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The Best London Tours, and Excursions for 2022

by Alison
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If you’re looking to do some sightseeing in one of the world’s most famous cities, there are plenty of options to choose from. London has something to offer everyone, and there are tons of different ways to get acquainted with this historic city’s culture, people, and architecture.

Whether you’re looking for things to do in London with friends or family, or want an activity with historical significance, this list of the best tours of London will help give you some ideas on how to fill your days in this bustling city.

London: Jack the Ripper Interactive Guided Walking Tour

Jack the Ripper silhouette against a red background

Want to learn more about one of London’s most gruesome murders? On the Jack The Ripper Tour, you’ll follow a trail of clues left by Scotland Yard and learn about witness accounts that identify Jack as Leather Apron. You’ll also hear firsthand testimonies from women who worked along his path of terror, bringing to life what it was like to live through these frightening times. And best of all, you’ll be given your very own investigation pack so you can investigate as much as you please! All tours are conducted by an experienced guide—not a tour group or recorded narration.

London: Royal Tour with Afternoon Tea at the Rubens

People talking to butler outside The Rubens at the Palace hotel
People talking to butler outside The Rubens at the Palace, a 5 star hotel located in central London with views across the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace.

This tour combines a visit to Buckingham Palace and a visit to Windsor Castle with an afternoon tea at The Rubens. It is one of our most popular tours for first-time visitors to London. But don’t worry if you haven’t had time to plan your trip; some sightseeing tours are designed for travelers who are short on time or don’t want to commit their schedule completely. The Royal Tour with Afternoon Tea is one such option.

With a private guide leading you from site to site, sightseeing stops have been chosen for convenience so that you can see each venue thoroughly while still being able to get from place to place quickly.

London by Night Sightseeing Open-Top Bus Tour

The London by Night Sightseeing Tour will take you through some of London’s most iconic landmarks as well as areas that are off-limits to tourists during daylight hours. Not only will you enjoy a nighttime view of Westminster Palace and other famous locations, but you’ll also be treated to a meal at a local restaurant and a dance show with a traditional British band. You can’t go wrong with an evening activity like that! I would highly recommend it for first-time visitors who want to see as much of London as possible within 24 hours. If I could do it all over again, I’d definitely choose one of these two options for my first visit to London.

London: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium Tour

If you’re a football (soccer) fan and enjoy learning about new cultures and places, consider taking a Tottenham Hotspur Stadium Tour. Tottenham Hotspur Football Club is London’s second-most successful soccer team (according to Wikipedia) and they offer walking tours of their stadium on non-match days.

These are one-hour walks that take you through every level of the iconic venue while telling stories about Spurs history. The tour price begins at £27 per person, and I recommend booking early to guarantee your spot as they can sell out fast.

50-Minute River Thames Speedboat RIB Tour

Speedboat tours of London are a terrific way to see some of the city’s most iconic landmarks like Tower Bridge and St. Paul’s Cathedral. The tour begins at Embankment Pier and lasts 50 minutes. Enjoy taking in the sights whilst listening to informal commentary and James Bond theme music.

Ghost Walk and Spooky River Thames Boat Ride

The ghost tour will take you on a tour of haunted London via a walking tour around the royal parks of London. It was London can be spooky at night. One of London’s most famous ghost walks covers some of its most infamous haunted locations—complete with tales of murder and madness. The best part? You finish off on a boat ride on the River Thames. Trust us—it’s an experience you won’t soon forget!

Windsor Castle, Stonehenge & Bath Full-Day Tour

Long walk in Windsor castle, uk, london in summer
Windsor castle in London

Head to Windsor Castle, one of England’s oldest and most popular royal residences. See where Queen Elizabeth II spends her weekends and tour her private apartments. Then it’s off to Salisbury for a visit to Stonehenge—England’s greatest megalithic structure where you get to see and learn about Stonehenge. Then you’ll continue onto the beautiful Georgian City of Bath for some free time on your own.

London: Big Bus Open-Top Hop-on, Hop-off Sightseeing Tour

Hop on and off from any one of 60 stops around town to see your choice of attractions, including Big Ben, Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace and Greenwich. Tickets can be bought as a single day pass or a 1-, 2- or 3-day pass—the more days you buy, the cheaper each ticket is.

