As a family we head up to London quite often. It’s only an hour from the train station in our village, there’s always loads to do and I think it’s a great experience for our three year old. It’s something I remember my Dad doing with me and my sister when we were little, there’s always something special about going up to London I think.
On the Bank Holiday Monday we had been invited up by London Duck Tours and by London Zoo, so we thought we’d make a day of it and asked my parents to join us.
You can watch a little video of our day out in London here.
First things first, I must say that a bus tour of London wouldn’t normally be at the top of my tourist agenda – especially with a fidgety three year old. I know London quite well and I’d rather see things up close and personal, on foot. But the idea behind London Duck Tours is quite different – it is definitely not your typical bus trip around London!
For starters it was all pretty relaxed and informal, you sat where you wanted and the staff were really friendly. I had worried that Finley might be too loud but the guy doing the tour was quite engaging and inclusive. Finley called out a few answers and enjoyed the encouragement to ‘quack’ at people out of the windows when we stopped at traffic lights! There were other children on board our amphibious bus, with passengers of all nationalities and the tour guide was able to keep us informed about the history of London without going on too much or being too boring! I love history, particularly the history of the British monarchy and it was great to hear about some places and events of which I had little knowledge.
The tour lasts 75 minutes, the first half driving around seeing sites like the London Eye, The House of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and Downing Street. You also see The Ritz and Trafalgar Square.
The second part is spent on the Thames, which is quite obviously everyone’s favourite part. They call it a ‘splash down’ and depending on where you are seated that is pretty accurate! You literally drive into the river and it’s pretty exciting – Finley was beside himself…
The bus now boat is quite low in the water and they take you down past MI6 and Lambeth Palace. You have great views of Westminster and the London Eye again. You don’t travel far down the river but you do a circuit and spend a fair amount of time on the water.
The tour costs £27 per adult and £19 for kids and teens under 17 years. They also offer a family ticket discount for 2 adults/2 children at £79 which works out at just under £20 per head. I’ve just had a scout about online and compared these prices the other bus tours being offered in London. None of which are by road and river by the way. A typical sight seeing tour by bus seems to cost anywhere between £20-£30 per adult so the Duck Tours pricing seems pretty competitive to me. We had a great time and would certainly recommend it!
*Our London Duck Tour experience was FOC in exchange for our honest review*
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