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Our guide to London: Tours

London is so vast that no matter how well you think you know it, there is always something new to discover: little cobbled streets, statues, shops and there are many ways to enjoy the sights whether by foot, bike, boat, coach, bus or even helicopter.

Sightseeing bus tours are a great way to see London and are run by several rival companies – open-top double-decker buses set off every 30 mins from Victoria Station, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly and other tourist spots.  Tours take about 90 mins (although you can hop on and off).

River Trips

Westminster Passenger Services run the only scheduled service from Westminster to Kew, Richmond or Hampton Court from April to October.  Tickets can be bought from Westminster Pier.  For current prices and schedule see www.wpsa.co.uk.

Themed Walks

Harry Potter, The Royal Wedding, Jack the Ripper, Shakespeare’s London, Hidden Pubs – there are hundreds of walks on offer provided by several companies.  The widest range of walks on offer are run by Original London Walks (020-7624 3978)

Regent’s Canal

This is a lovely area for lazy cruising between Camden Lock and Little Venice. You can catch the boat at either end, with a stop-off for London Zoo.  London Waterbus Company runs all through the year (020-7482 2660).  The narrowboat Jenny Wren (020-7485 4433) starts from Camden while Jason’s narrowboats start of at Little Venice (020-7286 3428)

Air Tours

Several companies offer sightseeing tours by helicopter, such as a half-hour tour of London that follows the route of the Thames.  Cost is around £90 (0844 8040432)

Out of Town

Several operators run bus trips to well-known sights within an hour or two’s drive of London or further afield.  Victoria Coach Station advertise one day trips to Canterbury, Oxford, Cambridge, Leeds Castle (not in Leeds as the name would seem to indicate!) and numerous other places.  Some tours are themed covering such topics as gardens, steam trains and Ancient Britain. Other Popular trips outside of London include Hampton Court Palace, Windsor Castle, Brighton, Stonehenge, amongst other wonderful choices.

The London Pass gives free entry for one, two, three or six days to more than 60 attractions.  If you pre-book passes over the website, www.londonpass.com, your pass includes free travel on the underground, trains and buses.

The Britain & London Visitor Centre, at 1 Regent Street, SW1 (Tube: Piccadilly Circus), offers free advice and assistance to visitors to London and throughout Britain.