Best Hop on/Hop off Bus Tour London

May 23rd, 2006, 11:47 AM
Original Poster
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Best Hop on/Hop off Bus Tour London

Have you rode on a hop on/hop off bus tour in London? If so, which one? How was your experience? Which do you recommend?
momplaygroup is offline  
May 23rd, 2006, 12:32 PM
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I've ridden a few and observed many more and i'd say they're like peas in a pod - i think the difference is in the commentator, if there is a live commentator or not as they can be rather interesting - some of course better than others. Haven't ridden in some years at that time it was a live commentator full of curious comments but i think now many have canned spiels.
Topping for someone who has taken a tour recently to comment.
PalQ is offline  
May 23rd, 2006, 03:12 PM
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We liked the Big Bus tour. the red line has the live commentary (english only). there are 3 lines altogether and the red line is the only live one. But it gave us a good introduction to the city. We are going back at the end of June and plan to do it again.
jm0754 is offline  
May 23rd, 2006, 03:28 PM
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We did the Big Bus Tour. What we really liked about it is that it has a few free optional tours as well. We did the Rock n Roll tour which was great. From memory the Big Bus Tour also included a boat trip on the Thames.
worldinabag is offline  
May 23rd, 2006, 03:31 PM
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If you have kids, you may want to check out a Harry Potter site tour in London.
starrsville is offline  
May 23rd, 2006, 03:35 PM
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I think the difference this year between the two biggies; The Big Bus Tour and The Original London Tour is in the pricing. One has a 2 day plan (I think it's the Big Bus Tour). Check the websites to see which suits your needs better. And also, print off a discount coupon.
Catbert is offline  
May 23rd, 2006, 04:58 PM
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They're both 24 hours. £20 includes one-way river cruise and walks £18 (£1.50 discount on line) includes circle cruise and lunch discounts £13.50 for 168 hours
Robespierre is offline  
May 24th, 2006, 01:05 AM
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The main difference is that the Original Bus Tour has a partially covered area on the upper deck, whereas the Big Bus upper level is completely open. On a rainy day (like Sunday when we were in London, or most any day this week, as we are in the middle of a "wet drought"), the difference can be significant for tourists riding the upper level.
I took my mother into town on Sunday. From just outside Paddington station, we caught the #15 bus, which essentially follows the Original and Big Bus tours, as we were behind them all the way until the Tower. We then switched to the RV1 bus which took us over to Covent Garden. We sat in the very first row of the upper level of the #15 and got the same view as the two tour buses; no commentary, but then the ride didn't cost us the better part of £20 pp either.
BTilke is offline  
May 24th, 2006, 04:22 AM
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I'd second Robe's 3rd option and that of BTilke. Otherwise you're paying a lot of good money for commentary (especially if it's canned). Grab a travel card and a bus route map. London's expensive enough, you need all the spare cash you can get. But, it's up to you what you prefer.
speckles is offline  
Jun 1st, 2006, 05:42 AM
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I was wondering where I can get more info on the rock n roll tour that worldinabag mentioned. I'm taking my 13 year old niece to London in three weeks and I think that's something she would love..

thank you!!

SashieZ is offline  
Jun 1st, 2006, 06:34 AM
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#22 bus is said to go on a loop around many of the popular destinations, going out to High Street Kensington.

Will look into that since I will be staying at the Hilton Olympia next month.
scrb is offline  
Jun 1st, 2006, 06:38 AM
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We took the Original Bus Tour and were very happy we did so. London is a big city, and this was a great way to see lots of sights and listen to the commentary, which I thought was excellent.

I do agree that you could do a similar tour yourself, but for first-timers to London, I think the hop on/hop off buses are a great way to get an overall feel (and the layout) of the city.

tcreath is offline  
Jun 1st, 2006, 06:50 AM
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You can't really tell much about the layout of the city from a bus. I think a map works better, whether you take a guided tour or do it yourself. You can pick up these two at any Tube station:
Robespierre is offline  
Jun 1st, 2006, 07:36 AM
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scrb, I wouldn't take the 22 to get to High St Kensington, but if you follow up the maps Robespierre has posted, you'll get the effect you have in mind.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Jun 1st, 2006, 07:59 AM
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I will be staying on Kensington High Street.

Supposedly I would be able to take #22 towards the center?
scrb is offline  
Jun 1st, 2006, 08:02 AM
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You have a choice of NINE bus lines from there direct to all over London. The #9 goes right down into the Piccadilly/Aldwych neighborhoods. Check this out:
Robespierre is offline  
Jun 1st, 2006, 10:52 AM
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SashieZ, I think the Hard Rock Cafe offers rock and roll tours. London Walks offers two Beatles tours, and I think one of the HOHO bus tours offers a Beatles tour as well.
Merseyheart is offline  
Jun 1st, 2006, 04:10 PM
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thanks so much merseyheart
SashieZ is offline  
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