The Bag O’Nails

Posted by & filed under London.

Opened in 1965 the Bag O’Nails is a legendary private member’s club and live-music venue in Soho – London’s jazz, pop and rock n’ roll neighbourhood. Read through the following to learn more about its history, where it was located, and how to join us for a visit on our Rock N’ Roll Tour of London!  Also, be sure to check out our Free Tours by Foot London page for a full list of all of the pay-what-you-like tours that we offer!


History of the Bag O’Nails

Getting There

Famous Artists Who Played Here


History of Bag O’Nails

The Bag O’ Nails had it’s heyday in the 1960’s and played host to concerts by some of the swinging 60’s biggest names. It was also well known for the number of musicians that belonged to it’s private club and who would meet, party and play within it’s luxurious surroundings.

Today the Bag O’Nails still operates as an opulent, historical, musical private members club.
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Which London Pub Crawls Are Best?

Posted by & filed under London.

This post compares the best pub crawls and bar tours in London. The nightlife in London is famous the world over – from pubs and clubs to bars and discos, there is always something for everyone. The best way to experience London after hours is to go along with somebody that can help introduce you to the hottest spots in town, put you in touch with other fun-seeking travelers…and give you a discount on entry costs and drinks!  You may also be interested in all-access nightlife passes that include free entry to 19 different clubs and bars throughout London for as little as £10.


London Bar Crawls

Historic Pub Crawls

Other London Night Tours


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Twilight on the Thames

Posted by & filed under London.

Twilight Along the Thames

Also check out our guide led Jack the Ripper Tour, our London Ghost Tour, our Pub Crawl and our top 10 things to do in London at night, and if you can’t fit one of our tours into your schedule, consider an evening London bus tour.

When the sun goes down in London, a second city emerges. Bright and towering skyscrapers, illuminated bridges, and twinkling lights that line the river appear and light the way for your London Night Tour! Come with us as we stroll along the beautiful river Thames, taking in the sunset and the stunning views of London’s night time facade.  As the lights of the city come alive, we will enjoy the atmosphere and cross world-famous bridges to take in the best night time scenes London has to offer.London tower at night

With a focus on London’s night time past, we will also talk Thames as we follow the river through town, blending centuries of history with the modern bright lights of the big city.  Grab your camera and get ready to enjoy our casual yet informative Twilight Tour Along the Thames!

Sights Covered on the London Night Tour:

Tour information

London Night TourReservations: Click here to reserve.

Where: Meet your guide in the Jubilee Gardens, near the London Eye. Your guide will be standing by the statue near the playground (photo to the right).  Please use this link for directions to the tour starting point from anywhere in London.

Tour ends on top of London Bridge to take in the view of Tower Bridge (map).

Duration: Approximately 2.5 hours.

When: Tour starts vary depending on the sunset time in London, please View our Calendar.

PLEASE NOTE: THE LONDON NIGHT TOURS RUN AT DIFFERENT TIMES ON DIFFERENT DATES, DEPENDING ON THE TIME OF SUNSET IN LONDON. Please double check the tour time when you make your booking. To see what time the tour begins on a specific date, please see below:

Cost: This tour is free to take, and you get to decide what, if anything, the tour was worth when it’s done. A name-your-own-price tour is a tour for anyone’s budget.

London Bus Main Image

Londoner Bustouren im Vergleich: Welche ist die Beste?

Posted by & filed under London.

Das Foto eines roten Doppeldecker Busses vor dem Big Ben Tower in London ist schon fast so berühmt wie das Wahrzeichen selbst. Nicht ohne Grund: Eine Busfahrt durch Englands Hauptstadt bietet eine entspannte Möglichkeit für die ganze Familie, viele Sehenswürdigkeiten an einem Tag zu entdecken. Audioguides erzählen Passagieren dazu etwas in allen Sprachen. Oft gibt es auch Sondertickets, die zusätzliche Aktivitäten wie eine Bootsfahrt miteinschließen.

Bustouren sind eine gute Ergänzung zu unseren „Zahl-was-du-willst“ Stadtführungen zu Fuß. Wir haben hier für Sie die besten Angebote zusammengestellt.

Hop On, Hop Off Bustouren

Nachttouren

Bustouren der besonderen Art

 

TIPP:  Viele der Londoner Bustouren sind im London Pass und/oder Explorer Pass und dem London 2 for 1 angebote miteingeschlossen. Es lohnt sich, nach Sonderangeboten Ausschau zu halten auf Seiten wie Living Social.

 


HOP-ON, HOP-OFF BUSTOUREN 

Hop-on, hop-off Touren sind die beliebtesten Bustouren in London. Unternehmen fahren dabei festgelegte Routen ab, auf denen Passagiere nach Belieben ein- und aussteigen können. Mit einem Ticket kann man jede Strecke und alle Haltestellen zu jeder Zeit nutzen. Tickets sind normalerweise für 1-2 Tage gültig während der regulären Betriebszeiten des jeweiligen Unternehmens. Viele Routen überschneiden sich und man kann im Normalfall gut alle Routen an einem Tag abfahren. Alle Unternehmen bieten auch Stadtführungen zu Fuß als Ergänzung zu ihren Bustouren an.

Im Folgenden finden Sie die drei besten Anbieter in London mit nützlichen Informationen, die Ihnen bei der Auswahl Ihres Tickets helfen können.

