Sometimes city tours get a bad rep. They bring to mind gawping tourists, waving around oversized maps and eye-gouging selfie sticks. Scratch beneath the surface, though, and there’s some really awesome, unusual tours going on in London that will appeal to time-honoured natives and fresh-faced visitors alike. Here’s our pick:
1) Street Art Tour & Workshop
This is such a cool concept, thanks to our friends at Fever for pointing us in the right direction. The guys at Alternative London will take you round East London on a walking tour of all the most eye-catching street art, showing the works of incredibly talented graffiti artists like Banksy. When you get back they’ll run a little workshop so you can release your own artistic flair. Click here to find out more.
2) The Ghost Bus London
The spookiest of London tours, The Ghost Bus is a 1960’s Routemaster which has been given a decidedly emo makeover. With creepy actors and on-board technical trickery, the tour will give you a frightfully memorable tour of some of London’s most gruesome and sinister historical sites.
3) Cryptic Covent Caper
Who doesn’t love a treasure hunt?! This one, from Hidden City, will send cryptic clues by text to lead you to interesting locations in and around Covent Garden and The West End, before finishing in the most coveted place of all, a pub.
4) East End Pub Tour
On the subject of pubs, there’s a tour dedicated entirely to the capital’s watering holes. Stopping off at East London venues from down the ages, the tour will be taken by a guide who can recommend some of the finest ales and craft lagers. Also run by Alternative London and pointed out to us by Fever, who curate all the best events like this for their app. You can book this one here.
5) Unseen Tours
A really cool concept, Unseen Tours allow homeless and formerly homeless tour guides to take guests around some unusual London locations that they might not have seen before, imparting some home-grown local knowledge. Tours cover London Bridge, Covent Garden, Brick Lane and Shoreditch.
Maybe you’ve seen these already and wondered what they are. There’s quite a few pedalling their way around London Bridge these days. It’s basically a cross between a pub table and a big bicycle, so you pedal your way around London with your friends, taking in the sites (or the beer).
7) London Helicopter Tours
Because choppers are awesome, right? Live the high-life with a helicopter tour that gives you an aerial view of some of London’s most famous landmarks. And it’s not as expensive as might be expected, with prices starting at £129.