London by Bus – The Original Tour

original london bus tour

Over the Easter holidays I took the girls up to London with one of their friends from school and her mum and we went to see the Cinderella exhibition in Leicester Square which was fascinating. They loved looking at their favourite dresses and I enjoyed watching the process of initial drawing through to creating the final costume, utterly fascinating.

original bus tour london

The rest of the day was to be spent on a double decker bus, one of The Original Tour that travels the streets of London allowing you to take in all of the sights comfortably and listen to a documentary at the same time.

original london bus tour

Fortunately for us, London’s weather played ball and we climbed on board at the first stop in Trafalgar Square very close to their office where we picked up our tickets. Below photo taken along the embankment – not your every day London sight and he was moved on by the time the bus came by later.

original london bus tour

The girls raced upstairs and managed to secure seats towards the front, they plugged in their headphones and listened as the bus made it’s way around Trafalgar Square telling them about the lions, Nelson and the 4th plinth before making it’s way down towards the Thames.

original london bus tour

For three 6 year olds, ‘Actually I am 7.’ Isabelle reminds me, I was really pleased to see how interested they were and how the tour kept their attention all the time – not bad for Year Two-ers.

original london bus tour alice

Top tips for making the most of your London Bus Tour

  1. It can get windy on the top deck, you’ll be surprised how much so make sure you have a jacket/cardigan to put on.
  2. Suncream, hats and sun glasses are a must for hot sunny days on the top deck.
  3. Take a packed lunch and water or drinks for snacking as the journey is at least two hours long.
  4. Have a plan. It’s a long day and it can be easily wasted away with stops here and there, realistically you can do one or two stops to visit sights.
  5. If touring with young children I suggest making the most of the journey and staying on especially in high season when there are queues for the River Thames Cruise tours and in all restaurants.
  6. Start as early as you can, the buses quickly become full and front seats and top deck or the hot favourites, get yours early!

Verdict

original london bus tour

Sadly for us our bus broke down at the London Eye, it wasn’t a problem as we knew there would be another coming along soon but it was lunch time so we made our way over to the Thames to look for food and our plan was to continue on the River Thames Cruise included in the price of our tickets.

original london bus tour

It was the Easter holidays, the restaurants were packed and the queues for the River Cruise were enormous, after standing in a queue for over half an hour with no news on how much longer we would have to wait we decided to leave it. We made our way over to west London for another event and in retrospect I wish we hadn’t, it would have been better to hop back on a bus and continue the tour.

original london bus tour

We all loved the tour and would gladly do it again but I wouldn’t get off second time round as you waste too much time and miss out on the other sights of London.

Original london bus tour

This is one sight I definitely want to go back to for a better photo – the Upside Down Houses
original london bus tour

London City skyline taken from the Original Bus Tour on Tower Bridge.

original london bus tour

original london bus tour - Big Ben

Thank you to the three gorgeousnesses above for being as good as gold and a lot of fun to be with.

Coming to London? here are our review on some of our favourite sights:

London Eye
Sea Life
Buckingham Palace
Tower Bridge tour
Ripley’s Believe it or Not!
The Shard
Tower of London

Disclosure: We were kindly given our tickets by The Original Tour for the purpose of this review.

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9 Comments

  1. May 7, 2015 / 2:15 PM

    This sounds like a great tour – I’ve not actually been on a bus tour of London but would like to. Where can I get your badge from?

  2. May 7, 2015 / 3:50 PM

    ive doen the tour bus in Cape Town which was fantastic but always been put off the London Bus because of the cost, glad you enjoyed it though

  3. May 7, 2015 / 8:01 PM

    What a shame the bus broke down! My son pesters me to do one of these every time we see the buses. It’s high time we hopped aboard!

  4. May 8, 2015 / 3:10 AM

    Looks great – and it’s fun to be a tourist at home as well. We’ve done one of these (can’t remember which one now) with my brother and my nieces, we found the commentary quite entertaining (it was live) and there were jokes in there for the English speakers too. The girls look like they enjoyed it too. Thanks for hosting x

  5. May 8, 2015 / 3:30 PM

    Can’t believe it broke down, but other than that, it sounds fab. We love going on bus tours because you get lots of information and views, and you get to sit down….Such beautiful pics too!

  6. May 8, 2015 / 9:53 PM

    Looks a lot if fun. We did duck tours once it was great x

  7. May 9, 2015 / 6:23 PM

    You’ve got some great photos here. The weather does look glorious! A friend and I did this a couple of years ago and it was so much fun, but you’re right about it being windy. Our hair in the photos looked really ‘interesting’. I’ve never see the upside down house. Where was that? Shame it was so busy for you though.

  8. May 10, 2015 / 7:31 PM

    I think my girls would really enjoy this too and you manged to capture some great shots. I’ve never seen those upside down houses before! Mich x

  9. May 18, 2015 / 9:06 AM

    Thank you for all pictures and your interesting article with practical advices! I am going to visit London soon and I think that we will go for this kind of “bus sightseeing” :)

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