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The Best London Bike Tours

Posted by & filed under London.

This is a comparison of the various bike tour companies available in London. Known for its tiny winding streets and expansive parks, London is the ideal city to explore by bike. However, with so many different companies to choose from, it can be difficult to know which is the best. We’ve broken all of the different types of tours down by category and then compared them by quality and price, so that you can find what’s right for you!


Know Before You Go

Guided City Bike Tours

Parks and Palaces Bike Tours


KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

  • Not all bike rentals include a helmet, so be sure to ask the company beforehand! 
  • Don’t worry if you’re not used to biking in a city. Your guide will help familiarize you with the rules of the road, so you’ll be left feeling comfortable and confident in no time! However, if you’re worried about city riding, consider taking a bike tour on a day-trip outside of London.
  • Remember that Londoners drive on the LEFT side of the road. Luckily your guide will be leading the pack so all you need to worry about is following him or her. However, it’s a good idea to get used to always looking both ways before crossing the street! 


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Review of London Ghost Tours

Posted by & filed under London.

This is a comparison post of the best London ghost tours, the dark side of London tours, and haunted bus tours, including our pay-what-you-like London ghost tour.

 


 


GHOST TOURS

The following are traditional ghost tours that bring London’s haunted history to life. Each runs for 2-2.5 hours and costs approximately £12-£20 per person.

Free Tours by Foot is the only company to offer a pay-what-you-like ghost tour, which takes you near London Bridge to learn about the city’s darker history.

 

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Executions at Smithfield Market – Dark history on our Free London Ghost Tour

Posted by & filed under London.

London is a city with 2000 years of history, and in all of that time a lot of very spooky, bizarre and dark things have happened. One of the best ways to spend your time in the city is to take a truly unique free ghost tour of London. We have chosen to focus our free London ghost tour in and around the ancient area of Smithfield. While there are countless locations in London associated with the dark side, Smithfield beats them all with its high concentration of macabre sites.

Smithfield is a portmanteau of the words ‘smooth’ and ‘fields;’ recorded over 800 years ago as a smooth field on top of Ludgate Hill where horses were traded twice per week. Today, the massive Smithfield Meat Market dominates the area. This wrought iron structure was completed in 1866 by architect Horace Jones (most famous for his iconic Tower Bridge). 

Despite the relative youth of the current building, this area has been used for butchery for nearly a millennium. The ‘smooth fields’ were dotted with abattoirs and butcher’s sheds, and the nearby River Fleet ran red with blood and offal. Perhaps it was this large open field that made the area so attractive for executions – this was the main place in London where people were hanged, drawn and quartered back in the Middle Ages. Public executions drew large crowds, and Smithfield could handle them. The most famous execution in the area? Infamous Scottish patriot Sir William Wallace, who was hanged, drawn and quartered here in 1305.

Smithfield was also popular spot for traitors to be boiled alive in vats of oil. After all, at the end of a long day in the meat market, there was bound to be some fat left over. Richard Roose was boiled alive in an oily broth here at Smithfield in 1531 after allegedly poisoning the soup of a local Bishop. This set a dangerous precedent – being boiled alive at Smithfield became a common punishment for poisoners.

My personal favourite story is that of the Marian martyrs – that is, the Protestants executed under Queen Mary I as she attempted to quash The Church of England in favour of Catholicism. Over 200 Marian Martyrs were burned at the stake, many of them at Smithfield. Now, you might think that Henry VIII’s eldest daughter would want to be as far away as possible from this brutal event, but no – she was nearby. ‘Bloody Mary’ had a special watchtower constructed so she could hear the screams and watch the executions, all the while dining on roast chicken and drinking hearty red wine.

With nearly a millennium of horrors and executions in the area, it is no wonder that Smithfield is said to be the most haunted place of London. Want to learn even more?

Join our free London Ghost Tour every Friday night! Book Here!

London river thames

Which London Boat Tours Are Best?

Posted by & filed under London.

This post compares and reviews the various London boat tours and Thames river cruises available to you, including hop-on, hop-off cruises, circular loop tours, speedboat and canal boat rides, as well as lunch and dinner cruises. Several options are included for free in the London Pass, so be sure to read our post on whether or not the London Pass is worth it for you.

 

 

TIP: When planning your boat tour or cruise, check out the weather in London.


HOP-ON, HOP-OFF THAMES RIVER CRUISES

If you’re looking for a boat tour or cruise that will allow you the freedom to explore at your own pace, consider one of the following companies. Although there aren’t many London boat services that specialize specifically in hop-on-hop-off cruises, there are a few that provide the opportunity to explore London however you wish from the Thames.  

You can choose to purchase one single ride, a discounted return ticket or a 24-hour travel pass with unlimited rides.


CITY CRUISES

Dominating the London Boat market for years, City Cruises is probably the best well known – and best value for money – when it comes to a simple Thames river cruise. City Cruises offers single tickets or a hop-on-hop-off service with 4 stops between Westminster and Greenwich.

The hop-on-hop-off ticket is called the Red Rover Pass. It is a 24-hour pass that gives you unlimited access to the river for 24 hours. There is live commentary on every journey.  Guests can sit on the open-aired top of the boat, or hunker downstairs if the London weather gets a bit intense!  

