Whenever I have visitors in town from abroad, I search out fun ways to show them the sights. I might be a born-and-bred Londoner, but seeing the alleyways and side streets of Whitechapel through the lens of a Victorian lady of the night was a new experience; as was whizzing around Trafalgar Square in my own private black cab driven by a cabbie with thirty years’ of anecdotes and social history to impart. One of the best ways to view the city is from the river, which is why London Duck Tours offer the best of both worlds. One minute you’re on the Embankment in a vehicle, and the next you find yourself shrieking with joy as the seafaring automobile transforms into a boat and coasts across the Thames. The great thing about living in London is that there is always somewhere new or undiscovered to enjoy: with equally innovative ways of exploring.
London Walking Tours
Frankly, there are too many walking tours to choose from. From the magical Harry Potter walking tour to excursions to Olympic Park, or the literary Bloomsbury and stroll through Little Venice, there’s a footpath for every explorer. London Walks (link to walks.com) offers more than a hundred itineraries and themes. Allow about two hours for each walk, and come prepared with raincoats and an umbrella.
Big Bus Tours
In a place as vast as London, you have to pace yourself. Save your feet and take in the major sights from the upper deck of an open-top bus. Listen to a live commentary and hop on and off as you wish. Tickets include a free cruise on the River Thames, and are a smart substitute for public transport on your first days in the city.
London Duck Tours
For a fun and unique way to see London, there is nothing better than a 75-minute Duck Tour in a revamped, World War II amphibious DUKW, or Duck. Packed with interesting facts, live commentary, and a thrilling splashdown onto the River Thames. For private hire, you can pretend to be James Bond for the day, or have an epic Pirate Treasure hunt with a motley crew.
London Black Taxi Tours
In search of an authentic tour of the city? Then look no further than London Black Cab Tours. Native Londoner and black cabbie Michael Churchill will drive you around town in the comfort of his Hackney Carriage Cab and share all the best London stories, sights, and secrets from his 30-years of driving in the city.
Jack the Ripper Tour
Throw on your walking shoes and come prepared to be scared. Jack the Ripper terrorized the streets of the Victorian East End, and infamously murdered over half a dozen women in the alleyways of Whitechapel and Aldgate. Cross over the crooked cobblestones in pursuit of this most elusive serial killer.