on Hop off Tour of London link to read further information about this recommended solo activity.
2. Jack the Ripper Tour
The original Hop on Hop Off Bus Tour in London includes several other guided tours as part of the ticket price. One of these is the Jack the Ripper walking tour. The infamous Jack the Ripper murders are, without a doubt, horrific and barbaric. It was extremely interesting to walk around the areas that over a hundred years ago, were so very different from how they are today.
A mixed group of couples, friends and solos joined the guide on a walk around the East End of London. He told stories about the gruesome Whitechapel murders, took us to crime scenes and educated us about Victorian life in this area. The 90 minute tour was both captivating and shocking.
For further information about the Jack the Ripper tour, have a look at my Jack the Ripper page.
3. The London Ghost bus
The Ghost bus tour is a spooky, though comedic tour lasting 75 minutes, taking you to murder scenes and areas/buildings said to be haunted. If you wish to give yourself a bit of a fright, opt for the night tour rather than a daytime one! Places of interest included Banqueting House in Whitehall, where Charles I was beheaded for treason in 1649 and Cross Bones Graveyard, a burial ground for hundreds of medieval sex workers and paupers in one of London’s poorest areas.
You may like to combine one of the tours with a meal or another activity. Have a look at the following links for some recommendations.
Suggested Further Reading:
Things to do in London – Recommended solo activities
Hotels in London – Recommended places where I have stayed alone
London Restaurants – Restaurants where I have enjoyed dining solo
Solo Travel Destinations – Solo Travel Destinations I recommend