City Cruises also offers speedboat tours and lunch and dinner cruises.


TIP: City Cruises hop-on, hop-off service is included in the London Pass, a tourist attraction discount card.  It is also included for free with the purchase of a 24 or 48-hour hop-on, hop-off open-top bus ticket with Original London Tours.


Click on the map for a larger view.

Thames River Cruise Map

 

Reviews of City Cruises

City Cruises sports a 4 out of 5 stars rating on TripAdvisor along with mostly positive reviews. Thousands of reviewers have given them a 5-star rating, which is definitely a good sign.

The negative comments that have been left often mention unforeseen technical issues with the boats or scheduling software. These problems occur with every major tour company, so it’s hard to blame them for something so common.

To avoid any issues, make sure to arrive early for your cruise and call them the day before your excursion in order to make sure there are no problems.


Single Rides and Returns

Single ride tickets vary depending on your starting and ending point. As of 2018, prices start at £10.25/adult (16+) + £6.50/child (5-15).  See their full list of single and return ticket prices here. If you are planning on at least 2 rides, the Red Rover 24-hour River Pass makes more sense.

Red Rover Ticket Prices (as of 2018):


TIP: City Cruises hop-on, hop-off service is included in the London Pass, a tourist attraction discount card.  It is also included for free with the purchase of a 24 or 48-hour hop-on, hop-off open-top bus ticket with Original London Tours.


The schedule varies depending on the time of year and which pier you wish to depart from. Cruises run every 30 minutes.

Highlights along the cruise include the London Eye, The Savoy, National Theatre, OXO Tower, Blackfriars Bridge, London Bridge, The Shard, The Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Wapping, Docklands, Canary Wharf, Greenwich.

 


LONDON RIVER COMMUTER SERVICE  (Thames Clippers)

This company is not a traditional sightseeing cruise company, rather a commuter service. However, it offers an affordable alternative to seeing the London skyline from the river.

There are 5 different routes available between Putney and Royal Woolwich Arsenal, and each boat typically offers refreshments on board.

The one major drawback is there is no commentary provided as the boat primarily service local commuters. However, they also provide an app for anyone who is interested in sightseeing.  

Thames Clippers also provides single and return tickets if you just need to get from one location to another.  This services is a cheaper option for single rides and slightly more expensive for the 24-hour pass than City Cruises, but you can use your Oyster travel card to pay for it.  

It’s not part of the London Pass tourist discount card.

 

 

Prices when purchased online (as of 2018):

For those intending to use the commuter service on multiple occasions, it’s most cost effective to purchase a one-day River Roamer Pass, which grants you unlimited rides. Adult tickets are £16.30, children between 5 – 15 are £8.15, children under 5 are free, and families of 2 adults and up to 3 kids can purchase a family pass for £32.60.

For a full list of all their prices, click here. Note that is you purchase your tickets at ticket offices or machines, you will pay extra. So purchase from their website if you can.

Tips: 

Guests with the Oyster PAYGO card receive a 10% discount on their fare. A Transport for London travel card gets you a third off your fare. Lastly, guests who purchase the River Roamer card online receive a slight discount as well.

Times: 

The ships depart every 20 minutes from piers including Embankment, London Bridge, Tower, Greenwich, Waterloo, Canary Wharf and the O2 Centre.

Reviews:

Thames Clippers has received a 4 out of 5 stars rating on both TripAdvisor and Viator. Most reviews are very positive, but the negative reviews do seem to be indicative of a common problem. Some passengers seem to have issues with this service when obtaining tickets through another company. Although they may do business through a variety of other tour companies, make sure that you read the fine print on how to exchange vouchers for tickets.


THAMES RIVER SERVICE

Thames River Services (TRS) offers a huge variety of sightseeing tours that cover several different highlights along the river. Prices and the length of the trip vary depending on what route you select.

There are a total of ten different tours offered out of Westminster, Greenwich, and St. Katharine’s.  These rides are guided sightseeing tours. This boat tour company provides transportation to popular sightseeing locations such as the Thames Barrier and the Tower of London.  

Guests have the option to pay for a one-way ticket or round-trip fare as well as a hop-on, hop-off ticket (through Circular Cruises). Prices and the length of the trip vary depending on what route you select. Guests have the option to pay for a one-way or round-trip fare.

 

 

Reviews of Thames River Services

With a 4 ½ out of 5 stars rating on both Yelp and TripAdvisor, TRS is one of the highest rated cruise companies in London. A majority of reviews are very positive, but there are a few negative comments.

Complaints tend to focus on the fact that this is a sightseeing cruise, which means it might not be as speedy as other services. If you’re looking for a quicker boat tour, you might want to consider one of the hop-on, hop-off options. Other than these issues, most passengers absolutely love Thames River Services!


TATE TO TATE FERRY SERVICE

This service referred to on schedules as Route RB2, takes visitors between the Tate Modern (at Southwark, Bankside Pier) and the Tate Britain (at Millbank Pier). Although there is no commentary on this boat service, the crafts themselves have interiors designed by artist Damien Hurst himself! The boats have both outdoor and indoor seating and are the best way to journey from one Tate to the other – saving you loads of time spent on tubes and buses.

