As statistics have shown time and time again, London remains to be one of the most connected cities on the planet. With five international airports, fantastic rail and bus connections, and even with two of the UK motorways (the M1 and M4) leading to London; as long as you're in London, you can literally travel to anywhere in the world.
Many major tour companies take advantage of London's countless connections by offering tours to faraway cities like Paris and Bruges, and even small towns and cities all around Britain; (not to mention a ton of tours in and around London as well). From tours to Stonehenge and Highclere Castle (also known as the filming location of Downton Abbey), to scenic bike tours along the River Thames, whatever kind of tour you're looking for during your stay in the English capital, London probably has it.
Going on a tour in and from London is also an ideal way for you to save yourself the stress of figuring out transport, or spending countless hours researching how to get from point A to point B. Also, if you plan on visiting several places during your trip to London, buying a tour ticket can even save you a ton of money on overall transportation and attraction costs...if you choose the right tour.
If you're looking around for the different companies offering tours both in and from London, here are some of the best tours to choose from:
Walking tours are a great option if you want to explore London on foot, and there's also a variety of bus tours if you don't feel like spending your entire vacation on your feet as well. But the tours in London don't just stop there.
Going on a bike tour is another great way to see London's many landmarks without spending hours upon hours walking or paying for public transportation. Many bike tours take you along the quieter roads away from traffic, so you can save yourself the stress of navigating your way around busy roads, and avoid the crowds altogether.
Fat Tire Tours is one of the most popular bike tour companies offering tours in and around London. Their Royal London bike tour covers everything from London's royal history, palaces and parliament locations, and even covers the history of some of the most notable individuals in English history as well. The tour takes about four hours and costs £24 for adults, £22 for students and children between the ages of four and 17, and is free for babies and infants up to the age of four.
The company also offers a four-hour Thames Bike River Tour if you feel like going on a scenic cycle along the paths lining the River Thames. During this tour you will get educated on everything from The Great Fire of London and the many plagues of London's history, and you will also get to visit London's oldest food market and even cross the Tower Bridge. The tour costs £30 for adults, £28 for students (between the ages of 18 and 25), and £28 for children, but is not available during the winter months.
If you're looking for a more laid-back type of bike tour that focuses more on London's city paths, parks and quieter streets, then Golden Tours' Classic Bike Tour may be your best option. Not only will you get to see the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, you also get to enjoy stunning views of Big Ben and Westminster Abbey as well. This tour takes about three hours and costs £24.95 for adults and £21.95 for children (between the ages of ten and 15).
Does a pleasant cruise up the River Thames sound a tad too boring for you? If so, there are River Thames speedboat tours that provide adrenaline junkies with the fantastic experience of seeing London's many riverside landmarks from an entirely different perspective.
Thames Rockets offer tours on the fastest speedboats in London, so you can cruise up and down the River Thames at an exhilarating 30 knots (or 35mph!) During their 80-minute tour, you will be passing 28 iconic locations along the River Thames like Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament and the Tower of London, before heading to Canary Wharf and onto Greenwich. Tickets cost £49.95 for adults and £31.50 for children (under the ages of 14).
But their rival City Cruises Thamesjet offers some stiff competition, as they have many discounts for students, families and large bookings which can save you a ton of money on overall tour costs. Their two tours takes you from Westminster to Canary Wharf, and you can also combine your tickets with the London Eye, The View From The Shard and Madame Tussauds if you so choose.
The company offers two different tours: The 50-minute ThamesRush tour (which starts at Westminster Pier and past the Tower Bridge), and the 75-minute ThamesMax tour (which also starts at Westminster but heads to the Thames Barrier and Greenwich after the Tower Bridge). The ThamesRush tour costs £39 for adults, £28 for children (between the ages of nine and 16), while the ThamesMax tour costs £52 for adults and £34 for children.
If you're hoping to explore other cities in Britain during your visit to London, luckily there are many tours to choose from ranging from quick day trips around Europe, to three to four-day excursions to different locations in the UK.
Premium Tours offers everything from tours to Stonehenge and Bath, and England's famed university cities like Oxford and Cambridge. They also have tours that venture to some of the many historic landmarks and famous locations around England like their Leeds Castle, Canterbury, Dover and Greenwich tour (£82), or a tour of Highclere Castle, best known as being the location for the hit Brit series Downton Abbey (£122).
If you're looking for an overnight tour or even a four to-five day excursion from London, then International Friends has a ton of great tours to choose from. Not only do they have excursion tours from London to faraway places like Bruges and Paris, they also offer tours to places all over Great Britain as well. They have a tour that goes by rail from London to Edinburgh, Loch Ness and the Scottish Highlands (£259 for adults and £239 for children), and even a tour to Wales' coast that lasts for two days (£219 for adults, £199 for children).
If you don't feel like going on one of their overnight tours, they also have shorter tour trips like a one-day Cambridge Tour (£49), and three different Downton Abbey-related tours which include visits to Highclere Castle, the Cotswolds, Blenheim Palace and more (£135 to £189 for adults).
Evans Evans is another popular tour company offering a wide range of tours from London that come in all shapes and sizes. Not only do they offer the usual day tours from London to Stonehenge, Bath, Oxford and Windsor, they also allow customers to combine these tours with visits to Warwick Castle, Cambridge, Salisbury Cathedral, Hampton Court Palace and the Cotswolds (just to name a few).
If you feel like exploring other areas of England, they also have a Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral and Dover tour (£87), as well as Blenheim Palace, Downton Abbey village and Cotswolds tour (£78), and they also offer discounts for children, seniors, students and families as well.
Another competing tour company is none other than Golden Tours, which has tours operating to Bath, Stonehenge, Oxford and Windsor which can be combined with visits to other locations like Lacock, Salisbury Cathedral, Stratford-Upon-Avon, and many, many more. They also operate tours to Paris and Brussels from London, and they even have a secret mystery tour around the UK as well, if you're feeling adventurous.
The company also offers tours to Leeds Castle, Canterbury and Dover for cheap (around £89), a tour to Shakespeare's Stratford and the Cotswolds (£75), a trip to Liverpool which includes visits to the Beatles' Story Museum, the Cavern Club and a ride on the Magical Mystery Tour bus (£139), and even a guided Lake District trip with afternoon tea and a cruise on Lake Windermere (£189). If you're itching to explore Scotland during your stay in London, they have an excellent deal on an overnight Edinburgh tour which costs around £245 per person.
If none of these tours interest you, then perhaps a tour offered by Anderson Tours will. Not only do they offer the usual tours to Stonehenge, Bath, Windsor and Oxford, they also have tours operating to some of the most unique and obscure places around the UK. They have a tour to Canterbury, White Cliffs and Dover Castle (from £65), a day tour to Cardiff (from £54), and even a tour to the Isle of Wight (from £54). If you want to check out Glastonbury and Cheddar Gorge, their tour costs around £49, and they also offer a tour from London to the Cotswolds at a super bargain price of £40 per adult.