Being A London Tourist For The Day

Yesterday, we did one of those rare things in coming into London on our day off to enjoy a bus tour around London with our niece and nephew.

A friend of ours is a manager with The Big Bus Company and he gets a few free tickets each year and so as we’d not done a bus tour before, we decided to take him up on his offer of a day out. It did mean getting up early (for us at the weekend) to catch a 9.30am train into London, but we persevered!

We picked up the tour bus at the bottom of Hyde Park and took our seats on the top deck as the bus made it’s way up Park Lane towards Marble Arch.

We had the current Tour Guide of the Year as our host on the bus and he filled us all up with facts and knowledge about landmarks on the tour. Although he was working off a basic script he added his own flair and made it interesting and quite funny in places.

Unfortunately it started raining at one point and so we hurriedly put on our sexy-looking ponchos to keep a bit dry but it didn’t hamper our spirits as we wound our way around the streets of London.

We got to see the usual suspects of famous places of London including Berkley Square, Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square as our route took us south towards the Houses of Parliament, over the river and then back east towards Tower Bridge.

We alighted the bus at the Tower of London and after a quick stop at KFC for lunch walked down to the pier to catch a boat. Our ticket included a city cruise tour which took us along the river back to the houses of Parliament.

This was by far the crappest part of the tour. Whoever was doing the commentary sounded like they were reading from a script and had all the enthusiasm for it that a cat has for going outside on a rainy day! What was worse was that they make a habit of mentioning that they would like a tip! Which is basic begging isn’t it?

Anyway, back on dry land we walked back over Westminster bridge to pick up the bus again which would take us around St James’ Palace and then towards Buckingham Palace. We hopped off at the Palace and took a closer look while the kids ended up running around the Queen Victoria Memorial.

We took a slow walk back to Victoria station where we hopped onto a train home again, not before buying a dozen donuts ‘for the journey’.