The Tate Boat service has been given a 4 ½ star rating on TripAdvisor. Although it is not a full five stars, the reality is that they haven’t actually received any negative ratings. There is only one complaint thus far, and it focuses on the length of time it may take to get tickets onto the boat. Even so, the reviewer suggests that you persevere and use this ferry service to get from Tate to Tate. Most passengers love this form of transportation, so chances are that it’s very reliable.

Buying tickets:  You can purchase tickets in advance online from the Thames Clippers website, or before you board a boat from a self-serve kiosk on the pier. You can also use your Oyster card, if you have one, upon boarding the boat. When you purchase, look for the RB2 service, a central zone ticket price. 

Prices (as of 2018): 

  • Adult – £8.40 single
  • Tate Member – £6.30 single (discount available when buying from Tate or self-serve kiosk on a pier)
  • River Roamer –  £38 (A family ticket is for two adults and up to three children ages 5-15)
  • Child 5 – 15 – £4.20 single
  • Child 5 – 15 with Travelcard – £2.80 single
  • Freedom Pass holder – £3.25 single
  • Adult Travelcard holder – £5.60 single
  • Children under 5 – travel for free
  • Oyster Pay As You Go users – £6.50 (only available on the boat)

Times: For a complete timetable the RB2 route that stops at both Tates, click here for schedules. Look for times for Southwark, Bankside Pier (the Tate Modern) and Millbank Pier (the Tate Britain).

 


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CIRCULAR LOOP CRUISES

A circular ticket will allow you to see almost everything the Thames has to offer at one low price. As you can imagine, the ticket allows you to travel all the way down the river and back again, making the trip as simple as possible. These options are designed specifically as a tour of the river.  

Some of the companies listed below also off hop-on, hop-off and single ride tickets, which themselves could be circular loop tours if you just stay on the boat; however, that would take a lot of time with the constant stops for loading and unloading.  If you want to do some sightseeing from the water, consider one of the following Circular Loop services.


CITY CRUISES

Note:  The Circular Cruise is not being offered year-round as of 2018. However, a special circular cruise will be scheduled over the summer period and details published when available. Keep checking their website for more information.

In addition to their hop-on, hop-off services, City Cruises also provides a circular cruise for anyone who wants to experience everything that the Thames has to offer. These circular loops will take you to Westminster and back again as you enjoy live commentary pointing out all of the historic sites along the river.

This tour will take approximately 50 minutes to complete, which is on par with most of the other circular boat tours offered in London. The circular cruise operates out of Tower Pier and Bankside Pier.  The tickets for the circular loop are cheaper than buying a ticket for each direction as well as the hop-on, hop-off service.

As we’ve mentioned before, this is one of the most notable cruise companies in the city. Reviews for their circular service are typically very good, although some guests have complained about scheduling conflicts and other unforeseen issues. Most reviews for the circular cruise are very positive, making note of the excellent commentary provided by tour guides on the boat. If you’re looking for an informative boat tour on the Thames, consider taking a trip with City Cruises.

 


LONDON EYE RIVER CRUISE

Whether you’re planning to visit the London Eye or you just want a tour around the Thames which focuses on the giant Ferris wheel, this river cruise is a great alternative to other services. Although the London Eye River Cruise is not as long as other boat tours in the area, it can actually be a lot more affordable.

This circular loop will take you past locations such as Big Ben, St. Paul’s Cathedral, The Tower of London and the Houses of Parliament. If you purchase your tickets online, you can save 10% on your fare.

TIP: This cruise is also part of the London Explorer Pass, which could save you between 20-50% off of the retail price.

 

 

This river cruise company has earned a 4 ½ out of 5 stars rating on TripAdvisor. Although there is a small contingent of passengers who had negative experiences, most reviews are very positive. There aren’t enough complaints to suggest that these are common problems.

Positive reviews for the service indicate that other guests found their tour guides to be quite helpful and informative. The majority of people who take this cruise find it enjoyable. It’s fair to assume that the few complaints may just be random outliers.

Ticket Prices (as of 2018):

  • £13.15 for Adults / £11.75 when you book online
  • £6.50 for Children (3-15) / £5.85 when you book online
  • Children under 3 ride for free
  • TIP: This cruise is also part of the London Explorer Pass, which could save you between 20-50% off of the retail price.

Tour Hours

  • Daily Cruises from 10:45 AM to 7:45 PM
  • Cruise departs *10.45pm, 11.45pm, 12.45pm, 13.45pm, 14.45pm, 15.45pm, 16.45pm, *17.45pm, *18.45pm, *19.45pm

Note: *Opening times may vary depending on seasonality. Be sure to check their schedule.


THAMES RIVER TOURS

In addition to their speedboat tours and lunch and dinner cruises, Thames River Tours provide a circular loop with commentary and sightseeing. This circular cruise operates out of Westminster Pier and lasts approximately one hour.

Although it isn’t a hop-on-hop-off tour, you are allowed to leave the cruise at any pier. If you’re looking for a boat tour that will provide information about the Thames as you glide down the river, this is an excellent option. Avoid getting lost by purchasing a circular ticket that will allow you to return to the Westminster Pier with ease.

This boat tour company has a 4 out of 5 stars rating on TripAdvisor, indicating that they provide quite a good service. Most of the reviews are actually 5-star ratings, but there are a few negative comments bringing the score down.

