Considering that there are at least a bazillion London tourist places, navigating your way through the best can be a bit of a hassle. Luckily for you (and us, to be honest) there are plenty of guided tours waiting to clear that fog, expertly-led jaunts around the city that open the door to this most famous city. But hold up, wait a minute, something ain’t right; there are about a trillion guided tours in the English capital. What are the best London tours? That is a question that can be debated until the sun sets on the British Empire, so we’ve done the hard yards and put together a short selection of runarounds that will engage, educate and entertain in equal measure.
Harry Potter is the original marmite of child wizards, a sentence we never really expected to type. Potterheads invade London in their droves in search of the scarred boy wonder, and there’s no better way of getting the inside scope than by taking the Magical London: Harry Potter Guided Walking Tour. Lasting two and a half hours, the tour is an immersive romp through the Hogwarts world, complete with a visit to Platform 9 3/4 as well as the Leaky Cauldron. There is also a Potter-themed quiz, and boy do we love quizzes. Tickets cost £20, and don’t forget to wear comfortable footwear. That should be given though…
We’ll never tire of the ‘Ghost Bus Tour’ pun, never. The Comedy Horror Show is 75 minutes of spine-chilling fun aboard a spooky bus, with a reassuringly creepy conductor at the wheel. The history of London is gruesome, hideous, loathsome and a myriad of other words that indicate horror, and we can’t think of a more entertaining way to explore it than aboard the Ghost Bus. London doesn’t get much more spookier, although Boris Johnson really is doing his best.
Foregoing the inherent weirdness of taking a walking tour dedicated to one of the city’s most infamous murderers, the Jack the Ripper Walking Tour is more than just a stroll around some grisly spots. This is a fully interactive tour, with special projections bringing the terrible tale to life. Dive into the terrible Victorian years over 105 minutes, and see if you can solve the riddle that has kept the cops stumped for well over a century.
One of the most popular tours in a city full of the things, a visit to the Warner Bros. Studio is a must for movie lovers of all ages. Ol’ Potter takes centerstage here, with many of the props used in the films waiting to be admired and enjoyed. This is a day-long adventure through stunning sets and costumes, with transfer from Victoria Coach Station included in the ticket. Be sure to book well in advance for this one, as it almost always sells out.
London wouldn’t be London without the Thames, the famous river that snakes its way through the heart of the city. The River Red Rover ticket (prices start at £19.25) offers visitors the opportunity to jump on and off the boat whenever they like, stopping to explore the many curiosities that lie on every bend of the river. Full commentary is provided on board the boat by knowledgeable guides who will help you see London in a brand new light. The cruise begins at the city’s famous piers (Westminster, London Eye, Tower and Greenwich), and tickets are valid for unlimited stops over a 24 hour period.
London is a different city once the sun sets, and the English capital embraces an entirely new skin bathed in twinkling lights and curious sights. This 90-minute tour is the best way to see London at its best, especially at Christmas, when the city practically shimmers in festive cheer. The guides on this tour are particularly engaging, a roster of experts who get the chance to display a true love for one of the world’s most famous cities. The first tour starts at 19:30, so be aware that it won’t exactly be dark during the summer months. The fun begins at the Green Stop by the Ritz.