Passengers should note that all tickets include a 30-minute boat ride down Regent’s Canal.The bus has an open roof for panoramic views, with an audio guide available in 5 different languages – Spanish, French, German, Italian, English. If you love history, London is filled with information about past kings and queens—this tour helps bring them to life in front of your eyes.

Little Venice: Regent’s Canal Waterbus Boat Trip to Camden

Rows of houseboats and narrow boats on the canal banks at Little Venice, Paddington, West London, on a brigh fall day
Rows of houseboats and narrow boats on the canal banks at Little Venice, Paddington, West London

Take a canal boat trip to Camden Lock and explore some of London’s greatest cultural centers on a sightseeing cruise. Enjoy gorgeous views along Regent’s Canal and get up close with world-famous landmarks such as The London Eye, Big Ben, and Houses of Parliament.

Harry Potter Studio Tour & Oxford Day Tour from London

Scale model of Hogwarts
A scale model of Hogwarts at The Warner Bros. Studio Tour – Making of Harry Potter.

Explore England’s history and Harry Potter culture in two days with combined Harry Potter Studio Tour & Oxford Day Tour from London. Spend a day visiting Warner Bros. Studios where you will learn about how you favorite movie moments were created, and after take a relaxing one-hour cruise on River Thames to visit Oxford University. Explore England’s history and Harry Potter culture in two days with combined Harry Potter Studio Tour & Oxford Day Tour from London. Spend a day visiting Warner Bros. Studios where you will learn about how you favorite movie moments were created, and after take a relaxing one-hour cruise on River Thames to visit Oxford University.

London Eye River Cruise and Admission Options

While there are certainly plenty of ways to see things in London, some are more recommended than others. If you’re looking for an unforgettable sightseeing tour, your best bet is London Eye River Cruise.

You will be immersed into a magical world on a beautiful boat while touring iconic landmarks such as Big Ben and The Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge and more. Although it might seem simple enough from afar, you won’t want to miss out on what awaits you along the way!

Piccadilly and Soho Beer Bike Tour

Neon lights at Piccadilly Circus in London that you can see on the tour
Neon lights at Piccadilly Circus in London

Bring your friends and hop on board one of these interesting 15-passenger cycles as you embark on a two-hour tour through some of London’s most famous neighborhoods. You’ll stop at pubs along the way, as well as spots like Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square, all while taking in fantastic views. If you love good beer, you should definitely check out this tour.

Afternoon Tea Bus with Panoramic Tour of London

The Afternoon Tea Bus with Panoramic Tour option offers a fun and fresh way to experience your favorite sights in town. You’ll be able to see landmarks such as the London Eye, Tower of London and St. Paul’s Cathedral while being served a selection of sandwiches, cakes, and drinks.

Tootbus Kids Tour of London

The top kid-friendly tour in London! Tootbus Kids Tours is an interactive experience that will delight both parents and children. This tour is designed for children age 6 to 12. You’ll learn tons of interesting facts while taking in all that beautiful city has to offer, without leaving little ones bored or overwhelmed. Lasting 45 minutes, with kid-friendly commentary offered in English this tour is definitely worth doing if you have kids.

London River Thames Lunch Cruise

St. Paul's Cathedral across Millennium Bridge and the River Thames in London, UK.
St. Paul’s Cathedral across Millennium Bridge and the River Thames in London, UK.

A lunch cruise on The Thames is a great way to take in stunning views and make new friends. Explore some of England’s most famous sights from an entirely new perspective, or experience your first day trip to London by taking one of these amazing sightseeing tours. Either way, these are not tours to be missed!

DreamWorks Shrek’s Adventure Tour

If you and your family loved Shrek and his swamp-dwelling crew in Shrek, and sequels Shrek 2 and Shrek The Third, then a day exploring Shrek’s London with friends will be a treat. You’ll visit real-life locations that inspired much of the movie—including Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and Knightsbridge (or you can choose from many other tours). The tour includes three hours in a double-decker bus with audio commentary.