Positive comments suggest that the guides on Thames River Tours provide a lot of information and point out relevant sites along the river.

Unhappy customers report that they had a variety of scheduling issues, so it might be in your best interest to arrive early and call ahead to make sure that your cruise is still on schedule.

Ticket Prices (as of 2018):

  • Circular Cruise
    • £13.50 Per Person
    • No additional discounts are available.

CIRCULAR CRUISE LONDON

Offered through Thames River Services, Crown River Cruises provides a circular cruise that will take you past more than a dozen historic locations that are visible from the water. This circular loop allows you to hop on and off whenever you wish so that you can get a better look at the sites located all along the Thames.

The commentary is provided along the way to point out significant areas such as Old Scotland Yard or The Houses of Parliament. The full cruise takes about an hour, but you can embark and disembark at your discretion throughout the day.

This cruise service has been in operation for several years, but they don’t have a lot of reviews. One review on TripAdvisor has given the service a full 5-star rating, while another has provided a 4-star review. It would appear that guests on this cruise line have enjoyed their excursion.

Comments suggest that the tour guides on this circular cruise are very informative and helpful, making sure to point out important locations along the Thames as they appear. If the current reviews are to be believed, this should be a pretty reliable circular loop service.

Ticket Prices (as of 2018)

Click here to purchase tickets.

  • Single Ticket
    • £10.00 for Adults
    • £7.00 for Seniors/Students
    • £5.00 for Children/Freedom Pass Holders
    • £28.50 for Families (2 Adults + 3 Children)
  • Return Ticket
    • £14.00 for Adults
    • £9.80 for Seniors/Students
    • £7.00 for Children/Freedom Pass Holders
    • £36.90 for Families (2 Adults + 3 Children)

 


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SPEEDBOAT RIDES

Speedboat rides on the Thames are not a budget option, but they are definitely thrilling. Throughout the experience, passengers will alternate between enjoying a leisurely ride along the Thames for sightseeing and a fast-paced thrill ride.

Prepare for your captain to pull off figure eights and ramp up the engines to draw the attention of anyone on the river. Guests are well protected with waterproof jackets, a life jacket, and goggle-style visors to withstand the thrilling wind speeds they will experience.

 

 


THAMES JET (City Cruises)

This speedboat service is actually managed by City Cruises and offers a similar excursion to the RIB Experience. They don’t offer as many tours as their competitors, but the Thames Jet is an excellent alternative. Their Thames Rush speedboat tour is over 50 minutes.

Ticket prices are comparable to similar services, but they also offer family tickets at a discount. If you’re looking for a speedboat experience out on the Thames, this is an excellent option.

We’ve already discussed this company quite a bit, but it’s worth mentioning that reviewers on TripAdvisor have given the Thames Jet service 4 ½ out of 5 stars. Most of the reviews are very positive, but there are a few negative comments.

Negative reviews don’t appear to be the norm. Most people enjoy this speedboat tour, with a majority of reviews stating that the tour guides are very entertaining and informative.

More information or to purchase tickets.

** Big savings during April, May & June. Recieve 25% Off Adult & Child Tickets. Just £99.00 for Family (2 Adults + 2 Children) **

Ticket Prices (as of 2018):

  • £39.00 for Adults
  • £29.00 for Children (16 and under)
  • £129.00 for Family (2 Adults + 2 Children)

Tour Hours:

  • 9 tours between 11 AM and 7 PM
  • Tours begin on the hour every hour

THAMES RIB Experience

This RIB (Rigid-Hulled Inflatable Boat) service is quickly becoming one of the most popular river trips in town! The RIB experience operates the fastest boats on the Thames, jetting visitors along the river at approximately 30 knots. Each boat (which only holds up to 12 people) is manned by a guide who provides commentary throughout the journey.

In addition to their longer tour of the Thames, this company also manages three shorter tours of Canary Wharf, the O2 Arena, and the Tower Millennium Pier. Ticket prices typically depend upon the length of the boat ride.

Believe it or not, this might just be the best-rated boat tour on the entire list. The Thames RIB Experience has earned a full 5-star rating on TripAdvisor – and that includes over 2,500 positive reviews.

Many comments report that this is an excellent trip for families on holiday. Other positive comments mention that you will probably get wet while on this excursion, so it’s best experienced during hot days. This is definitely intended as more of an entertaining thrill ride. If you’re looking for excitement on the river, consider the Thames RIB Experience.

Ticket Prices (as of April 2018):

More info or to purchase.

  • Thames Barrier Experience (75 minutes)
    • £55 for Adults
    • £39 for Children
  • Canary Wharf Experience (50 minutes)
    • £43 for Adults
    • £30 for Children
  • RIB Blast at the O2 (20 minutes)
    • £26.50 for Adults
    • £23.50 for Children
  • Tower RIB Blast (20 minutes)
    • £26.50 for Adults
    • £23.50 for Children

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CANAL BOAT RIDESLondon Little Venice

If you are in the mood for something a little different, check out the London Waterbus Company and Jason’s Trip. Operating entirely along the canals that flow through the north of London, both companies offer a charming way to see parts of London most tourists miss.  

The journeys take place in specially crafted long-boats and gently glide along the canals. Visitors are taken along the historic Regents Canal, catching views of Regent’s Park, Little Venice, Maida Hill, London Zoo and Camden Lock.

