London Helicopter Tour | Helicopter Ride Over London

Updated: 10 abril 2023

This post is a review of your options for helicopter rides and tours over London.  

Of course, we love to see London by foot, but sometimes it’s fun to see the city from a different vantage point!

If you’ve ever wanted to get a birds-eye view of our favourite city, check out our guide below for the best helicopter tours in town.


What to Expect From a Helicopter Ride Over London

Before you book your unforgettable sightseeing tour, here's some general information about what you might expect from a helicopter ride.


The Route

There are a variety of routes and options to choose from.

You might find one company that covers the landmarks you'd expect and want to see (The Tower of London, Tower Bridge, the Gherkin, Westminster, and Buckingham Palace) or another that will work with you to customize a trip.


The Length

Tours tend to last anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes on average. But of course, if you are customizing a trip that time can be extended.


Safety

The most important thing to note is that these companies take safety pretty seriously.

Your pilot will have had to pass certain regulations set by the Civil Aviation Authority, and the helicopters tend to be newer and well-maintained.

There will be a safety briefing with passengers before you leave the ground.

There are also weight, health, and age restrictions on some of the flights, including a maximum weight for the entire group, so you'll want to look into those before booking your trip.

Insurance

You'll also want to make sure whatever company you choose has public liability insurance.

Weather

If the company feels that it's not safe to fly in certain weather conditions the flight will be canceled.

This is a good reason to double-check your contact information before checking out. If the company knows far enough ahead of time that the weather will be bad, they can contact you before you head to the pick-up site.

Before the Flight

You'll want to dress comfortably. You may also want to take along a light sweater or jacket because it can get quite cold once up in the air. You might also want to bring along sunglasses or a hat.

There are certain things that can't be taken on the flights (example: lighters) so be sure to check the list and leave those things behind.

Be sure to bring along your ID. You may even be asked to fill out the details of your passengers ahead of time, providing such information as their names, birth dates, weights, countries, and a copy of their IDs.

You'll want to arrive at least 20-30 minutes ahead of your flight. The company should tell you how long they'll need for check-in and safety instructions.

Note that they may deny someone access to the flight if they are intoxicated or don't meet some of the various necessary restrictions.

On the Flight

Depending on the type of trip booked, be prepared to share the flight with people you may not know.

Once you're on the flight, your pilot or tour guide will communicate with you through a headset. Yes, it's quite loud up there!

You might even be given a glass of champagne or other refreshments, depending on the carrier.


How Much Does a Helicopter Trip Over London Cost?

The cost of your ride depends on many factors including the length of the trip, the number of people in your party, and the number of seats filled.

Although they tend to be on the pricier side, because helicopter trips are often a once-in-a-lifetime experience, they tend to be popular. You'll want to book early because flights tend to fill up.

Note that some companies only go up if they've filled a certain number of seats.

If you'd still like to take the flight, they may offer you the option of buying extra seats.

Some of the UK’s most popular voucher sites occasionally offer deals on their helicopter tour packages.

You might check the following sites before booking with a specific carrier.

If you've chosen your carrier already, you might search the name of the company and the words "PROMO CODE" or "COUPON CODE" in case there is a code you can you to discount your flight on check-out.


Helicopter Companies

If you're looking for one of the best helicopter experiences, London offers you a number of options.


London Pleasure Flights

These guys know their stuff: the pilots working here have been flying over London for many years.

London Pleasure flights take off to the west of London, flying along the water to Olympic Park and the O2 Arena, past the Cutty Sark and Canary Wharf.

Then onto sites such as the Tower of London, HMS Belfast, the Gherkin, the Shard, St. Patrick's Cathedral, the London Eye, Horseguards Parade, and Buckingham Palace.

Tours begin in easy-to-reach Essex and depart on pre-selected dates throughout the year.

  • Takes off from Stapleford Aerodrome, Essex
  • Tour Duration: 30 Minutes
  • Max Passengers: 5 people
  • Cost: £199 per seat

You can book your flight directly through their website, after which you'll get an email confirmation.

For more information visit the London Pleasure Flights website, and check out their Instagram photos.


Virgin Experience Days

This helicopter company offers a number of options for sightseeing over London, some dependent on particular months and on the location you'd like to take off from. They also allow you to build a customized tour.

You could do the Helicopter Sightseeing Flight of London for Two that flies over London's most iconic sites over a 45-minute flight.

They also offer options such as a Football Stadium Helicopter Tour and a 5-minute Helicopter Buzz Flight for Two.

  • Takes off from: It depends on which tour you've chosen
  • Tour Duration: 5-45 minutes
  • Max Passengers: 5 people
  • Cost: £49-£385 depending on which tour you've chosen

You can book your flight directly through their website, after which they'll send you a voucher and booking information.

For more information visit the Virgin Experience Days website.


The London Helicopter

The London Helicopter offers a number of different flights including a 2-seat or 3-seat exclusive flight, flights with champagne, and extended flight options.

Because their flights are exclusive, meaning you won't be sharing the ride with strangers, you'll be paying more than you would if you shared the flight.

  • Takes off from: Redhill Aerodrome, Surrey
  • Tour Duration: 30-45 minutes depending on which tour you've chosen
  • Max Passengers: 2-3
  • Cost: £660-£900 depending on which tour you've chosen

You can book your flight directly through their website.

For more information visit The London Helicopter website, and check out their Instagram photos.


EBG Helicopters

This company offers both exclusive flights over London meaning you won't be sharing your flight with strangers.

You can book a sightseeing tour for up to 3 people, a tour with champagne, a tour with champagne, chocolate, and flowers, or a tour that has an extension that takes you down to the Isle of Dogs and past the Olympic Village.

  • Takes off from: Redhill Aerodrome, Surrey
  • Tour Duration: 35-45 minutes depending on which tour you've chosen
  • Max Passengers: 2-3
  • Cost: £660-£745 depending on which tour you've chosen

You can book your flight directly through their website

For more information visit the EBG Helicopters website, and check out their Instagram photos.


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About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo, Washington.org, and more.
Updated: abril 10th, 2023
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