Upon first arrival, London can seem so large, crowded, noisy and bustling that the idea of exploring it will seem exhausting just to think about. There are fewer things more enjoyable than sightseeing in London, however, since virtually every corner of every street brings some iconic and famous building, statue or landmark into view. There are several different approaches to take towards sightseeing in London, and the following are just a few suggestions:
It sounds too good to be true, but it really is the case that one of the best ways of enjoying sightseeing in London is simply to set off on foot. If you’re situated in the centre of London, near to the West End, Hyde Park or Soho, to choose at random, then you can simply set off on a whim and walk wherever the mood takes you. Carry a map with you, not to dictate what direction you have to go in, but to be able to check out just what all the fabulous buildings which you’re bound to see actually are.
Many bus tours run through the centre of London, with one advantage being that lots of them operate on a hop on hop off basis, meaning you can join when you like, pay the set price and enjoy a tour with a guided commentary by an expert on the city.
Whilst walking on your own is undoubtedly rewarding, especially when you stumble across some unexpected treasure like London’s only surviving Roman wall, it is also possible to book special themed walking tours which concentrate on a specific area or historical theme and are guided by an expert in the subject. Some of the most popular include the Jack the Ripper walking tour, which explores one of the most famous unsolved murders of all time in the streets where it actually took place, and the Museum of London ‘Welcome to London’ tour, which is a perfect introduction to the city.
The streets of London are equipped with self-service bikes for hire at a small cost. Simply pay for a release code and you’ll have access to the bikes for the next 24 hours. During that period, each individual 30 minute ride will be free of charge, with longer trips amassing small charges. Provided you keep yourself safe, riding a bike is one of the most satisfying ways of exploring the streets of London.
If you want to really splash out and enjoy a unique view of the city, then treat yourself to a bird’s eye view with a helicopter tour. The helicopters take off from Battersea heliport and then fly along the Thames, hovering over the likes of Battersea Power Station, the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, the Shard and the 02 Arena. Prices start at £199.
Sightseeing boats and ferries run up and down and across the Thames throughout the day, offering a unique perspective on the city. For a more exhilarating and adrenaline fuelled ride, you can book a trip down the river on a speedboat, enjoying a journey of between 20 and 75 minutes at white knuckle high speeds.