For a true experience off the beaten path, these relaxing and beautiful rides are a definite must.  The boats run seven days a week between Camden and Little Venice and tickets can only be bought on arrival.

Jason’s Original Canal Boat Trip

There is a certain charm to this company, as they call themselves the original London Canal boat company. Their website looks like it was last updated sometime in the 90’s, so this claim may actually have some merit. This company provides live commentary from trained guides. Unlike their competitors, Jason’s London Canal Boat Trip is offered as part of the London Pass, so you might actually end up saving money by using their service.

London Waterbus Company   The waterbus is also a fun way to travel to/from London Zoo!  Times vary so check out their website.

 


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LUNCH AND DINNER CRUISES

Sightseeing cruises are nice, but they might not be the best option for business events or dating. If you’re looking for a more sociable trip along the Thames, consider one of the following Dining Cruises.

In addition to the typical dinner cruise, many companies in London also provide a variety of different dining and party cruises, such as tea and showboat cruises, that allow you to enjoy more than just the sights and the sounds of London.

Anyone looking for more than just a boat tour or transportation services will want to check out some of the following cruise opportunities.

 

 


CITY CRUISES

It probably shouldn’t come as any surprise that one of the most popular boat tour services in London also provides dining cruises. Whether you want to go on a cruise with wonderful music and fabulous food, or you just want to have your afternoon tea out on the Thames, City Cruises offers a wide variety of options.

If you order online during the summer, you can save 20% on each dining cruise offered through this company. Tickets are already quite affordable, so this is an excellent opportunity to save money while having fun out on the water.

When it comes to their dining cruises, this company has received fairly high ratings on TripAdvisor. Although this isn’t their primary service, City Cruises regularly receives positive remarks for their dining boat trips. Most reviewers have given them a 5-star rating, reporting that the food is quite excellent and the cruise itself is very relaxing.

Some have said that their Sundowner cruise is a great way to unwind after a long day, while others have reported that the Afternoon Tea cruise is a good value for the money.

Ticket Prices (as of 2018):

More information or to purchase.

  • Lunch Cruise on The Thames
    • £32.00 for Adults
    • £23.00 for Children (ages 3-12)
  • Afternoon Tea on The Thames
    • £32.00 for Adults
    • £22.00 for Children (ages 3-12)
  • Sundowner Cruise on The Thames
    • £29.00 for Adults (18+)
    • £29.00 for Children  (ages 13-17)
  • Jazz Cruise on The Thames
    • £65.00 per Adult (18+)
    • £65.00 for Children  (ages 5-17)
  • The London Showboat Cruise
    • £80.00 per Adult (18+)
    • £80.00 for Children  (ages 5-17)

 


BATEAUX LONDON 

When it comes to dining cruises, few companies are as notable as Bateaux London. This company provides services for dinner, lunch and afternoon tea. They even have a Sunday Lunch Jazz cruise with live musicians. Discover all of the wonderful sights in London as you calmly drift along the river past locations such as St. Paul’s Cathedral and The London Eye.

Bateaux London Cruises has earned a 4 ½ out of 5 stars rating on TripAdvisor. Many reviews report that the food is quite excellent, but there are some comments suggesting otherwise. Taste is highly subjective; what some consider wonderful will be unpleasant for others.

As usual most of the negative comments focus on random issues with scheduling. Most passengers absolutely adore their experience on these dining cruises. Make sure to arrive early and call ahead to avoid any schedule problems.

Ticket Prices (as of 2018):

More info and to purchase.

  • Classic Lunch Cruise
    • £36.00 for Adults
    • £22.50 for Children 
  • Classic Dinner Cruise
    • £82.00 for Adults
    • £82.00 for Children (12+)
    • Children under 12 not permitted
  • Classic Afternoon Tea Cruise
    • £36.00 for Adults
    • £22.50 for Children (3-12)

R.S. HISPANIOLA

The final option for dining on the Thames is the R.S. Hispaniola, which is a floating restaurant that is permanently moored along the riverbanks. As the ship never leaves the embankment, there is no cost for a cruise. Guests simply pay for their meal while aboard the boat.

Thanks to their permanent location, this company offers a much wider variety of food than you will find with most of the cruise companies above. If you aren’t sure about actually taking a trip on the river, this is an excellent option that will keep you close to shore.

The R.S. Hispaniola, also known as the Good Ship Benefit, has received a 4-star rating on TripAdvisor. Many guests report that their food is very tasty and the dining experience is second to none. Although there are a few negative reviews, their complaints are random enough that they don’t suggest a pattern of poor service or food.

Some customers have suggested that this is an excellent restaurant for a girl’s night out. If you’re looking for views of the Thames without getting on the river, this business appears to be both reliable and well-liked.

Meal Prices  (as of 2018):

  • Afternoon Tea
    • £28 per Person
  • 3 Courses & Free Flowing Prosecco
    • £35 per Person
    • Available for Lunch or Dinner
  • 2 Courses from Pre-Theatre Dinner Menu
    • £22 per Person

They offer several other meals and dining events. See the full list here.

To browse a full list of lunch and dinner cruises options by type rather than by company, click here.

