As I mentioned in yesterday’s post I booked the Golden Tours hop on, hop off sightseeing bus for my family and I to use during their visit. There are quite a few companies in London that offer this sort of service so I made sure to do my research of them all before booking. I looked at the Original Tour, Big Bus London and City Sightseeing before settling on the Golden Tours Hop On Hop Off Plus thanks to their cracking winter deal of 24 hours free. The routes that these all take are very much similar although it seems like The Original Tour covers the widest area and also has the most (80+) stops but it’s also the most expensive at £25 per adult and £11.50 per child for 48 hours (they’re also doing a 24 hours free promotion as it’s Winter). In comparison I got us 72 hours with Golden Tours for £23 per adult and £14 for my niece. Not the cheapest way to get around London but a great way to take in all the sights without getting lost! It also includes a free walking tour and riverboat ride should you wish to take part in these as well.
When we reached the tower of London where we started our tour for the first day we were greeted by a very cheerful (despite the weather) salesman who exchanged my online print out for two receipt sized tickets. One was for us to use on the bus (as a hop on, hop off tour you can use it as much or as little as you wish) and the other for a one way trip on the Thames Clipper that we didn’t use until the following day. Sadly the driver of the first bus wasn’t as helpful and it was only thanks to the couple behind us on the bus that we knew where we could get the headphones and maps from.
Because it is still Winter there were no live tour guides on board but the pre-recorded commentary was OK at giving us a general overview and a few giggles. Sadly the driver didn’t always press the button to play it at the right time so the commentary lagged and we only found out about things after we had passed them. Not good for visitors who don’t know the city at all! We, of course, listened in English but there were also channels for French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese & Russian *phew* Later drivers we had seemed to be much better at this and also a lot friendlier. We were told to take fresh headphones the following day to prevent infection and one driver also helped me figure out the timetable so we knew when the last bus back to the city centre was.
I think the price is reasonable for what you get (always book online for a discount) and they also offer combi tickets with discounted entry to certain exhibitions but if you’re planning on using a 241 days out voucher it’ll probably work out cheaper to pay for things separately if there are an even number of you.