Guided Wembley Stadium Tour

Buckingham Palace with red poppy flowers out front and a blue sky
Buckingham Palace in London.

If you’re planning a trip to London soon, consider signing up for one of Wembley Stadium’s guided tours—they’re a great way to learn about some fascinating history. Although you can certainly take a self-guided tour by paying a small fee at Wembley’s box office, an official tour guide can tell you more about some memorable moments in football history, as well as offer insight into how important sports are to England and its culture.

Skip-the-Line Natural History Museum London Tour

The Natural History Museum is a must-see for families with children as well as natural history enthusiasts. Get a glimpse at bones from dinosaurs, fossils, and stuffed animals from across Africa, Asia, North America and other regions around the world.

This tour allows you to skip-the-line, and have a professional guide give you a tour of the museum. Wheelchair accessible tours are available upon request.

Ghastly Ghosts 2-Hour Walking Tour of London

A Ghastly Ghost Walking Tour is a fun way to visit some of London’s most famous sights, including St. Paul’s Cathedral and Tower Bridge. During each trip, your guide will tell tales about former rulers, crimes, murders and other ghostly occurrences associated with historic landmarks around you.

3-Hour Secret British Food Tour

This tour offers a 3-hour sampling of some of London’s best food. From scones to clotted cream, local cheeses to traditional pastries, you’ll get a great introduction to British cuisine. You can either stroll through Greenwich or take a ride on one of their boats during your journey. There are plenty of restaurants, pubs and bakeries along your way, so be sure to bring an appetite!

Thames Clippers River Roamer & Emirates Airline

Tower Bridge at night.
Tower Bridge at night.

Both tours offer an exciting and colorful ride along one of England’s most famous rivers. The Thames Clippers is a 45-minute tour that begins at Embankment Pier and ends at Westminster Pier, as well as passing through Tower Bridge and Greenwich. The Emirates Airline trip lasts 70 minutes and begins at Westminster Pier.

It also travels past popular sites like Big Ben, St. Paul’s Cathedral and Canary Wharf on its way to Docklands before crossing Victoria Harbour to take in views of some of Hong Kong’s top attractions on its return journey, including skyscrapers like International Finance Centre 1 & 2 (IFC1 & IFC2) which are owned by HSBC Bank among others. Each tour passes numerous landmarks over its duration but makes certain stops that allow passengers to disembark if they wish.

Kensington Palace Gardens Tour with Royal High Tea

Kensington Palace gardens on a spring morning located in Central London, UK.
Kensington Palace gardens on a spring morning located in Central London, UK.

This popular tour visits beautiful and historic Kensington Palace and Gardens and includes a Royal High Tea. Located just north of Kensington Palace, in Kensington Gardens, you’ll find Knaresborough House. It was built in 1756 by Sir George Howard and is now one of London’s most charming architectural treasures. The fact that it sits within view of Buckingham Palace—as well as being minutes from Hyde Park—makes it all the more desirable.

On this tour you’ll get to see both Kensington Palace and Kensington Gardens. Hear about how Princess Diana grew up at Kensington Palace, visit her memorial fountain, and learn about Queen Victoria who spent most of her time at Kensington Palace with her husband Prince Albert. You’ll explore the Sunken Garden, before finishing off with a Royal High Tea while surrounded by the Kensington Palace Pavilion. The afternoon tea includes a selection of sandwiches, scones made with Welsh butter and a selection of afternoon tea cakes.

Tower of London Early Access Tour with Beefeater

View of the Tower of London and the river Thames.
View of the Tower of London and the river Thames.

The Tower of London, now an internationally famous tourist attraction, was originally built as a defensive fortress. There are over 300 buildings within its walls, including four separate palaces. It has been home to many famous people during its long history; most notably Anne Boleyn and Sir Walter Raleigh were held prisoner within its walls before their executions.

This tour allows you to skip the lines and get early access to the Tower of London, with one of the Beefeater guardsman guiding you around.

I hope you found this guide of the best tours available in London helpful. If you have any tours you’d recommend taking, please let me know.

The Best Tours of London

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