 


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OTHER RIVER CRUISE OPTIONS

There are several boat tours and services offered in London that don’t fit any of the above subheadings. With that in mind, we’ve decided to include information about a few of these companies. If you’re looking for a different kind of trip on the Thames, consider one of the following options. Whether you want to avoid the crowds or discover a more interesting perspective on the city, chances are these boat tours will do the trick.

 


 

THAMES LUXURY CHARTERS 

This company rents out large private charters for private parties. They specialize in hosting wedding receptions, birthday parties, and corporate events. The food is award winning and the family who owns the company has done business on the River Thames since 1710! If you’re looking for a more personalized trip on the Thames, this is the opportunity of a lifetime. Being that this is a charter service, you can expect prices to be a lot higher than public boat tours.

Thames Luxury Cruises has earned a 4-star rating on TripAdvisor. This rating would probably be higher if it weren’t for one negative review. To be fair, this customer had a somewhat negative experience, but it would not appear that this is the typical experience for passengers on this charter service. Most guests report that they had an excellent time on the boat, traveling up and down the Thames comfortably.


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BUS & BOAT COMBOS

There are a lot of boat tours and cruises offered on the Thames, but none of them will show you everything worth seeing in London. In order to experience more than just the river that runs through this beautiful city, you’ll want to consider combining a cruise with either walking tours or bus tours. Thankfully, there are a lot of companies in the area that provide combo packages which include many different types of excursions. These combination packages can be a great way to save money on all kinds of activities!

 


BIG BUS TOURS

Big Bus is one of the most popular tour companies in the world. They offer services internationally and are well known for providing quality service. Their combo package for London includes a cruise with City Cruises, a selection of guided walking tours and their hop-on, hop-off bus tour to top it off. In addition, they also give passengers a booklet with coupons for several different restaurants and other businesses in the city.

Tickets for this combo package can be purchased either for 24 or 48 hours, allowing you to take as much time as you wish to enjoy everything included. This tour package is actually offered as part of the London Explorer Pass. You can save up to 35% on all the attractions by combining three or more services with this pass. This combo ticket is already very affordable, but the Explorer Pass makes it an even better deal.

Big Bus Tours of London has a 4-star rating on TripAdvisor. Most reviews are very positive, and comments about this specific combo package tend to be favorable. Even customers who did not enjoy their experience reported that the cruise was excellent. Many passengers have said that this is a great value for the money. Others report that the buses run frequently, allowing you to get off an experience various sites such as The Tower of London.

If you’re looking for a combination package that will allow you to discover as much of the city as possible without paying a lot of money, this is a great choice.

Click here for more information or to book.

Ticket Prices (as of 2018):

  • “Classic” 24-Hour Ticket  *Cruise one-way
    • £30.00 for Adults
    • £12.50 for Children (ages 5-15)
    • £79.20 for Family (2 Adults + 2 Children)
  • “Premium”  48-Hour Ticket *Cruise return 
    • £38.00 for Adults
    • £19.80 for Children  (ages 5-15)
    • £97.20 for Family (2 Adults + 2 Children)

Tour Hours

  • Tickets can be used on any date within 6 months of purchase
  • Enjoy each tour or cruise at your own leisure
  • Follow the tour hours of City Cruises to schedule your boat trip

 


THE ORIGINAL LONDON SIGHTSEEING TOUR

This tour service is almost exactly the same as Big Bus Tours. Much like their competitor, they also offer a Thames river cruise pass through City Cruises. You’ll also have access to three walking tours and 80+ stops at attractions all over London on their hop-on, hop-off bus tour. Although they claim to be the original sightseeing tour, the reality is that they don’t offer much more than their competitors. Ticket prices are also very similar, so this might be a great alternative if other combo packages are all sold out.

The Original London Sightseeing Tour has received a 4-star rating on TripAdvisor. A majority of the reviews are positive, but experiences with this tour company are a bit more mixed than other services in the same range. Most of the complaints focus on a lack of buses, but this doesn’t appear to be the norm; most customers have not reported a problem with their offerings, and there are thousands of reviews suggesting that this company provides excellent service. Many passengers noted that their tour guides are very good, so this should be a great choice if you want to learn a lot about the London area.

Ticket Prices (as of 2018):

  • 24-Hour Ticket
    • £32.00 for Adults / £29.00 online
    • £15.00 for Children / £13.50 online
    • £79.00 for Family Ticket (2 Adults + 2 Children) / £71.50 online
  • 48-Hour Ticket
    • £42.00 for Adults / £38.00 online
    • £20.00 for Children / £18.00 online
    • £104.00 for Family Ticket (2 Adults + 2 Children) / £94.00 online
  • Group 24-Hour Tickets (10+ People)
    • £23.00 for Adults (online only)
    • £12.00 for Children (online only)
  • Group 48-Hour Tickets (10+ People)
    • £36.00 for Adults (online only)
    • £18.00 for Children (online only)

Tour Hours

  • Tickets can be used on any date within 6 months of purchase
  • Enjoy each tour or cruise at your own leisure
  • Follow the tour hours of City Cruises to schedule your boat trip

 


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The British Museum Tour

Posted by & filed under London.

The British Museum has one of the most important collections of historical artefacts anywhere in the world. Famously it can be visited for free, but, with over 8 million objects it can be hard to know where to start and easy to get lost among the labyrinth of galleries and civilisations.

