Renna's Discoveries: The Original Tour in London - Best Way To See London by Bus and Boat

Monday, December 05, 2016

The Original Tour in London - Best Way To See London by Bus and Boat

Yesterday we had a family day out in London as I really wanted to see the Christmas Lights. So I thought the best way to see the lights and have a great experience was to go on a bus tour. Its the perfect way to see London, and as we were taking my niece with us, I also wanted to surprise them with a River Cruise, which, as a family we have never done.
We have been on quite a few bus tours and every single time, we've all loved it. However, this was the first time, we have done the tour in the winter, so that was an experience, but we were wrapped up warm, and it was well worth it.

We went to The Original Tour Visitors Centre to collect our tickets. This is literally two minutes walk from Trafalgar Square. So if you get the train, come out at Charing Cross and walk over to Cockspur Street. Now, you can buy your tickets at the visitors centre and pick up and kids club bag with quizes of around London (take a pen) or you can book direct online and then you can save money and get a better deal, or you can go to the Bus Stops and buy your tickets there from a designated ticket seller.
The bus tours for me never get boring, as you'll always learn something new, and see something completely different. This is The Best Way to see London !! If you do go in to collect your tickets, you can also purchase discounted tickets for Musicals and other London attractions, like the Sealife Centre, The Tower of London, The London Dungeons, Madame Tussauds, Ripleys, Westminster Abbey, The London Eye, Kensington Palace, St Pauls Cathedral, The View from The Shard and Shreks Adventure.
When you book, you can either get a 24 hour tickets or 48 hour tickets. So, if you are having a weekend in London, this is the best value way to see London in all its glory and also go and visit some great attractions. I'd love to take the kids to all of the attractions. St Pauls is absiolutely magical when you step inside, and if you are brave enough you can actually walk to the very top of St Pauls. The Sealife Centre is brilliant and a great way to educate the kiddies on marine life and how we need to protect them. Ripleys is super fun, but make sure you get a discounted ticket !! Next time though, I want to take the Kids to the Tower of London and Madame Tussauds.

From the visitors centre, the bus stop is just across the road and another minute walk, which is perfect, as its all really close.
The Original Tour have 6 different bus routes, however, T1 and T2 are the most popular ones, as they includes all the main sites of London. T1 is the Yellow route, and T2 is the Red route, and on the bus stops, it will clearly show a yellow triangle or a red triangle with the times of the next bus.
Whilst driving around London, we were very comfortable and we had a fantastic live English commentary. He was very funny and pointed out some really interesting facts. I'm telling you, you will Always learn something new about London, even if you do this tour every year.
The other thing is because you are high up, you can get such great photos. Yes, there are times, where you might miss something because there is a tree in the way, but, you are more than welcome to get off at the next stop and go and explore.
This is the beauty of Hop On and Hop Off, as at each stop, you can get off and just wander around and take in the sites and then when you're finished with that area, go back to the bus stop and carry on. Which is why, if you do have the weekend tickets, you make the absolute most of it.




 All open top buses have obviously a really nice warm first floor, then you can come upstairs and it is part covered but mostly open, so at least you have the choice of where you wish to sit depending on what you want to do. All buses also have recorded commentaries that you can listen to, in several languages so, its the perfect tourist attraction too.
 You can literally take hundreds of photos on the bus and out and and about (which I did.....but I wont put all of them up...) I love our English Traditions of afternoon tea in one of the most delightful hotels or cafes.



 The detailing in Londons Buildings are just beautiful.

 Queen Elizabeth Tower.....or Big Ben as it is mostly known as.



 We decided to take a City Cruise from Westminster Bridge as it is included in our tickets and I was really excited about this, as its been about nine years since myself and my hubs have done this. So you get off the bus and walk across the bridge to wait in a short queue for the boat. It was all very simple and very straight forward.

 The boats have lots of seating space and a small cafe area, so you can stock up on snacks and drinks. They even serve alcohol, so I had a Mulled Wine to keep me warm on the deck.
 These are brilliant views, and great for any photographer.

 I love getting sunset photos, and this was the perfect time to be on the boat, plus we get to go under London's famous bridges.
 Don't forget to wave at everyone standing on the bridges, they love it too !!!





 So Magical isn't it (especially if you know of the Harry Potter Films, as you can picture yourself flying over the Thames on your broomstick...... )














 At the end of the cruise, they turn the boat around, so you can get THE BEST PHOTO of Tower Bridge. (Its actually closed in this picture, which is why the bridge is slightly opened.)
 So after the cruise, you can get off and wander towards The Tower of London. So this is a great opportunity to go and visit or have lunch or cake on The Thames. Or even in a funky igloo dome.
 At Christmas time, a lot of the museums have ice-skating, so, if you fancy it, get your tickets booked before you arrive.

 So, we then found our bus stop and did a bit more of our tour so we could see London at Night.


 We were all very hungry by this point, so we decided to have a wander around Oxford Street and went into St Christophers Place, where there are lots of lovely restaurants and boutique shops.

 We loved the Kurt Geiger Shoe.....

We stopped off at Carluccios Restaurant for some well deserved dinner before we headed home.




I am going back into London in two weeks time so see more lights with a friend, I'm very tempted to go on yet another tour !!!

My favourite places to see in London on the bus tours are Piccadilly Circus, Buckingham Palace, Park Lane (because I love Hotels) Westminster, The Tower of London and Regents Street. I would love to go on the Royal Borough tour which is route T4 next time, as after watching the TV series Victoria - about Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, its brilliant fun, finding their gifts to each other throughout London, just like us......Bridges, Public Houses, Houses, Roads.... 
Get yourselves booked in, and make the best weekend out of it. Book a few different attractions and the bus tour for the days, and a musical for the evening. It's well worth it and brilliant value for money.


Special Offer - Travel before the 3rd March 2017 on a 24 or 48 hour ticket and get an extra 24 hours included, this then also includes the River Cruise. 

Perfect Christmas Gift !!!!

*This post is a collaboration with The Original Tour Company