Let our British Museum Tour guide you through some of the museum’s most famous and fascinating collections while we tell the story of the cultures and characters that produced them, and see how they shaped who we are today. This is the greatest story of them all, the story of us, Homo Sapiens.

On our 2.5 hour tour will talk about how and why we started; farming, counting, writing, worshipping, warring, keeping time, playing and investigating. We’ll pass through; Stone Age America, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Assyria, Greece, Persia, China, the Holy Roman Empire, Saxon England, Viking Scotland, Mesoamerica, and the European Enlightenment. This is a tour not to be missed.

What’s Included on British Museum Tour:

  • The Museum Story
  • Clovis Spear
  • Ain Ghazal Figurines
  • The Standard of Ur
  • Sumerian Writing Tablet
  • The Rosetta Stone
  • The Parthenon Marbles
  • Chinese Cowrie Shell Currency
  • Holy Roman Mechanical Galleon
  • Sutton Hoo Saxon Helmet
  • Hinton Saint Mary Roman Christ
  • Persian Cyrus Cylinder
  • Olmec Ball Game Belt
  • The Enlightenment

WHERE: At the Rear Entrance to the Museum, the King Edward Entrance on Montague Place WC1E 7JW. (Please note this is not the main entrance). Your guide will be waiting outside the entrance by the Lion statue.

DURATION: Approximately 2 hours
LANGUAGE: English

COST: Pay-What-You-Like – Save more money on attractions and other tours with a tourist discount pass.

Q: HOW WILL I KNOW WHO MY TOUR GUIDE IS?
A: Expect an email from your tour guide by 19:00 the evening before tour with his or her contact details and photo. Your tour guide will be holding a Free Tours by Foot logo.

Q: WHAT IF I AM LATE, HOW CAN I MEET THE TOUR GUIDE?
A: Please don’t be late, as the tour guide won’t be able to answer the phone easily once the tour starts. At the start of the tour, we will walk around the museum on Montague Street and then Montague Place, discussing the neighbourhood and the Museum’s story. We will then enter security together at the rear, King Edward Entrance.

Once inside our first stop will be the Easter Island Statue of Hoa Hakananai’a in G.24

If you are late, be sure to send a text (sms) message to your tour guide to let him or her know to be on the lookout for you.

Q: WHAT IS AN APPROPRIATE COMPENSATION FOR THE GUIDE?
A: Another good question. People sometimes ask why we offer a tour for no upfront costs that our competitors offer for £12/person. Well, we feel that everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy a tour at a price he or she thinks the tour was worth – so just think of our tours as “name your own price”. Check out our blog posts on saving money in London.

Help us keep providing affordable tours of the City of London by spreading the word on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

Q: WHAT IF I NEED TO CANCEL OR EDIT MY BOOKING?
A: Please reply by email to this booking invoice directly to let us know that you need to cancel or edit. Be fair to others and give us at least 24 hours notice if possible, so that we have time to offer your spots to others. Failure to give proper notice may result in the placing of future tours to stand-by status.

Q: WHAT OTHER TOURS DO YOU OFFER?

A: We offer many different types of tours around the City and Westminster that you may be interested in joining. Read our Tour Summary Page for more information of all the tours we offer, including Night Tours.

PAY-WHAT-YOU-LIKE TOURS ARE TOURS FOR EVERY BUDGET.

Rock n Roll Tour London

The Rock n’ Roll Tour of London

Posted by & filed under London.

Join Free Tours By Foot on London’s first free Rock n’ Roll experience! This is not just a tour, but a “bucket list” worthy journey through the beginning of the Swingin’ Sixties movement up to the present day.  London has long been the epicentre of the Rock n’ Roll world and this nostalgic tour will take you on a journey through performances, recordings, album covers, and legendary gigs – both firsts and lasts! You’ll get the behind-the-scenes stories of infamous nights out, lives, loves, and the tragedies and triumphs of some of musics iconic legends.

 

 

Expect rockstars, punks, goth, the hippie movement, mods and rockers, jazz legends, and forays int the history of London’s blue, trance and reggae scenes. So which iconic superstars can you expect to hear about on this tour? The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Eric Clapton, The Sex Pistols, The Cure, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Prince, The Small Faces, Queen, Carly Simon, U2 and Bob Marley – just to name a few!

Sites Visited:

  • The location of Jimi Hendrix’s first appearance on a London stage
  • Where John Lenon met Yoko Ono
  • Where the Beatles played their final gig
  • The Marquee Club
  • Saville Row
  • The Bag o’ Nails
  • Trident Studios
  • Heddon Street
  • And more!

​Looking for somewhere to eat before or after the tour?​ Why not stop in to one of our favourite classic London pubs, The Windmill?​ They serve up some of the best, most delicious, traditional British pies with mashed potato to be found in all of the city – at prices that don’t break the bank!

Tour information

Reservations: Click here to reserve.

Where:  Outside Boots the Chemist, underneath the famous neon lights and signs next to Piccadilly Circus Underground Station (exit 1)(map).

Duration: Approximately 2 hours.

When: Thursdays and Saturdays at 15:00 View our full tour calendar.

Cost: This tour is free to take, and you get to decide what, if anything, the tour was worth when it’s done. A name-your-own-price tour is a tour for anyone’s budget.

Save even more money with a London tourist discount card.  Be sure to check out our other tours in London.